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


Plain text for smartphones & printers

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

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
Mister Paganini
Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962)
Concerto in one movement for violin and orchestra (Paganini's Concerto No.1 first movement transcr. by Kreisler) [16:10]
Petite Valse, for solo piano [2:30]
La Gitana [2:59]
Niccolò PAGANINI (1782-1840)
La Campanella from Violin Concerto No.2 in B minor (arr. Kreisler) [4:47]
I Palpiti, introduction and variations on ‘Di tanti palpiti’ from Rossini’s Tancredi, Op.13 [9:53]
Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909)
Malagueña (arr. Kreisler) [3:27]
Eugène YSAŸE (1858-1931)
Paganini Variations [11:55]
Laurent Korcia (violin)
Haruko Ueda (piano)
Paris Chamber Orchestra/Jean-Jacques Kantorow
rec. August 2013, Salle Colonne (chamber music) and September 2013, Centquatre (orchestral music)
NAÏVE V5344 [50:43]

Mister Paganini is the forebear, Ysaÿe and Kreisler two of the most illustrious executant-composers and arrangers who have followed in his hallowed steps. This disc salutes them all, in its way. Once in a while it would be interesting to hear more fiddlers take on the challenges of the Wilhelmj arrangement of the first movement of Paganini’s D major Concerto, but that is clearly not on the agenda for the bristling talent of Laurent Korcia, one of the most individual players of the day, and a man who never shirks risks. And as one might have anticipated, his collaboration with ex-fiddler Jean-Jacques Kantorow and the Paris Chamber Orchestra generates plenty of enviable tension, a drama set up between the clear-voiced Paris strings and elegant winds – whose opening paragraphs are almost dapper – and the more incisive, sometimes non-conformist tonal edge generated by Korcia. Kreisler famously recorded his own arrangement with Ormandy, but it sounded nothing like this – Korcia cleaves closer to Ivry Gitlis’s turbulent tonal sound through an admixture of his own teacher, Michèle Auclair’s aesthetic. But there is no gainsaying Korcia’s legato, or his fine cadenza, and with him you know that a beautiful tone per se is of little interest: rather, it’s the resinous life of a phrase and its communicative essence that is of primary importance.
Korcia takes quite an elastic view of Kreisler’s arrangement of Albéniz’s Malagueña with some evocative but decidedly smeary phrases along the way. La Gitana is pure, unadulterated Kreisler, and so is the Petite Valse, though this latter, seldom heard on disc, is for solo piano, an instrument its composer played well. Haruko Ueda undertakes the honours. Don’t be fooled by the track timing glitch on La Campanella, Korcia doesn’t drive through it in 2:56, it’s actually 4:56 but the playing is fresh and invigorating throughout. The most exciting discovery here, discographically speaking, is what is – apparently - the first recording of Ysaÿe’s Paganini Variations. Twelve minutes long in this performance this ingenious, pyrotechnical and brief series of variations are based on the famous 24th Caprice. Except when he asks for military-style ascending and descending passages, they are highly diverting, and brilliantly played, though hardly in the same class, nor intended to be, as the later solo sonatas. The final piece in this admittedly rather short programme is I Palpiti where, in a pleasing act of symmetry, Korcia is rejoined by the orchestra and Kantorow. The harmonics sing, the bowing sizzles, the conception is taut and brilliant.
So, yes, short measure for a mildly conceptual album, but plenty to stimulate.
Jonathan Woolf