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


REVIEW 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

Support us financially by purchasing this from
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Sonata No. 32, op. 111 in C minor (1822) [25:50]
Piano Sonata No. 10, op. 14 no. 2 in G major (1798) [17:44]
Piano Sonata No. 17, op. 31 no. 2 in D minor ‘Tempest’ (1802) [23:58]
Naum Grubert (piano)
rec. 2013, Westvest 90, Schiedam, the Netherlands.
NAVIS CLASSICS NC14002 [67:35]

Riga-born in 1951, Naum Grubert is a busy international artist who manages to balance an active concert-giving career with an impressive teaching workload. He also finds time to make recordings. This is the first example of his playing that I’ve come across, and it couldn’t be in repertoire more central to a pianist.

He has selected three sonatas and in an interesting Q & A in the booklet with MusicWeb International’s own Dominy Clements he outlines some thoughts on the three chosen works. He plays Op.14 No.2 with decorous elegance and a highly sympathetic sense of phrasing. His passagework is even and unflurried and he is not afraid to take just an extra quotient of time, as is the case in the sonata’s finale. His approach throughout is very distinct from those of Old School performers such as Backhaus and Kempff, in their mono cycles, who take an altogether more fleet-footed approach. In Op.31 No.2 he takes almost exactly the same tempo that Craig Sheppard took in his live cycle of the 32 for Roméo though once again the older Masters – Backhaus, Kempff, and Schnabel – all took more direct tempi. Tempos are relative matters though, and it’s undeniable that Grubert sustains his with aplomb. His performance here is well-scaled and his relatively relaxed tempos never court lassitude, being well defined and articulated. He avoids the pitfalls of making too much of contrastive material.

The greatest challenges, digitally and intellectually, come in Op.111, which he has chosen to programme first. Here the opening Maestoso is finely calibrated and weighted, and fully anticipates the ensuing release of the Allegro con brio. In the Arietta he charts a fine course between the eager dynamism of Kempff and Backhaus and the magisterial solemnity of Solomon.

Grubert plays at all times with warmth and assurance, and he has been well recorded into the bargain. In so saturated a field as this – if things must be referred to as a sport – his disc may not be very visible, but it encapsulates the playing of a thoughtful, experienced, devoted musician unconcerned with excess gestures.

Jonathan Woolf
Previous review: Dominy Clements