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]


(b. 1947) The Wound-Dresser see Music for a Time of War

Thomas ADÈS (b.1971) Darknesse Visible see Darknesse Visible

Gregorio ALLEGRI (1582-1652) Missa in Lectulo Meo, Miserere mei Deus, Missa Christus resurgens ex mortuis Ch King’s College, London/David Trendell, Simon Hogan (organ continuo) rec. 2011 DELPHIAN DCD34103 [72.15] [GH]

Vibrant and exciting … certainly worth encountering some fine and mostly unknown music. 

William ALWYN (1905-1985) Flute concerto see British Flute Concertos

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Organ concerto see JS BACH

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The RIAS Bach Cantatas Project RIAS CO & Ch/Karl Ristenpart rec. 1949-52 AUDITE 21.415 [9 CDs: 631:06] [JQ]

One of the most important Bach issues for many years. A major addition to the discography of Bach’s cantatas. 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Easter Oratorio Südwestdeutsches CO & Motetettenchor Pforzheim/Rolf Schweizer rec. 1999 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94350 [44:54] [DMcC]

This is an unfortunate example of “you get what you pay for”.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cello Suites (arr. for viola) Gérard Caussé (viola) rec. 2000 VIRGIN CLASSICS 907665 2 [78:48 + 80:17] [JW]

Warmly textured, rhythmically somewhat devitalised but don’t always reach to the heart of the music. 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Johannes Passion Nico van der Meel, Frans Fiselier, La Furia, Concerto d’Amsterdam/Nico van der Meel rec. 2007 QUINTONE Q08001 [58.13 + 51.57] [RH]

Outgunned but if you are interested in Bach’s second version then certainly you should hear this disc. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Motets Monteverdi Choir/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2011 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG 716 [72:27] [JQ]

A superb, fresh new recording of the Bach motets.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Harpsichord concerto Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Organ concerto Johann Christoph Friedrich BACH (?) (1732-1795) Keyboard concerto Musica Amphion/Pieter-Jan Belder (harpsichord, fortepiano, organ) rec. 2006 QUINTONE Q06001 [62:52] [JV]

Overall a disc to enjoy. 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Mass in B minor Dorothee Mields, Hana Blazikova (sopranos) Damien Guillon (counter-tenor) Thomas Hobbs (tenor) Peter Kooij (bass) Collegium Vocale Gent/Philippe Herreweghe rec. 2011 PHI LPH004 [50.47 + 50.32] [RH]

If you are looking for a good middle of the road modern recording then this is one to consider.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Saint John Passion Gerlinda Sämann (soprano) Jens Hamann (bass) La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken rec. 2011 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72545 [33:35 + 71:49] [JQ]

A small-scale performance of the St. John Passion that offers a rewarding experience.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Bach for Japan Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki (organ) rec. 1995-2011 BIS BIS-CD-2011 [82:20] [Byz]

A thoroughly seamless, always engaging programme. 

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) The school for scandal see BERNSTEIN

Pierre BARTHOLOMÉE (b. 1937) Oraisons, Zigzag, Wintry Day, Face à face, Livre d'orgue Ophélie Gaillard (cello) Francette Bartholomée (harp) Dominica Eyckmans (viola) Jean-Philippe Merckaert (organ) APARTÉ AP014 [70:06]  [HC]

A superbly played and nicely recorded survey of recent works by Bartholomée. 

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Concerto for Orchestra, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta Baltimore SO/Marin Alsop rec. 2009/10 NAXOS 8.572486 [67:27] [SA]

A thrilling and exhilarating listen. 

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) String Quartets 1 & 2 Carmina Qt rec. 2009 SOLO MUSICA SM 168 [56:09] [MC]

Splendidly performed. 

