MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

and more.. and still writing ...


Search MusicWeb Here


Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer

International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

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

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library



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
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass

Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1



Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957)
Suite: Pelléas et Mélisande, Op. 46 (1905) [28:50]
Music from Swanwhite, Op. 54 (1909) [18:01]
Suite: King Christian II (1898) [31:35]
Iceland Symphony Orchestra/Petri Sakari
rec. 6-9 October 1992, Håskólabió, Reykjavik
CHANDOS CHAN10828X [79:38]

With his 150th anniversary coming along next year, it is likely that Sibelius — and his great contemporary Nielsen — will be given a high profile; and rightly so.

This Chandos reissue of recordings from twenty years ago still sounds splendid, and there is no doubting the Sibelian credentials of Petri Sakari and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, whose recordings of the symphonies (for Naxos) made such a very positive impression.

The concert suites drawn for the theatre music form an important and rewarding aspect of Sibelius’s orchestral music. They seldom offer the power and drama of the symphonies but they abound in music of beautifully drawn sensitivity and some wonderful melodic inspiration. As ever the composer’s orchestral mastery is assured, and his judgements of instrumentation and of musical development are impeccable.

The orchestral playing here is of a high order, with string sound that is never less than pleasing and some distinguished contributions from the wind players.

It is inevitable that alternative versions of this repertoire will offer different couplings, and one particular issue is that the selection from Swanwhite is more restricted than the full suite found elsewhere, for example on Neeme Järvi’s excellent recording with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra on BIS-CD359.

On a less positive note, the accompanying booklet’s presentation falls somewhat below Chandos’s usually high standards, and a tighter editorial control would have reaped benefit. Towards the back no fewer than four full pages are given over to advertising CDs of vaguely related Scandinavian repertoire, while the introductory notes feature the music in the opposite order to that found on the CD – why not have this chronologically as well? A case of ‘right hand and left hand’, perhaps. Worst of all are the cue points, which are difficult to read in the booklet and practically impossible to read on the back of the case – the worst such example I have ever encountered. It’s not a crucial issue, I admit, but it is undoubtedly irritating because it’s so thoughtless and unnecessary.

Terry Barfoot