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 from

Cello Meets Harp
Mathias Johansen (cello), Silke Aichhorn (harp)
rec. 15-17 July 2020, Südwestrundfunk, SWR Studio Kaiserlautern, Germany
CPO 555 463-2 [66.00]

This is not a particularly life-changing or challenging release – and is none the worse for that. It is, however, delightful and ideal for relaxation or late-night listening. That is not to suggest the programme – very well constructed, blending familiar with much less so (though only the piece by Charles Oberthür is a first recording – the Nocturne by Franz Strauss, father of Richard, is a first recording in an arrangement for cello and harp: originally, it was composed for horn, Franz’s own instrument).

The works selected are enjoyably mellifluous. The harp is, in its nature, not an instrument made for harshness, while the cello has the capacity for both the mellow and the truly fiery. On this recording, Mathias Johansen opts overwhelmingly for the mellow and the lyrical, which suits the simple elegance of so many of the works. Such an approach is a natural fit with the musical imagination of Fauré, and the two arrangements here are characterful and poised.

Perhaps most interest focuses on the Magic Flute Variations by Spohr, himself a violinist married to a virtuoso harpist, Dorette Scheidler. The arrangement for cello and harp works very well, demanding much virtuosity, especially of the harpist: it is a beautiful piece.

Several of the other composers were themselves harpists (Tournier, Hasselmans, Oberthür), while Kraft was a cellist. It seems next to nothing is known about Verdalle, indeed, so little that the track list in the booklet gives his date of birth as 1845, while Silke Aichhorn in her admirably informative notes, opts for 1898. The Discography of American Historical Recordings opts for 1847-1918. If 1898 is the case, his conjectural death date suggests a man of remarkable musical precocity to produce this charming little piece.

Performances emphasise the lyrical and the poetic, and these are impressive players, technically assured and understated in their virtuosity. CPO production values are at their best, with highly informative notes allied to splendidly clear recording in a natural ambience.

Michael Wilkinson

Franz STRAUSS (1822-1905)
Nocturne Op 7 [5.59]
Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962)
‘Liebeslied’ aus drei Alt-Wiener Tanzweisen [3.17]
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Adagio für eine Spieluhr WoO 33, No 1 [5.00]
Nicolaus KRAFT (1778-18530
Divertimento [2.09]
Louis SPOHR (1784-1859)
Sonata Op 114 in D major: 2nd movement ’Zauberflötenvariationen’ [11.38]
Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924)
Sicilienne Op 78 from Pelléas et Mélisande [4.07]
Après un rêve, Op 7 [2.58]
Marcel TOURNIER (1879-1951)
Nocturne Op 21 [4.48]
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868)
Allegro agitato [4.36]
Alphonse HASSELMANS (1845-1912)
Confidence [2.34]
Charles OBERTHÜR (1819-1895)
Old Robin Gray [5.24]
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Pavane pour une infante défunte M.19 [5.32)
Gabriel VERDALLE (1845?-c.1915?)
Méditation Op 18 [3.04]
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
‘Le cygne’ from ‘Carnival of the Animals’, R.125/XII [2.44]

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