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

Support us financially by purchasing
this through MusicWeb
for £12 postage paid world-wide.

Heinrich SCHULZ-BEUTHEN (1838-1915) 
Symphony No. 5 Reformationshymnus Op. 36 (1884) [18.18]
Die Toteninsel - symphonic poem (1909) [11.33]
Neger-Lieder und Tšnze Op. 26 (1880) [15.55]
Abschiedsklšnge Op. 28 (1880) [7.33]
Anastasiya Sidelnikova (organ)
Moscow Symphony Orchestra/Adriano
rec. AugUST 2002, Large Hall, Moscow State Conservatory and Mosfilm Studios
STERLING CDS1049-2 [53.27]

Heinrich Schulz-Beuthen was a pupil of Moscheles and Reinecke; his classmates included Grieg and Svendsen. In fact, to be clear, he was christened plain Heinrich Schulz but upgraded by incorporating the name of the town of his birth. Studying later with Liszt pupil Carl Riedel meant that Schulz-Beuthen would inevitably be tagged as a member of the New German School as opposed to the Romantic traditionalists.

Whether he wanted to honour Martin Luther’s 400th anniversary or the Reformation Symphony of Mendelssohn seems in some doubt but the fact remains that in 1881 he began a symphony that was to be completed in Dresden in 1884, called the Reformation Symphony. His Fifth symphony, it shared both its number and subtitle with Mendelssohn’s—more than usually symptomatic of an homage, one would have thought.

It’s a highly compact 18-minute work cast in four conventional movements. It opens with stirring festive–type brass, confidently if ultimately rather repetitiously deployed before the second section introduces Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott as a hymnal in three separate passages, the organ offering quietly contemplative commentaries which contrasts with noble peroration and more lyrical episodes. The March-like third section leads seamlessly to a kind of refraction of Eine feste Burg, now transformed into a quick stepping triumphant melody, ending with splendidly purposeful power.

The symphony leaves quite a strong impression but in some ways the more compact Die Toteninsel (The Isle of the Dead) is a more subtle and structurally better argued piece of work. Composed in 1909, thus well before Rachmaninov’s work of the same name, it seems to encode brief Parsifalian references, as well as much that is baleful and brooding and indeed even Tchaikovskian—there are brief, almost balletic episodes along the way. The deft instrumental exchanges are part and parcel of what is, in essence, a Lisztian tone poem of considerable effect.

It’s quite a contrast to the Neger-Lieder und Tšnze light-hearted and bluff dance movements with an awful lot of Mendelssohn going on. The Abschieds-Klšnge, or Sounds of Farewell is a genial suite for string orchestra dating to 1880 and all over well within eight minutes.

There are some excellent notes and the recording is on the bluff side, not unlike the quality of the dance music, but it’s wholeheartedly played and indeed packs a real punch.

Jonathan Woolf

Previous reviews: Rob Barnett ~ Ian Lace


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