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
Leo FALL (1873-1925)
Madame Pompadour - operetta in three acts [77:24]
Madame Pompadour – Annette Dasch (soprano); The King – Heinz Zednik (tenor); René – Mirko Roschkowski (tenor); Madeleine – Elvira Soukop (mezzo); Belotte – Beate Ritter (soprano); Joseph Calicot – Boris Pfeifer (baritone)
Orchestra and Chorus of the Volksoper Wien/Andreas Schüller
rec. Volksoper Wien, June 2012
synopsis but no text or translation included
CPO 777 795-2 [77:24]

Madame Pompadour was first performed in Vienna in March 1922 and in London in December 1923. The latter ran for 469 performances and starred Evelyn Laye and Derek Oldham. They recorded a series of excerpts, once available on Pearl, but the adaptation for the London stage removed much of the work’s original character, making it sound more like an inferior musical comedy than a Viennese operetta.
Although I have not been able to compare it with a score of the original version, what is heard on this disc sounds very convincing in the arrangements, the orchestration and the type of voices used. Having complained when reviewing earlier discs of Fall about performances which fail in these respects (Rose of Stambul on Naxos) it is a great pleasure to listen to one so faithful to the basic character of the music. As a result what we hear is an immensely enjoyable version of what is often described as the composer’s best work.
The operetta, best described as being vaguely connected with historical events, is set in Paris in the time of the French King Louis XV when his mistress was Madame de Pompadour. The latter is very much the main character along with Count René, who falls in love with her but, after a series of unlikely coincidences, returns to his wife who is revealed to be the Pompadour’s sister.
I have not seen it on stage and cannot comment on how convincing it is there, but from the helpful and detailed synopsis in the booklet I see no reason why it could not be successful again. Much would depend on the casting, and you would be lucky to encounter as idiomatic a performance as this. The only name familiar to me was that of Heinz Zednik, at one time a favourite character tenor and here making much of the by no means large part of the King. All the rest, including the two main characters, also sing with obvious understanding of the nature of the work and I never found myself regretting the lack of voices with more obvious star quality. This is above all an ensemble production, and this suits the work admirably. No dialogue is included and no text or translations are provided. However the synopsis is full and clear and is more than enough to give the context and gist of each number … and what numbers. The most obvious “hits” are the duet Josef, ach Josef and the waltz Madame Pompadour, Kronjuwel der Natur but the whole work is full of charm, variety and musical interest. It is good to have such a stylish version of a now sadly neglected operetta.
John Sheppard