53,674 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...




selling Internationaly

Founder: Len Mullenger                                     Editor in Chief: John Quinn              

Some items
to consider

Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


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

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


Recordings of the Month


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE

Enescu Ravel Britten

Debussy Images etc.

53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)



Che fai tù? - Villanelles

Cyrillus KREEK
The suspended harp of Babel

violin concertos - Ibragimova

Peteris VASKS
Viola concerto - Maxim Rysanov

The Complete Lotte Schöne




Support us financially by purchasing this from

Karol RATHAUS (1895-1954)
Piano Music - Volume 1
Fünf Klavierstücke, Op. 9 (1924) [23:44]
Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 8 (1924; rev. 1927) [21:02]
Trois Mazurkas, Op. 24 (1928) [9:10]
Zwei Stücke aus dem Ballet ‘Der letzte Pierrot’ (1926, arr. 1927) [7:22]
Three Excerpts from the Film Music for Der Mörder Dimitri Karamasoff (‘The Murderer Dimitri Karamazov’;1931) [6:12]
Daniel Wnukowski (piano)
rec. 2018, Casino Baumgarten, Vienna

The first volume in Toccata’s series devoted to Karol Rathaus’s piano music – all apparently in premiere recordings – traces a tight compositional focus on 1924-31, a period when he moved between Vienna and Berlin. His Op.9 was written in his late twenties and is a set of character pieces. The main features are somewhat indeterminate harmonies and a piquant sense of colour, as well as march-like stridency. Weimar brusqueness as well as biting intensity and orchestral drive predominate. This combination clearly represented features that proved attractive to good performers, given that it was played by Stefan Askenase, Jacob Gimpel and Eduard Steuermann.

You’re never really quite sure what key you’re in with Rathaus. In the case of the Second Piano Sonata, with its taut three-movement structure, the ethos of brusqueness here sounds post-Lisztian in its command, though the central movement – a Presto – generates a kinetic nervous energy barely mitigated by a slow finale that refuses to indulge reflective melancholy. Rathaus, being Galician, had Polish as his first language and it’s not unreasonable that he should have turned to the Mazurka in 1928. That said, his Three Mazurkas were not intended as a set and if the intention was to see Chopin set in a contemporary context, the idea was notably successful.

His ballet Der letzte Pierrot was his first significant success. Scheduled to be performed by Erich Kleiber in Berlin it was actually premiered by Georg Szell in May 1927. He made two arrangements derived from the work, a Valse sentimentale and a Dance of the Workers. The latter is a quite frantic mechanized affair with a brief reprieve before resumption. By the thirties Rathuas was scenting the value of film music, a career he was to pursue first in Paris and then in London before emigrating to America in 1939. There are three excerpts here for solo piano from the 1931 film The Murderer Dimitri Karamazov. Descriptive and attractive though they are, their brevity hardly gives one a comprehensive enough hearing of the material. There are two attractive enough songs but the most exciting and vernacular is the Gypsy scene, which provides a fiery workout for the pianist.

It’s Polish-Canadian Daniel Wnukowski who shoulders the filmic, ballet, sonata and other burdens in the recital and he proves a most able exponent, suggesting Rathaus’ vitality and also his more crabbed, harmonically aloof self. If anyone is going to write a booklet note on this subject, it’s Michael Haas.

Jonathan Woolf

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


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