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


Reger Violin Sonatas
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Brahms Symphony 3
Dvorak Symphony 8
9 cello sonatas
Piano Music

Clara Schumann
piano concerto

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!

Quite splendid

Winning performances

Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc

a huge talent

A wonderful disc

Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!

Roth’s finest Mahler yet

Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance


REVIEW 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

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
Italian Serenades
Giovanni PAISIELLO (1740-1816)
The Barber of Seville: Grosse Harmoniemusik for 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 horns, 2 bassoons and double-bass (arr. Johann Wendt (1745-1801)) [25:01]
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868)
Quintet for 2 clarinets, 2 horns, bassoon and double-bass (arr. anon, attrib. Rossini) [8:51]
Simon MAYR (1763-1845)
Sextet for 2 clarinets, 2 horns, 2 bassoons and double-bass [15:45]
Vincenzo RIGHINI (1756-1812)
Serenade for 2 clarinets, 2 horns, 2 bassoons and double-bass [26:09]
Consortium Classicum
rec. Tonstudio van Geest, Sandhausen, Germany, 21-23 November 2010
CPO 777 650-2 [75:57]

The whimsical title Italian Serenades given to this CD is effortfully explained in the notes by Luigi Magistrelli. He implies that this is the music of happy Italians enjoying a social evening. Three of the composers were Italian and two of the pieces, the first and last, are serenades.
The musical forms of serenades and divertimentos evolved for outdoor performance. Since most aristocrats kept a certain number of musicians as part of their households this sort of music was in demand much as a disco might be required today as background to a social gathering. Not too much was expected regarding quality presumably since few present were actually listening. Mozart railed against his status as a servant but managed to write supremely fine wind serenades.
Giovanni Paisiello was a respected composer of operas. The first large-scale work on this disc was arranged from his still-performed opera The Barber of Seville by Johann Wendt a Bohemian oboist who not only composed but also transcribed quite a lot of operatic repertoire for this sort of ensemble. Since Paisiello's music is quite attractive, this first item gives some pleasure and might encourage some to try the entire opera - a good recording exists on Hungaroton conducted by Adam Fischer.
The Quintet supposedly by Rossini is very brief and tuneful enough. The remaining pieces are a reminder that other composers at the time of Mozart and Haydn were busily composing in the same or a similar style but mostly with little inspiration to offer by comparison. The German composer Simon Mayr did gain quite a substantial reputation in Italy for his operas but the arrival of Rossini on the scene caused his star to wane. Vincenzo Righini was Italian but worked mostly in Germany and Austria. His turgid serenade really does not justify one's time.
The Consortium Classicum are a collective of string and wind players mostly drawn from German orchestras. Here a group of wind players do their best with music that is really only of interest to specialists. It is hard to recommend this to the general music-lover when so much wonderful music of this sort by such as Mozart and Haydn is available.
Had the recording been beyond the very ordinary it might have lightened the listening load, but it is not. There is no sense of space around the instruments and very limited depth to the sound overall. A very tired issue that can safely be ignored.
Dave Billinge