One of the most grown-up review sites around

51,000 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


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Bax Piano Music

Guillaume LEKEU

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral


Support us financially by purchasing this from

George ONSLOW (1784-1853)
Quintet in F major, for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon, op. 81 (1850) [23:14]
Sextet in E flat major, for piano, flute, clarinet, horn, bassoon and double bass, op. 30 (1825) [32:47]
Ma’alot Quintet
Markus Becker (piano)
Nabil Shebata (double bass)
rec. 2017, Konzerthaus der Abtei Marienmünster, Germany
MDG 90320126 SACD [56:02]

In the last couple of years, I have favourably reviewed two Naxos releases of string quintets by George Onslow (Volume 1 ~ Volume 2). Hence, I was keen to audition this new recording, but perhaps I should have considered more carefully the fact it contains works for wind ensemble, not a combination that does much for me. Nevertheless, having requested the disc for review, I determined to listen with an open mind.

Onslow only wrote five chamber works for wind, an output which is dwarfed by the 70+ for string groups. If you need some biographical information about this Anglo-French composer, may I direct you to my review of Volume 1 of the string quintets. The Quintet was one of his last works, and possesses all the grace, charm and wit that I had come to expect. However, the burblings and chirpings of the instruments were also what I had anticipated, and despite Onslow’s best efforts, I remain unconvinced. The work is written in a very concise manner, with no time given to note-spinning or frilly over-elaboration, so its twenty-plus minutes pass very quickly.

The Sextet “dilutes” the wind concentration with a piano and double bass, but at the expense of the oboe, my favourite wind instrument. It is more garrulous than the first work, but the presence of the piano brings it a little closer to my usual sound world. As a consequence, I found it more to my liking, while recognising that it lacked some of the imagination of the later work. I could hear a lot that made me think of Hummel, and the slow third movement is very fine.

The tonal qualities of the wind instruments are excellent, and the recording of them is immediate but warm; I did feel the piano sounded a little recessed by comparison. The booklet notes concentrate on an analysis of the musical structures, with lots of points linked to specific timings, and rather less on the historical aspects, but this may be for reasons of lack of information.

I enjoyed these two pieces more than I thought might, which speaks of the quality of the music and the performances.

David Barker


We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 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

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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger