Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere
Normal service resumed


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


Recordings of the Month


Che fai tù? - Villanelles

Cyrillus KREEK
The suspended harp of Babel

violin concertos - Ibragimova

Peteris VASKS
Viola concerto - Maxim Rysanov

The Complete Lotte Schöne


Beethoven String Quartets

Produzioni Armoniche

Seven Symphonic Poems

Shostakovich VC1 Baiba Skride
Tchaikovsky Symph 5 Nelsons

Vivaldi Violin Concertos




Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998)
String Quartet no.3 (1983) [20:01]
String Quartet no.1 (1966) [18:45]
String Quartet no.2 (1980) [21:29]
String Quartet no.4 (1989) [38:07]
Canon in Memoriam Igor Stravinsky, for string quartet (1971) [4:58]
Molinari Quartet (Olga Ranzenhofer (violin); Frédéric Bednarz (violin); Frédéric Lambert (viola); Pierre-Alain Bouvrette (cello))
rec. Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, Quebec, June 2010. DDD
ATMA ACD2 2634 [60:15 + 43:55] 

Experience Classicsonline

There have been surprisingly few recordings of Schnittke's four String Quartets. A decade ago the Kapralova Quartet - they do not bother with diacritics - recorded this very same programme, Canon and all, but omitting the Second Quartet to squeeze it all onto a single disc (review). In the late Nineties the Kronos Quartet had released their complete Schnittke Quartets, not without hoopla, on Nonesuch (79500). Nearly a decade before that the Swedish Tale Quartet had released their account of the Quartets on BIS (CD-467), but at that time the ink was still wet on Schnittke's Fourth. Apart from that, the Canadian Molinari Quartet's competition lies in various recordings of individual works, most notably of the Fourth by the Alban Berg Quartet - for whom it was written and who gave the world premiere: see review of their triple-disc '20th Century Masterpieces' collection.
The Tale, Kronos and Kapralova all have their own strengths and particularities, but all are knocked into a cocked hat, broadly speaking, by these readings by the Molinari Quartet. It was founded by violinist and sole surviving founder member Olga Ranzenhofer in 1997, and named after the Canadian abstract painter Guido Molinari, who before his death in 2004 even 'designed' a logo for the Quartet - a small square divided into blue, yellow, red and green quarters.
Additionally one of the sharpest-dressing quartets in North America, the Molinaris might be forgiven for using the post-modern ploy of attempting to conceal musical inadequacies behind a puffed-up image. In fact, they have no need to do so, because their musicianship is as exclusive and discerning as their tailor. Nevertheless, though at times as physical as any, their vision of Schnittke is more lyrically expressive, emotionally intense but more introverted, altogether less typically 'primeval' than most others.
The Molinaris begin their recital with the Third Quartet, presumably on the grounds that it is a little more 'popular', which is to say accessible. The semi-neo-Classical Third should provide considerable enjoyment for anyone comfortable with the quartets of Shostakovich or Martinů. However, it is fair to say that nearly all this music reflects Schnittke the modernist - acrid chromaticism, atonality, serialism, pointillism are all present - meaning that there is little here to appeal to those with mainstream-inclined tastes. Yet these are not by any means screech 'n' drone works: Schnittke's Quartets occupy an important place in late 20th century repertoire and an initial familiarisation with the Third could well give the majority of listeners painless access to the other three, from no.2 via no.4 to no.1.
The Molinaris’ repertory is large, but entirely made up of 20th and 21st century works, beginning with Bartók and Schoenberg. Their first disc for ATMA was Canadian composer R Murray Schafer's first seven Quartets (ACD2 2188-89), hardly a straightforward listen - or play. Schafer went on to act as judge in the roughly triennial Molinari Quartet International Competition for Composition, which has received 600-plus new quartet scores in its first decade - an astoundingly impressive achievement. Winners of the first three Competitions have had their works recorded by the Quartet and released on ATMA (ACD2 2286, ACD2 2323, ACD2 2368).
Sound quality is very good - well-balanced and warm. The CD booklet, which waverers can download for free here, is neat and clean. Irène Brisson's notes on the works are informative and well written, not to mention well translated. The inside track-listing gives the date of the Fourth Quartet erroneously as 1983, but this is corrected elsewhere.
Collected reviews and contact at

























































































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.