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


Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Wilde Plays Chopin - Vol. II
Two Nocturnes, Op. 27 [13:33]
Polonaise in A flat, Op. 53 [7:27]
Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35 [30:06]
Nocturne in E flat, Op. 9 No. 2 [5:30]
Prelude in D flat, Op. 28 No. 15 “Raindrop” [5:33]
Fantaisie in F minor, Op. 49 [16:04]
David Wilde (piano)
rec. 14 August, 16 September, 10-11 December 2013, Reid Concert Hall, University of Edinburgh, UK
DELPHIAN DCD34138 [78:13]

This is the most intense, idiosyncratic, personal Chopin recital to be recorded in years. Always-interesting, pianist David Wilde recorded it at age 80, shortly after the death of his wife Jane. The recital is dedicated to her memory. The stages of grief and loss are clearly evident.

What does that mean? The playing on this disc shows sorrow, isolation, rage, acceptance: Chopin’s original expressions are magnified, and the performances cumulatively have a power which kept me from concentrating on anything else. It’s a devastating document.

The nocturne Op. 27 No. 1 drives into the senses with a slow, insistent bass tread, and the build-up to the central major-key outburst feels as if it will never end. The “Heroic” polonaise is a galloping romp, slower but more dance-like than usual. The repeated notes of the “Raindrop” prelude seem to haunt Wilde and drive him to extremes.

The Fantaisie in F minor, stretched out to 16 minutes, is a broad, exploring, inquisitive performance which, finally, reaches a coda nobody has ever played so gently, so softly, so slowly, or with such meaning. It takes the breath away. Indeed, Wilde’s touch is so soft you could cough and miss it. It feels like Prospero at the end of The Tempest: the virtuoso giving up his powers. The piece does have a loud ending, and you’ll wonder how he manages to bring the volume back up again without seeming vulgar. He succeeds. The final chord clips the highest notes and lets the bass linger, casting a dark shadow over the silence at recital’s end.

The elephant in the room is Wilde’s utterly unique Sonata No. 2. Yes, that timing is accurate: 30:06. The funeral march alone takes 12:33, a record time that reflects a glowing central trio so slow that one wonders if he never wanted to stop playing it. Understandable, since Wilde replicates Rachmaninov’s tricks of adding skull-pounding bass notes to the funeral march’s tread. The recap starts off fortissississimo, shattering your reverie. It’s really shocking if you aren’t expecting it, and still shocking if you are.

Chopin this weird and personal will always create enemies. You may well hate its indulgence but this kind of Chopin is far more interesting than the dull, predictable competence of many pianists these days. At least David Wilde is doing something new and different and dangerous. I, for one, have listened to this album in shock, admiration, fascination, and deepest respect.

The sound quality is a little glassy, but with playing this powerful, you’ll hardly notice. Nothing can keep the fierce emotions of David Wilde from leaping out of the speakers.

Brian Reinhart


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