One of the most grown-up review sites around

52,000 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

absolutely thrilling

immediacy and spontaneity

Schumann Lieder

24 Preludes
one of the finest piano discs

‘Box of Delights.’

J S Bach A New Angle
Organ fans form an orderly queue

a most welcome issue

I enjoyed it tremendously

the finest traditions of the house

music for theorbo
old and new

John Luther Adams
Become Desert
concealing a terrifying message

ground-breaking, winning release

screams quality

Surprise of the month

English Coronation, 1902-1953
magnificent achievement

Plain text for smartphones & printers

We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 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


Pristine Classical

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Violin Concerto in D major Op.61 (1806) [44:31]
Grosse Fuge Op.133 (1826) [18:38]
Wolfgang Schneiderhan (violin)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Wilhelm Furtwängler
rec. live, May 1953 (Concerto) and live, February 1952 (Grosse Fuge), Titania-Palast, Berlin
Mono recording

Both conductor and soloist are well-known for their performances of the Beethoven Violin Concerto – just not with each other. The conjunction of Furtwängler and Schneiderhan is probably the least-well remembered of the conductor’s collaborations, either live or studio. Similarly the violinist’s commercial DG recording, conducted by Eugen Jochum, holds the most pressing claim on the collector, notwithstanding Furtwängler’s eminence or the fact that the disc under review was made live in the Titania-Palast in Berlin in May 1953.
The chances are that you may have one of the conductor’s collaborations with Menuhin or the wartime live inscription with his Berlin concertmaster, the excellent Erich Röhn. I’ve reviewed them all. This post-war live recording with Wolfgang Schneiderhan has seen release before, on a DG LP in 1964 subsequently reissued. One such, on Heliodor, is the basis for Mark Obert-Thorn’s excellent restoration.
In his later stereo recording – a transfer of which can be found on DG Privilege 427 197-2 – Schneiderhan dipped his toe into the murky waters of Beethoven’s own cadenzas, fashioned from the composer’s adaptation of the work for Piano Concerto, Op.61. Earlier, with Furtwängler, he was much less radical, employing Joachim’s cadenzas - Menuhin had used Kreisler’s. The business of cadenzas doesn’t really matter too much, at least to me, but Schneiderhan’s approach to them was interesting.
I wish I could say that his performance was as impressive as those of Menuhin and Röhn. I wish, also, that it was as impressive as his Jochum collaboration. The pacing and expressive contour is superficially not dissimilar to that recording, except in the case of the finale where Jochum proves a degree more measured. The essential conception, however, sounds very much more the conductor’s than the soloist’s, as could perhaps be predicted, and thus the expressive balance between the two musicians is more fruitfully encountered with Jochum. There, too, Schneiderhan’s tone is better caught. With Furtwängler, all too often, it sounds unrelieved in its silvery way, especially in higher positions. The occasional intonation slips are passing matters. Of much more significance is that there’s less genuine intensity in the first movement, and less seraphic contemplation in the central movement. The transition section to the finale is very heavy. The finale, as noted, is considerably faster and more dramatic than the Jochum recording, but it’s a little untidy too.
The companion work is the powerfully projected Grosse Fuge, recorded on 10 February 1952 in the Titania-Palast as well. For some reason Pristine gives us the title with a German double-s, which, if I can be headmasterly for a moment, just won’t do for an English-language production. At least they don’t call the orchestra the ‘Berliner Philharmoniker’.
Jonathan Woolf