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: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Erwin SCHULHOFF (1894-1942)
String Quartet No.1 (1924) [16:35]
Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957)
String Quartet in D minor, Voces Intimae, Op. 56 (1908/09) [30:51]
Leos JANÁČEK (1854-1928)
String Quartet No.1, Kreutzer Sonata (1923) [17:56]
Henschel Quartet (Christoph Henschel (violin); Markus Henschel (violin); Monika Henschel (viola); Mathias Beyer-Karlshøj (cello))
rec. 15-17 December 2008, August Everding Saal, Grünwald, nr. Munich, Germany
NEOS CLASSICS 11006 [65:23]

Experience Classicsonline

Following the success of a number of recordings made by the Munich-based Henschel Quartet any new release from them is cause for celebration. I made their Mendelssohn’s complete string quartets on Arte Nova/BMG my 2005 Recording of the Year. Their world première Neos CD of Bruch’s String Quintet coupled with Mendelssohn String Quintets was on my 2009 best of year list. Their Manfred Trojahn album was one of my best of year selections for 2011. Since making this recording the line-up has changed with second violin Markus Henschel leaving in 2010 to be replaced by Daniel Bell.
The Henschel are doing sterling work championing Schulhoff’s music.Prague-born Schulhoff was one of many victims of the Nazi holocaust killed at the Wülzburg concentration camp, in Bavaria. Virtually forgotten for many years he is beginning to receive the recognition that a major twentieth century composer deserves. I attended a marvellous Henschel performance of Schulhoff’s String Quartet No.1 at the Hoylake Chamber Concert Society, West Kirby in the Wirral as part of their 2011 UK tour. That evening they certainly made a compelling case for the score and I am delighted that they have recorded it.
Probably presenting some minor challenges for the general listener the rewards of the Schulhoff are well worth the extra degree of concentration. The Henschel’s playing of the second movement Allegretto con moto held the attention with an iron grip. I was struck by the myriad fascinating and often ethereal technical effects together with contrasting melodies ranging from the glorious to the grotesque. Vitally rhythmic, Slovak folk rhythms suffuse the third movement Allegro giocoso alla slovacca which is played with supreme confidence by players who savour every note. 

In the mid-1980s the Sibelius family donated a number of the great composer’s manuscripts to the Helsinki University Library including some relatively early works for string quartet. In spite of this Sibelius’s chamber music still centres around Voces Intimae quartet, Op. 56. Written in 1908/09 and cast in five movements it has a symphonic feel. Sibelius wrote the phrase ‘Voces intimae’ (Intimate voices) in the manuscript score above the slow third movement. I was especially impressed with the Henschel’s playing of the opening movement Andante - Allegro molto moderato which evinces a squally character with passages of uncertain calm. The heart of the work is the intense third movement Adagio di moto with the Henschel squeezing every last drop of emotion from this melancholic writing. Like a lurid dance a mood of restless agitation colours the Finale. Played at breakneck speed yet with splendid control the writing takes on a furious and reckless quality.
Janáček’s String Quartet No.1 was written very quickly in 1923. He was inspired to write the score by Tolstoy’s dark and disturbing 1889 novella The Kreutzer Sonata. In the opening Adagio - con moto which contains abrupt switching from unsettling agitation to a kind of phoney calm the Henschel play with depth and intelligence. The music of the third movement Con moto (Vivo. Andante) is heavily stamped with aggression and torment bordering on the brutal. The Finale just weeps tragic tears yet leaves faint glimpses of hope.
With this meticulously prepared programme the Henschel explore the darker often melancholy side of chamber music. I hope that for a future CD these talented performers will turn to more uplifting compositions such as quartets from Haydn and Mozart. The recording is clear if a touch close.
Michael Cookson





















































































































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.