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

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati








Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924)
Eine Lustspielouvertüre Op. 38 (1897) [7:01]
Gesang vom Reigen der Geister Op. 47 (1915) [7:39]
Rondo Arlecchinesco Op. 46 (1915) [13:00]
Clarinet Concertino in B flat major Op. 48 (1918) [11:56]
Divertimento for flute and small orchestra Op. 52 (1920) [8:57]
Tanzwalzer Op. 53 (1920) [12:06]
Giammarco Casani (clarinet); Laura Minguzzi (flute); Gianlucca Terranova (tenor);
Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma/Francesco La Vecchia
rec. Auditorium Conciliazione, Rome and the ORS Studios, Rome, 7-8 December 2008, 27-28 March, 13-14 , 16-17 May 2011
NAXOS 8.572922 [60:38]

Experience Classicsonline

Busoni was not only a great composer and pianist but also a musical philosopher whose work extends beyond the realms of pure music. The Fantasia Contrappuntistica, the Piano Concerto and above all Doktor Faust are prime examples of this. One important aspect of this was his advocacy of a form of neo-classicism, in particular derived from the music of Mozart and Bach, and it is this aspect that is the main part of this disc.
It starts with what is usually known in Anglo-Saxon circles as the Comedy Overture, a neat, crisp work which goes well beyond what have become the clichés of the many “light, bright, Overtures” written since that time. It is a delightful piece surprisingly rarely encountered in the concert hall. The other works are all much later in date. The Divertimento is a particular joy to hear. In effect it is a Concertino in three sections, the first and last based on a clear-cut motif of very classical character but whose treatment is very individual. The slower middle section is even more so, with a haunting quintessential Busoni theme. All of this in less than ten minutes of pure pleasure.
The Clarinet Concertino and Rondo Arlecchinesco are similar in their ingenious use of classical features in a very individual context. The Tanzwalzer was dedicated to the memory of Johann Strauss II and is about as different from that nearly contemporary tribute to the Viennese waltz - Ravel’s La Valse - as it is possible to imagine. The odd work out here is the Gesang vom Reigen der Geister which, like the Indian Diary and Indian Fantasy, is based on American Indian themes and has an ambiguous and mystical character, another important aspect of Busoni as a composer.
All of these are essential works in the collections of any admirer of the composer, and it is good to have them brought together here in modern recordings. The performances are generally satisfactory although at times lacking that total confidence in phrasing and balance that comes with greater familiarity with the music. The recording is clear and full although at times the balance sounds artificial rather than a real representation of what one might hear in a concert hall. There are good notes by Richard Whitehouse. All in all this is a useful collection of short pieces which are too easily ignored when contemplating Busoni’s larger masterpieces.  

John Sheppard

see also review by Brian Reinhart (September 2012 Recording of the Month)






























































































































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.