Search MusicWeb Here

selling Internationally

aBritish Symphonies
4CDs £16 post-free


W.S. Bennett, Rootham, Moeran,
Bax, Rubbra, Rawsthorne, Berkeley
Alwyn, Grace Williams, Arnold, Wordsworth. Searle, Joubert

Van Dieren Chinese Symphony
Searle Symphonies 3, 5
Shaw Piano Concertos 1 and 2

£11.75 post-free

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Editor-in-Chief: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider


  • Bantock Khayyam
  • Arthur Butterworth Symphonies
  • William Wordsworth Symphonies
  • Sir John in Love
  • Violin Concertos


Vadim Gluzman - A quite extraordinarily good disc

This impressed me mightily

Shostakovich 5, 8 9
Great concentration

Let me tell you
Stratospheric Barbara Hannigan
Birmingham and BBC Proms

Berkeley - Authenticity

Highly Expressive

NØRGÅRD Stunning

Superbly played

One to treasure

One of the finest American
choral-orchestral works

from strength to strength

inspired choice

Book and CD £12

Book + 4CDs £33



Plain text for smartphones & printers

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce
Red Priest
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Editor in Chief
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing
this disc through MusicWeb
for £ postage paid world-wide.

Antonn DVORK (1841-1904)
Cypresses, B152 [31:07]
String Quartet No. 13, B192 [37:36]
Cypress String Quartet
rec. 28 July-1 August 2012 (Quartet, Cypresses 1, 3, 7, 9-12), 14-16 September 2012 (Cypresses 2, 4-6, 8), Skywalker Sound Studios, California
AVIE AV2275 [68:43]

Last year the Cypress String Quartet released a CD featuring Dvorks 12th quartet American, and I liked the playing but was bothered by the recorded sound. Unfortunately the same pattern continues here: the quartet delivers an edge-of-seat reading of Quartet No. 13 and pairs it with a laid-back Cypresses song cycle, but the sound is such that, for me, aural fatigue sets in.
The problem is with balance and high registers: the whole ensemble is harshly, coarsely portrayed, but the first violin (Cecily Ward, who produces and plays a Stradivarius) is especially over-bright, glassy. Forgive a metaphor that conflates sound with light: its as if the other three players are outdoors in a garden, and Ms. Ward is under a neon sign. I cant imagine that the quartet sounds like this in concert, and its unfortunate that they sound like this on the two CDs.
Its a major distraction, to me. The Quartet No. 13 is energetic, indeed too aggressive at times (the third-movement trio), but for reasons of polish and sound quality must yield to the excellent recent recordings by the Pavel Haas and Cecilia Quartets. Side note: Listen to the Cecilia Quartet! Theyre fantastic! The Cypresses, for which the present quartet is named, are enjoyably played, with especially wonderful viola and cello solos (sample No. 9, My dearest one), but that first violin just about drowns out the second.
Ive checked the MusicWeb International database for other discs by this ensemble; in 2011 Brian Wilson enjoyed their Beethoven and noted perhaps too-forward sound but no other complaints; an earlier Naxos disc of Benjamin Lees was reviewed without the sound being commented on. Theres maybe a chance that Im the only person bothered by it, but to me the bother is very real. If youre willing to fiddle with your stereo controls to tame the treble and tilt the balances, go ahead, but even then, the Cecilia Quartet has more promise.
Brian Reinhart