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


Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Sonata No. 1 in G major for Violin and Piano, Op. 78 (1879) [25:09]
Sonata No. 2 in A major for Violin and Piano, Op. 100 (1886) [17:59]
Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op.108 (1886-88) [18:34]
Paul Makanowitzky (violin)
NoŽl Lee (piano)
rec. Paris, 1957-58

Both Forgotten Records and Meloclassic have released a select number of discs performed by violinist Paul Makanowitzky: the former studio inscriptions of long out of print LPs, the latter devoted to broadcasts. This example from FR restores the 1957-58 Brahms Sonatas, with long-term sonata partner NoŽl Lee, which were made for Lumen (a French label well worth exploring both for its repertoire and also for its artist roster).

Meloclassic’s restorations, which date from the early 1960s, have included live examples of the Opp.78 and 108 sonatas but so far we lack a broadcast of Op.100. The earlier studio cycle amplifies the strengths and sometimes weaknesses to be found elsewhere. The duo is an excellent ensemble, with a good distribution of weight and balance between the two instruments and the Brahms performances are communicative and strongly projected.

Makanowitzky’s taut, fast vibrato is in evidence as ever and the limitations in terms of tonal colour that are a feature of his art make themselves felt from time to time. But his essential machinery is powerful, with an unruffled technique and a propensity to keep rhythms alive sometimes by cutting short phrases. The duo brings out the introspective nature of the Adagio of Op.78 with discretion, Makanowitzky deliberately slowing his vibrato and its oscillation to convey the music’s inherent fragility. For Op.100 the duo takes a fast basic pulse. Whilst this is useful in the pithier moments of the central movement there are examples of clipped phrases that don’t always convince. Overall the approach here is somewhat unsettled and breathless and anyone familiar with the recordings of elite duos such as Goldberg-Balsam, Morini-Pommers, Shumsky-Hambro or Grumiaux-Sebők, to cite just a few of the best-known in this repertoire, will find the Makanowitzky-Lee approach unsympathetic.

Makanowitzky’s vibrato is at its fastest and leanest in Op.108 where he takes a more rapid tempo in the opening movement than was to be the case in the broadcast of 1961. There’s much to be said in favour of the duo’s sensitive phrasing and the dashing approach to both outer movements in particular. Strongly hewn is how I described their broadcast performance and that’s certainly the case here.

The restoration is excellent, with no LP rumble or surface noise audible.

Jonathan Woolf

Previous review: Stephen Greenbank



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