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

Arias for All
Ave Sol Choir
Latvian Opera Orchestra/Julian Reynolds
Arrangements by Julian Reynolds
No recording dates and venues given.
SONY 88985 370282 [43:24]

Ave Sol is a Latvian chamber choir, founded almost fifty years ago, with a very wide repertoire. They have been known for their championing of contemporary music, not least by composers from Latvia. The three Baltic countries have a long choral tradition, and the 15th International Choir Festival in Tallinn was held in April this year (2017) with participating choirs mainly from Eastern Europe. The winner of the Grand Prix was actually another Latvian choir, Maska.

On the present disc Ave Sol present a repertoire aimed for a wide audience, performing popular operatic arias and a couple of ensembles, tastefully arranged for mixed choir and accompanied by the Latvian Opera Orchestra. The quality of the singing and playing is uniformly high and people wanting to bask in well-known melodies sung by a classy choir will find a lot to appreciate here. The disc works well as background music to conversation and dining, but more active listeners can enjoy the skilful arrangements, the homogenous choral sound, the perfect intonation and some smashing climaxes. The opening Nessun dorma grows to a mighty Vincerō which should create goose-pimples even to people with little interest in opera. Dalila’s seduction aria is primarily sung by the female voices but Samson’s few lines are allotted to the men. Celeste Aida works well for chorus, as does the barcarolle from Les contes d’Hoffmann. It is of course originally a duet for female voices and that’s the case also with the Flower duet from Lakmé. The famous tenor-baritone duet from Les Pecheurs de perles, legendarily recorded by Jussi Björling and Robert Merrill, is enthusiastically sung here, and in the Carmen Habanera the contraltos have a field day.

Donizetti’s Una furtiva lagrima is, to my mind at least, the least successful transcription, but the gently rocking sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor is spectacular. Very attractive is also Ombra mai fu, which has the character of a sacred choral piece. I get something of the same feeling from Violetta’s Addio del passato from the last act of La traviata while the Brindisi from the same opera is a light-hearted encore, as it often is in recitals with several participants.   If you like good choral singing and/or popular opera melodies this might be something for you. The recording is first class, but you have to make do without texts and translations. No great loss in this case. The playing time is rather parsimonious.  

Göran Forsling

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858 – 1924)
1. Nessun dorma [3:33]
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835 – 1921)
Samson et Dalila:
2. Mon Coeur s’ouvre ā ta voix [5:12]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813 – 1901)
3. Celeste Aīda (3:50]
Jacques OFFENBACH (1819 – 1880)
Les Contes d’Hoffmann:
4. Barcarolle [3:32]
Leo DELIBES (1836 – 1891)
5. Dôme épais le jasmin (Flower Duet) [3:19]
Georges BIZET (1838 – 1875)
Les Pecheurs de perles:
6. Au fond du temple saint (Duet) [3:12]
7. L’amour est un oiseau rebelle (Habanera) [4:21]
Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797 – 1848)
L’elisir d’amore:
8. Una furtiva lagrima [3:33]
Lucia di Lammermoor:
9. Chi mi frena in tal momento (Sextet) [3:24]
George Frideric HANDEL (1685 – 1759)
10. Ombra mai fu (Largo) [3:10]
Giuseppe VERDI
La traviata:
11. Addio del passato [3:13]
12. Libiamo ne’lieti calici (Brindisi) [3:08]



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