One of the most grown-up review sites around

55,946 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

3 for 2 Offer

All Forgotten Records Reviews


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

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets
All Foghorn Reviews

Puertas de Madrid
All EMEC reviews
All EMEC reviews

All Reference Recordings

Eugène Ysaÿe: Violin Discoveries
All Divine Art Reviews

Debussy Complete Preludes



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
Ph. 020 8418 0616


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Jean Louis NICODÉ (1853-1919)
Andenken an Robert Schumann 'Sechs Phantasiestücke' Op. 6 [32:35]
Variationen und Fuge über ein Originalthema Op. 18 [22:25]
Ein Liebesleben 'Zehn Poësieen' Op. 22 [26:17]
Simon Callaghan (piano)
rec. 2018, Potton Hall, Dunwich, UK
HYPERION CDA68269 [81:17]

Many composers in contented harness to grand masters of the past actually studied with those masters or were their contemporaries. Jean Louis Nicodé’s position is quite different. In his case, it is Schumann’s world that reaches out across the generations. Nicodé, as a virtual pupil of Schumann, was a composer born in Prussia. His birthplace was in fact in Poznań, also the birth home of Ludwig Philipp Scharwenka whose violin concerto features on another Hyperion CD this month.

Memories (Andenken) of Robert Schumann reaches out across the years and clearly gripped Nicodé. When Schumann died in 1856 Nicodé was only three years of age. Yet he, pretty faithfully, ‘channels’ Schumann on a no holds barred basis. While the 29 pieces here, grouped into three sequences, are brief - no more than five minutes long - that is no obstacle to a full-on unwavering romantic flood. The fugue of Op. 18 is an exception at just over nine minutes. The first and fifth pieces of Andenken include spicy ‘wrong-note’ twists. As for the Op. 18 group, so much of it sounds as if it has taken wing from the Schumann Piano Concerto. These Variations (eleven of them) and Fugue on an Original Theme derive from a similar style-set and pretty impressive too. The stormy Variation IX (Dröhnend und feurig) cuts through a bucking and heaving tangibly violent ocean. The fugue, at 9:47, is joyous and, for a fugue (a form I have difficulty with), it works quite well with its bell-swung progress. Nicodé ends the Fugue with a most uncharacteristic, sentiment heavy, quiet valediction.

The booklet notes cite other composers for style parallels in the case of the miniatures forming Op. 22. This rejoices in the wonderful title Ein Liebesleben. While the other two works have a substantial freight of grand turbulent gestures the ten little statements that make up Op. 22 are more confiding and intimate. It’s the closest approach Nicodé makes, across these three works, to the dangerous yet alluring shoals of MacDowell-like sentimentality. The bardic mood of Einsam: Langsam, trüb (tr. 28) has a stern elegiac imprint which contrasts with the final Traum und Erwachen: Sehr rasch which might perhaps have been inspired less by A Midsummer Night’s Dream and more by The Tempest’s elemental Ariel.

Simon Callaghan is a practised hand and mind in presenting with deep-rooted conviction such little known music. Evidence can be found in his work, via Hyperion and Somm, on behalf of Rheinberger, Roger Sacheverell Coke Piano Concertos and Preludes and Delius transcriptions.

The engineering and production values by Ben Connellan and Jeremy Hayes present the music to excellent advantage, as does the essential liner-essay by Jeremy Nicholas. We and Hyperion can trust these figures and the unstinting playing time assures us of generosity as well. How often are we introduced to unfamiliar music on short-running discs?

Jeremy Nicholas helpfully reminds us that very few (were there any?) of Nicodé’s orchestral works have made it to LP or CD. The Carnival Scenes were recorded in 1954 by the Leipzig RSO conducted by Hilmar Weber as of 2011 on Naxos Classical Archive, 2011.

Rob Barnett

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

All Chandos reviews

All Hyperion reviews

All Foghorn reviews

All Troubadisc reviews

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

All Eloquence reviews

All Lyrita Reviews


Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali

Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4

French Cello Concertos