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

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

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


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Einojuhani RAUTAVAARA (1928-2016)
Fantasia, for violin and orchestra (2015) [13:41]
Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937)
Violin Concerto No. 1 (1916) [24:29]
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Tzigane (1924) [9:57]
Anne Akiko Meyers (violin)
Philharmonia Orchestra/Kristjan Järvi
rec. 2016, Air Studios, London
AVIE AV2385 [48:09]

American violinist Anne Akiko Meyers is a prolific artist with thirty-five studio albums to her name. Her newly released album “Fantasia” comprises three works, including the world première recording of Rautavaara’s Fantasia, a work she commissioned.

The Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara wrote Fantasia for violin and orchestra in 2015 but he sadly died in July 2016 aged 87 before hearing the work. It was Meyers, its commissioner, who introduced the score in March 2017 with the Kansas City Symphony under Michael Stern. Meyers has described the score as “transcendent and has the feeling of an elegy with a very personal reflective mood”. She outstandingly delivers a near-endless flow of gloriously and moodily atmospheric music. Especially notable throughout is the soloist’s adroit control of the challenging dynamics.

Although brought up and taught mainly in the Austro-German tradition, Polish composer Karol Szymanowski took inspiration from music and cultures of the Mediterranean, especially Italy and North Africa which he had experienced on his travels. He also held a passion for French music. Szymanowski wrote his Violin Concerto No. 1 in 1916. It is one of several masterpieces he composed during the time of the Great War, especially his Symphony No. 3The Song of the Night” and First String Quartet. In the First Concerto, Szymanowski was inspired by lines from “May Night”, Tadeusz Miciński’s symbolist poem with a fantasy element. The Concerto is a lyrical single-movement work with individual parts. Meyers plays it ravishingly, with the utmost care and attention, and the results are impressive. In the opening section marked Vivace assai it is hard to resist the meltingly tender beauty of the writing contrasted with shimmering colour and thrilling drama.

The final work on the album, Maurice Ravel’s Tzigane, rapsodie de concert, often gets tagged onto the end of an album, as it does here. It was commissioned by celebrated British-Hungarian violinist Jelly d’Arányi who in 1924 premièred the score in London. Ravel orchestrated the piano part, and the version for violin and orchestra was introduced at Amsterdam the same year by Samuel Dushki and Concertgebouw under Pierre Monteux. A virtuosic work with a distinct Hungarian Roma character sees Meyers respond with considerable assurance, providing colour and no shortage of style.

Recorded at Air Studios, London, the warm sound is first-class, clear, detailed and well balanced. My only grumble is with the timing which at under fifty minutes is meagre by current standards. There is room, for example, to have accommodated either the Rautavaara Violin Concerto or the Szymanowski Second Violin Concerto.

Meyers is on sparkling form. Her intonation is flawless and the lavish amount of tone colour she produces from her 1741 Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesù violin is remarkable. The outstanding Philharmonia provides model support. Kristjan Järvi draws playing of impressive warmth together with convincing feel for the music.

Michael Cookson



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3