Schubert sonatas

Newest Releases

Piano solo and duet
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.

British composers

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo

Shostakovich Symphony 10 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem

Dvorak Opera Premiere

Grieg, Mendelssohn sonatas




Would you like a hyperlinked weekly summary of the CDs we have reviewed?

Click for further details

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Plain text for smartphones
and printers

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Prima voce
Red Priest
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from:

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Une cantate imaginaire
Nathalie Stutzmann (contralto)
Mikaeli Kammarkör
Orfeo 55
rec. April 2012, L’Arsenal de Metz
Full tracklist at end of review

Experience Classicsonline

The title of this disc is misleading. Nathalie Stutzmann has compiled a collection of sinfonias and arias from Bach’s cantatas and passions. The title led me to believe that she might try to link them into some sort of sequence that aspired to coherence. She hasn’t: instead, the disc is more of a selection of “greatest hits” with little in the way of thread to bind them. That’s not a bad thing in itself, though it does make me question the marketing strategy.
Stutzmann has a unique voice, one which hasn’t always appealed to me. However, she uses it to good effect here. Her fruity, sometimes throaty contralto has a unique colour that sets it apart. In a world where proper contraltos are becoming an endangered species, it’s good to have a singer of her artistry who embraces the register. She is at her best in the lower writing, though, and some of the high notes in the third track (from BWV 133) don’t flatter her at all. The mellow textures of Bist du bei mir find her at her best, though, even though the notes admit that this aria isn’t by Bach at all. She brings excellent command of coloratura to many of the arias, most notably BWV 74, and she shows that the skill can be just as thrilling in a low voice as in a high one. She uses her vocal tone to particularly haunting effect in the famous Erbarme dich from the St Matthew Passion, and I enjoyed the supplicatory tone of Vergiss mein nicht, which is sung to the accompaniment of only a solo lute.
Another interesting point about the disc is that Stutzmann directs her own chamber ensemble while singing. Orfeo 55 make a lovely sound, lithe and flexible with great rhythmic bounce, and they’re shown off to their finest effect in the Sinfonia that opens the disc. The bass can be a little heavy at times, though, and this damages the famous “Air on a G string” in particular. They bring a tremendous sense of swing to BWV 174, otherwise known as the first movement of Brandenburg 3 with added winds, though not everyone will love the occasional rhythmic distortion inserted for added effect. The wind textures are a particular delight in BWV 18, though the strings show up Christ lag in Todesbanden as a Sinfonia of daring harmonic invention. The various instrumental solos, all of which are credited in the liner notes, are fantastic, the highlight for me being the cello in Jesus ist ein guter Hirt. The Mikaeli Kammarkör make a clean, if somewhat underwhelming contribution to two tracks, and they take Jesus bleibet at a much slower tempo than we have become used to hearing nowadays.
The packaging includes full texts and translations into English and French, though the accompanying notes are rather self-regarding and uninformative.
Simon Thompson 
Full tracklist 
1. Sinfonia (Cantate “Am Abend aber desselbigen Sabbats” BWV 42)
2. “Kommt, ihr angefochtnen Sünder“(Cantate “Freue dich, erlöste Schar” BWV 30)
3. “Getrost” (Cantate “Ich freue mich dir” BWV 133)
4. Aria (Suite pour orchestre n°3 BWV 1068)
5. “Bist du bei mir” (BWV 508)
6. Sinfonia (Cantate “Ich habe den Höchsten von ganzem Gemüte” BWV 174)
7. Sinfonia (Cantate “Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis” BWV 21)
8. “Nichts kann mich” (Cantate “Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten” BWV 74)
9. “Wie furchtsam wankten meine Schritte” (Cantate “Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ” BWV 33)
10. Sinfonia (Cantate “Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee wom Himmel fällt” BWV 18)
11.“Erbarme dich” (Passion selon Saint Matthieu BWV 244)
12. Sinfonia (Cantate “Christ lag in Todes Banden” BWV 4)
13. “ Stirb in mir, Welt und alle deine Liebe” (Cantate “Gott soll allein mein Herze haben” BWV 169)
14. “Gloria in excelsis Deo” (BWV 191)
15. “Jesus ist ein guter Hirt” (Cantate “Ich bin ein guter Hirt” BWV 85
16. Sinfonia (Cantate “Himmelskönig, sei wilkommen” BWV 182)
17. “Vergiss mein nicht, mein allerliebster Gott” BWV 505
18. “Jesus bleibet meine Freude” (Cantate “Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben” BWV 147) 

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.