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

and more.. and still writing ...

MusicWeb - "A Beacon of Probity and Integrity" - Ralph Moore

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



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


Support us financially by purchasing from

╔mile JAQUES-DALCROZE (1865-1950)
Piano Music - Volume Two
20 Caprices and Rhythmic Studies:
Set I (1920) [24:36]
Set II (1920) [26:16]
Esquisse pour une exercice de cordes [3:00]
Cascades (1910) [5:23]
Paolo Muna˛ (piano)
rec. April 2018, Studio Ansermet, Radio Suisse Romande, Geneva

Émile Jaques-Dalcroze was of Swiss birth. A committed and determined composer, he numbered Delibes, FaurÚ, Bruckner and Fuchs among his teachers. His name will always be entwined with his development of Eurhythmics (movement and music) but our concern here is with his compositions.

As those who have been following his reviving fortunes on this site will know, he has orchestral works (as well as operas and cantatas) including symphonies and concertos to his name. These can be found on Sterling and Guild (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, Violin Concertos).

That’s quite apart from his solo piano music represented by at least three Toccata volumes, each played by different pianists. This is the second volume in that sequence. Volume 1 (TOCC0473) mounts works, all written in the 1890s, that are said to be lighter in style and under the influence of Schumann and the Parisian salons. Volume 3 (TOCC0540) comprises piano duets mostly from the 1920s and 1930s.

The present works are heard in their first recordings and are in the dexterous hands of Paolo Muna˛. He deals in an eloquently spun and expressed approach to this music. Cascades (1910) is like a radio station signature tune in days of yore. The music is slowly paid out. It’s a sweet piece threaded through with darkness, trilling passion and moments of contentment at rest. Esquisse pour un exercice de cordes (c. 1930) demonstrates gruffness and taciturnity but the clouds finally part for warm and sunny contentment - evidently something of a trademark for Jaques-Dalcroze.

Now to the twenty Caprices and Rhythmic Studies from a couple of years after the end of the Great War. They have depth and variety, as well as a measure of display. Cold academic essays they are not. The composer’s stock in trade is subtle melodious tonality. There is nothing in the way of atonality or neo-classicism; just melodious carefully weighted and calculated lyrics. At times I thought of Godowsky’s Java Suite. No. 3 (‘Agitato’) has sweetness won through agitated turmoil. In No. 4 (‘Poco lento e calmato’) the night sky casts a glistering and glimmering net. The little accelerations of No. 7 (‘Tranquillo’) are not really all that tranquil. No. 9 (‘Moderato con dignitÓ’) trades in melancholy mixed with dignity. No. 11 (‘Moderato’) is a dignified piacevole. ‘Movimento di Valse lente’ spins intricate little waltz episodes. ‘Un poco animato ed intimo’ (15) is a sweetened poem with the complexity of an almost Medtnerian melody. No. 18 (‘Leggiero e con tenerezza’) is lambent blended with a FaurÚ-like tenderness. The ‘Leggiero e con semplicitÓ’ conveys the freshness of a sunny Hebridean morning; well that’s the way I hear it. The final piece (20) spins a lissom melody among well-constructed convolutions.

The liner-notes are typical of Toccata’s annotations - detailed and accessible. They are by Jacques Tchamkerten and are in English and French.
Rob Barnett

Cascades (c. 1910)

20 Caprices and Rhythmic Studies: Set I (publ. 1920)
No. 1 Allegro giusto
No. 2 Tranquillo e soave
No. 3 Agitato
No. 4 Poco lento e calmato
No. 5 Lento deciso
No. 6 Con forza e ritmo
No. 7 Tranquillo
No. 8 Strepitoso
No. 9 Moderato con dignitÓ
No. 10 Allegramente

20 Caprices and Rhythmic Studies: Set II (publ. 1920)
No. 11 Moderato
No. 12 Movimento di Valse lente
No. 13 Allegretto capriccioso
No. 14 Allegramente
No. 15 Un poco animato ed intimo
No. 16 Capriccioso e con gioia
No. 17 Deciso
No. 18 Leggiero e con tenerezza
No. 19 Leggiero e con semplicitÓ
No. 20 Animato assai ma a tempo

Esquisse pour un exercice de cordes (c. 1930)

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


Cantatas and Organ Works

Complete Songs

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Simone Dinnerstein piano





Chopin Bruce Liu

Ingeneri Volume 2

Mondonville - Titon et L'Aurore

Telemann - French Cantatas 1