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


  • Groundbreaking Weber
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Groundbreaking Weber


Captivating scores

Symphonies - Philippe Jordan
A pleasure to see and hear

vital imagination

A harum-scarum springboard

Always expect the unexpected

Berg Wozzeck
This is a triumph!

Bruckner Symphony 3
Revelatory and awe-inspiring

For immediate purchase!

Sibelius 3, 6, 7 Vanska
Outstanding performances

burns with a steady, beckoning light

Vadim Gluzman - A quite extraordinarily good disc

This impressed me mightily

Shostakovich 5, 8 9
Great concentration

Let me tell you
Stratospheric Barbara Hannigan
Birmingham and BBC Proms

Berkeley - Authenticity

Highly Expressive

NØRGÅRD Stunning

Superbly played

One to treasure

One of the finest American
choral-orchestral works

from strength to strength

inspired choice




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Northern Flowers
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get
Alphabetical Listing


Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[Part 1 New] [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R] [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L] [Part 7 Misc M-Z]
[last 5 days] [Recommended recordings]

Joseph ACHRON (1886–1943) Complete Suites for violin and piano Hagai Shaham (violin) Arnon Erez (piano) rec. 1996/2009 HYPERION CDA67841 [78:46 + 79:50] [DC]

Consistently vibrant violin feast.

Joseph ACHRON (1886-1943) Hebrew Melody, Hebrew Lullaby, see SCHNITTKE

Adolphe ADAM (1803-1856) Giselle Svetlana Zakharova, Roberto Bolle; Teatro alla Scala O/David Coleman rec. 2005 ARTHAUS MUSIK 107 289 [105:00] Laëtitia Pujol, Nicolas Le Riche; Paris Ntl Opéra O/Paul Connelly rec. 2006 ARTHAUS MUSIK 108 049 [111:00] [RMay]

A narrow points win for the Paris production.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Robert ALDRIDGE (b. 1954) Elmer Gantry - Opera in Two Acts (2007) Libretto by Herschel Garfein based on the novel by Sinclair Lewis Soloists, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra/William Boggs rec. 2010 libretto in English enclosed NAXOS 8.669032-33 [69:24 + 72:14] [GF]

Totally captivating.

William ALWYN (1905-1985) Film Music arranged for wind orchestra Royal Northern College of Music Wind O/Clark Rundell, Mark Heron rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572747 [69.46] [PCG]

Extremely well played and buoyantly conducted. 

Anton ARENSKY (1861-1906) Suites For Two Pianos Suites 1-4 Natalia Lavrova, Vassily Primakov (pianos) rec. 2011 LP CLASSICS 1001 [71:12] [OL]

Brilliance and depth.

Carl ARNOLD (1794-1873) Piano works Torleif Torgersen (piano) rec. 2010 SIMAX PSC1305 [61:59] [Byz]

Seems to paraphrase Chopin in spirit and in wistful tunefulness are akin to Schubert.

Vytautas BACEVICIUS (1905-1970) The Complete Mots Gabrielius Alekna (piano) (1,3-9), Matthew Lewis (organ) (2), Ursula Oppens (piano) (7-9) rec. 2009, 2010 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0134 [63:12] [SA]

No-one who enjoys Scriabin and Messiaen not to mention Boulez, Cage, Stockhausen and Nancarrow should shy away from giving this a listen.

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714 - 1788) Cantatas: Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu; Gott hat den Herrn auferwecket Martina Lins, Barbara Schlick (soprano), Paul Elliott, Christoph Prégardien (tenor), Gotthold Schwarz, Stephen Varcoe (bass), Rheinische Kantorei, Das Kleine Konzert/Hermann Max rec. 1984/86 PHOENIX EDITION 456 [48:03 + 51:07] [JV]

The quality of these recordings is still unsurpassed.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Organ Transcriptions Martin Schmeding (organ) rec. 2011 ARS PRODUKTION ARS 38109 [75:19] [DC]

Superb release in every regard. An all-round organ hit release. 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas Andreas Scholl (counter-tenor) Basel CO rec. 2011 DECCA 478 2733 [63:25] [JQ]

A true reflection of the artistry of Andreas Scholl in Bach.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas Vol. 50 Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2011 BIS BIS-SACD-1941 [74:57] [MC]

A must for any serious Bach devotee.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Cantatas for the complete liturgical year, Vol. 12 Gerlinde Sämann (soprano) Petra Noskaiová (contralto) Christoph Genz (tenor) Jan van der Crabben (bass) La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken rec. 2009 ACCENT ACC25312 [70:22] [JV]

This volume in Kuijken's cantata series shows considerable improvement in expression. 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Earthly and Divine Various artists ALPHA 889 [6 CDs: 439:00] [KM]

An attractive and interesting set for those unfamiliar with Bach’s works, and a fine sampler of music from a group of excellent record labels.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations Blandine Rannou (harpsichord) rec. 2010 ZIG-ZAG TERRITOIRES 111001 [89:29] [KM]

Love it or hate it, you cannot deny that this unique, personal approach to the Goldbergs is one to take note of.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Violin concertos, Keyboard concertos Devy Erlih, Henry Merckel, Reinhold Barchet (violin), Kurt Kalmus (oboe) Rudolf Reinhardt (harpsichord) Pro CO Munich/Kurt Redel rec. 1954/5 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 275-76 [68:03 + 48:43] [JW]

Never less than interesting. 

