One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Two of the towering giants of the classical recording world have died within a week of each other. Christopher Raeburn and Jimmy Lock worked for The Decca Record Company (both as full-time employees and as freelancers) for a combined total of just under 100 years.

Both Raeburn and Lock played crucial roles in some of the greatest recordings ever made, none of which have ever left the catalogue and are still considered benchmarks by which all others following are judged.

They were instrumental in forming what became the celebrated ‘Decca Sound’ which among its many qualities was a striving to capture the unique sound of an orchestra by recording them in their own concert hall rather than in a recording studio.

Among the many recordings they worked on together are Joan Sutherland & Luciano Pavarotti’s La Fille du Regiment; Herbert von Karajan’s Madama Butterfly with Pavarotti & Mirella Freni; Sutherland’s second Lucia di Lammermoor and the culmination of Solti’s series of Strauss opera recordings the multi-award winning Die Frau ohne Schatten.

Christopher Roberts, President Classics & Jazz, Universal Music Group International commented:

“Christopher and James’ legacies are incalculable as both worked for decades on hundreds of recordings that will always be listened to and enjoyed by millions of people. Their work for Decca will live on, as will the work they did for so many musicians and musical organisations all of whom found their guidance and support invaluable. Everyone at Decca is committed to producing great recordings for future generations and in so doing will honour their memory and contribution to the company. Our thoughts and condolences go out to both families at this time.”

Christopher Raeburn first joined The Decca Record Company in 1954 and after a period researching in Vienna rejoined the company full-time in 1958, where he remained until 1991 after which he continued to work as a freelance producer.

The list of artists and recordings that Christopher worked on are too numerous to list and include collaborations with most of the great musicians of the post-war era. Being initially based in Vienna , Christopher worked on all the recordings Decca was then making with the Vienna Philharmonic, including the first ever studio recording of Wagner’s Ring Cycle with Sir Georg Solti. He developed close relationships with many artists, not least Pavarotti, Sutherland, András Schiff, Kyung Wha Chung, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Marilyn Horne and Radu Lupu. Christopher was also the producer of the original Three Tenors concert, the best selling classical CD of all time with sales of over 13 million albums and videos worldwide.

Christopher was also celebrated during his lifetime for the help and support he gave young musicians, often out of the public eye. Among those he’s most associated with are Cecilia Bartoli and Angelika Kirchschlager. His bond with Bartoli was particularly close and he played a vital role in developing both her performing and recording career. As Christopher produced almost all of her recordings it’s particularly fitting that the last recording he made was Bartoli’s Maria disc that was an homage to Maria Malibran, a singer Christopher introduced to Bartoli.

Mirella Freni spoke yesterday for many musicians:

"I have been fortunate to know Christopher Raeburn as one of the finest recording producers in classical music and, more, to have counted him as a personal friend. I doubt there has been anyone with a better set of ears, a more total dedication to music and the gift to speak so constructively and honestly with artists."

Christopher was deeply valued as a friend by many who treasured his loyalty, generosity of spirit, vast knowledge and range of enthusiasms that included fine art, the theatre and collecting antiques. He wore his considerable knowledge of these areas lightly and never made anyone feel inadequate in the face of his always superior knowledge.

Among the many awards he received during his lifetime he particularly treasured being the first non-conductor to receive the Vienna Philharmonic’s Schalk Medallion.

James Lock, known to everyone as Jimmy, worked for Decca from 1963 – 1999, initially as a recording engineer and then subsequently as Chief Engineer, Manager and Executive Sound Consultant. In his long and extraordinary career James worked with nearly every internationally famous singer, conductor and musical organization from Thomas Beecham onwards.

Among the hundreds of great recordings James worked on are: Solti’s Carmen, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Lohengrin, Otello, Rosenkavalier; Karajan’s Boris Godunov, La Bohème (with Pavarotti and Freni); Crespin’s Les Nuits d’Eté; Sutherland’s Norma, Les Contes d’Hoffman (with Domingo) Turandot (with Pavarotti) and Pavarotti’s very first recording.

Like Christopher, Lock was devoted to the artists he worked with and such devotion was returned by those artists who valued and trusted his judgment entirely. Not only was James armed with his unique ability to combine the musical and the technical, but his infectious warm friendly charm guided many a fearful artist through the recording process.

Joan Sutherland spoke for many artists when she said:

"He was brilliant, able to capture our sound as if we were on stage giving a live performance".

Decades of staff at Decca saw James as a mentor who was endlessly generous with his time and through his example and infectious enthusiasm for the recording world set standards that they could only strive to match. Among the many who regarded James as a close friend, Valerie Solti has written on Gramophone’s website of how:

“He was loved and admired by all the artists who worked with him, he was a magician, a genius who had the talent and passion to reproduce musical performance with total integrity.”

As well as his work for Decca, James was in demand around the world advising numerous venues on acoustics, such as the new opera house in Valencia and the renovations of Orchestra Hall in Chicago and Severance Hall in Cleveland . He was equally successful as a consultant responsible for the sound systems for live performances in the open-air, not least for those given by the Three Tenors, Menotti’s Spoleto Festival and international tours by La Scala. For many years James was Pavarotti’s personal engineer and sound consultant for all of his stadium concerts. The technical demands of ensuring great sound in a huge range of stadiums and venues around the world didn’t faze James’ peerless skills and expertise where he aimed to transform a stadium PA rig into a gigantic Hi-Fi system, thus providing the audience with the armchair listening experience that the discerning Decca Records music lovers had come to expect.

For further information please contact Simon Millward at Albion Media,, 020-7629-3252.



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 cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount




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.