Schubert sonatas

Newest Releases

Piano solo and duet
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.


Moravec - Twelfth Night Recital
15%off £17.21 (until Dec 7)

Katerina Englichová - harp
15%0ff £10.83 (until Dec 7)

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo

Sibelius Symphonies Maazel
4CDs + Blu-ray audio
Special Price £36.75

RVW A Sea Symphony - Elder

Shostakovich Symphony 10 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem

Dvorak Opera Premiere

Grieg, Mendelssohn sonatas




Would you like a hyperlinked weekly summary of the CDs we have reviewed?

Click for further details

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Prima voce
Red Priest
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Albert ROUSSEL (1869-1937)
Le festin de l’araignée (Complete Ballet-Pantomime) (1912) [32:26]
Padmâvatî (Opera-Ballet in Two Acts) Suites Nos. 1 and 2 (1914-18) [22:27]
Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Stéphane Denève
rec. Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, UK, 4-5 October 2010. DDD
NAXOS 8.572243 [54:53]

Experience Classicsonline

When I reviewed Stéphane Denève’s disc containing the Fourth Symphony, I thought he had concluded his Roussel cycle, since he had recorded all of the symphonies. I wondered at the time, though, because of his recording of Bacchus et Ariane accompanying the recording of the Third Symphony. The answer is here. This would seem to be the final recording in Denève’s Roussel series and it maintains the high standards set in the earlier volumes.
Le festin de l’araignée, translated here as The Spider’s Banquet (I have usually seen it as The Spider’s Feast), is the composer’s “other” ballet. It has often taken a back seat to Bacchus et Ariane which comes from later in Roussel’s career and is more typical of his mature, neo-classical style. The Spider’s Banquet is usually thought of as one of his “impressionistic” works, looking backwards to Debussy, but nonetheless has attractions equal to those of its more famous successor. I compared Denève’s recording with one by the BBC Philharmonic under Yan Pascal Tortelier on Chandos CHAN9494 (that also includes Bacchus et Ariane) and found the contrasting interpretations rather enlightening. Whereas Tortelier is softer focused and blended — indeed more “impressionistic” - Denève paints his Spider’s Banquet in bolder and brighter colors that look forward to Roussel’s later period. Both are convincing, but I must say I have gained a greater appreciation of the score from Denève. The ballet now seems to me to be every bit as good as Bacchus et Ariane. The various entomological dances and scenes are characterized very well by the whole orchestra, but special praise is due the to woodwinds — above all the wonderful flute playing.
Accompanying the ballet is a rarity: two suites Roussel compiled from his opera-ballet, Padmâvatî, music that was inspired by the composer’s visit to India. The suites are quite colorful and contain more than a little Eastern exoticism, though the music is pure Roussel through and through. Again the superb flute deserves a mention here. I don’t think, based on the orchestral excerpts here, however, that the composer’s inspiration was at the same high level as in the two ballets or the later symphonies. It is certainly pleasant enough, but with the disc’s rather short timing some vocal selections from the score might have enhanced its appeal. Nonetheless, for anyone collecting the series this recording of The Spider’s Feast alone would make it a worthy acquisition. If your primary interest is in the two major ballets, Tortelier’s accounts on Chandos still have much to commend them.
As with the other discs in this Roussel series, Richard Whitehouse provides the detailed and well-written notes. The cover art, Victor Hugo’s Vianden through a Spider’s Web, further adds to the attractions of the CD.

Leslie Wright

See also review by Brian Reinhart


































































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.