One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

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

Some items
to consider

16th-19th November

Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!

Nothing but Praise

BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set

Telemann continues to amaze

A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition

Another Bacewicz winner

match any I’ve heard

An outstanding centenary collection

personable, tuneful, approachable

a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.

music that will be new to most people

telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded

hitherto unrecorded Latvian music


Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


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


Henri SAUGUET (1901-1989)
Symphony No.3, ‘I.N.R.’ (1955) [30:36]
Les Forains: ballet (1945) [25:53]
Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française/Pierre Dervaux (Symphony)
Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux/Henri Sauguet (Les Forains)
rec. June 1956, live, Paris (Symphony) and January 1948, Salle Pleyel, Paris (Les Forains)

This is a valuable restoration, which combines Henri Sauguet’s ballet music for Les Forains, in the composer-conductor’s own 1948 78rpm set, with a live broadcast performance of the Symphony No.3 conducted by Pierre Dervaux in 1956.
The symphony’s subtitle – I.N.R. – relates to the initials of Belgian Radio and the 1955 work is a powerful document cast in three well-balanced movements. Sauguet’s expressive dissonances make a forceful mark in this performance, the music driving onward with animation and also brooding tension. Dervaux certainly establishes the music’s taut and unrelenting opening along with those moments of quiet harmonic sophistication into which the symphony takes refuge now and again. Dervaux chooses the Elgarian indication ‘Nobilmente’ for the central slow movement, a passacaglia with sparse percussive gestures and a chorale-rich growth supported by low brass which seems to suggest the German national anthem at one point. The finale resumes the implacable drive and dissonance established earlier recalling initial march themes. Sauguet’s fine, tough, and moving Third Symphony might profitably be listened to alongside Honegger’s symphonies. There’s a much more recent commercial performance on Marco Polo (8.223472, coupled with the Fourth Symphony) with the Moscow Symphony under Antonio de Almeida.
The companion ballet music is perhaps the more commonly encountered, playful side of Sauguet, the one that inherited elements of the fun and frolics of Les Six. A genial waltz, coy dance and a splash of Viennese whipped cream are part of the run-down of the ballet score. The composer gets playing of great warmth and wit – try the charming wind playing in Exercises – as well as vigour. The score is not without moments of delectable, winsome irony, and no Sauguet-lover should do without the little movement called Le prestidigitateur or, indeed, the knees-up-in-Montmartre finale. The composer, as suggested, gets playing of brio and élan from the orchestra of des Concerts Lamoureux in the Salle Pleyel in Paris. It’s been well transferred from a three-disc Polydor set of 78s.
It ends a very attractive disc for the historically-minded collector.
Jonathan Woolf