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

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

Vraiment magnifique!

Quite splendid

Winning performances

Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc

a huge talent

A wonderful disc

Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!

Roth’s finest Mahler yet

Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance



We are currently offering in excess of 51,800 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: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Gidon Kremer plays 20th century composers
Gidon Kremer (violin)
Oleg Maisenberg (piano); Maria Bondarenko (piano); Yuri Smirnov (piano); Tatiana Grindenko (violin II in Martynov); Mikhael Muntyan (celesta in Martynov); German Chamber Philharmonic Society/Gidon Kremer; Moscow Philharmonic Society Soloists/Vladimir Kozhukar; USSR State TV and Radio Symphony Orchestra/Yuri Bashmet.
rec. live, 1967, 1970, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1988, 1990, 1992. ADD
Historic Russian Archive Edition
Full track listing after review
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9242 [3 CDs: 54:42 + 54:53 + 60:38]

Experience Classicsonline

These recordings from Kremer’s long-distant Soviet years were made for radio broadcast use. Audiences are present – sometimes unmistakably so. They have been licensed to Brilliant Classics by Gostelradiofund. They bear out Kremer’s repute as an artist who drives the priests of convention and received wisdom from the temple. They are as vivid as fear and as sharply etched as a smashed pane. His Prokofiev Sonata No. 1 combines a raw and rasping grip with real tenderness of touch and tenderness. There is some extraordinarily delicate and quiet playing from Oleg Maisenberg and Kremer; this is magnificent in the skeletal third movement. Kremer and Yuri Smirnov almost makes you forget the orchestral witchery of the First Violin Concerto. Kremer is joined by Tatiana Grindenko (Kremer’s wife) in the black seduction of the Sonata for Two Violins. Kupkovic’s Souvenir (1971) is a really toothsome little miniature, redolent of Sibelius’s Humoresques with a dash or two of Kreisler and circus high-wire.

Karayev has been recorded by Naxos, Russian Revelation and Azerbaijan International. Russian Disc has also recorded his delightfully imaginative ballet scores as has Delos on DRD 2009. His Violin Concerto has grown on me since I first reviewed it in 1999. It is a work of Bergian dissonance that in its textures is tissuey yet overwhelmingly intense and romantic in the manner of the Walton, Schuman and Frankel concertos. In the finale it blitzes along with jagged, blood-curdling energy. His 1965 Third Symphony is reportedly dissonant. There are at least three recordings including the Naxos. There is also a Melodiya LP of his World War II First Symphony (1943) but the Second (1946) awaits its first recording. It would be good to hear and appraise these two works.

Vadim Salmanov is best known for his four symphonies recorded by Mravinsky. His Second Violin Sonata is from 1962. The music gives the impression of having been stropped to an excoriating razor edge. The final Presto has the eldritch, wildly sprayed corrosive acid of a Prokofiev scherzo … and then some: jazz and sulphuric acid.

Kremer is well suited to Schoenberg’s dissonant Fantasy op. 47 in all its rasping drama and mercurial waywardness. The notes tell us that the Fantasy was written in Los Angeles. Webern’s four super-short wispy miniatures are delicate yet murderous waifs. CD2 ends with some Stockhausen: seven of the twelve movements entitled Tierkreis or Zodiac. It’s for two violins and is music of the finest filigree thread with distinct Japanese twists and turns. Fleeting moments suggest a link with Hovhaness.

The last disc sets out two works of substance and ambition. Vladimir Martynov was initially something of an avant-gardista. He wrote a rock opera St Francis of Assisi for his rock group Boomerang! After studying the folk music of the Caucasus, exploring Russian Orthodox chant and researching theology and philosophy his music underwent a Damascene conversion. Thus his 1988 Come in! is a six-movement half-hour violin concerto. The strings and the violin contemplate beauty in tones very redolent of the Beethoven Violin Concerto. Add to this sparse and completely consonant punctuation from celesta and percussion. One may occasionally think of Pachelbel’s Canon and the prayerfully meditative aspects of Bruch No. 1. Again an audience is obviously present and its applause is preceded by spoken words - what I take to be the “Come in!” signalling the end of the work. As for the title it can be found in the words of Ioann Lestvichnik. It refers to the voice behind the door at the peak of the stairway to Heaven inviting the pilgrim soul to enter.

We know Lourié from another Brilliant Classics disc. His Concerto da Camera dates from his American years; he went there in 1941. It was his last orchestral work. It is played here by a German orchestra. Again it is in six movements. The music certainly has a chamber feel but other impressions crowd in: Schnittke’s aggressive neo-baroque and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, There’s a tender Intermezzo. The violin’s voice is piercingly immediate and keen as a razor when it is not caught in rapt contemplation. Hunted tension and drama come into play in the Epilogo. It all ends controversially in a baritonal murmur from the strings.

These three discs equate to CDs 7-9 from the 10-disc Brilliant Classics Kremer survey (8712).

The rather wonderful adorning notes are by Ates Orga – a Prince among writers about music. Here he is very much on form.

This is an intriguing and often refreshingly provocative collection.

Rob Barnett

Full track listing
CD 1
Violin Sonata No. 1 in F minor Op. 80 [30:00]
Scherzo, vivacissimo, from Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major Op. 19 (transcription for violin and piano) [4:05]
Sonata for Two Violins in C major Op. 56 [16:14]
Ladislav KUPKOVIC (b.1936) Souvenir [4:23]

CD 2
Kara KARAYEV (1918-1982) Concerto for Violin and Orchestra [19:21]
Vadim SALMANOV (1912-1978) Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2 [14:18]
Arnold SCHOENBERG Fantasy for Violin and Piano. [7:45]
Anton WEBERN Four Pieces Op. 7 1910 [4:26]
Karl-Heinz STOCKHAUSEN Tierkreis excerpts (Aquarius, Gemini, Pisces, Libra, Sagittarius, Leo, Aquarius) [9:03]

CD 3
Vladimir MARTYNOV (b.1946) Come in! for violin and ensemble [30:34]
Arthur-Vincent LOURIÉ (1892-1996) Concerto da Camera for Violin and String Orchestra [30:04]


































































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.