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

Max Rostal (violin)
Twentieth-Century Violin Sonatas
Sir Edward ELGAR (1857–1934)
Sonata for Violin and Piano in E minor, Op 82 (1918) [26:42]
Sir William WALTON (1902–1983)
Sonata for Violin and Piano (1949) [27:47]
Marcel MIHALOVICI (1898–1985)
Sonata No 2 for Violin and Piano, Op 45 (1941) [25:42]
Maurice RAVEL (1875–1937)
Sonata for Violin and Piano in G major, M.77 (1923-27) [18:35]
Frederick DELIUS (1862–1934)
Sonata No 2 for Violin and Piano (1923) [14:20]
Ferruccio BUSONI (1866–1924)
Sonata No 2 for Piano and Violin in E minor, Op 36a (1900) [40:52]
Colin Horsley (piano: Elgar, Walton, Delius)
Monique Haas (piano: Mihalovici, Ravel)
Noel Mewton-Wood (piano: Busoni)
rec. Hollymount Studio, Hampstead, London, UK, Autumn 1954 (Elgar, Walton), 29 September 1954 (Delius), Autumn 1952 (Busoni); Beethovensaal, Hannover, Germany, October 1958 (Mihalovici, Ravel)
ELOQUENCE 4829059 [80:29 + 74:05]

Max Rostal hasn’t been entirely overlooked. There are live concerto performances of Bartók, Berg, Bernard Stevens and Shostakovich on Symposium (review), studio recordings from 1949-51 on Retrospective (review) and there are live performances from Germany and Switzerland on Meloclassic. Testament has issued the three British sonatas to be found in the disc under review on SBT1319. Examples of his studio collaboration with Franz Osborn in Beethoven and Brahms can be found on Forgotten Records FR1394 and the Busoni sonata can also be found on ABC (review) as part of a Mewton-Wood 3-CD set. The Documents label has cherry picked from commercial CDs to compile a 10-CD hairshirt edition; so far as I can hear they have simply cloned existing discs – but you will find five of the six sonatas in this Eloquence release there, the exception being the Busoni, should you wish to go down that route.

Otherwise, Eloquence has selected well, focusing on the period 1952 to 1958. Despite the dry unresonant Decca studio Rostal and Colin Horsley, a frequent collaborator in the studio and recital hall, give good accounts of Elgar, Walton and, to a lesser extent, Delius. They are at their finest in the Elgar in the central movement, capturing its twilit eeriness and moments of rapt expression. Equally they take a nicely broad tempo for the finale, ensuring they don’t have to slow too much for the reminiscence themes, though Rostal’s tonal thinness, exacerbated by the studio, is not always heard to advantage. The Delius is not in the same league, with a really sleepy Lento central section that devitalises the music, and whilst the finale is up to tempo Rostal’s tone is too tight to bring much Delian feeling. I very much prefer Henry Holst and Frank Merrick here (on Nimbus – see review). The best of the British trio is the Walton recording, not as fast as Menuhin and Kentner’s premiére LP, since multiply transferred to CD, but strong on veiled romance and, though once again limited by the shallow recording, showing a fine awareness of the complex elements enshrined in the Variations.

There are two sonata recordings with Monique Haas and they naturally turned up in the DG set dedicated to her (4776201 – with all her DG LP recordings). Marcel Mihalovici was her husband so one can expect an unusual level of authority and this is duly present. Her cantabile playing in the slow movement is truly beautiful, eclipsing, it has to be said, Rostal’s efficient playing but both players respond avidly to the music’s tartness and crisp declamatory qualities. They also recorded Ravel’s Sonata, where Rostal falters a little in the finale’s Perpetuum mobile but doesn’t overstate the Blues movement, to advantage. Once again Haas proves the superior exponent. I wrote about the Busoni in my Mewton-Wood review where, once again, we face a situation where the pianist has the superior technique and where Rostal’s tonal deficiencies can limit pleasure from time to time. But set against that is the determination and commitment to a big and complex score.

Happily, this release gives us the chance to appreciate Rostal and his piano colleagues in a good slice of the repertoire, with an acknowledged emphasis on British repertoire. This is a finely transferred, well annotated and handsome twofer.

Jonathan Woolf

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