One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount



Buy through MusicWeb
for £12 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Clarinet Quintet in A, K581 (1789) [31:30]
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827)
String Quartet No.10 in E flat major, Op 74 Harp (1809) [30:26]
Ladislav Ružícka (clarinet)
Martinu Quartet
rec. January 2012, Domovina Studio, Prague
ARCO DIVA UP 0150-2 131 [62:04]

Experience Classicsonline

There’s no pressing logic for the coupling other than the importance and beauty of the music. The Martinu Quartet undertakes the Beethoven Op.74 but shares the honours with the excellent Czech clarinettist Ladislav Ružícka in Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet. Therein hangs a small tale.
Ružícka studied in Pilsen and Prague and finally in Würzburg. He taught for a number of years and in 1984 was appointed to a directing position in Zirndorf, conducting the Symphonic Wind Orchestra there. I’m not quite sure how to take Arco Diva’s note at this point but it says that from 1991 he devoted himself to ‘international trade’ and after 18 successful years has now returned to concert activities. What kind of trade, one wonders? In any case, it’s welcome back to Ružícka. He has a warm, full and rounded tone, inclining to the German school rather than the French. The quartet makes for ideal colleagues, sharing his inherently and explicitly warm tonal and expressive instincts. Answering string phraseology, from top to bottom, is richly nuanced, fully projected, and the two violinists have coordinated vibratos excellently. The violist is in the best traditions of Czech viola playing; the cellist provides a strong frame.
The players ensure that contrapuntal lines are explored with rapt intelligence, remaining clear but alive. Where in recent performances I’ve been strangely disappointed by readings of the seraphic slow movement, here I don’t feel at all short-changed. The music is communicative and well engineered; not too close, but with a fine immediacy that is never too voluble. In every way, then, this is a most successful performance.
The Martinu Quartet meets the challenges of the Op.74 Quartet head on. It’s not a frenetic performance, nor is it outsize in terms of projection. It’s clean-limbed, textually clear and rhythmically buoyant. The proportions of the first two movements remind me a touch of the Budapest Quartet’s Library of Congress recital in the 1940s, though I wouldn’t want to suggest any stylistic affinity. The Czech quartet keeps things flowing and also keeps the temperature on the cool side, locating the work’s expressive heart with aplomb. But they vest the music with sufficient introspection, where their tone is almost viol-like, to deepen and darken the slow movement. The scherzo is taken attaca, as marked, and the finale unfolds with singing control, the variations moving clearly and cleanly onwards.
This is a fine coupling, and will give much pleasure.
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.