Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

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


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


CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

William PERRY (b.1930)
Music for Great Films of the Silent Era
Gemini Concerto – an Entertainment for Violin, Piano and Orchestra * (2010) [32:05]
The Silent Years: Three Rhapsodies for Piano and Orchestra † (?) [23:46]
Six Title Themes in Search of a Movie [22:46]
Albeck Duo: Ambra Albeck (violin/viola) and Fiona Albeck (piano) *; Michael Chertock † (piano); Helen Kearns (soprano)
RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (Ireland)/Paul Phillips
rec. National Concert Hall, Dublin, 31 may and 1-2 June 2010
World Premiere recordings
NAXOS 8.572567 [78:41]

Experience Classicsonline

Of course there were no soundtracks for films of the silent era. Music was provided, in situ, in cinemas, by pianists or small instrumental groups, and, very occasionally, by orchestras playing in large cinemas for important film premieres. Often the music played comprised odd snippets - frequently from well known classical compositions that fitted the locations, pace and mood of the on-screen action. Years later when these Silent Era classics were rediscovered, new original music was composed for them. Foremost amongst composers for silent films are Carl Davis – and William Perry. This Naxos CD is a celebration of Perry’s work.

William Perry’s Gemini Concerto draws cleverly on themes created for films of the 1920s; for example the ‘New York: Broadway and Finale’ quotes music written from: Show People (1928), Fine Manners (1928) starring Gloria Swanson and from King Vidor’s 1928 masterpiece, The Crowd. The Gemini Concerto was written for the Swiss identical twin sisters, Fiona and Ambra Albeck, featured on this recording. It was premiered in Greenfield Massachusetts in May 2010.

The Gemini Concerto begins with an ‘Introduction and Travel Music’ that is a fizzy, exuberant mix of styles beginning with a ‘we’re off’ train whistle sparking material evocative of accelerating train wheels; this sparkling Introduction has colourful harmonies and imaginative orchestrations and ensembles - piano and violin solos, chamber and orchestral segments - all in pursuit of adventure, discovery and revelling in nostalgia. The sense of the train proceeding continues with ‘Dublin, Celtic Air and Runaway Reel’ which is the Concerto’s second movement that has a typically Irish tune with a prominent violin solo. The third movement takes us to Berlin for a ‘Cabaret March and Berliner Lied’, beautifully evocative, reminiscent of that city between the wars. It has an exquisite poignant melody for piano and violin - the Berliner Lied – that speaks of sadness of parting. This movement is worth the price of the CD alone. On to Moscow for a ‘Twilight Troika and Romance’ horses trotting through a snowy landscape; sleigh bells a-ringing before bells of a different kind introduce a sweet Romance for piano and violin à la Rachmaninov. In Vienna there is a sparkling and gaily romantic ‘Polytonal Polka and Waltz ‘Wiener Wein’ that sends champagne corks a-poppin’. Finally we land in New York for the Concerto’s glittering, jazzy ‘Broadway Ballet and Finale’.

Perry has drawn together music from three of his scores to form the somewhat less original, less inspired The Silent Years: Three Rhapsodies for Piano and Orchestra. The first of these Rhapsodies is on music for the 1927 John Barrymore swashbuckler, The Beloved Rogue which was a film based on the adventures of 15th century rogue and poet, François Villon. Fanfares announce a swaggering devil-my-care theme for Villon. The suite includes music for court pomp and majesty and the requisite love music - material that Korngold would not have sniffed at - Blood and Sand famously starred Rudolph Valentino and Perry’s score is suitably exotically Latin, including flashing flamenco rhythms and music reminiscent of de Falla, for this Andalucian-based torrid melodrama about the fortunes of bullfighters. The evocative score follows this story of bravery in the bull ring, passion and betrayal and ultimate tragedy. Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush inspired Perry to pen music suggesting labouring with pick and hammer, comic and poignant adventures of prospector Charlie, a New Year’s party dance, Charlie’s shy romancing and his big gold strike.

Perry explains that he sometimes conceives themes that could be used to score film assignments he might yet receive. Accordingly, from such a store of themes, he has drawn together another brilliantly coloured suite of music entitled, Six Title Themes in Search of a Movie. Number one is a Dance Overture for an imaginary film that might conceivably be entitled ‘Wild Nights in Toronto’. It’s wild alright, bright and breezy and jazzy redolent of the roaring twenties with gangsters and their molls. Next we travel to France for a typically Gallic waltz that could grace such a film called ‘Raincoats of Dijon’; the obligatory accordion is featured prominently. Then it is south to Italy for a Serenade for a projected film ‘Angelus for an Angel’. The orchestration calls for wistful use of tubular bells. The fourth theme carries us off to South America and another Perry dream film, ‘The Bridge on the River Plate’. This time he uses stirring quick march music that he had actually composed for a silent film about World War I, What Price Glory; the soldiers must be in a happy mood judging by their whistling! Now comes a Nocturne in jazz blues mode for a film that might be entitled, ‘The Black Marigold’ – possibly a film noire set in a Manhattan night club? The final theme is for an imaginary science fiction film called ‘Voyage to the Dog Star’. This is a glamorous score that reminds one more of those Ziegfeld musicals and Bette Davis tear-jerkers than a sci-fi epic. The music might remind one of the grand Late Romantic piano concertos and there is a grandiloquent solo Siren Song from Irish soprano Helen Kearns as the space craft nears the fiery surface of Sirius. A wonderful way-over-the-top finale.

The RTÉ Orchestra and Paul Phillips play these colourful and melodic works with great enthusiasm and panache and mention must be made of Robert Nowak’s brilliant orchestrations.

Naxos have really gone to town with the documentation for this release. The 16-page booklet includes colour pictures of the composer and all the artists, plus full notes and even musical examples. ’Pity then that the dates of composition and films are not always given.

A glorious, joyous, tuneful celebration of the days of Silent Cinema.

Ian Lace









































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.