MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

56,451 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here


Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer

International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

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

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

Johnny Bradley
Handmade Kitchen Knives



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



Nicolas DALAYRAC (1753-1809)
String Quartet Op. 7 No. 5 in E flat major [6:40]
Jean RIVIER (1896-1987)
String Quartet No. 2 in F major [18:12]
André JOLIVET (1905-1974)
String Quartet [22:15]
Quatuor Pascal
rec. 1939-1951, Paris

The Quatuor Pascal was active during the 1940s and 50s, becoming a leading exponent of the French performance tradition. It was founded by viola player Léon Pascal. The other members were Jacques Dumont and Maurice Crut (1st and 2nd violins) and Robert Salles (cello). Here we hear the group firmly in its comfort zone playing string quartets by three very different French composers. The earliest of the recordings is the Dalayrac, dating from 1939. The other two were set down in the early 1950s. 

Nicolas Dalayrac had initially trained as a lawyer until his father urged him to follow his instincts and pursue a career in music. He was obliged to change his name from the aristocratic ‘D'Alayrac’.  Early on he composed violin duets, string trios and quartets, but later devoted himself to his passion, opéra comiques, a genre he was quite prolific in, composing nearly sixty. Between 1777 and 1781 he wrote six sets of string quartets (Op. 4, 5, 7, 8 10 and 11), with each set containing six. Having a duration just shy of seven minutes, the String Quartet we have here is No. 5 from Op. 7. In two movements, the first alternates lyrical warmth with declamatory gestures. This is followed by an elegant Menuetto. If you’re a fan of Haydn and Boccherini quartets then I've no doubt that this will appeal.

I've reviewed several other releases from Forgotten Records featuring the music of Jean Rivier, symphonies and a piano concerto (review ~ review ~ review). My reviews supply background on the composer, so I won't cover it again here. The ensemble perform the second of his two string quartets, the one in F major. Unless I’m mistaken, my research tells me that this is the only recording of the work. In three movements, the first is laid-back and carefree and has a sunny disposition.  A Lento follows, a wistful glance back in time. As it progresses it works up quite a head of steam, only to return to a mood of nostalgic reminiscence. The finale is chirpy and light-hearted, bouncing along without a care in the world.

André Jolivet studied composition with Paul Le Flem and avant-garde composer Edgar Varèse, and he himself taught composition at the Paris Conservatoire from 1966 until 1970. As a composer he was prolific, embracing many genres, including symphonies, concertante works, chamber music, operas and ballets. His music veers towards atonality. His early String Quartet, written in 1934 when he was in his late 20s, is concise and draws influences from Bartók, Schoenberg and Berg. Two animated outer movements bookend a doleful middle movement, which has a static and introspective character. It seems so weighed down and doom-laden, that even the Vif third movement doesn’t fully cast off the pain and angst.

The sound quality of the Jolivet is dim and murky, with the other two quartets faring much better. The value of the release lies in the fact that the Rivier and Jolivet don’t seem to be otherwise available. No notes are supplied with this one. It is without doubt a thought-provoking disc.

Stephen Greenbank

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

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

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

(short month)

Orphic Moments

Metamorphoses Books I & II


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali

Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4

French Cello Concertos