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Rumanian Folk Dances, Divertimento, Seven Songs see LUTOSŁAWSKI

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Piano Sonatas Bernard Roberts (piano) NIMBUS NI1774 [11 CDs: 10 hours: 45 minutes] [BW]

Overall, then, I’d certainly strongly endorse the complete Nimbus set for reliable performances.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Sviatoslav Richter (piano) rec. 1960/61 REGIS RRC1384 [65:08] [RMo]

Justly famous for its power and poetry.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 3, Leonore Overture 1 SWR SO Baden-Baden und Freiburg/Sylvain Cambreling rec. 2004-09 GLOR CLASSICS GC 11451 [55:35] [Byz]

Some sections seem to lack a little passion and spontaneity.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa Solemnis Anne Schwanewilms (soprano) Annette Jahns (mezzo) Nikolai Schukoff (tenor) Dietrich Henschel (bass) London PO & Ch/Christoph Eschenbach rec. 2008 LPO LIVE LPO 0061 [80:22] [GD]

Not among the finest available but clearly expansive, exciting and even opulent.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Ruins of Athens Overture, Piano Concerto 5 Nikolay RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Scheherazade Yefim Bronfman (piano) Royal Concertgebouw O/Andris Nelsons rec. 2011 C-MAJOR UNITEL 710204 [110:00] [DM]

A delightful overture, a competent concerto, and a Scheherazade to die for.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Bagatelles Steven Osborne (piano) rec. 2011 HYPERION CDA67879 [67:19] [DMcC]

An astonishing inwardness.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa solemnis Heather Harper (soprano) Julia Hamari (contralto) Sven Olof Eliasson (tenor) Peter Meven (bass) Kölner RSO & Ch/William Steinberg rec. 1973 ICA CLASSICS ICAC 5054 [74:31] [JQ]

A fine, wise reading of Missa solemnis.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Creatures of Prometheus: Overture & Ballet Music, Symphonies 2 & 5 Dresden PO/Paul van Kempen rec. 1940/41 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 327 [79:16] [CH]

These are not exactly essential Beethoven performances but those with large collections may conclude that the slow movements are among the finest in their library.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata 32 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonata 21 Piotr Salajczyk (piano) rec. 2011 DUX 0838 [71:35] [BR]

Quite worthy and very good pianism, but slight imperfections get in the way.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Complete Piano Sonatas HJ Lim (piano) rec. 2011 EMI CLASSICS 464952 2 [8 CDs: 536:50] [DC]

Fresh new Beethoven: lively and accessible, stimulating - and frustrating.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Der glorreiche Augenblick, Choral Fantasia City of London Ch; Westminster Boy’s Ch, Royal PO/Hilary Davan Wetton rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572783 [57:41] [DMcC]

Hilary Davan Wetton’s enthusiasm and love for both works is obvious. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 1827) Romances 1 & 2 see VIOTTI

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas 1, 18 & 32 see The Lost Art of Jacob Lateiner

George BENJAMIN (b. 1960) Upon silence , Three inventions for chamber orchestra, Sudden time, Octet , Upon silence Susan Bickley (mezzo) Fretwork London Sinfonietta/George Benjamin, London Philharmonic Orchestra/George Benjamin
rec. 1994 ;1996 NIMBUS NI 5505 [64.54] [PCG]

An excellent promotion for a composer whose music has justifiably obtained an international reputation, even if his output remains small.

Alban BERG (1885-1935) Piano Sonata 1 see The Lost Art of Jacob Lateiner

Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989) Flute Concerto see British Flute Concertos

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Arias and Barcarolles Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) The school for scandal David DIAMOND (1915-2005) Elegy in memory of Maurice Ravel Jane Bunnell (mezzo) Dale Duesing (baritone) Seattle SO/Gerard Schwarz rec. 1990/1 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559709 [47.02] [PCG]

The performances of all concerned are excellent. 

Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Carmen Elena Obraztsova, Plácido Domingo, Vienna Boys’ Choir, Wiener Staatsoper Ch & O/Carlos Kleiber rec. 1978 ARTHAUS MUSIK 107 263 [154:00] [RW]

Domingo’s sincerity is admirable throughout. There’s excellent stage business - a joy to behold.

Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) String Trios, Symphonies Trio Arcophon; I Filarmonici di Bologna/Angelo Ephrikian rec. 1971 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802102 [3 CDs: 160:05] [Byz]

Finely crafted, lively, elegant, witty, and mellifluous.

August de BOECK (1865-1937) Prelude to Théroigne de Méricourt, Piano concerto, Francesca Suite Jozef de Beenhouwer (piano) Janáček PO/Ivo Venkov rec. 2011 PHAEDRA 92071 [74:57]  [HC]

A splendid addition to de Boeck's discography with the Francesca suite as its main attraction. 

