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

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

All HDTT reviews

Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library



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
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
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


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Divertimenti Viennesi
Karl Ditters von DITTERSDORF (1739-1799)
Six String Trios for two Violins and Violone [54.02]
Jan Křtitle VAŇHAL (1739-1813)
Divertimento in G for Violin, Viola and Violone [17.16]
Johann Michael HAYDN (1737-1806)
Divertimento in C for Violin, Viola and Violone [16.24]
Musica Elegantia/Matteo Cicchitti
rec. 2017, S.S. Salvatore Church, “Santuario del Beato Roberto”, Salle (PE), Italy
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96127 [54.02 + 34.13]

The Divertimento – in all its many different and endlessly variable formats - is not the most emotionally intense of forms: it exists, above all, to delight; and the pieces on this release are genuinely delightful. They come, as far as can be ascertained, from between 1760 and 1770, the height of the Classical period, and are unaffected by even a hint of Sturm und Drang. They are designed for pleasure, and, in these performances, will not disappoint.

The three players of Musica Elegantia (Mauro Righini plays both violin and viola, as required) use period instruments, and scholarly sensitivity to 18th century practice is evident throughout. Articulation is clear, and while the violin frequently carries the main melody, there is much to enjoy in the sound of the violine (a sort of five stringed double bass viol, tuned C-E-A-d-g) as an alternative to a cello. I suspect its carrying power is less than that of the cello, but it is ideally suited to the conversational scale of these pieces, which would have been played in more intimate spaces than a twentieth century concert hall. It adds a fresh dimension.

Dittersdorf’s Six Trios, which take up the first CD, are each in two movements, a quick movement, usually allegro, and a minuet. It might be a stretch – given limited variety of movements – to describe these as ‘divertimenti’ – but the charm and galante character permits us to use the term, at least analogously. Each is delightful, but the third is probably most striking, with viola instead of second violin creating an interesting interplay in the first movement, and the minuet is very lively and charming.

The second CD, though brief, has more developed divertimenti. Vaňhal’s work, in five movements (Allegro-Minuetto-Adagio-Minuetto-Allegro). The first and last movements roughly follow sonata form, and the finale, despite being terse at around two and a half minutes, has a level of invention which lingers in the memory.

With Michael Haydn I should confess a bias – I am a great enthusiast for his music and my eyes lit up when I saw his name on the recording. He was a considerable composer (big brother Josef thought his many masses superior to his own), Salzburg-based, but like Josef attentive to the sometimes quirky detail. This Divertimento (one of about 30 in his output) is the most inventive in the present collection. It has a conventional four movement structure, and Haydn gives the lower instruments a genuine equality with the violin. The Adagio is a lovely, gentle piece, the minuet filled with surprises, including a pizzicato passage towards the end, and the finale, which has no second subject, is in concertante style.

The performances lack nothing in panache; attentive in detail – aided by clear recording in a fine ambience – they maintain forward movement. The accompanying notes, by Giorgio Pagannone, are detailed and informative, with valuable information about performance as well as the composers and the music.

Overall, then, a delightful release, and, at Brilliant’s remarkably low price, a very tempting one for lovers of 18th Century music.

Michael Wilkinson

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

all Bridge reviews

all cpo 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

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass

Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1