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

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider

Brahms Symphony 4 Dvorak Symphony 9
Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano"
IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra

Sinfonie Concertanti for two flutes and orchestra



A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin


World Premiere
Weinberg’s Concertino (cello)!


Irish-Appalachian Celebration


Nick Barnard review
Michael Cookson review

an inspirational performance

An indispensable acquisition

The finest we have had in years

bewitching sound

Simply amazing

A splendid addition

One of the most enjoyable

quite superb!

utterly essential

A wonderful introduction

An outstanding CD


One of the finest versions


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Ombre De Mon Amant - French Baroque arias

Médée: Overture [1:55]; Act II, scene 2 [2:38]; Act III, scenes 3-7 [19:40]
Concert à quatre parties de violes (1. Prelude) [3:27]
‘Auprès du feu l’on fait l’amour’ [1:59]
Concert à quatre parties de violes (4. Gigue anglaise) [1:07]
‘Celle qui fait mon tourment’ [1:55]
Concert à quatre parties de violes (5. Gigue française) [1:11]
Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1774)
Hippolyte et Aricie: Act III, scene 1 [5:37]; Act IV, scene 4 [4:13]
Les Fêtes d’Hébé: Prologue, scene 5 [1:40]; Prologue, scene 4 [2:11]; Première Entrée, scene 8 [1:46]; Seconde Entrée, scene 8 [7:00]; Act IV, scene 4 [4:13]
Michel LAMBERT (1610-1696)
‘Ma bergère est tendre et fidèle’ [2:34]; ‘Ombre de mon amant’ [4:32]; ‘Vos mépris chaque jour’ [2:30]
Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo)
Les Arts Florissants/William Christie
rec. Church of Notre Dame du Liban, Paris, September 2008. DDD
ARCHIV PRODUKTION 477 8610 [65:04] 

Experience Classicsonline

Look again, and you will see that Anne Sofie von Otter is the soloist in this collection of French baroque arias. The Swedish mezzo-soprano doesn’t immediately spring to mind as an interpreter of this kind of repertoire, but according to the CD sleeve-notes, she has had begun a ‘new love affair’ with the music of Charpentier, Rameau and others.

In fact, she has been singing Rameau since 2002, and this programme of works by the great master, plus Charpentier and Michel Lambert, is taken from performances at the 2008 Edinburgh and Lucerne Festivals.

It is a rather mixed bag of musical offerings. Most of the vocal music comes from Charpentier’s Médée (1693) and Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie of 1733. In between are arias by Lambert, orchestral excerpts from Rameau’s Les Fêtes d’Hébé, and sundry songs and instrumental pieces by Charpentier. Such eclecticism means that the disc lacks a unifying theme, or a single quality of sound to draw in the listener. This is worsened by the jumping about from one composer and work to another. The scenes from Médée and Hippolyte et Aricie, for example, are split across the 65 minutes of playing time.

But be patient and keep an open mind, and you will be rewarded with numerous highlights. The most obvious of these is von Otter herself. Her studied technical control, underlying sensuality and barely restrained passion are ideal for the French tragédie lyrique. Her diction, too, is crystal clear, and the occasional lapses into Germanic steeliness in the lower registers sound perfectly apt in the taut arias for Medea and Phedre.

Tracks 10 to 15 - during which the jealous Medea summons the demons of hell to wreak vengeance on Jason and his lover - provide are the most dramatic and substantial excerpts on this disc. The rest of the programme is, as mentioned, rather bitty and disjointed, although the purely orchestral passages from Les Fêtes d’Hébé (tracks 23 to 27) are a pleasure to listen to. The forces of Les Arts Florissants get the chance to really shine in Rameau’s brilliant orchestration - from the deft subtlety of the Air Tendre (track 24) to the woodwind flourishes in the final Chaconne (track 27).

John-Pierre Joyce 

















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.