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

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


Plain text for smartphones
and printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3


Support us financially by purchasing this disc from:

Emmanuel CHABRIER (1841-1894)
Orchestral Works
rec. 1936-1959, various locations
Full track list at end of review

Experience Classicsonline

This CD is attractive on several counts. Firstly, Chabrier's music is sheer pleasure as well as a profoundly important contribution to the development of French music. Secondly, this is an admirably varied collection of gems in good or excellent performances. Thirdly, three of these performances - España, Suite pastorale and Fête polonaise - are here recorded on CD for the first time.
Some of these may be familiar - irreplaceable classics such as Beecham's Gwendoline Overture, Marcelle Meyer's Pièces pittoresques and Bourrée fantasque, and Bernac with Poulenc in two contrasting songs. It has to be said that Paul Paray's Gwendoline is even more thrilling than Beecham's, but while the catalogue has a surprising number of alternatives to Meyer, she is hard to equal in her strong characterisation and sense of abandon. The Bernac/Poulenc collaboration is unique - what style, what feeling!
Schüchter's España at first seemed rather brisk for ideal clarity of articulation, but on checking I found Allegro con fuoco - dotted crotchet = 80. Even so, a slightly slower tempocan enable more rhythmic pointing. Lindenberg's Suite pastorale is delightfully characterful - the first and third movements affectionate, the others - especially the Scherzo-valse - splendidly earthy. It may not be the most sophisticated version available, but too much sophistication and polish would, I think, do Chabrier a disservice. As Rollo Myers writes in his biography Emmanuel Chabrier and his Circle, “... the important thing to remember about Chabrier is that he was first and foremost an 'Auvergnat' - a native of that highly individual province of France which is unlike any other.” This brings me to the Bourrée fantasque, an exuberant, astoundingly forward-looking piece with a main theme of stamping character. The original bourrée was common in the Auvergne. Biographer Joseph Desaymard finds in the work “macabre imagination and a ballet of Death, rustic and danced in wooden shoes, with here and there a touch of mysticism.” Marcelle Meyer is wonderfully robust and imaginative here, as well as in the three Pièces pittoresques. One might feel that it is a shame to be deprived of the other three. We have only seven, including the four orchestrations which form Suite pastorale, but the disc runs to a very generous 77 minutes, so we would have had to sacrifice other tracks to accommodate them.
The extracts from L'étoile,takenfroma historic and treasurable collection,are sung with marvellous joie de vivre, the Ode à la musique receives a passionate performance, and the other orchestral items (tracks 16 and 17) are conducted with terrific enthusiasm by Barbirolli - some tremendous contributions from the percussion - and Irving respectively.
As a Chabrier fan, I would not be without this disc, but I suggest that those with a limited knowledge of this sunniest of composers - especially those unfamiliar with such delights as L'étoile, the piano pieces or the songs - will have great fun exploring this well chosen vintage selection.
Finally, there are truly excellent notes and biographies by James Murray, as well as selected press comments on the original releases.
Philip Borg-Wheeler 

See also review by John Sheppard
Full Track-List 
Gwendoline Overture (1885) [9:10] (a)
España (18183) [5:52] (b)
Je suis Lazuli (from L'étoile - 1877) [2:52] (c)
Moi, je n'ai pas une âme ingrate (from L'étoile) [1:42] (d)
L'île heureuse (1890) [2:56] (e)
Ballade des grands dindons (1890) [3:03] (f)
Suite pastorale (1888) [18:40] (g)
From 10 Pièces pittoresques (1881) (h)
Melancholie [2:25]
Tourbillon [1:26]
Mauresque [2:35]
Ode à la musique (1890) [8:33] (i)
Bourrée fantasque (1891) [5:42] (j)
Joyeuse marche (1888) [3:55] (k)
Le roi malgré lui - Fête polonaise (1887) [7:12] (l)
(a) Orchestre Nationale de la Rediffusion Francaise/Sir Thomas Beecham - Salle Wagram, Paris 9 November 1957
(b) Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonic Orchestra/Wilhelm Schüchter - Bielefeld, 25 November 1954
(c) Fanély Revoil, Orchestre de L'Opéra Comique, Paris, Roger Désormière - Studio Albert, Paris, February and June 1943
(d) Fanély Revoil, Lucie Thelin (other details as in c)
(e) Pierre Bernac (baritone), Francis Poulenc (piano) - Studio Albert, 2 November 1936
(f) - as in (e) - 7 July 1936
(g) L'Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, Paris, Edouard Lindenberg - Maison de la Mutualité, Paris, 8 June 1953
(h) Marcelle Meyer (piano) - Salle Adyar, Paris, 28 April - 2 May 1955
(i) Janine Micheau (soprano), Elisabeth Brasseur Chorale, Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, Jean Fournet - Maison de la Mutualite, 16 June 1952
(j) - all details as in (h)
(k) Hallé Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli - Free Trade Hall, Manchester, 11 August 1957
(l) Sinfonia of London, Robert Irving - venue unknown, 1959

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from:















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.