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


paid for


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10


Obtain 10% discount


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


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom
Ph. 020 8418 0616


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Northern Flowers
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get
Alphabetical Listing


Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[Part 1 New] [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R] [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L] [Part 7 Misc M-Z]
[last 5 days] [Recommended recordings]

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Samson et Dalila José Cura, Julia Gertseva, Stefan Stoll, Lukas Schmid, Badisches Staatstheater/Jochem Hochstenbach rec. 2010 ARTHAUS MUSIK 101631 [125:00] [JS]

I am sure that I will listen to it again, and equally sure that I will have little wish to see it.

Camille SAINT-SAENS (1835-1921) Violin Sonata 1 Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Violin Sonata Bruno Monteiro (violin) João Paulo Santos (piano) rec. 2007 CNM (PORTUGAL) 451CD [54:00] [Byz]

Persuasive performances of these two Sonatas. 

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Complete Organ Works Ben van Oosten (organ) rec. 2012 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 316 1767-2 [3 CDs: 57:12 + 56:23 + 52:34] [MC]

An excellent release that will draw in lovers of late-Romantic organ music looking for something a little different.

Camille SAINT-SAENS (1866-1924) Complete Piano Works - Vol. 3 Geoffrey Burleson (piano) rec. 2011 GRAND PIANO GP609 [75:14] [Byz]

A generously timed disc of magical music. 

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) String Quartet 1 Alexis de CASTILLON (1838-1873) String Quartet Quatuor de Chartres rec. 2011 BNL 112965 [66:05] [MC]

These readings are well prepared and thoughtful ….performed with alertness and palpable sensitivity.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso see Israel Philharmonic

Esa-Pekka SALONEN (b. 1958) Violin Concerto, Nyx Leila Josefowicz (violin) Finnish RSO/Esa-Pekka Salonen rec. 2011/2012 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 0628 [48:23] [HC]

A splendid release of two recent and substantial works.

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Cantatas see VIVALDI

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die Schöne Müllerin Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) Andras Schiff (piano) rec. 1991 ARTHAUS MUSIC 107269 [83:00] [BW]

A huge disappointment - stay with the Fischer-Dieskau and Gerald Moore recordings. 

Carlos de SEIXAS (1704-1742) Harpsichord Sonatas Vol. 2 Débora Halász (harpsichord) rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.570216 [73:38] [JV]

I am not convinced that this is the way to perform Seixas' sonatas.

Percy SHERWOOD (1866-1939) Cello Sonatas 1 & 2, Drei Stücke, Funf Kleine Stücke Joseph Spooner (cello) David Owen Norris (piano) rec. 2012 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0145 [80:24] [RB]

Two lanky late-romantic cello sonatas make an unmistakably confident first entry for Anglo-German composer Percy Sherwood.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony 2, Pohjola’s Daughter, The Swan of Tuonela, Finlandia NBC SO/Arturo Toscanini rec. 1939-1940 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 364 [70:43] [DD]

A stunning transfer of superbly conducted, life-affirming music. 

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphonies 5 & 6, The Swan of Tuonela London PO/Paavo Berglund rec. 2003 LPO 0065 [70:34] [BR]

Berglund’s fourth go at these symphonies, and a very good Fifth but a blah Sixth. 

Jean SIBELIUS (1865 - 1957) Luonnotar see Coloratura

Bedřich SMETANA (1824-1884) Piano Trio see BRAHMS

Carl STAMITZ (1745-1801) Cello Concerto 2 Antonín KRAFT (1749-1820) Cello Concerto Antonín VRANICKÝ (1761-1820) Cello Concerto Michal Kaňka (cello) Prague CO rec. 2012 SUPRAPHON SU 4108-2 [69:31] [JW]

No concerns about either performances or recording quality, both of which are excellent.

Johann STRAUSS I (1804-1849) Strauss Edition - Vol. 22 Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina/Christian Pollack rec. 2011 MARCO POLO 8.225342 [78:09] [Byz]

It is hard to object to such effortlessly tuneful and jauntily rhythmic music. 

Johann STRAUSS I (1804-1849) Strauss Edition - Vol. 23 Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina/Christian Pollack rec. 2012 MARCO POLO 8.225343 [59:35] [Byz]

A chance to hear what was 'top of the pops' in 1848 Vienna. 

Richard STRAUSS (1864 – 1949) Three Hymns and Opera Arias Soile Isokoski (soprano) Helsinki PO/Okko Kamu rec. 2012 ONDINE ODE 1202-2 [61:21] [GF]

Strauss singing of the highest order. A disc not to be missed.

Richard STRAUSS (1864 - 1949) Der Rosenkavalier Evelyn Lear (soprano) Jules Bastin (bass) Frederica von Stade (mezzo) Netherlands Opera Ch, Rotterdam PO/Edo de Waart rec. 1976 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9248 [3 CDs: 206:20] [GF]

Lush, fresh and youthful. 

