MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

and more.. and still writing ...


Search MusicWeb Here


Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer

International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

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

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library



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
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers


Daniel STEIBELT (1765-1823)
Rondo ‘Les Papillons’ [8:39]
Fantaisie and Variations on two Russian themes [17:05]
Piano Sonata in G major, Op.64 [41:32]
Rondo ‘L’Orage’ [9:02]
Anna Petrova-Forster (piano)
rec. 28 February-2 March 2015
private studio, Pfäffikon, Switzerland

Credit must be given to the Russian-born pianist Anna Petrova-Forster for her enthusiastic and potent advocacy of the little-known German composer Daniel Steibelt. Up until receiving this CD, I had never come across his name. Not much of his music has been recorded, but a few years ago the Bulgarian label Gega issued a CD of solo piano music, consisting of two sonatas, some etudes and a concerto for solo piano, again featuring this pianist. It is still available. Hyperion have also been in on the act with a volume of three of his piano concertos in their ‘Classical Piano Concerto’ series, played by Howard Shelley, who also directs the Ulster Orchestra (review). This latest release from Forgotten Records is timed to coincide with the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Steibelt was born in Berlin of a German father who manufactured keyboards and a French mother. He studied composition with Johann Kirnberger (1721-1783). He made his mark as a travelling virtuoso, touring the cities of Europe and ending up in St. Petersburg, where he died. Along the way he composed operas, ballets, concertos, chamber and instrumental music and solo piano music. Much of it has faded into obscurity, and of the facts about his life, the notorious piano duel he had with Beethoven in Vienna in 1800 has gained a certain amount of anecdotal mileage.

Of the four works featured here the most substantial is the G major Sonata, Op. 64, which boasts an eighteen minute opening movement, marked ‘Cantabile’. Its character is notably operatic, and ends with an impressive cadenza, calling upon the virtuosic skills of the performer. A brief three minute Tempo di minuetto precedes a lengthy Adagio which has an improvisatory feel. A graceful Pastorale closes the work. The Fantaisie and Variations on two Russian themes, another large-scale piece, gives the pianist an opportunity to showcase not only her manual dexterity, but her imagination in characterizing the florid and coruscating variations.

Two shorter works bookend the disc. Rondo ‘Les Papillons’ evokes the delicate flutterings of butterflies. Petrova-Forster’s glistening, diaphanous finger-work is superbly executed. The easy-going lyrical disposition and cascading notes of Rondo ‘L’Orage’ are probably an indication of the popularity of the piece and its success during the composer’s lifetime.

The Steinway piano used has been expertly voiced and has a warm, radiant tone. The acoustic of the Swiss studio confers an ambience of intimacy. I must commend Olivier Feignier on his well-written, detailed annotations, here supplied in French and English.

Having listened to the recording several times, I cannot share the enthusiasm of John France in his Hyperion review or Jonathan Woolf, who has also reviewed this particular CD. I find Steibelt’s music generally unmemorable and musically verbose at times. I share Mr France's sentiments when he speaks of the music as ‘dominated by note-spinning’. The music of Ferdinand Ries, a near contemporary, has a similar effect on me.

Stephen Greenbank
Previous review: Jonathan Woolf



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass

Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1