One of the most grown-up review sites around

52,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

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

Some items
to consider

Yes we are selling
Acte Préalable again!
£11 post-free

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


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

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

WYASTONE releases

The Birth of Rhapsody in Blue
A superlative recreation

such a success

An outstanding performance

make acquaintance without delay

Violin Concerto
This is an impressive disc

Strong advocacy
for a British composer

Piano Music - Martin Jones
agreeably crafted

Piano Music 5CDs

Consistently fine

Rare and interesting repertoire

An excellent introduction

A Celebration on Record

An issue of importance

A splendid disc

both enlightening and rewarding
additional review


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Transcriptions for Solo Piano by Paul Klengel
Trio for Violin, Horn and Piano Op. 40 [28:48]
Clarinet Quintet in B minor Op. 115 [41:29]
Christopher Williams (piano)
rec. Wyastone Concert Hall, Wyastone Leys, England, 2016
GRAND PIANO GP749 [70:17]

This is an interesting, yet, at the same time, infuriating disc; on one hand, we have a different way of experiencing Brahms’s wonderful music, but on the other, there is an overwhelming sense of something missing.

In the cultured middle class drawing rooms of nineteenth century Europe with their pianos, it was not a new phenomenon to have your music for large ensemble arranged for the amateur pianist to enjoy, and Brahms himself was not averse to arranging his own music, as well as that of other composers, thereby ensuring their popularity whilst earning more money from editions other than those larger forms for which the pieces were originally composed. Brahms used two pseudonyms, G W Marks and Karl Würth, when publishing these pieces, some of which were original salon pieces that it seems Brahms did not feel worthy to be published under his own name.

Paul Klengel (1854-1935) was a composer in his own right, but is more associated with being a violinist, conductor and teacher, while his cellist brother Julius is remembered as the teacher of the likes of Emanuel Feurmann, Gregor Piatigorsky and William Pleeth. Klengel was just one of many musicians who specialised in arranging works by composers as diverse as Lully and Elgar for solo piano, although he seems to have specialised in the music of Brahms, with the composers blessing.

These arrangements are engaging and virtuosic, and I imagine that you would have had to be a more than competent pianist to do the music justice. Just listening to the Final: Allegro con brio of the Horn trio, you come to appreciate how complex and faithful to the original these arrangers were. The excitement of that movement is not lost despite the lack of instruments, although it took me a couple of listenings to stop hearing the horn in my head. This is a problem; I couldn’t help filling in the other instruments, even though that is not Klengel’s fault. I do the same with Liszt’s arrangements of the Beethoven symphonies or Zemlinsky’s arrangement for piano four hands of Mahler’s 6th Symphony, although in the case of the latter, that was made less for the home and more for the music societies of Vienna. The piano writing is ingenious; one fully experiences the spirit of the works performed here. The question, though, is whether capturing just the spirit is sufficient; I found myself returning to the originals, as I do with the Liszt and Zemlinsky.

Christopher Williams gives an excellent performance of both works, which, if you don’t know the originals, are very engaging and convincing, the problem being that I could not divorce the original compositions from these arrangements. The booklet notes are very good as is the recorded sound, the engineers using the usual reverberant acoustic of the Wyastone Concert Hall to the advantage of the recording. An interesting disc, therefore, rather than an essential one.

Stuart Sillitoe



We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 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

a vibrant slice of life

stylistically assured

About Every Hill and Valley
Swedish Songs

Hallberg and Dente
interesting and most welcome

An inspired partnership
additional review

A valuable document

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