MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Plain text for smartphones
and printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



Support us financially by purchasing this disc from:

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
4 Ballades, Op. 10 (1854) [23:35]
8 Klavierstücke (8 Pieces), Op. 76 (1878) [25:49]
Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 35 (1863) [21:07]
Hungarian Dance No. 5 (transc. György Cziffra, modified Alessio Bax) [3:42]
Alessio Bax (piano)
rec. 5-7 January 2012, Wyastone Concert Hall, Wyastone Leys, Monmouth, UK

Experience Classicsonline

Alessio Bax was the first prize winner at both the 1997 Hamamatsu International Piano Competition and the 2000 Leeds International Piano Competition. Today he is pursuing a successful international career. At the time of writing the Italian-born Bax is playing dates in New York, the city in which he has made his home.
I remain impressed with Bax’s previous two releases on the Signum Classics label. In 2009 there was ‘Bach Transcribed’ and from 2011 ‘Rachmaninov: Preludes and Melodies’.
Bax’s latest offering on Signum Classics is a Brahms recital recorded earlier this year at the Wyastone Concert Hall in Monmouth. The high quality programme has been well chosen opening with the 4 Ballades. The young Brahms at the start of his composing career had recently begun his association with Robert and Clara Schumann. With the form of the ballade Brahms was following in the footsteps of Chopin who had completed his final F Major Ballade just over a decade earlier in 1842/43. I especially enjoyed Bax’s expressive playing of the Ballade No.3 in B minor,a restless and stormy Intermezzo containing a profusion of scurrying figures. By contrast in his interpretation of the Ballade No. 4 in B major Bax fashions a dream-like world of comfort and security.

Next we have the 8 Klavierstücke. These miniature masterworks are products of Brahms’s compositional maturity. He styled them as either Intermezzos typically soothing pieces or squally Capriccios. Somewhat predictably the standout here is the frequently heard No. 2 Capriccio in B minor with its memorable Staccato theme. I love the way Bax entices such charming lyricism from the No. 3 Intermezzo in A-flat major. By using the popular theme based on Paganini’s Twenty-Fourth Caprice Brahms with his Paganini Studies, Op. 35 was following similarly inspired works by Liszt and Schumann. Bax is thoroughly at home playing this formidable set of pieces with such proficiency and rapt concentration. For the short final work on the release Bax has selected his own adaptation of György Cziffra’s transcriptions of Brahms’s well known Hungarian Dance No. 5. Bax flavours the gypsy melody heard over emphatically strong rhythms with spicy seasoning. There is never any suggestion of the commonly encountered uncomfortable and brash feeling. Bax ensures that the popular tune remains fresh and appealing.
I relished this recital programme by Alessio Bax from start to finish. Demonstrating such a high level of musicality there is no sense that Bax is distracting focus away from the composer to the soloist. Bax’s splendidly assured playing is satisfying and the recording has the benefit of splendid sound quality.  

Michael Cookson 

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

Past 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

Error processing SSI file