One of the most grown-up review sites around

55,028 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

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10


Obtain 10% discount


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


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom
Ph. 020 8418 0616


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Paul JUON (1872-1940)
Silhouettes for two violins and piano op. 9: Série I (3), Série II (3) (1899) [21:42]
Silhouettes for two violins and piano op. 43: Livre III (2), Livre IV (5) (1909) [17:29]
Sieben kleine Tondichtungen for two violins and piano op. 81 (1928) [24:20]
Malwina Sosnowski (violin); Rebekka Hartmann (violin); Benyamin Nuss (piano)
rec. Radio-Studio Zürich, 8-9, 11-12 March 2015, co-production Schweizer Radio SRF 2 Kultur

Born in Moscow of Swiss parents, Paul Juon, retired to Switzerland in 1934. In Russia his teachers included Arensky and Taneyev. Skalkottas, Vladigerov, Trapp, Kilpinen, Jarnach and Wolpe were among his pupils. Juon’s catalogue spans many genres but with the predominance being in chamber music. There are no fewer than six piano trios, four string quartets and three violin sonatas. There are also three violin concertos alongside much else. This site has reviewed his chamber music on CD (CPO 7772782 ~ CPO 7775072 ~ Gallo CD876) as well as one disc of his music for piano four hands (review). Echoes of Rachmaninov plagued or blessed those discs; not so in the case of this disc.

What we have here is getting on for 70 minutes of miniatures for piano and two violins. It's not a common combination but is very adeptly handled by Juon, his interpreters and the audio engineers of Swiss Radio. These twenty pieces were written over a period approaching three decades but their style is fairly uniform. None of them are longer than 6:30 and the shortest is 1:11. The folk-inflected Silhouettes range through Brahmsian folksiness to Grieg (a touch of Troldhaugen), to village fiddlers. Their easygoing yet extremely accomplished floral grace and pointed wit often reminded me of Frank Bridge's short pre-Great War efforts. There's even a touch of Kreisler in the Chant d'Amour. In the same vein the Intermezzi of Livre IV are not short on salon caramel. At the extremes there is ponderous gloom in Musette and stomping heaviness veering towards drama in Obstination. There's not much of a change in style for the Sieben kleine Tondichtungen. Despite the composer's 56 years we encounter tender conversation - something perhaps autobiographical in Pastorale. Kreislerian glucose returns in Intermezzo and the countryside skirl of itinerant village fiddlers in Impromptu. The Barcarolle proffers a quickish sauntering pulse, some lachrymose episodes and at times uncanny echoes of Howells' chamber music of the later 1900s. The final Burletta Risoluto makes for a sturdy if conventional flourish to end the tone poems and the disc.

Hardly earth-shattering but never less than pleasing invention. Well worth exploring.

Rob Barnett



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


piano music Vol 4


Songs of Love and Sorrow

Thomas Agerfeldt OLESEN
Cello Concerto

The female in Music




From Ocean’s Floor