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

Jonathan LESHNOFF (b.1973)
Symphony No. 4 Heichalos (2017) [21:07]
Guitar Concerto (2013) [25:04]
Starburst (2010) [7:58]
Jason Vieaux (guitar)
Nashville Symphony Orchestra/Giancarlo Guerrero
rec. 2016/18, Laura Turner Concert Hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville, USA
NAXOS 8.559809 [54:46]

American composer Jonathan Leshnoff sets out his stall in no uncertain way with his Symphony No. 4. The music blitzes along with components suggesting familiarity with John Williams, Bernard Herrmann, William Schuman and Elmer Bernstein. He does not set out to be difficult. The work was written for the Violins of Hope, a collection of restored instruments that survived the Holocaust; you are not aware of their presence. The notes assert that “The composer draws inspiration from an ancient Jewish mystical text, Heichalos, to explore spiritual and ethical questions at the heart of the Jewish experience.” This score forges its own free path avoiding simplistic semitic DNA and not sounding like Bloch in his Avodath Hakodesh Violin Concerto, Schelomo or Voice in the Wilderness. It is in two movements. The first is dynamic and pummels in much the same way as Philip Glass’s Second Symphony. The second delights in serenity. The benediction of bells is borne leisurely on high by the strings somewhat in the manner of Barber’s Adagio and Howard Hanson’s Sixth Symphony. The music ends gently - half murmur, half heartbeat.

The three-movement Guitar Concerto is bejewelled and does not seek to distance itself from Rodrigo; quite the contrary. It’s played by Jason Vieaux with the breathless concentration of an adept. The recording appears to pick up every nuance and effervescent ascent and descent. There’s a lot going on in this work - none of it recalcitrant. Starburst - a firework of a calling-card - looks in its brilliance of detail and dazzle of texture to the example of Walton but mixed again with Hanson. There’s also another kinship and it’s with Michael Daugherty who has also been championed by Guerrero and Naxos in Nashville.

Leshnoff was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey and studied at Johns Hopkins, the Peabody and the University of Maryland. His music has found a ready home on CD with Naxos (two other orchestral discs and a chamber one). While there is no sign of the Third Symphony as yet, the First has been done by Naxos and the Second by ASO Media in Atlanta. Brian Wilson has already written in warm terms about the Cello Concerto. There are ten concertos and four oratorios so far and further Naxos instalments would come as no surprise.

Rob Barnett

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month



From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience