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 from

Boris PAPANDOPULO (1906-1991)
Piano Concerto No. 2 (1947) [29:09]
Sinfonietta for String Orchestra, Op. 79 (1938) [28:16]
Pintarichiana for String Orchestra (1974) [10:06]
Oliver Triendl (piano)
I Solisti di Zagreb/Sreten Krstic
rec. 29 May-1 June, 2013, Vatroslav Lisinski Small Concert Hall, Zagreb, Croatia
CPO 777 829-2 [67:31]

When CPO strikes gold, it doesn’t just find a tiny nugget: it opens up a whole seam. The latest gold mine is Boris Papandopulo, a Croatian composer active throughout the entire 20th century.
Papandopulo’s name comes from nowhere. He studied composition with nobody famous, although his soprano mother got her friend Stravinsky to write him a recommendation letter. He spent most of his career conducting regional ensembles and choirs in Croatia, with a break to lead a symphony orchestra in Cairo. In different periods, he dabbled with folk music, neo-classicism, and the avant-garde. This is, so far as I can tell, the second-ever Papandopulo CD, after a solo piano recital on Albany TROY1274 but what incredible music this is.
The piano concerto, scored for piano and string orchestra, has two short, speedy movements bookending an astonishing 16-minute lament. The beginning leaps and dances in a way that will appeal to any neo-classical music lover: you’ll think of Poulenc, Martinů, Dag Wirén and the second Shostakovich piano concerto. A sunny, emphatically tonal main melody gets spiced with fun Prokofievan dissonances as it develops. Then, as quickly as it began, it’s over.
That slow movement marks the introduction of a strong folk music element, transporting us instantly from Paris to the hot, sun-baked Croatian hills. The piano does not enter for five entire minutes, waiting even for the violas to introduce a solo chant-theme. The soloist gets a cadenza, then collaborates with the orchestra on a song which builds to a big, conflicted climax. The structure is symmetrical, which means a piano is playing for only six minutes out of sixteen. Then the finale brings us back to a lighter, livelier atmosphere, and a joyful conclusion. I have no idea why this structure works, but it works very well.
The Sinfonietta for strings is another work of neo-classical and highly contrasted moods. The introduction begins as purely and sweetly as Tchaikovsky, then slides downwards into a disturbing funk. Out of that comes what else but a perky march. This tune resembles Dag Wirén’s famous Serenade.
Papandopulo’s music in general is hard to describe without sounding far crazier and more illogical than it is when you actually hear it. It may take twists and turns, but they make sense to the ears. He sticks carefully to old-fashioned structures and harmonies, except for a nice helping of 1920s chromatic and dissonant high-jinks.
Again, the slow movement of the Sinfonietta reaches into a deep bag of melancholic folk-tunes, and is beautifully constructed around a long violin solo which is played with impressive skill, full tone and heartfelt expression.
The short “dessert” on the recital is a suite of four orchestrations and adaptations of works by a Croatian composer from the 1700s. Pintarichiana is thus comparable to Casella’s Scarlattiana, Rodrigo’s Soleriana or a pocket-sized, strings-only version of Respighi’s Boutique fantasque. Papandopulo was clearly taking his orchestration notes from Mozart serenades and Eine kleine Nachtmusik with delightful results.
The performances are really superb and the Zagreb Soloists are at the height of their art. Sreten Krstic conducts skilled performances and he gives one, too, as the violin soloist in the Sinfonietta. The music always sounds fresh, vibrant and worth hearing repeatedly. Pintarichiana has an electric zip which makes the music even more fun. Oliver Triendl is a good piano soloist in the concerto, too, handling all the leaps and dancing rhythms with ease but his piano is seemingly placed right under the microphones. Aside from that, the production is superb. I hope this is the beginning of a series, because it’s non-stop pleasure and a major discovery.
Brian Reinhart