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

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

Deaconoff; Stockhausen

Live at the Clifton Festival

Choir at Clifton Cathedral


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


Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Trio No.6 in E flat, Op.70 No.2 [26:56]
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op.49 (1839) [29:30]
Trio Santoliquido
rec. 1952 (Beethoven) and 1953 (Mendelssohn), Beethoven-Saal, Hanover

The vintage recordings of the Trio Santoliquido continue to emerge on a variety of labels. Pristine Audio has long been active and in fact it released both these works on two separate discs some years ago – the Mendelssohn on PACM038, Beethoven on PACM044. In addition it has reissued the Archduke on PACM058 and the Brahms Piano Quartets on PACM067, a disc I reviewed a while back. That’s a brief back-story to the matter in hand.

The Trio was pianist Ornella Puliti Santoliquido, violinist Arrigo Pellicia and cellist Massimo Amfitheatrof. Their Brahms brought out lighter textures than one generally finds in performances and the two recordings here, made in the Beethoven-Saal in Hanover in 1952-53 for DG, show comparable affiliations with Beethoven and Mendelssohn. Their wartime Ghost trio 78-rpm set is justly renowned and has also been reissued, but its opus mate is no less successful, though recorded a decade or so later. From the long, veiled introduction – perfectly controlled and poised – the listener can appreciate the most subtle refinements of their playing. The string unisons are beautifully calibrated but never saturated, whilst Santoliquido springs rhythm deftly and plays with gorgeous lightness of touch. Each movement has an array of qualities to recommend it whilst the more tempestuous elements of the trio are equally well dealt with. The ensemble doesn’t make a big-boned sound but plays in the best traditions of Italian chamber playing.

Mendelssohn’s Op.49 trio opens at a fractionally broader tempo than was often the case at this period and, indeed, earlier. But it is rich in detail and generates its own decisive sense of momentum, buttressed by playing that is sonorous in places but always elegant. The pianism is utterly delightful, not just in the opening but throughout – light, dextrous, perfectly weighted. Tempi make perfect sense, and ensemble is splendid throughout.

These two vital and sensitive performances deserve an honoured place in the discography of both works. The transfers have been carried out with great care. Forgotten Records generally, as here, dispenses with notes but that doesn’t – for me – lessen admiration.

Jonathan Woolf



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3



Aho Symphony 5

Dowland - A Fancy


Rachmaninov_ Babayan