One of the most grown-up review sites around

51,000 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


Reger Violin Sonatas
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Brahms Symphony 3
Dvorak Symphony 8
9 cello sonatas
Piano Music

Clara Schumann
piano concerto

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!

Quite splendid

Winning performances

Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc

a huge talent

A wonderful disc

Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!

Roth’s finest Mahler yet

Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Daniel-François Esprit AUBER (1782-1871)
Opera Overtures - Volume 1
La circassienne (The girl from the Caucasus) (1861) [7:59]
Le cheval de bronze (The bronze horse) (1835) [7:28]
Le domino noir (The black domino) (1837) [7:42]
Fra Diavolo (Brother Devil) (1830) [8:18]
La fiancée (The betrothed) (1829) [7:46]
Les diamants de la couronne (The crown diamonds) (1841) [7:23]
Marco Spada (1852) [9:56]
L'enfant prodigue (The prodigal son) (1850) [7:21]
Orchestre Régional de Cannes/Wolfgang Dörner
rec. 24-26 June 2015, Théâtre Croisette de l’hôtel JW Marriott, Cannes, France
NAXOS 8.573553 [63:53]

Auber is best known for his opera La muette de Portici, premiered in 1828; it wasn’t his first contribution to the genre – that was the one-Act Le séjour militaire of 1813 – but it was the one that took Europe by storm. Not only that, it established a new form, that of grand opera, soon to be embraced by the likes of Gioachino Rossini and Giacomo Meyerbeer. Although Auber’s operas have fallen out of favour the overtures haven’t; those to Fra Diavolo, Le domino noir and Le cheval de bronze come to mind. It’s the kind of effervescent repertoire that Ernest Ansermet and Albert Wolff did so well. Indeed, several of the overtures in this Naxos collection can be found on the vintage Decca set Overtures in Hi-Fi (review).

The Cannes orchestra and their Viennese-born music director Wolfgang Dörner are new to me, but then this label has made a virtue of showcasing the talents of regional bands and baton wavers. This partnership has also recorded what Goran Försling dubbed a ‘wholly charming’ disc of dance pieces by Joseph Lanner (review). Of course, collections such as these are best sampled in small doses, especially when the material is generally so lightweight. That said, Ansermet et al make it all too easy to get through a box of sweeties in a single sitting.

In such illustrious company Dörner and his band have plenty to prove. Alas, first impressions are not encouraging. For a start, the playing lacks character; even more dispiriting are the unsubtle phrasing and dogged rhythms, both fatal in such buoyant repertoire. As if that weren’t bad enough the sound is pretty dismal. I suspect that’s because the hall has the acoustic properties of a barn; the bass is boomy, textures are smeared, and there’s far too much reverb and resonance. This might do for a weekend matinee, but it won’t do here. In short, a wasted opportunity.

There’s little charm or charisma in this collection; dreadful sonics, too.

Dan Morgan



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

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