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Metamorphosen Walter BRAUNFELS (1882-1954) String Quintet Gringolts Qt, David Geringas (cello) Ryszard Groblewski (viola) Dariusz Mizera (double bass) rec. 2012 PROFIL EDITION PH12053 [64:28] [MC]

Deeply felt and impeccably prepared performances of two fascinating works in excellent sound. 

Glenn Gould - The Schwarzkopf Tapes Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Drei Lieder der Ophelia, Burleske Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) Glenn Gould (piano) Toronto SO/Vladimir Golschmann rec. 1955-1988 SONY CLASSICAL 88725441362 [56:37] [JQ]

This issue is strictly for Gould completists. 

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Violin Sonata see SAINT-SAENS

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Ein Heldenleben see Mengelberg

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Also Sprach Zarathustra, Burleske see Gary Bertini

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Violin Concerto Arthur HONEGGER (1892-1955) Pacific 231, Rugby Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Violin Concerto Baiba Skride (violin) BBC Ntl O Wales/Thierry Fischer rec. 2011 ORFEO C849 121 A [75:31] [JQ]

An enterprising and well-executed programme. Another fine achievement by Baiba Skride.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Perséphone see TCHAIKOVSKY

Franz von SUPPÉ (1819-1895) Overtures and marches Royal Scottish Ntl O/Neeme Järvi rec. 2012 CHANDOS CHSA 5110 [79:42] [JS]

Well chosen, well recorded and well annotated but a little impersonal.

Giles SWAYNE (b. 1946) Magnificat I, The silent land, Ave verum corpus, Stabat mater The Dimitri Ensemble/Graham Ross, Raphael Wallfisch (cello) rec. 1982/2010 NAXOS 8.572595 [68.18] [JQ]

Tremendous performances of challenging choral pieces.

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Nocturne and Tarantelle see DVORÁK

Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Iolanta Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Perséphone Ekaterina Scherbachenko, Pavel Cernoch, Ch & O Teatro Real de Madrid/Teodor Currentizis rec. 2012 TEATRO REAL TR97011 [187:00] [JS]

Plenty here to enjoy, relish even. 

Pyotr TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony 5 Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909) Iberia Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) La Vida Breve: Interlude & Dance Minneapolis SO/Antal Doráti rec. 1952/57 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 350 [74:40] [JW]

This vital and energising account of Tchaikovsky 5 makes a most exciting impact.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Capriccio italien see FAURÉ

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Cantatas Vol. 2 Rheinische Kantorei, Das Kleine Konzert/Hermann Max rec. 2006 CPO 777 261-2 [51:51] [JV]

This is a disc to treasure. It shows Telemann and the performers at their very best.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphonies 5 & 8 Hallé O/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2011 HALLÉ HLL CD 7533 [68:21] [JQ]

A splendid disc that maintains the high standards of the recordings by Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Mass in G minor, Three Choral Hymns, A Vision of Aeroplanes & other sacred choral works Choir of Clare College, Cambridge/Timothy Brown rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572465 [63:11] [JQ]

A fine reminder of Timothy Brown’s excellent work at Clare College. 

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The WaspsAristophanic Suite, Fantasia on Greensleeves Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Enigma Variations Kansas City SO/Michael Stern rec. 2011 REFERENCE RECORDINGS RR-129 [61:06] [JQ]

A most enjoyable disc. Fine performances and superb sound.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Attila Giovanni Battista Parodi (bass) Sebastián Catana (baritone) Ch & O Teatro Regio, Parma/Andrea Battistoni rec. 2010 C MAJOR 721704 [118:00 + 10:00] [RJF]

Imaginatively staged, well-sung, vibrantly and idiomatically conducted. A thrilling winner in this series.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Un giorno di regno Guido Loconsolo (baritone) Andrea Porta (buffa bass) Anna Caterina Antonacci (mezzo) Ch & O Teatro Reggio, Parma/Donato Renzetti rec. 2010 C MAJOR 720304 [119:00 +10:00 (bonus)] [RJF]

A joy to watch and to hear. An absolute must for all Verdi lovers. 

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) I Due Foscari Leo Nucci (baritone) Roberto De Biasio (tenor) Tatiana Serjan (soprano) O & Ch of the Teatro Regio, Parma, Italy/Donato Renzetti rec. 2009 C MAJOR 721104 [115:00 + 10:00] [RJF]

From the delightful theatre at Parma, a performance of this rarely staged early Verdi tragedy that should satisfy many of the composer’s enthusiasts.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Ernani Marco Berti (tenor) Carlo Guelfi (baritone) Ch & O Teatro Reggio, Parma/Antonello Allemandi rec. 2005 C MAJOR 720904 [130:00 + 10:00] [RJF]

This production and staging combine to overcome some vocal and acted weaknesses. A fully satisfactory performance of an under-performed opera full of the composer’s compositional melody and vitality.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Giovanna D’Arco Evan Bowers (tenor) Svetla Vassileva (soprano) O & Ch of the Teatro Regio, Parma/Bruno Bartoletti rec. 2008 C MAJOR 721304 [128:00] [RJF]

An excellent production and staging marred by solo singing that is generally weak and in one case totally inadequate. 

