One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,514 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month



From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Support us financially by purchasing this from
Homages - A Musical Dedication
Joaquin MALATS (1872-1912)
Serenata Española arr. Tarrega [4:38]
Luis de NARVÁEZ (1526-1549)
Diferencias sobre ‘Guárdame las vacas’ [3:26]
Canción del Emperador [3:18]
Miguel LLOBET (1878-1938)
Canço del Lladre [2:07]
El Testamnet d’Amelia [2:18]
Fernando SOR (1778-1839)
Variations on a Scottish Theme; ‘Ye Banks and Braes o’ Bonnie Doon’, Op.40 [9:04]
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959)
Schottish ‘Chôro’ [4:07]
Preludes [21:17]
Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946)
Homenaje pour le tombeau de Claude Debussy [3:41]
Joaquín TURINA (1882-1949)
Sevillana ‘Fantasia’ [6:21]
Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909)
Mallorca, Barcarola, Op.202 [7:21]
Joaquín RODRIGO (1901-1999)
En los Trigales [4:00]
Christoph Denoth (guitar)
rec. 2012, Beethovensaal, Hannover
SIGNUM SIGCD404 [71:46]

As guitarist Christoph Denoth writes in an introductory paragraph to the booklet notes, the tie that binds this programme is that of the homage, whether to a person, a town, or a landscape. The theme is given greater weight in Thérèse Wassily Saba’s full notes where ideas of national identity and personal ideals are explored. The recital concentrates on Iberian and Latin American music stretching as far back as Luis de Narváez in the sixteenth-century and as far forward as Rodrigo in the twentieth, though the greater part was composed in the later period.

Denoth takes a generally rather relaxed approach to tempo, articulation and colour. Even in so evocative a piece as Malats’ Serenata Española he prefers a more leisurely speed, using plenty of rubati. Both Bream and Segovia (in 1954) are much faster, their articulation more incisive and their rhythms more biting. Narváez’s delightful Canción del Emperador brings an attractively voiced performance but, despite the ‘gym shoe’ squeaking, Bream proves an altogether more precise and vivid interpreter, bringing a wealth of light and shade to bear. Denoth is a sympathetic Sor player, though not so extrovert as one may perhaps like. The ‘Ye Banks and Braes’ variations are a test of projection and characterisation, tests Denoth largely passes. The harp imitations are especially well done, and his anticipatory sniffs are caught by a recording which is both warm and close.

Elsewhere, Albéniz’s Mallorca is somewhat rhythmically hidebound – contrast Bream’s athleticism – and Turina’s Sevillana fares better with Bream, once more, because he phrases more idiomatically, and naturally, and vests the music with a greater quotient of virtuosity. I was quite taken, however, with Denoth’s almost breezy approach to Falla’s Debussy homage, Homenaje pour le tombeau de Claude Debussy. He goes light on the tolling motifs that Bream emphasises. The Villa-Lobos Preludes could do with an infusion of Segovian colour and nuance. They sound a bit literal to make a full impression, though there’s no doubt that the Swiss guitarist takes them seriously.

The programming of this recital strikes me as well conceived and the playing is thoughtful, though ultimately lacking in those qualities that elevate the music’s descriptive qualities.

Jonathan Woolf