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

Hugo WOLF (1860 - 1903)
The Complete Songs Vol 4
Keller, Fallersleben, Ibsen and other poets
1. Auf der Wanderschaft II (Chamisso) ¹ [0:59]
2. Der Schwalben Heimkehr (Herlossohn) ¹ [1:47]
3. Der goldene Morgen (Anonymous) ² [1:28]
4. So wahr die Sonne scheinet (Rückert) ² [1:26]
5. Ständchen (Körner) ² [5:10]
6. Bescheidene Liebe (Anonymous) ¹ [2:05]
7. Perlenfischer (Roquette) ¹ [1:45]
8. Andenken (Matthisson) ¹ [2:07]
9. Wanderlied (Anonymous) ² [1:25]
10. Auf der Wanderschaft (Chamisso) ² [1:03]
11. Auf der Wanderung (von Fallersleben) ² [2:01]
12. Leibesfrühling (von Fallersleben) ² [1:33]
13. Ja, die Schönst! ich sagt es offen (von Fallersleben) ² [2:39]
14. Nach dem Abschiede (von Fallersleben) ² [2:21]
15. Ein Grab (Günther) ² [2:01]
16. Abendglöcklein (Zusner) ¹ [3:33]
17. Über Nacht (Sturm) ¹ [3:10]
18. Nacht und Grab (Zschokke) ² [5:08]
19. Das Kind am Brunnen (Hebbel) ² [3:41]
20. Knabentod (Hebbel) ² [1:35]
Alte Weisen: Sechs Gedichte von Keller ¹
21. I. Tretet ein, hoher Krieger [2:14]
22. II. Singt mein Schatz wie ein Fink [1:14]
23. III. Du milchjunger Knabe [1:38]
24. IV. Wandl’ ich in dem Morgentau [2:12]
25. V. Das Köhlerweib ist trunken [1:17]
26. VI. Wie glänzt der helle Mond [4:09]
Drei Gesänge aus Ibsens ”Das Fest auf Solhaug” (Klingenfeld after Ibsen)
27. I. Gesang Margits ¹ [5:12]
28. II. Gudmunds erster Gesang ² [2:33]
29. III. Gudmunds zweiter Gesang ² [2:38]
Mary Bevan (soprano) ¹, Quirijn de Lang (baritone) ², Sholto Kynoch (piano)
rec. 11 October 2011, Holywell Music Room, Oxford, U.K.
Sung texts and English translations enclosed
STONE RECORDS 5060192780161 [72:18]

Experience Classicsonline

In this, the fourth volume of Stone Records’ complete survey of Hugo Wolf’s Lieder output, we have mostly juvenilia. One of the earliest seems to be Nacht und Grab (tr. 18), written before September 1875 by a 15-year-old Wolf. This setting of two stanzas by the totally unknown Heinrich Zschokke, is simple but affecting and no doubt points forward to the greatness that was to come. And it should be stressed at once that lovers of German Lieder should really jump at the opportunity to hear these songs. You will not immediately recognize the mature Wolf, rather they sound like a youthful Brahms in ebullient mood. Listening through these early songs I never had a feeling that I was hearing second-rate music and while most of the poets are obscure - at least today - one can easily understand that the young man found inspiration in the poems. It is true that Wolf later rejected most of his early efforts, but I see no reason why we, latter-day listeners, should dismiss them without giving them a try.
Auf der Wanderschaft II that opens the recital is disarmingly melodious. It may not catch the depressed mood of the poem but it spreads balm on the poet’s sorrows. Listen to the beautiful Ständchen (tr. 5). The words are by Theodor Körner, not one of the most illuminating of poets but the song is attractive and the piano part is fine. Bescheidene Liebe (tr. 6) is humorous and charming and Auf der Wanderung (tr. 11), with its jolly dancing ¾ rhythm is lovely in its simplicity. Liebesfrühling (TR. 12) is sad but with a little smile in reserve, and in Ja, die Schönst! (tr. 13) we start to recognize the mature Wolf’s personal turn of phrase and harmonic inventiveness.
Yes, there is something to like and nurture in all these songs, more than most the deeply felt Nach dem Abschiede (tr. 14), and when we reach Hebbel’s Das Kind am Brunnen (tr. 19) we are drawn into an Erlkönig-like drama. Knabentod, which follows, is a kind of sequel. Both are taut and eerie - here Wolf is beginning to develop his craft.
Fully developed are his Alte Weisen: Sechs Gedichte von Keller, composed in 1890. In this group of songs the ‘real’ Wolf is heard: the descriptive, independent piano part, the typically Wolfian melodic twists, the biting harmonies. The final song is a mild, otherworldly portrait of nature. From about the same time are the three songs from Ibsen’s The Feast at Solhaug. This was a commission from the Burgtheater in Vienna in 1891 and Wolf produced five choruses, two instrumental preludes and three songs, all of them with large orchestra. Ideally they should be heard with orchestra but we have to be happy that they are heard at all. Wolf himself had high opinions about his score: ‘real theatre music, vivid and full of life’, he wrote in a letter. Everybody doesn’t share that opinion, I suppose, but it is good for once to hear the songs.
Sholto Kynoch, who is the pianist throughout this project, has so far been extremely good and he is a pillar of strength here too. The two singers here, both new to me, are very well suited to this early songs with their fresh and youthful voices and a kind of down-to-earth simplicity. The baritone Quirijn de Lang has the same nature-boy approach as the young Herrmann Prey, which is praise indeed. Mary Bevan also understands the risks of interpreting undemanding songs over the top. Don’t misread me now. The songs, however undemanding when it comes to technical and textual matters, must not wrung to pieces through too much emphasis but neither must they be sung ‘blank’. Ms Bevan finds the perfect balance and the songs tell their stories the same way a good reciter makes a text speak without whipping up frenzy.
All in all this is a damn good disc that should be a revelation to both jaded collectors and relatively innocent beginners. This side of Hugo Wolf’s legacy has been rather ignored and though little here will be seen as immortal golden masterpieces there are enough of less valuable but hopefully just as enduring pearls to satisfy also the most discriminating connoisseurs.
Göran Forsling
















































































































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.