MusicWeb International reviews more Classical recordings than any one else.

53,555 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere
Normal service resumed


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


Recordings of the Month


Beethoven String Quartets

Produzioni Armoniche

Seven Symphonic Poems

Shostakovich VC1 Baiba Skride
Tchaikovsky Symph 5 Nelsons

Vivaldi Violin Concertos



Beethoven Piano Concertos

Stradal Transcriptions

LOSY Note d’oro

Scarlatti Sonatas Vol 2

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
String Quintet No. 3 in C, K. 515 [31:06]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
String Quintet No. 2 in G, Op. 111 [29:04]
Quatuor Voce, Lise Berthaud (viola)
rec. 19-23 January, 2015, La Ferme de Villefavard, Limousin, France
ALPHA 214 [60:10]

This CD is pure pleasure. The string quintets by Mozart and Brahms are divine, of course, and these five young(ish) French musicians treat the music with grace and wit. The Mozart performance feels light and airy. As I write this sentence, the first day of spring has arrived in Texas, and my windows are open, a gentle cool breeze brushing against my legs. The Mozart is playing and it feels like a perfect marriage of the music to the moment, the gentle voices of Quatuor Voce and the voices of spring. The players may be unusually laid-back in the minuet, but the result is natural and generous music-making. This is Mozart at his least troubled and most cheery.

The booklet notes, co-written by the quartet, suggest that the Mozart and Brahms quintets seem “almost twinned, both of them characterized by profound enthusiasm,” which is why they make an attractive pairing on disc. The first movement of Quintet No. 2 is, certainly, one of Brahms’s most joyous pieces, especially among his late works. Here cellist Lydia Shelley really gets to show off her expressive range. As with the Mozart work, the minuet-like movement (un poco allegretto) allows the Quatuor Voce and Lise Berthaud demonstrate their natural grace and poise.

Outstanding recorded sound completes the package: Alpha’s presentation is always a plus.. There’s a photograph of the venue in the booklet, and it appears to be a beautiful wood-paneled countryside chamber music space, not unlike the concert hall at Aldeburgh.

There are many dozens of recordings of each of these works. I have my favorites, and surely you do too. But one has to respect playing as good as this, and the sound quality is exemplary. The bottom line is, when the total package is such a pleasure, comparisons are meaningless.

Brian Reinhart



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

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