Leonardo BALADA (b.1933) Caprichos 1 & 5, A Little Night Music in Harlem, Reflejos Bertrand Piétu (guitar) Aldo Mata (cello) Tatiana Franco (flute) Iberian CO/José Luis Temes rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572625 [73:20] [Byz]

Balada's blend of the avant-garde and listener-friendly melody often of a nationalistic colour.

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Historical Recordings: 1935-1960 WEST HILL RADIO ARCHIVES WHRA6039 [8 CDs + CD-ROM] [JW]

For those seriously interested in Barber this is an indispensable box of historical and archival significance. Outstanding.

Francesco BARSANTI (1690-1772) Concerti grossi Banchetto Musicale - Il Piacere rec. 1997 DYNAMIC DM8023 [72:53] [JV]

Good entertainment and well worth listening to. 

Sally BEAMISH (b. 1956) Chamber Concerto Steven STUCKY (b. 1949) Music for Saxophones and Strings Chen YI (b. 1953) Ba Yin Raschèr Saxophone Qt; Stuttgart CO/Robin Engelen rec. 2008 BIS-CD-1821 [57:50] [DM]

A most colourful bouquet; Beamish is the pick of the bunch.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Complete Symphonies Royal Flemish Philharmonic/Philippe Herreweghe rec. 2004-09 PENTATONE PTC 5186 312 [5 discs: 5:36.49] [ST]

Combines the best of the old with the best of the new amid a wonderful clarity of the sound. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 9 Rebecca von Lipinski (soprano); Anna Grevelius (mezzo); Peter Wedd (tenor); Roderick Williams (bass) City of Birmingham SO Chorus, Manchester Camerata/Douglas Boyd rec.2011, AVIE AV2245 [64:58] [DMc]

A gentler, more graceful side to a Symphony that is all too often played without either.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 9 Lotte Leonard, Jenny Sonnenberg, Eugen Transky, Wilhelm Guttmann, Bruno Kittel Choir, Berlin State Opera Orchestra/Oscar Fried rec. 1927/28? PRISTINE AUDIO PASC317 [62:05] [JW]

This extremely fine restoration presents an important document from a distinguished Beethovenian.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto 4 Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerto 2 Emil Gilels (piano) Hallé O/John Barbirolli, London PO/Kirill Kondrashin rec. 1959/66 ICA CLASSICS ICAC5032 [71:37] [JW]

Performances of subtlety and power. I’m very glad, and fortunate, to have heard them. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto 4 Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concerto 2 Youra Guller (piano) O Ntl de France/Désiré-Émile Inghelbrechtrec. 1958/59 TAHRA TAH719 [64:50] [JW]

These are improvements musically on the previous instalments in this series.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartet Aaron Jay KERNIS (b. 1960) String Quartet Jasper Qt rec. 2011 SONO LUMINUS DSL-92142 [71:12] [BR]

The Jasper Quartet gives off joyous energy like sparks. Don’t miss this album.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Creatures Of Prometheus; Piano Concerto 1 Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto 2 Sviatoslav Richter (piano) Boston SO/Charles Munch rec. 1960 WEST HILL RADIO ARCHIVES WHRA-6035 [46:36 + 51:22] [JW]

A rather mixed evening in Bawston back in November 1960.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Late String Quartets Brentano Qt rec. 2010 AEON AECD 1110 [78:21] [RMo]

A restraint and intimacy that sometimes borders on the dull.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin sonata 8 see MOZART

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Rasumovsky’ Quartet see SHOSTAKOVICH

Arthur BENJAMIN (1893-1960) & Leighton LUCAS (1903-1982) Film Music BBC Ntl O Wales/Rumon Gamba rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHAN10713 [67:58] [JF]

A superb achievement. Beautifully played.

Alban BERG (1885-1935) Concerto for violin and orchestra Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber ,Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Lars-Erik LARSSON (1908-1986) Max REGER (1873-1916) Franz BERWALD (1796-1868) Louis Krasner (violin) Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Fritz Busch; Kungliga Theatre Orchestra/Fritz Busch ¹ rec. 1938 - 1949 GUILD GHCD 2372 [78:45][JW]

Valuable live performances.

