One of the most grown-up review sites around

52,000 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

Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

absolutely thrilling

immediacy and spontaneity

Schumann Lieder

24 Preludes
one of the finest piano discs

‘Box of Delights.’

J S Bach A New Angle
Organ fans form an orderly queue

a most welcome issue

I enjoyed it tremendously

the finest traditions of the house

music for theorbo
old and new

John Luther Adams
Become Desert
concealing a terrifying message

ground-breaking, winning release

screams quality

Surprise of the month

English Coronation, 1902-1953
magnificent achievement

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Sergei TANEYEV (1856-1915)
Suite de Concert, Op.28 [45:14]
Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908)
Fantasia on Two Russian Themes, Op.33 [15:21]
Annelle K. Gregory (violin)
Kyev Virtuosi Symphony Orchestra / Dmitry Yablonsky
rec. 2018, NRCU Recording House, Kiev
NAXOS 8.579052 [59:48]

Anyone who has read anything about Russian composers in the 19th Century will be aware that there were two main conservatories founded mid-century: one in Moscow, founded by Nikolai Rubinstein and the other in St. Petersburg, founded by his brother Anton.

The ethos of the two differed: Moscow concentrated on formal musical development as exemplified by the Germans, and St. Petersburg on the exploitation of the ethnic music of the Russian Empire. Famous students of the former are Medtner, Scriabin and Rachmaninov, and, of the latter, Rachmaninov (again) and Prokofiev.

This fine CD has compositions by students of both schools: Sergei Taneyev, who taught Rachmaninov and was himself a student of Tchaikovsky at Moscow, and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov who taught at St. Petersburg. The authorities in Moscow taunted those of St. Petersburg as being amateurs, in that they had an insufficient command of musical form and technical matters. Rimsky himself acknowledged this when he reluctantly accepted the post of Professor of Instrumentation, famously writing that as he taught himself musical theory, he managed to keep one lesson ahead of his students. He also described Taneyev’s early compositions as ‘dry and laboured’.

That description certainly does not apply to the work here, but the differences between the Suite de Concert and the Fantasia on Two Russian Themes certainly point up the differences between the two schools, where much of the Rimsky work could form an addendum to Scheherazade, and the Taneyev marks the musical sophistication of the German lands. Reviewers have tended to greet the Taneyev work with high praise, but I have to say that I find it less than totally inspired melodically – none of its themes strike me as being the sort that help to make a work reasonably popular, and as far as the UK is concerned, the piece is notable for its absence in live programmes. David Oistrakh recorded it in 1957 with the Philharmonia under Nikolai Malko, and as far as I can see, that version is regarded as a sine qua non for a collection of Russian concertante works. I haven’t heard it in years, but I should imagine that its recorded sound will be rather dated by now, although it goes without saying that the playing of both soloist and orchestra will be first rate.

That isn’t to say that there is anything wrong with this excellently recorded Naxos CD - quite the reverse - and the orchestra – a new one to me - is the Kyev (Kiev) Virtuosi Symphony Orchestra, described as one of the Ukraine’s leading orchestra. The average age of its members is just 30 and most of them are winners of various competitions. There is no doubt that they play very well here, providing a suitably well-upholstered background for both works. The American violinist Annelle Gregory has won several prizes and competitions, and her love of Russian music has led her to want to revive forgotten Russian works. She plays with virtuosity when required, and with a sweetly singing, pure line as the music becomes lyrical.

If you want these two pieces at a reasonable price, it’s hard to go past this first-rate release.

Jim Westhead

We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 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

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