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 AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Thomas-Louis BOURGEOIS (1676-1750)
Les Sirènes (1708) [16:42]
Borée (1708) [11:51]
Zéphire et Flore (1715) [12:23]
Hippomène (1708) [12:59]
Psiché (1715) [15:59]
Carolyn Sampson (soprano)
Le Concert Lorrain/Anne-Catherine Bucher
rec. November 2011, Saint Poerre aux Nonnains, Metz
Texts and translations included
CARUS 83.374 [72:38]

Experience Classicsonline

Not a huge amount is known about Thomas-Louis Bourgeois and there is no portrait. He was a singer employed in cathedrals and clearly widely admired for his ‘Haute-Contre’ voice (the French so-called high tenor). He wrote songs, gravitated to Paris and was again admired, mixing with the great and the good, before being appointed to a prestigious position as director of the Monnaie Theatre in Brussels. Thereafter he was able to devote much of his time to composition.
The Cantatas in this disc, which have never before been recorded, date from the years 1708 to 1715. This would place him in Paris, as he’d entered the Académie Royale de Musique in 1707, and six years later he put on Les Amours Déguisé, which was to prove his most famous opera-ballet.
The five cantatas come from the first two books of his Cantates Françaises. He wrote 45 larger or smaller scale cantatas in his composing career, so this represents a decent percentage for evaluation. Bourgeois clearly belongs to the pastoral cantata composers, and both his texts (derived from Greek mythology) and vocal and instrumental deployment speak of a practical composer. Accompanying instrumentation is never excessive, but always capable of supplying relevant colour and timbral effects. The vocal line is occasionally quite florid, recitatives ably deployed. In these respects he followed the prevailing idea of the division of body (recitative) and soul (aria).
Thus the flute proves consoling in its decorative and lyric lines in Les Sirènes, the focal point of which is the long and tender aria L’amour with its contrasting central section. Note, too, how briskly and well the accompanying strings supply requisite force in their accompaniment to the fast aria Fuyés, fuyés. Sometimes Bourgeois dispenses with a Prelude, pitching us straight into the recitative, as he does in three of the five cantatas. One can sense the operatic intensity generated during the aria Un orage affreux in the cantataBorée and just how much energy can be generated by often very few forces, in this case cello, guitar, theorbo and harpsichord.
Bourgeois is also adept at scenic and descriptive passages. The are some delightfully avid nightingales in the gracious aria Philomelle revient in Zéphire et Flore, from the second book of Cantatas of 1715. The cello’s accompanying line animates the opening aria in Hippomène (1708) and the guitar adds demotic urgency to the ingeniously performed first aria in Psiché. The accompaniment in this cantata is quite powerful and, within its small scale means, quite extravagant. Maybe the sense of theatricality is overdone in the recitative Psiché par ce refus, but at least strong feelings are being generated. Here Carolyn Sampson displays her real verve and stylistic affinity in this kind of repertoire. At first I felt her vibrato was somewhat too oscillatory, but in truth it suits the nature of the writing with increasing success. The band plays, as noted, with considerable dash, directed by harpsichordist-director Anne-Catherine Bucher. A fine acoustic, and recording, are complemented by helpful notes on which I’ve drawn for biographical matters.
Jonathan Woolf




























































































































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.