One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,514 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


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

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

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


Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month



From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Support us financially by purchasing this disc from

Renato de Barbieri — The Historical HMV Recordings 1956 - Volume 2
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Violin Sonata No.9 in A major, Op.47 Kreutzer (1803) [33:48]
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor, Op.28 (1863) [9:03]
Carnival of the Animals: The Swan (1886) [2:17] ¹
Ottokar NOVÁCEK (1866-1890)
Perpetuum mobile [2:59]
Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962)
Schön Rosmarin [2:17] ¹
Renato de Barbieri (violin)
Tulio Macoggi (piano)
Giuseppe Guastalla (piano) ¹
rec. 1956 and 1947 (The Swan, Schön Rosmarin)
IDIS 6657 [50:13]

This is the second release from IDIS devoted to the art of Italian fiddler Renato de Barbieri. (1920-1991). The first disc can be found on IDIS 6622. The majority of the things in this latest issue come from 1956 though there are two ‘bonuses’, which are 78s from 1947. Bonus means ‘shellac’, not largesse, I assume, given that even with their addition the total timing only just creeps to the 50 minute mark.
De Barbieri was an excellent violinist. As a young man in 1945 he made a famous international broadcast from Genova, the city of his birth, playing Paganini’s own ‘Cannon’ Guarneri del Gesù in an all-Paganini recital. One of his teachers was the Czech player Vaša Príhoda, whom the Italian succeeded at Salzburg’s Mozarteum. He taught in Salzburg for twenty years and in Genova for three decades.
His Kreutzer Sonata is technically adroit, buoyant, dramatic, with a facile pathos, and also a little superficial in places. The partnership with his long time colleague, pianist Tulio Macoggi is a very able one. Despite certain limitations, as a performance I would place it higher than near-contemporaneous performances by much better known duos such as Fuchs- Balsam and Menuhin-Kentner. The Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso is not very Gallic in orientation. There’s no sensuality or suggestiveness but there is one ‘Heifetz slide’ and a certain amount of rather cosmopolitan savoir faire. Less erotic than Thibaud, lacking the colour and variety of shadings evoked by Francescatti, this is nevertheless a perfectly decent performance, though not an excessively personalised one. Novácek’s Perpetuum mobile allows room for technical muscle flexing, though as Alberto Cantù rightly observes in his notes, there’s no showing off here.
The two 78s are Kreisler’s Schön Rosmarin and Saint-Saëns’s The Swan, both with pianist Giuseppe Guastalla in 1947. It’s unusual to hear The Swan on the violin these days, but it’s valuable to hear some fine singing legato.
The transfers are serviceable, no more. They’re clearly taken direct from an LP, as there is some audible rumble and some pops and clicks too. The 78 Kreisler transfer is fine, The Swan a bit noisy, doubtless because it was the more often played side.
Jonathan Woolf