One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

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

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library



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
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass

Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1




CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download from The Classical Shop

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
The Light of Life (Lux Christi), Op. 29 (1896)
Judith Howarth (soprano); Linda Finnie (mezzo); Arthur Davies (tenor); John Shirley-Quirk (baritone)
London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra/Richard Hickox
rec. February 1993, All Saints’ Church, Tooting
CHANDOS CHAN 10726X [62:48]

Experience Classicsonline

Chandos has reissued their February 1993 recording of Elgar’s The Light of Life as part of their extensive Legacy series devoted to the art of Richard Hickox.
It’s a work of embryonic, fitful quality. At its best it’s resplendent and moving, whilst at its less-than-best it can be earnest and rather jog-trotting, and somewhat under-characterised too. One of the best moments is also perhaps the most well-known, the opening  Meditation - which has not quite yet reached the status of that other extracted high point, the Méditation from Thaïs. Yet the Meditation from Lux Christi is impressive, with its strong anticipations of Gerontius and the First Symphony in particular. It’s a classic example of Elgar’s fluid orchestral style.
The Cantata of 1896 was originally given the Latin name but the publisher Novello queried its - Catholic, by implication or presumption - use for an Anglican festival, so Elgar backtracked and gave it the name by which it’s now known.
Hickox has an intelligent and fluent quartet of vocal soloists, and the exceptionally fine LSO chorus and orchestra. Arthur Davies is the tenor, taking the part of the Blind Man, and his tone is plangent and warm. Judith Howarth takes the part of the Blind Man’s Mother and her voice is well suited to the strongly Francophile Be Not Extreme, which sounds as if it’s wandered in from Meyerbeer by mistake. Not unattractively so, just rather incongruously, though Elgar’s debt to French music, as much as to, say, Schumann can’t be overlooked. But it can hardly be condemned and even here Elgar’s distinctive fingerprints are ever-present.
Another purloiner, Wagner, courses throughout the aria Neither Has This Man, in which Jesus appears, here portrayed by John Shirley-Quirk. His noble persona is put wholly to the service of the music, even though it would be foolish to contend that he was still at his vocal peak. Linda Finnie, a touch uneven in her recitative And when He has thus spoken, takes the role of Narrator and does so with conspicuous gravity, its Bachian antecedents clear but never overplayed.
Good though the solo arias and recitatives can be, it’s most fascinating to listen to orchestral and choral passages, especially the latter. They brought him to the Pharisees offers an early sound seed for Gerontius, whilst elsewhere Elgar’s wind writing is extraordinary attractive - never translucent - he was hardly that sort of composer - but always evocative. The Women’s Chorus proclaiming Woe to the shepherd of the flock is, again, decidedly prophetic of Gerontius, even The Kingdom. But it would be wrong to present the work as wholly a dry run for far greater works to come. It has its own strength and conviction. It also shows how cannily Elgar paced scenes, how strongly he builds up to the moving, understated simplicity of I am the Good Shepherd and thenceforth to the final chorus Light of the World.
A choice between this recording and Charles Groves’ earlier one with his Liverpool forces is not easy. The LSO chorus is outstanding, the orchestra too, but Shirley-Quirk is heard in more youthful voice in his first traversal with Groves. Margaret Marshall, Helen Watts and Robin Leggate are the other singers and they make a strong team. I prefer Davies to Leggate, but only just. Marshall and Watts take my ear more than Finnie and Howarth, Chandos’s sound is robust and attractive. Generous critics at this point would recommend getting both, but that’s not always helpful. My own preference, because of the solo singing, is for Groves.
Jonathan Woolf 

see also review by Rob Barnett























































































































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.