One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 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

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

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

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews



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


Plain text for smartphones
and printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos 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

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Chopin Bruce Liu

Ingeneri Volume 2

Mondonville - Titon et L'Aurore

Telemann - French Cantatas 1


March 2022

Brahms Symphony 4
MacMillan Larghetto for Orchestra

Bruch Violin Concertos

Debussy Preludes Book 2

Jan-Peter de GRAAFF
Cello Concertos

La Nuit étoilé
Berlioz. Holmes



Support us financially by purchasing this disc from:

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Tristan und Isolde - Act II (1865)
Kirsten Flagstad (soprano) - Isolde
Eyvind Laholm (tenor) - Tristan
Enid Szántho (contralto) - Brangane
John Gurney (bass) - King Marke
Daniel Harris (baritone) - Kurwenal, Melot
New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra/John Barbirolli
rec. 16 April 1939, live, Carnegie Hall, April 1939

Experience Classicsonline

It seems as if this was the first American performance of Act II of Tristan to be performed without cuts. It was the prevailing practice at the Metropolitan to cut Acts II and III whilst the first act generally emerged unscathed. Whether the decision was John Barbirolli’s, then the resident conductor of the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra, no one seems quite sure, though it seems to me likely to have been so. The performance was given in Carnegie Hall on 16 April 1939 and this copy was taken down off-air by an enthusiast. It was the third and last in a trio of performances of Act II, so by now orchestra and singers would have been familiar with Barbirolli’s flowing but lyrical direction of an opera that he had first directed in Glasgow in 1932 with Florence Austral and Walter Widdop as his principals.
In Carnegie Hall he had Kirsten Flagstad and Eyvind Laholm (born Jon Edwin Johnson, in Wisconsin of Swedish descent). Flagstad was, with Frida Leider, the reigning Wagnerian soprano of her generation and opportunities to hear her at her freshest and most communicative are always valuable. Laholm was a fine singer, too, though clearly not in Lauritz Melchior’s class, as examples of Melchior and Flagstad’s Wagner performances at Covent Garden a few years earlier than this Carnegie Hall one attest. Nor was he as impressive as Set Svanholm in the role. However Laholm’s discography is surprisingly small, not least because he was not retained by the Met for the 1940/41 season because of the presence of Melchior. His actual studio discography is impossibly small, just a couple of arias from Fidelio and Un ballo in maschera from 1936, though this has been supplemented by off-air operatic performances such as this one.
The supporting cast provides solid support. Enid Szántho is the Brangane, and she was a stalwart at Bayreuth and the Vienna Opera. Like Laholm, she didn’t have an especially penetrating voice, though it is effective enough. John Gurney’s King Marke is small-scaled and musicianly, though it would be unjust to contrast him with, say, Emanuel List’s powerful portrayal for Fritz Reiner at Covent Garden in 1936.
Barbirolli’s lyrically direct reading never sounds rushed and it makes one regret, once more, that he didn’t record more operatic sets when the opportunities arose. The orchestra plays splendidly for him. The recording is pretty reasonable for the time and circumstances, though you will expect some degradation, and Ward Marston and Aaron Z. Snyder have done a good restorative job. There’s a good booklet too. I see that this same performance has been released on Archipel as well, though I’ve not had access to it for comparative purposes. For vocal collectors this will be a useful addition, most especially for Flagstad (and if you want examples of Laholm). Barbirolli admirers will definitely want it, which may explain why this WHRA release is co-produced by the John Barbirolli Society.
Jonathan Woolf

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.