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) I Lombardi alla prima crociata Roberto De Biasio (tenor) Michele Pertusi (bass) Cristina Giannelli (soprano) O & Ch of the Teatro Regio, Parma/Daniele Callegari rec. 2009 C MAJOR 720704 [144:00 + 10:00] [RJF]

A lively performance of this rarely performed work should thrill the heart of every Verdian. 

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Oberto, Conte di Bonifaci Giovanni Parodi (bass) Francesca Sassu (soprano) Fabio Sartori (tenor) O Ch of the Teatro Regio, Parma/Antonello Allemandi rec. 2007 C MAJOR 720104 [124:00 + 10:00] [RJF]

In the intimate setting of the small theatre in Verdi’s hometown, in period costume znd with simple sets, this performance and staging have many virtues. 

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) The Verdi Opera Selection - Vol. 1: Il Trovatore, Don Carlos & Rigoletto rec. 1978-2006 ARTHAUS MUSIK 107524 [4 DVDs: 526:00] [RJF]

These three productions represent the ancient and the more modern, even outlandish! At the price they represent good value even if you throw one away. 

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Don Carlos, Otello see Deutsche Oper Berlin

Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) Symphonies 6 & 7 Săo Paulo SO/Isaac Karabtchevsky rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.573043 [68:18] [Byz]

Works that are grandly romantic and atmospheric, bursting with drama, local colour and international appeal.

Giovanni Battista VITALI (1632-1692) Trio Sonatas Semperconsort rec. 2009 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94405 [66:21] [GPu]

Rewarding exemplars of the Bolognese instrumental tradition in the baroque manner.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Magnificat Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Ch, Tallinn CO/Tonu Kaljuste rec. 2002 CARUS CLASSICS 83.325 [58.56] [RH]

Not period style but speeds are brisk. Highly stylish and involving.

Cantatas by Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741), Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) & Antonio CALDARA (1671-1736) Max Emanuel Cencic (counter-tenor) Ornamente 99/Karsten Erik Ose rec. 2003/04 CAPRICCIO C7142 [60:34 + 60:33 + 61:49 + DVD 62:00] [JW]

If you’re an admirer of singer and repertoire then this box will prove extremely enticing.

Richard WAGNER (1813 – 1883) Götterdämmerung Lance Ryan (tenor), Frankfurter Opern- und Museums Ch & O/Sebastian Weigle rec. 2012 OEHMS CLASSICS OC 938 [4 CDs: 266:47] [GF]

I cannot endorse this Götterdämmerung. Not a library version nor even a starting point for the beginner.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Orchestral Excerpts Vol. 3 Alessandra Marc (soprano) Seattle SO/Gerard Schwarz rec. 1986-1992 NAXOS 8.572769 [62.26] [JWh]

A near miss from the Delos catalogue. 

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Arias & lieder - Jonas Kaufmann (tenor) Ch & O Deutschen Oper Berlin/Donald Runnicles DECCA 478 5189 [74:21] [JPr]

Kaufmann is intelligent enough to leave these intense, stamina-sapping and vocally demanding roles to those born to sing them.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Carl Maria von WEBER (1786 - 1826) Violin sonatas, Piano quartet - Isabelle Faust (violin) Alexander Melnikov (fortepiano) Boris Faust (viola) Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt (cello) rec. 2011 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC 902108 [70:11][MS]

Music as full of substance as it is energy and nuance performed with style and sensitivity on period instruments.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) Symphony 8 Rafał Bartmiński (tenor) Magdalena Dobrowolska (soprano) Ewa Marciniec (alto) Warsaw PO & Ch/Antoni Wit rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572873 [58:32] [Byz]

Thrillingly original music - an expressive, melodic work of considerable elegance and power.

Wladyslaw ZELENSKI (1837-1921) Piano Quartet Juliusz ZAREBSKI (1854-1885) Piano Quintet Jonathan Plowright (piano) Szymanowski Qt rec. 2011. HYPERION CDA67905 [71:30] [SA]

An irresistible acquisition for anyone who loves 19th century chamber works.

Sergei ZHUKOV (b. 1951) Piano Concerto, Violin Concerto Eleonora Bekova (piano); Elvira Bekova (violin) Karelia State SO/Marius Stravinsky, Moscow SO/Konstantin Krimets rec. 2010/11 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9047CD [75.00]  [RB]

Something out of the ordinary rut. Surreal music that holds the listener. 


Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[Part 1 New] [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R] [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L] [Part 7 Misc M-Z]
[last 5 days] [Recommended recordings]



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.