One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Bax Piano Music

Guillaume LEKEU

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

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

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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

William Vincent WALLACE (1812-1865)
Chopinesque : Polonaise de Wilna (pub. 1868) [4.20]
* Nocturne mélodique (1847) [6.33]
La sympathie (1844) [3.36]
Le zephyr (1848) [4.56]
Souvenir de Cracovie (1864) [3.33]
Woodland murmurs (1844) [2.29]
Le chant des oiseaux (1852) [4.20]
Valse brillante (1848) [5.26]
Au bord de la mer (1849) [6.04]
Varsovie (1852) [4.45]
Nocturne Op.20/1 (1852) [1.52]
Souvenir de Naples (1854) [4.39]
La brunette (1853) [5.24]
Innocence (1850) [1.49]
Victoire (1862) [2.31]
La grace (1850) [3.28]
Grande Fantaisie La Cracovienne (1842) [13.34]+
Rosemary Tuck (piano); *Richard Bonynge (piano);
+ Tait Chamber Orchestra/Richard Bonynge
rec. Forde Abbey, Chard, Somerset, *6 March 2011 and 17-18 October 2011: +St Paul’s, Knightsbridge, London, 24 November 2011
NAXOS 8.572776 [79.20]

Experience Classicsonline

The Irish composer William Vincent Wallace is not be confused with the Scottish composer William Wallace, who is credited with writing the first British symphonic poems including one - even more confusingly - entitled Sir William Wallace. I used the word ‘credited’ with caution: many of the ‘concert overtures’ of earlier British composers such as Corder, Macfarren, Elgar and even Sterndale Bennett are symphonic poems in all but name.
The Irish Wallace, with whose music we are concerned here, is remembered nowadays for writing the opera Maritana. This gained a major reputation in the nineteenth century as part of the so-called ‘English Ring’ which also comprised The Bohemian Girl by the Irishman Balfe and the Irish subject The Lily of Killarney by the Austrian Benedict. By the way, when are we going to get a complete recording of The Lily of Killarney, probably the best of these three scores?
Wallace also wrote a great deal of piano music, mainly for himself to play on his many concert tours. This is the third CD from Naxos to contain selections from his massive output. This has been subtitled Chopinesque, presumably because many of the forms employed are those familiar from the music of Chopin. It has to be said that Wallace even at his best cannot begin to rival Chopin on top form. The earlier Naxos CDs by Rosemary Tuck concentrated on his Celtic Fantasies and his Operatic Fantasies and Paraphrases, and the works on those discs were to a considerable extend redeemed by their often imaginative treatment of melodies by other hands. There are also two Cala CDs by Tuck (review review) which gives us more of his folksong arrangements and a considerable number of other original compositions. This is therefore the fifth CD of piano music by Wallace from Tuck. Where the composer is thrown back on his own inspiration it is a bit thinner on the ground than in her previous compilations. There is nothing here that is meretricious or cheap, but nothing that is an outstanding masterpiece either.
To do him justice, Wallace would never have pretended to be a great composer, at any rate in these piano pieces. He was principally concerned to provide original music for his recitals, and in that he succeeds admirably. There is one piece which could feasibly be regarded as pretty well as good as Chopin, even if not Chopin firing on all cylinders: the ‘valse brillante de salon’ entitled La Brunette which apparently was also published in America as Lotus leaf - such confusion cannot have helped his music to get itself established. This has a really good swinging waltz tune of considerable character. Otherwise some fairly standard material is put through its virtuoso paces, and Rosemary Tuck does it all proud. Richard Bonynge takes over as pianist for the polonaise De Wilna, but this is a rather different piece only published after the composer’s death and apparently intended as a sketch for an unfinished (or unpublished) opera.
Here we also get, for the first time, an orchestral piece by Wallace in the form of the ‘grande fantaisie’ La Cracovienne. Actually what we get is a reconstruction of the score; it was originally written for piano and orchestra, but was only published in a piano solo version and presumably the original is lost. Jeremy Silver provides a suitably period accompaniment for the piano, with some nice woodwind touches which actually sound uncannily like Wallace’s decorous scoring in his operas. This is fun piece that might well attract pianists anxious to expand their concerto repertoire, and Bonynge conducts with sympathy and flexibility. One should note that Tuck has already recorded this piece in its piano solo version on one of her Cala collections.
An interesting sidelight on a Victorian composer, then, but hardly essential material for the general listener. On the other hand, those who have enjoyed Tuck’s previous exploration of this repertory will adore it. The recording is nicely balanced, the performances are enjoyable, the notes by Peter Jaggard are detailed and informative. The disc certainly gives full measure.
Paul Corfield Godfrey 

see also review by Raymond Walker




























































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.