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


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

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor 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
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   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



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

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk Acousmatic Music


October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus



CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Opera at Eszterháza: Arias - La Circe
Infelice sventurata (Aria di Beatrice) (1789) [4.59]
Costretta a piangere (Aria di Dorina) (1762) [5.37]
Signor, voi sapete (Aria di Rosina) (1785) [3.14]
Solo e pensoso (Aria da Il canzoniere di Francesco Petrarca) (1798) [5.50]
Dice benissimo (Aria di Lumaca) (1780) [1.59]
Da che penso a maritarmi (Aria di Titta) (1790) [3.43]
Se tu mi sprezzi, ingrata (Aria del Cavaliere) (1788) [5.35]
Tornate pur mia bella (Aria) (1790) [6.31]
Begli occhi vezzosi (Aria di Ernesto) (1777) [4.51]
Ah, tu non senti - Qual destra omicida (Recitativo ed Aria di Oreste) (1786) [5.44]
La Circe (1789): Son pietosa, son bonina (Aria di Lindora) [4.04]
Son due ore che giro (Scena di Pedrillo) [7.35]
Lavatevi presto (Terzetto) [9.36]
Miah Persson (soprano), Kirstin Chávez (mezzo), Bernard Richter (tenor), Christoph Genz (tenor), Iván Paley (baritone), Manfred Hemm (bass)
Haydn Sinfonietta Wien/Manfred Huss
rec. Floriankirche, Straden, Austria, May/June 2008 (tracks 1-5) and at the Church of the Three Kings, Benedikt, Slovenia, June 2009 (tracks 6-13)
All dates are those of the first performances, as stated in the CD booklet
BIS BISSACD1811 [71.31]

Experience Classicsonline

Opera at Eszterháza is the latest issue in the collaborative series by BIS, the Haydn Sinfonietta Wien and Manfred Huss. It forms part of 2009’s celebration to mark the 200th anniversary of Haydn’s death in 2009. About a year ago, in June 2009, I had the pleasure of reviewing another of their CDs, namely Acide, a recording of the surviving fragments of Haydn’s first Italian opera. All concerned should be congratulated for their continuing efforts in bringing to the public’s attention forgotten or neglected works by a composer of Haydn’s stature. Sadly, nearly all of Haydn’s operatic compositions fall nowadays into the list of neglects, possibly due to the fact that many of the librettos he used were not very good; most of his operas progress rather slowly and are not rich in dramatic action, making them difficult to stage. Haydn also composed a great number of operas, concert arias, scenes and extra arias to be inserted in operas by other composers, with the aim of suiting a particular singer, as was customary in his day. This disc contains a selection of some of the best examples of such works.
The first four arias of the disc are for soprano and two, Infelice sventurata and Signor, voi sapete, were written for other composers’ operas; respectively Domenico Cimarosa’s I due supposti and Pasquale Anfossi’s Il matrimonio per inganno. All four pieces are immediately pleasing to the ear, wonderfully proportionate with clever orchestrations, revealing that Haydn was comfortable with writing both gracefully moving arias, like Infelice sventurata or Costretta a piangere, and witty pieces as Signor, voi sapete, which is one of the gems here and possibly my favourite. Swedish soprano Miah Persson sings these first four pieces splendidly. She has a beautiful voice with a crystal clear tone, easy high notes and elegant phrasing, all supported by an excellent technique, making these pieces the most enjoyable of the whole disc.
The four soprano arias are followed by an insertion aria, Dice benissimo, which Haydn wrote for baritone Luigi Rossi and Antonio Salieri’s opera La Scuola de’ Gelosi. It is a short but rather interesting piece, cynical in tone but with undoubtedly great music. It suits Colombian baritone Iván Paley’s voice and he makes an excellent job, delivering it with technical precision and great humour.
These initial five pieces are then followed by five arias for tenor, sung here by young Swiss tenor Bernard Richter. I was very impressed with Richter in last year’s BIS CD of Haydn’s Acide (which I mentioned above) but here I did not find his performance so convincing. He has a crystalline tone, very clear diction and appears comfortable in the highest as well as the middle and lower ranges of his voice. However, while in Acide he was spot-on, here he sounds sometimes a shade dry, his style slightly declamatory and his phrasing not as refined. On occasion, his voice sounds a little nasal in the top notes (perhaps he was suffering from a cold?), which although it does not distort, it makes the effect less attractive. Nevertheless, his performance is not at all bad; on the contrary, he delivers all five pieces very effectively. This is particularly true of the beautiful aria Tornate pur mia bella where he displays an excellent legato technique and performs the piece with great delicacy and tenderness, perfectly expressing a young man in love, as the piece describes.
The final CD tracks, as stated in the booklet notes, come from an opera pastiche, La Circe,which Haydn arranged from music by several composers. We are offered three pieces: an aria, a scena and a terzetto. The aria entitled Son pietosa, son bonina is sung by young American mezzo-soprano Kirstin Chávez who to me was the revelation in terms of singing ability. It was the first time I heard her sing though I have read various revues about her performances in Bizet’s Carmen, which tend to praise her voice but mainly to rave and revolve around her sensual, striking beauty. However, Ms Chávez really does possess a remarkable voice, with a velvety rich tone and is dramatically very expressive. Her high notes are warm and easy, she displays a solid coloratura and she has an exquisite dark edge in the lower range of her voice, which gives her performance a certain degree of exoticism. The only thing I would say is that her diction could be better; there are a couple of occasions during the aria where it is a little unclear.
Bernard Richter returns on the final two CD tracks: Son due ore che giro the scena and then in the terzetto Lavatevi presto where he is joined by German tenor Christoph Genz and Austrian bass Manfred Hemm. Both pieces are effectively delivered by all three singers and Hemm’s resonant bass is particularly impressive.
The Haydn Sinfonietta Wien and Manfred Huss are in great form throughout the CD and deliver a fulfilling, technically flawless performance, full of delicate nuances, effectively showcasing their expertise in music of the classical period in general and of Haydn in particular. Their rendition of these forgotten and nearly lost operatic compositions is as beautiful as it is precise and a joy from beginning to end.
The recording quality of the work is excellent whether one listens to it on normal CD or SACD equipment; however, only on SACD does one get the glorious detail of each instrument or of the voices and the gorgeous sound of the orchestra as a whole. The booklet notes are also better than most: expertly written by Manfred Huss in a clear, attractive style, simultaneously informative and enjoyable; not too long; not too short and accessible to all whether one has a deep knowledge of music or not. The notes are in English, German and French as well as the biographies of Huss and the two main singers: Persson and Richter. For information on the other singers, their websites are clearly listed. The booklet also includes all texts in the original Italian with English translations.
Overall, Opera at Eszterháza is an excellent work though the real star is not the singing but Haydn’s music. This, I believe, was Huss’s intention. Haydn’s music is superb in its adventurous orchestrations, full of wit and subtle emotions and, most of all incredibly beautiful. I loved this CD and it made me wonder why musicians do not record Haydn’s operatic works more often; they may have a slow moving action but surely on disc that is not so important!
Margarida Mota-Bull



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

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.