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

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

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Benjamin DALE (1885-1943)
Sonata in D minor (1905) [45:05]
Night fancies (1907) [10.06]
Prunella (1916) [3.06]
Peter Jacobs (piano)
rec. 12 December 1991, Rosslyn Hill
CONTINUUM CCD1044 [57.38]

This disc contains some extremely fine piano playing, and is an important issue, featuring, as it does, Benjamin Dale’s epic and impressive Sonata for piano. Dale commenced work on the Sonata in 1902, when he was a student at the Royal Academy of Music, and it was submitted for the Hambourg piano competition prize in 1906 as one of sixty entries. The piece won the prize, yet Hambourg’s performance of the work at the competition’s concert included various cuts and alterations unsanctioned by the composer, to the extent that Dale handed back the prize in high dudgeon. Performances of the work by pianists such as York Bowen and Myra Hess were well-received; and it entered the repertoire for a while as a popular and acclaimed work.

The Sonata opens with a bold and jaunty Allegro deciso, which is followed by a Theme and set of seven variations, before the Finale Molto Allegro – Lento. Over its nearly three-quarters of an hour duration, the Sonata covers a wide range of moods and musical ideas, here brought out beautifully by Peter Jacobs. His playing covers everything from gossamer delicacy and dreamy tenderness through to fiery boldness and dazzling virtuosity.

The disc also includes the impressive and romantic Night Fancies, an impromptu dating from 1907 and dedicated to the critic Edwin Evans. We also get the charming miniature Prunella, which was written during Dale’s incarceration as a prisoner of war at Ruhleben. It was originally sketched for piano and violin as incidental music for a play but later arranged for both piano and for orchestra. Both pieces are here given fine and committed performances by Peter Jacobs.

The booklet notes by esteemed musicologist Lewis Foreman are good. However, production standards leave something to be desired with dense and clunky looking text and illustration layout. These are convincing performances of important piano works.

Em Marshall-Luck

Sonata movements
Allegro Deciso [12.00]
Theme and Variation I [3.22]
Variation II [3.22]
Variation III [1.01]
Variation IV [3.15]
Scherzo Variation V [1.48]
Variation VI [3.05]
Variation VII [1.34]
Andante – Adagio [4.41]
Finale [10.57]



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