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

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Symphony no. 8 in B minor, D 759 Unfinished (1822) [24:06]
Symphony no. 9 in C major, D 944 Great (1825) [53:36]
Staatskapelle Dresden/Herbert Blomstedt
rec. 23-24 February 1978 (D 759), 23-27 March 1981 (D 944), Lukaskirche, Dresden. ADD

Experience Classicsonline

These Schubert recordings were made during Herbert Blomstedt’s tenure as chief conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden, a post he held from 1975 to 1985.
Schubert’s influence on Bruckner has been commented on in relation to the Eighth. It’s illuminating observation, and there are certainly many similarities, starting with the hushed opening, subtly lit here and there by horn chords. This recording has good bass extension, giving the pizzicato accompaniment in cellos and basses some weight. The cellos are also in good voice for the second subject. Dynamics are graduated over the full range from pianissimo to fortissimo, and the long crescendos are carefully built. The second movement could have been taken a little more con moto. István Kertész’s 1963 recording with the Vienna Philharmonic, however, takes almost a minute longer. Blomstedt in Dresden lovingly brings out the inner parts and manages throughout to find a blend of rich feeling which never becomes sentimental. I prefer this performance to Kertész’s, which lacks subtlety in the more vehement episodes.
The Great symphony is so called both on account of its length, and to distinguish it from the Sixth symphony, also in C major. It begins with what to me is the greatest horn-call in symphonic literature; the spacious Andante introduction growing from this leads into the main Allegro ma non troppo. The horn-call is beautifully played, and seems to hang in the resonant acoustic of the Lukaskirche. The transition to the faster section is very well managed, as are all the transitions, which are free of the ritardandi that can give Schubert performances a sentimental air. The main theme in the Andante con moto is reflective rather than jaunty. This helps to contrast the innocence of the main theme with the anguished episodes with which it alternates. The horn-call that succeeds the big climax is wonderfully played, giving one of those moments in which time seems to stand still. The intense emotional journey in this movement is fully characterised, but always retains a sense of dignity. The unison string phrase that opens the Scherzo has a pleasant bass weight, and the tempo allows the music to dance. There is a sense of nostalgia in the trio, the transitions in and out of which are again smoothly managed. The finale launches vigorously, but an unpleasant hardness has somehow crept into the sound. I listened to the last two movements again in case I had imagined this, but it was evident the second time too. This movement must have been quite a bun-fight for an orchestra of Schubert’s time, and still gives a modern professional orchestra quite a workout; maybe everyone was feeling a bit tense here. Things settle down after this, and the movement proceeds in an athletic and well drilled fashion. Kertész offers similarly well-pointed rhythms, but again he over-emphasises the stormy episodes to the point where the orchestra produces some rather ugly sound.
I really enjoyed Blomstedt’s Schubert. The tempi are well chosen, and maintained with just the right degree of flexibility, allowing the music to unfold without too much signposting. Apparently the Staatskapelle Dresden was Wagner’s favourite orchestra, and it acquits itself extremely well in this repertoire, with particularly fine wind playing. It has an attractive ripeness, particularly in the “wet” acoustic of the Lukaskirche, and the analogue recording gives an extra bloom.  

Guy Aron 




























































































































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.