One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
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 Préalable again!
£11 post-free


we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


TROUBADISC

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

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

WYASTONE releases



The Birth of Rhapsody in Blue
A superlative recreation


such a success


An outstanding performance


make acquaintance without delay


Violin Concerto
This is an impressive disc


Strong advocacy
for a British composer


Piano Music - Martin Jones
agreeably crafted


Piano Music 5CDs


Consistently fine


Rare and interesting repertoire


An excellent introduction


A Celebration on Record


An issue of importance


Richard RIJNVOS
A splendid disc


both enlightening and rewarding
additional review

 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers

We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage


a vibrant slice of life


BRITISH CELLO WORKS
stylistically assured


About Every Hill and Valley
Swedish Songs


Hallberg and Dente
interesting and most welcome


An inspired partnership
additional review


TOSCA
A valuable document



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

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
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Keyboard Concerto No 19, K459, in F (arr. de Maistre) [29:05]
Concerto for Flute, Harp, and Orchestra, K299, in C [26:49]
Keyboard Sonata No 16, K545, in C (arr. de Maistre) [8:23]
Xavier de Maistre (harp)
Magali Mosnier (flute) (K299)
Mozarteumorchester Salzburg/Ivor Bolton
rec. 25-27 February 2013, Stiftung Mozarteum, Salzburg
SONY CLASSICAL 88765 439922 [64:17]

This CD is a peach. Xavier de Maistre has arranged Mozart’s piano concerto No. 19 and piano sonata No. 16 for harp, and performs them here along with the more popular concerto for harp and flute. The two arrangements prove very satisfying and fluent at all times: the harp feels at home in this music. It’s not very far off, really, from the sound of some period keyboards. So the disc is a very pleasing way to spend an hour and a testament to de Maistre’s skill. He also had a friend, Sylvain Blassel, compose new cadenzas. Blassel has a CD of his own arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, so Xavier de Maistre has some very talented friends.
 
Magali Mosnier joins in for the flute concerto and does a wonderful job with her part, though she’s slightly overshadowed. This isn’t her fault: the recorded sound favours de Maistre too heavily, and he dominates both orchestral works. At times his harp is as loud as, or louder than, the entire symphony orchestra. This is a very old-fashioned way of solving the engineering problem of a harp not being the easiest solo instrument to record. It’s therefore not easy to assess the playing of the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg: I’m sure they’re up to their usual great standards, but they’ve been pushed to the background.
 
De Maistre’s close miking is fine in the wonderful little Sonata No. 16, which is a delightful combination of new and familiar. Certainly if you’ve heard this work too many times you’ll still appreciate hearing this twist, especially since de Maistre is such a tasteful soloist. There are no repeats played in the sonata.
 
I’d never heard of Xavier de Maistre or Magali Mosnier before. Sony Classical assumes that they’re household names, and supplies full-page photographs but no biographies. De Maistre was the first Frenchman to ever join the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; he left in 2010, and the orchestra’s principal harpist is now something which, for the VPO, is even more unthinkable than a Frenchman: a woman. De Maistre’s four previous albums feature other arrangements, of concertos and other works by the likes of Haydn, Vivaldi, Rodrigo - who did the harp version of Concierto de Aranjuez himself - and Debussy. Based on the craft evident here, I’ll be seeking those discs out. De Maistre knows how to arrange music effectively, and he knows how to play well. If you like Mozart, harps, or Mozart on harp, there’s nothing else left to say.
 
Brian Reinhart