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

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924)
Eine Lustspielouvertüre, Op 38 [7:05]
Gesang vom Reigen der Geister, Op 47 [7:39]
Rondò arlecchinesco, Op 46 [12:58]
Clarinet Concertino in B flat, Op 48 [11:59]
Flute Divertimento, Op 52 [8:55]
Tanzwalzer, Op 53 [12:00]
Giammarco Casani, clarinet (concertino); Laura Minguzzi, flute (divertimento); Gianluca Terranova (tenor) (rondò)
Rome Symphony Orchestra/Francesco La Vecchia
rec. 7-8 December 2008 (Opp 38, 46) and 27-28 March 2011 (Opp 48, 52), Auditorium Conciliazione; 13-17 May 2011, ORS Studios (Opp 47, 53), Rome, Italy
NAXOS 8.572922 [60:34]

Experience Classicsonline

Here’s an album to correct misconceptions. I always thought of Ferruccio Busoni as a very serious, somewhat dour composer, maybe because he lavished so much time on transcriptions and arrangements of Bach, and maybe because on top of that his most performed original works are the Berceuse elégiaque, the Fantasia contrappuntistica, and the massive hour-long Piano Concerto. My mistake! This is the lighter, wittier side of Busoni, and it is a truly delightful CD.
Proceedings begin with the Lustspielouvertüre, a seven-minute piece that’s as effective and fizzy a show-opener as the pop of a champagne cork. The tunes are memorable, the sudden turn to minor key in the middle is a stroke of dexterity, and the concluding reprise is a delight. It’s a simply fantastic little piece, which in style pays homage to the Mozartian era but in orchestration is very much a high-romantic showcase. It might be the highlight of the CD.
Next up is the Gesang vom Reigen der Geister (Song of the Dance of the Spirits), a rather spooky Native-American-inspired piece with an especially enigmatic beginning. The Rondò arlecchinesco which follows can be described with no other word but “mad”: there are zany twists and turns of spirit, odd martial elements, and then everything’s capped off by a wacky vocalise from a tenor. I have absolutely no idea what Busoni was thinking when he wrote it, but it must be one of the all-time masterpieces of attention-deficit looniness.
The next two pieces are for solo winds and orchestra: a clarinet concertino and a flute divertimento. The clarinet soloist enters immediately with a pastoral theme which occupies the players for four well-developed minutes. Then a horn solo kicks off a slower episode which gradually builds in action and liveliness until the ending, which reminds us of Busoni’s love for the classical era. The flute divertimento has a deceptive orchestral introduction which features significant orchestral solos for all the other winds plus trumpet, until the flautist finally enters at 1:32. From then on it’s a charmer with vigor and a mostly quick pulse, the flute dancing about the orchestral accompaniment. Both Giammarco Casani on clarinet and Laura Minguzzi on flute do the music full justice, although the incredibly close miking gives us an ear to all their instruments’ clicks and makes Casani’s tone sound a little more shrill than it probably is.
The CD ends with the Tanzwalzer, for which I can think of no better description than “Ravel’s La valse without the irony.” The glitz, glamour, orchestral heft, and high spirits are all there, but not the undercurrent of savagery, nor the shock ending. Busoni’s homage is obviously more loyal; indeed the work is dedicated “to the memory of Johann Strauss.” That said, it still encapsulates the wit, free spirit, and orchestral brilliance that runs through this whole disc.
To sum up: all immensely attractive music, running from an overture that deserves to be a pops and radio megahit through a truly nonsensical rondo to two wonderful mini-concertos. Nothing here is very serious at heart, but it’s all astonishingly well-done. Aside from Martucci’s Tarantella and a few bits of Casella, this is my favorite discovery so far in Naxos’ Italian Classics series; the woodwind soloists are closely spotlit and the sound is a bit crude but suits the music’s vivaciousness. The Rome Symphony and Francesco La Vecchia give high-spirited performances which are very confident indeed, and a booklet note is highly informative, although the descriptions of the music leave little to the imagination. An early-1990s CPO album is more or less the only competition. In summary: wonderful.
Brian Reinhart 


























































































































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.