One of the most grown-up review sites around

55,946 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

3 for 2 Offer

All Forgotten Records Reviews


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

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets
All Foghorn Reviews

Puertas de Madrid
All EMEC reviews
All EMEC reviews

All Reference Recordings

Eugène Ysaÿe: Violin Discoveries
All Divine Art Reviews

Debussy Complete Preludes



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


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Daeron, Op. 45 [6:30]
Tolkien Songs, Op. 9 [20:05]
Mysteries of Time, Op. 44 [23:46]
Akallabęth, Op. 42 [17:09]
Tara McSwiney (soprano), Andrew Henley (tenor), Adam Jondelius (baritone)
Nicola Loten (flute), Niamh Ferris (viola), Immanuel Carl Maria Vogt (piano), Connor Fogel (piano)
Sung texts are available online
rec. at Holy Trinity Church, Hereford, 2015

I must admit that I’m a novice when it comes to Tolkien and his highly personal world. I heard the novel The Hobbit being read on the radio almost fifty years ago and remember that I found it entertaining and quite fascinating, but I never went any further in exploring the Tolkien legacy. Consequently I may be the least suitable person to review the present disc, the music of which is so closely related to Tolkien. But my philosophy is that music should be possible to enjoy in strictly musical terms, and that’s the way I approached this disc. Moreover two colleagues have already reviewed it and Tolkienists (if such a word exists) are advised to read them as well.

The opening piece, Daeron for flute and piano, is a beautiful pastoral, melodious and soothing, but there are ominous chords in the piano that give signs of something unknown menacing. Nicola Loten plays with strong feeling. This is also the most recent composition on the disc. The Tolkien Songs Op. 9 that follow are instead the earliest. Strider is clearly indebted to folk music, as are several of the others. Song of the Eagle is as majestic as the bird in question, and Alive without breath is truly beautiful. Drinking Song is a duet for tenor and baritone, a bit boisterous and near the end of the song there is a bell signal: “Time, Gentlemen, please!” isn’t it? In Western lands has an unmistakable Britishness about it. Best of all, to my mind, is the concluding Roads go ever ever on: soft very beautiful and magical.

Shadow-Bride for soprano, viola and piano may be influenced by Johannes Brahms, not in musical terms but in the combination voice, viola and piano. Again there is British atmosphere and again there is something mysterious around it.

Mysteries of Time is the only work here with no references to Tolkien. Here I was fascinated by the darkness and cold of Graveyard, Adam Jondelius’s deeply involved reading of the highly atmospheric Yeats setting The seven woods of Coole, growing to a thrilling climax, yes, even two! And in the dramatic and intense The Queen of Air and Darkness the three singers join forces to great effect.

The final number, Akallabęth for solo piano, is also the longest. It is strong and powerful but with lyrical moments of great beauty. A fascinating composition, where the final section is a funeral march. Technically it must be a challenge for any pianist – and also for the instrument. Connor Fogel plays it with verve and commitment. Commitment is in fact something that characterises all the musicians involved in this programme, which was recorded on one single day. Paul Corfield Godfrey’s extensive liner notes are excellent and the song texts are available online.

Accessible and captivating music that should appeal to a wide audience.

Göran Forsling

Previous reviews: Stuart Sillitoe ~ Brian Wilson



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

All Chandos reviews

All Hyperion reviews

All Foghorn reviews

All Troubadisc reviews

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

All Eloquence reviews

All Lyrita Reviews


Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali

Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4

French Cello Concertos