One of the most grown-up review sites around

50,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Anderson Choral music

colourful and intriguing

Pekarsky Percussion Ensemble

one of Berlioz greatest works

Rebecca Clarke Frank Bridge
High-octane performances

An attractive Debussy package

immaculate Baiba Skride

eloquent Cello Concerto

tension-filled work

well crafted and intense

another entertaining volume

reeking of cordite

Pappano with a strong cast

imaginatively constructed quartets

the air from another planet

vibrantly sung

NOT a budget performance

very attractive and interesting

finesse and stylistic assurance

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Giya KANCHELI (b. 1935)
Miniatures for Violin and Piano 1-18 [50:07]
Rag-Gidon-Time [3:57]
Andrea Cortesi (violin)
Marco Venturi (piano)
rec. October 2015, Auditorium San Rocca, Senigallia (Ancona), Italy.

This première recording of Kancheli’s Miniatures is quite a coup for Brilliant Classics, revealing as it does a different side to the Giya Kancheli who normally presents much larger musical canvasses via the ECM label and elsewhere.

The Miniatures for Violin and Piano come to us from the worlds of cinema and the theatre, and each piece is documented with the film or production from which it comes. Each piece has its own identity, but there is a consistency in the atmosphere throughout, in which Kancheli almost invariably asks for pianissimo performance, adding an extra layer of minor-key poignancy and nostalgia to music which already has something of a sentimental tint. Andrea Cortesi’s booklet notes acknowledge this as a quality in the music that needs careful treatment, and both musicians do well to avoid wallowing in emotion, presenting each work with a sense of abstraction in which the listener’s imagination can also find room to create its own worlds in “music which tells stories.”

Not everything is gentle, and the jazz and dance elements that hit home in something like Miniature No. 6 or 11 generate plenty of contrast and a grand sense of wit and all the fun of a slightly edgy circus, or even a Brechtian cabaret with Miniature No. 15. The violin is explored in pizzicato and other techniques such as flageolet tones, throwing melodic ideas into different areas of character, which is an important consideration when tempi are often slow and ruminative. In all, there is an aura of magic around these pieces which is quite compelling. The final Rag-Gidon-Time is another piece derived from the theatre, a strangely halting dance filled with silences and dynamic explosiveness, its title also alluding to the dedication to Gidon Kremer which applies to all these pieces.

With the musicians placed in a pleasant acoustic but balanced with plenty of detail this is an excellent recording and worth every penny of its budget asking price.

Dominy Clements



We are currently offering in excess of 50,400 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
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger