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



Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Symphony No. 2 in C, Op. 61 (1845-6) [34:39]
Symphony No. 3 in E-flat, Op. 97 (Rhenish) (1850) [30:52]
NBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini
rec. March 1946 (2), November 1949 (3), NBC Studio 8H, New York

Andrew Rose brings about the expected sonic transformations of two decent-quality NBC radio broadcasts. The Rhenish, which RCA has been issuing in various formats for decades, here sounds big and bright; the opaque tuttis distort slightly, but details like the Lšndler's high unison horns cut through impressively. The C major symphony is nearly as good, but less consistently vivid below mezzoforte. The string sound is true; the wind choir, in the dry acoustic of Studio 8H, occasionally leaps from the speakers with startling presence and depth - the fanfare near the finale's start actually registers more strongly than the tutti coda.

The C major's first movement takes time to settle: there's a brief patch of iffy coordination near the start, and the trumpets have trouble getting their low tones to speak. At the Allegro proper, however, the conductor brings out the violas' tremolo, producing continuity with the slow introduction. He slides into the development equally smoothly, and, once it had got going, I stopped noticing the details - the music just carried me along.

The other movements fall short of that level. The violins sound frazzled in the driven Scherzo, though the playing is dazzling; both "leadback" passages from the Trios begin tentatively. The flowing Larghetto is perfectly judged, but the conductor pushes ahead slightly into both climaxes. The finale begins buoyantly -- striding proudly, with breathtaking violin runs -- but Toscanini slows down, unconvincingly, for the clarinet episode at 2:38. Still, the Larghetto motif in the bass registers clearly, and the woodwind chorale that follows is poignant.

This compact Rhenish is persuasive, though the opening movement doesn't quite surge: the textures are unvaried. In the Lšndler, you can, for a change, actually hear the right scansion from the start, and the reprise is joyous. The third movement, Nicht schnell, seems a bit schnell - it's practically an intermezzo - but sings simply and easily, with a clear overall shape. The Feierlich, while distinctly alla breve, remains spacious, with plenty of textural variety, and the finale is hearty enough. The journey is satisfying.

The inclusion of the introductory and closing announcements for each performance is a nice touch.

Stephen Francis Vasta

Previous review: David Dunsmore

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