One of the most grown-up review sites around

51,800 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!

Quite splendid

Winning performances

Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc

a huge talent

A wonderful disc

Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!

Roth’s finest Mahler yet

Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance


Plain text for smartphones & printers

We are currently offering in excess of 51,800 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

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

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959)
Five preludes for guitar, W419 [26:21]
Guitar concerto, W502 [20:31]
Melodia Sentimental, W555 (arr. Chmielarz) [3:47]
Krzysztof Meisinger (guitar)
Andrew Haveron (violin) (Melodia)
Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields/José Maria Florencio
rec. November 2011, Abbey Road Studio 1, London
FUGA LIBERA FUG599 [50:39]

Guitarist Krzysztof Meisinger, making his first appearance on an international record label, chooses the music of Villa-Lobos. It’s a surprisingly apt choice, since the Polish Meisinger is fascinated by South American music: he has played in a band modeled after Ástor Piazzolla’s. He has also participated in master-classes with Piazzolla’s favored guitarist, Pablo Ziegler. Meisinger’s way with the five Villa-Lobos Preludes is like nobody else’s.

Specifically, Meisinger allows the slower preludes (Nos. 1, 3) to develop at their own pace, slowing down to gently capture the full potential of the “Lyric Melody,” or to expand the “Homage to Bach” into a sarabande of great poignancy. There’s no stinting on the faster stuff - it’s hard to imagine a more evocative portrait of the “hustler” - but, for instance, compare Meisinger’s timing in the Bach homage with Norbert Kraft’s on Naxos: Kraft takes 3:06, Meisinger 7:31. The difference to the ear is substantial; Kraft's performance holds together much better, a consistent and structurally sound product, while Meisinger’s, more liable to muse, fuss around with phrases, and generally put its nose into the roses, might be favored by those who want something more meditative or “evocative.” It's strange, but in a way that's interesting rather than perverse.
The Guitar Concerto gets a more conventional reading, but no less distinguished. Meisinger’s joined by the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, who sound like they’re bunched around the microphones but thankfully the score itself is very clear and their contributions all go well-noticed. Here there’s again competition from Norbert Kraft among others, although maybe it’s me but I find it hard to really fault any recording of such a charming, un-muck-up-able piece. The Melodia sentimental is a gorgeous encore destined for radio airtime and maybe a role in a film.
This is to be welcomed, then, if you can get past two hurdles: the short playing time (50 minutes) and Meisinger’s eccentricity. As far as I’m concerned, both are okay, especially with performances distinctive enough that Villa-Lobos fans will love to hear them and assess the music anew.
Brian Reinhart