52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  


Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere
Normal service resumed


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


Recordings of the Month


Beethoven String Quartets

Produzioni Armoniche

Seven Symphonic Poems

Shostakovich VC1 Baiba Skride
Tchaikovsky Symph 5 Nelsons

Vivaldi Violin Concertos



Beethoven Piano Concertos

Stradal Transcriptions

LOSY Note d’oro

Scarlatti Sonatas Vol 2

AmazonUK AmazonUS


Trevor HOLD (1939-2004)
The Image Stays: a cycle of seven love-poems for baritone and piano (1974) [22:08]
River Songs: song-cycle for soprano, baritone and piano (1978) [25:29]
Voices from the Orchard: song-cycle for baritone and piano (1982-83) [29:13]
David Wilson-Johnson (baritone)
Amanda Pitt (soprano)
David Owen Norris (piano)
rec. Turner Sims Concert Hall, University of  Southampton, September and December 2007


Experience Classicsonline

Hold was a consummate song composer. The three cycles here demonstrate his unerring ear for word placement and for plasticity of phrasing. The fact that he sets his own words in all three cycles is simply indicative of a general quality in his writing.

The Image Stays is the earliest, written in 1974 and first performed by the two musicians on this disc – both ardent champions of the composer – in a Radio 3 broadcast in 1979.  Indeed Wilson-Johnson and Owen Norris premiered all three cycles. Hold characterises with immediacy and he can summon up reflective moods in a trice. The listless drift of Indifference is a single example from this earliest cycle but so too is the admonitory chording of the next song, A Warning. I would guess that At Fawsley Church is inspired by – and deliberately evokes - Larkin’s An Arundel Tomb. But then there is the scuttling and pliant Music Plays and then the last and by far the longest setting of the poem that gives its name to the cycle. It’s an air over a ground, a powerful and stalking setting, perfectly distributed between voice and piano – passionately controlled.

Four years later Hold wrote River Songs which was premiered in 1982 with these two performers and Sheila Armstrong in another broadcast. It’s a kind of verse travelogue Here the excellent soprano Amanda Pitt joins Wilson-Johnson. Things range from impressionistic treble flicker in Reflections with its rich vocal line, finely descriptive, to the strolling gait and reflective, evocative lyricism of Along the River to the wistful Envoy with which the cycle ends.

Voices from the Orchard was completed in 1983 and was once again subject of a broadcast first performance, this time in 1990. It was written for ‘the two Davids in memory of Henry Williamson (1895-1977)’ and draws on Hold’s childhood memories – though Everychild rather than specifically autobiographical memories. Is that a roar of thunder on Dandelion Days? More certainly we feel the ‘forty winks’ of his grandfather’s sleep – that tick-tocking is both simple and affecting. The Weekly Visitors is an especially vibrant, very folk like, probably the most extrovert single setting in the three cycles. There are dark touches here as well – Illness provokes unsettled  responses - but the final song Awakening restores equilibrium and optimism with its generous lyricism.

The composer’s champions offer the most insightful musicianship imaginable, their long experience of his music having permeated their responses with intimate understanding. The songs perhaps remind one a little of Britten’s though for me they stand at something of a remove. What infuses them is a Clare-like sensibility, the countryman’s freedoms that so engrossed and animated Hold; the poetry and music that result are free of mannerism, of pretence and posturing remaining at all times direct, subtle, and alive.

Jonathan Woolf


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

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



Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.