Alban BERG (1885-1935) Piano sonata see Precipitando

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Clarinet sonata see clarinet sonatas

John BISCHOFF (b.1949) Audio Combine rec. 2010/11 NEW WORLD RECORDS 80727-2 [60:00] [DC]

Acute and absolute abstraction. 

Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) String Quartet No. 2 (1950) [31:31] Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) String Quartet RTvii/8 – Movement No.3; Late Swallows (1916-19) [9:32] Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) arr. Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1973) Chacony in G minor Z730 [6:44] Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1973) String Quartet No 2 in C Major, Op 36 (1945) [30:12] Barbirolli Quartet rec. 2011, NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6165 [77:58] [JW]

Full marks for this attractive compilation.

Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) Divertimenti, Oboe Quintets ad hoc chamber ensemble, Lajos Lencsés (oboe) Parisii Qt rec. 1992 PHOENIX EDITION PE472 [64:50 + 61:47] [Byz]

A great place for anyone to start an exploration of Boccherini’s magnificent oeuvre.

Alexander BORODIN (1833 - 1887) Symphonies 1-3; Notturno; Prince Igor: Overture and Polovtsian Dances Toronto SO/Andrew Davis; New York PO/Leonard Bernstein; St Petersburg Camerata rec. 1969-93 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802097 [77:34 + 57:17] [PCG]

There any many other recordings of these works, and many better ones at that.

William BOYCE (1711-1779) Eight Symphonies Württemberg CO, Heilbronn/Jörg Faerber rec. 1969

Just tremendous. A fantastic disc!

Joly BRAGA SANTOS (1924-1988) Symphonic Overture 3, Elegy in memory of Vianna da Motta, Alfama Suite, Variations for Orchestra, Three Symphonic Sketches Royal Scottish Natl O/Álvaro Cassuto rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572815 [72:36] [NB]

A high quality disc displaying an impressive range of musical styles.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Trios 1-4 Eskar Trio rec. 2007/08 CPO 777 642-2 [52:23 + 60:10] [EM]

Slightly mixed performances of these gorgeous trios.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Trio 3 Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Tristia Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Verklärte Nacht Boulanger Trio rec. 2011 HÄNSSLER PROFIL PH11042 [59:12] [MC]

Committed performances to turn to again and again.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto 2 see BEETHOVEN

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Luis de BRICEÑO (fl early 17th C) El Fenix de Paris Le Poème Harmonique/Vincent Dumestre rec. 2011 ALPHA 182 [71:08] [JV]

One of the most original and exciting discs I have heard recently.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Violin Concerto, op. 15 (1939, rev. 1958) [30:32] Double Concerto in B minor (1932) ed. Matthews (1997) [20:36] Lachrymae, op. 48a (1950, rev. 1976) [13:08] Anthony Marwood (violin), Lawrence Power (viola) BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Ilan Volkov rec. 2011, DDD HYPERION CDA67801 [64:18] [MG]

Distinctive soloists matched by sensitively weighted, varying orchestral presence.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Les Illuminations Hans Werner HENZE (b. 1926) Being Beauteous Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Herzgewächse Niccolò CASTIGLIONI (1932-1996) Terzina Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Slopiewnie Anu Komsi (soprano) Ostrobothnian CO/Juha Kangas; Uusinta Chamber Ens/Sakari Oramo rec. 2010/11 ALBA ABCD331 [58:15] [WH]

Britten’s youthful cycle in an unusual programme, magnificently performed and recorded.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1973) String Quartet No 2 see Bliss

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Cello symphony see SHOSTAKOVICH

Max BRUCH (1838 - 1920) Violin Concerto 1; Kol Nidrei see TCHAIKOVSKY

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 4 Orch Métropolitain/Yannick Nézet-Séguin rec. 2011 ATMA ACD2 2667 [67:47] [GD]

Nézet-Séguin is a Brucknerian to be reckoned with.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 5 BBC SO/Günter Wand rec. 1990 ICA CLASSICS ICAD5049 [79:00] [GD]

Classic Wand - coherent, dramatic and emotive.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphonies 7 & 9 RSO Stuttgart des SWR/Kurt Sanderling, Carlo Maria Giulini rec. 1996/8 HÄNSSLER CLASSICS CD 94.604 [71:14 + 62:18]  [RMo]

Bruckner playing of the highest order, wholly in the spirit of the composer. 

Fritz BRUN (1878-1959) Symphonic Nr. 6 C-dur (1933) [33:51] Symphonic Nr. 7 D-dur (1937) [40:41] Moscow Symphony Orchestra/Adriano rec. 2008/2010. DDD GUILD GMCD 7372 [74:34] [EM]

A desirable CD … one that I hope will prompt others to explore Brun’s intriguing world.

Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[Part 1 New] [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R] [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L] [Part 7 Misc M-Z]
[last 5 days] [Recommended recordings]



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.