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

Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

absolutely thrilling

immediacy and spontaneity

Schumann Lieder

24 Preludes
one of the finest piano discs

‘Box of Delights.’

J S Bach A New Angle
Organ fans form an orderly queue

a most welcome issue

I enjoyed it tremendously

the finest traditions of the house

music for theorbo
old and new

John Luther Adams
Become Desert
concealing a terrifying message

ground-breaking, winning release

screams quality

Surprise of the month

English Coronation, 1902-1953
magnificent achievement


We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews

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: Forgotten Records

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Cello Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 5 no. 2 (1796) [22:20]
Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69 (1808) [20:49]
Maurice Gendron (cello), Jean Françaix (piano)
rec. October 1950, (no venue given). ADD

Experience Classicsonline

Beethoven was neither the first nor the only composer to write for the combination of cello and piano; composers such as Romberg, Dotzauer and Boccherini also made substantial contributions. Nevertheless none of these composers is of Beethoven’s stature, and the fact that he was writing for the cello must have helped establish it as a solo instrument. As in the violin sonatas, Beethoven’s five cello sonatas show clear stylistic and technical development. But all the sonatas - and the early sets of variations - show his determination to write for the cello as an equal partner to the piano.

The two works played by Maurice Gendron and Jean Françaix show the development of Beethoven’s style from the early G minor sonata to the mid-period A major work. The artists were in their thirties when they recorded these works, and as far as I can discover they did not record any of the remaining Beethoven Sonatas although they did set down two of the sets of Variations. Other repertoire in their discography includes Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata, the Schumann Fantasy Pieces and Romances, and the Debussy Cello Sonata. It is a pity that they did not go on to record the rest of Beethoven sonatas, because, to judge by this recording, they were a well-matched duo whose playing has precision and plenty of zest.

The G minor sonata starts with a lengthy and imposing Adagio sostenuto ed espressivo, leading into a restless Allegro molto. The duo launches into this movement in dramatic style, with fine legato playing from Gendron. He is quite forward in the balance. The generally rather constricted sound, together with a few patches of distortion at the climaxes, indicate the age of the recording. The Allegro molto is taken at a good clip but not at breakneck speed. The playing is of high quality, with Gendron’s arpeggio figures accompanying the piano being particularly delightful. The rhythms are crisp, and Beethoven’s trademark dramatic pauses are given their full weight. This is vigorous stuff that generates quite a bit of tension and a notably “live” feel.

The third Sonata gets off to a fine start with a warmly played solo phrase from Gendron. Again there is no skimping on the pauses; these players were counting. The exposition repeat is not observed. The syncopation in the Scherzo is played with an infectious rhythmic alertness that had me tapping my foot. The brief Adagio cantabile is tender, and leads straight into the final Allegro vivace. The tempo that Gendron and Françaix adopt certainly lives up to the marking, with a sense of contained excitement that occasionally bubbles over. The players nip at each other’s heels as they scamper towards the end; a few slurred notes from Françaix don’t detract from the excitement. This is a performance that radiates enjoyment as few other recordings of these works. The recording is a bit better than in the G minor sonata, with a noticeable bloom on the treble of the piano.

Zuill Bailey and Simone Dinnerstein’s set of the complete Beethoven cello and piano music on Telarc offers very sensitive and assured results. Dinnerstein plays a 1903 Hamburg Steinway, which helps her achieve a natural balance with Bailey, and the recording is streets ahead. Their interpretations are more searching than those of Gendron/Françaix, and slow down more often to explore a particular phrase. As a result they tend to take longer over the works; their G minor sonata, for example, takes 25:40 as against 22:20 for the French duo. Bailey/Dinnerstein’s approach to the A major Sonata was a bit finicky, taking almost seven minutes longer than Gendron/Françaix, although some of this goes on the exposition repeat in the first movement. While I feel that the Bailey/Dinnerstein set is one of the best overall on modern cello and piano, I prefer Gendron/Françaix in the A major Sonata, which I think is an outstanding example of duo playing.

Guy Aron


































































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.