MusicWeb International reviews more Classical recordings than any one else.

53,454 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

£11 post-free anywhere
Normal service resumed


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


Recordings of the Month


Beethoven String Quartets

Produzioni Armoniche

Seven Symphonic Poems

Shostakovich VC1 Baiba Skride
Tchaikovsky Symph 5 Nelsons

Vivaldi Violin Concertos



Beethoven Piano Concertos

Stradal Transcriptions

LOSY Note d’oro

Scarlatti Sonatas Vol 2

Plain text for smartphones & printers

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

Emma Lou DIEMER (b.1927)
Pacific Ridge
Santa Barbara Overture (1996) [11:18]
*Concerto in one movement, for marimba and orchestra (1991) [18:15]
**Concerto in one movement, for piano and orchestra (1991) [27:08]
*Nathan Daughtrey (marimba); **Betty Oberacker (piano)
London Symphony Orchestra/Brynmore Llewelyn Jones
*Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra/Joel Suben
**Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra/Vladimír Válek
rec. Abbey Road Studios, London, July 1996; *Slovak Radio Concert Hall, Bratislava, 10 June 2002; **Prague, July 1995. DDD

To judge by the recording dates, these three orchestral works from veteran American composer Emma Lou Diemer have been lying around the archives for some time - credit to Navona for resurrecting and compiling them into an attractive package. The Santa Barbara Overture
was in fact recorded for a 2001 MMC compilation (2111), whilst the two concertos are, according to Diemer's own notes, also reissues from one place or another.
The opening Overture is "a musical expression of the wondrous city of Santa Barbara, incorporating elements of Mexican, Spanish and Native American music, as well as echoes of pentatonic jazz and Asian." If that sounds like the ingredients of a mishmash, it is certainly true that Bernstein's Jets and Sharks are never far away, likewise Copland at his most Americana-esque. The good bits and not-so-good bits even themselves out, however, to give a moderately entertaining work. Abbey Road sound quality, though, is outstanding, as is the music-making by the LPO under Brynmore Jones.
The two one-movement concertos are more substantial and musically interesting. The soloists, marimbist Nathan Daughtrey and pianist Betty Oberacker, give cogent performances. Oberacker especially, as original dedicatee and premiere-giver of the piano concerto, is as authoritative as she is fluid. Virtuosic too - indeed both these imaginatively scored works offer many a challenge to musicians, whilst staying within the boundaries of listener-friendliness. The Slovak and Czech Radio Symphony Orchestras make highly competent contributions. The piano concerto in particular emerges as a work worthy of greater dissemination.
The concertos were recorded in Slovakia and the Czech Republic this time, more usual venues for Navona, and historically not always offering the highest results. However, re-mastered sound here is as impressive as the London recording, with a wide, vivid stereo given almost a 'super-audio' effect.
The booklet is neat, well written and fairly detailed - certainly with regard to biographies. Running time is not overly generous, but Navona CDs can be had at attractively cheap prices. Diemer learnt her art from the likes of Krenek, Sessions, Hanson and Hindemith - with underpinnings like that, it is no wonder that her orchestral music has wide potential appeal, and this disc is a welcome, well played introduction to her talents.
Collected reviews and contact at