One of the most grown-up review sites around

51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Bax Piano Music

Guillaume LEKEU

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral


Plain text for smartphones & printers

We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Johann Sebastian BACH (1686-1750)
The Partitas BWV825-830: Partita in the French Style BWV831 [131:17]
Italian Concerto BWV971 [12:52]
Chromatic fantasy and Fugue BWV903 [11:38]
Helmut Walcha (harpsichord)
rec. 1957-60
DOREMI DHR7985-86 [76:43 + 79:54]

Few sets of Bach’s organ music were more admirable than those of the blind German organist Helmut Walcha (1907-91). He left behind two sets of the complete works and he also taped the most important harpsichord works for EMI-Electrola. This two-CD release traces some of the latter works in recordings made between 1957 and 1960.
Playing on an Ammer harpsichord, Walcha’s traversal of the six Partitas, BWV825-830 and the B minor ‘in the French style’ BWV831 reveals his elevated, logical, direct and intellectually profound penetration into the heart of the music. There are no extraneous gestures and no frippery. Tempi are solid, unexaggerated, and wholly consonant in the context of each partita and in the context of the partitas as a whole. Finger clarity is assured, and articulation is varied but within sure expressive boundaries.
As the Minuets of the B flat major Partita display, left hand voicings are deftly but considerately pointed. Hand weight is balanced. But the music is not under-characterised. The Burlesca of the A minor Partita is certainly noted by Walcha but he doesn’t draw excessive attention to it. Nor does he draw attention to his virtuosic command in the opening Toccata of the E minor or his acutely perceptive characterisation of each of the partita’s succeeding movements.
There may be some who find the relative sobriety of his approach a little reserved. But listening to the nobility of his performance of the Ouverture of the D major or the darker colouration evoked in the similar movement of the B minor one would be hard pressed to deny Walcha his sovereign status in this music, still less when the echo effects of the last movement of the B minor are pointed so sensibly.
There are two other works in this set, the first being the Italian Concerto in a measured, controlled and highly communicative performances. And then there’s a commensurately grand performance of the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, though again, here, Walcha places his technical command at the music’s service.
The sound of these discs is very attractive. The notes are brief. The music-making lives long in the memory.
Jonathan Woolf