One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
Google seem to have closed down local search engines. You can use this FreeFind engine but it is not so comprehensive
You can go to Google itself and enter the search term followed by the search term.


International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati




simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin

Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive

Cantatas for Soprano


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
August KLUGHARDT (1847-1902)
Symphony No. 5 Op. 71, in C minor [38:51]
In Spring, concert overture, Op. 30 [13:22]
Festive Overture, Op. 78 [9:21]
Anhalt Philharmonic/Antony Hermus
rec. 6-8 December 2011 (overtures), 19-22 November 2012 (symphony), Katharina-Saal, Stadthalle Zerbst/Anhalt, Germany
CPO 777 693-2 [61:34]

August Klughardt was the court music director in Dessau in the 1890s, a time when I did not realize there were still courts with music directors. His obituary, extensively quoted in the CPO booklet, teases us for the wrong music: his contemporaries thought that his strengths were in chamber music, but here we have the Symphony No. 5. The symphony actually started off as chamber music, a string sextet for Joseph Joachim and his friends, and Joachim was a strong advocate. Audiences liked it too. Sadly for us, Klughardt decided that no other ensemble was skilled enough to play the work, so he arranged it for full symphony orchestra and added ten minutes of new material. Then somebody lost the original sextet score.
So here is a Symphony No. 5 in C minor to challenge Beethoven’s. Okay, not really. It’s a derivative, tepid piece, which at its best calls to mind the orchestration of Schumann and the low emotional stakes of Raff. Once you know it was originally a chamber piece, you hear clues everywhere: the extensive violin solos, the way that the brass usually double string parts, the overall bland orchestral sound. The piece culminates in a finale that goes on three minutes too long because of a drab academic fugue. Probably the sextet version would be pretty good. I’m convinced it could be easily reconstructed based on this symphony, and it would be more energetic and concise than this.
Better are the overtures. In Spring actually starts with a fugue, a long slow fugue with no prelude whatsoever, which is certainly surprising. Unlike many springtime pieces, there are no nature-type effects, not even birdcalls. The Festive Overture, especially, may seem generic late-romantic cheer, Meistersinger-style, but at least it’s fun and charming, with a grand ending that’s the most exciting thing on the CD.
The recorded sound is adequate, and the Anhalt Philharmonic plays perfectly well; it’s hard to imagine Klughardt’s music sounding better in any other performance. Antony Hermus, a promising young conductor, needs to update his official biography, because it feels like a metatextual joke to have the booklet for a new CPO CD of Klughardt symphonies and overtures tell us that the conductor will soon release a new CPO CD of Klughardt symphonies and overtures.
I certainly enjoyed the overtures well enough, and if you’re downloading you can save money by purchasing those by themselves. My colleague Rob Barnett liked this much more than I did.
Brian Reinhart

Previous review: Rob Barnett