Sergei BORTKIEWICZ (1877-1952) Piano Works:- Vol. 8: Impressions Op.4 (1905) [21:08]; Ein Roman für Klavier Op.35 (1928) [29:12] Vol. 9: Trois Morceaux Op.6 (1906), nos. 2 and 3 [7:04]; Kindheit (From a story by Leo Tolstoi) Op.39 (1930) [31:14] Jouni Somero (piano) rec. 2011. FINNCONCERT FCRCD-9742 [52:23 + 38:18] [SA]

Congratulations are due him for this ... so thank you Mr Somero, thank you very much!

Alla BORZOVA (b. 1961) Songs for Lada, To the New World Valentina Fleer (soprano) Valentina Kozak (folk contralto) Michigan State University Children’s Choir, Detroit SO/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2009/10 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559706 [49:50] [SA]

A truly different musical experience deserving of high praise. 

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897), Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Clarinet Sonatas Robert SCHUMANNN (1810-1856) Phantasiestücke Emma Johnson (clarinet) John Lenehan (piano) rec. 2011. DDD NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 6153 [78:44] [Byz]

Excellent interpretations.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphonies 1-4, Haydn Variations, Tragic & Academic Festival overtures Helsingborg SO/Andrew Manze rec. 2009/10 CPO 777 720-2 [3 CDs: 64:28 + 69:04 + 77:19] [GA]

Manze has stripped all the darkened varnish to bring us a terrific cycle, swift and dynamic, but always full of feeling. 

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein deutsches Requiem Janet Williams (soprano) Thomas Hampson (baritone) Chicago SO & Ch/Daniel Barenboim rec. 1992/93 WARNER APEX 2564 677176 [77:05] [SV]

Barenboim gives a respectable idea of the power and weight of the score. 

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-97) Piano Quartet No 1 in G minor, Op.25 [orch Schoenberg] [42:19] Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Chamber Symphony No 1, Op.9b [orchestral version] [21:59] Music for a film scene, Op.34 [9:08]   Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra: Simon Rattle, rec.2009   EMI 4 57815 2 [73:40][PCG]

For the full orchestral version of the Chamber Symphony this recording is an absolute must

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Variations on a theme of Paganini see The Lost Art of Jacob Lateiner

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Haydn Variations see Toscanini

Frank BRIDGE Suite for String Orchestra see BUTTERWORTH

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) War Requiem Ian Bostridge, Simon Keenlyside, Sabina Cvilak, Eltham College Ch, London SO & Ch/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2011 LSO LIVE LSO0719 [46:35 + 37:13] [DM]

I can’t emphasise more strongly how compelling this newcomer is, and how important that anyone who knows and loves the War Requiem should hear it. 

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) War Requiem Evelina Dobracheva, Anthony Dean Griffey, Mark Stone, Netherlands Children's & Radio Ch, Netherlands Radio PO/Jaap van Zweden rec. 2010 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72388 [47:00 + 35:44] [JQ]

Much to admire in this recording but there are better versions of War Requiem on the market. 

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Tit for Tat, Folk song arrangements Roderick Williams (baritone) Iain Burnside (piano) rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572600 [60:45] [WH]

An outstanding performance of a mature Britten masterpiece, coupled with juvenilia and folk-songs. 


Benjamin BRITTEN
(1913-1976) Sinfonia da Requiem see Music for a Time of War

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Cello Sonata see SHOSTAKOVICH

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Hymn to St. Peter see Tu es Petrus

Frank BURY (1910-1944) Prelude and Fugue see British Music for Piano Duo

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Hommages à Mozart, Bach & Chopin l Roland Pöntinen (piano) rec. 2008 CPO 777 427-2 [78:05] [Byz]

Pöntinen's virtuosic but insightful interpretations are all captured in good quality sound.

George BUTTERWORTH (1885-1916) A Shropshire Lad, Two English Idylls , The Banks of Green Willow Charles Hubert Hastings PARRY (1848-1918) Lady Radnor's Suite Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Suite for String Orchestra English String Orchestra/William Boughton rec. 1986, NIMBUS NI 5068 [60:40] [MC]

Should be in the collection of every lover of English music.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (1637/1639?-1707) Opera Omnia XV- Chamber Music 3 Catherine Manson (violin) Paolo Pandolfo (viola da gamba) Mike Fentross (lute) Ton Koopman (harpsichord, organ) rec. 2010/11 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72254 [73:27] [MS]

Profoundly pleasing. Another outstanding contribution to the repertoire.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (1637/1639 - 1707) Opera Omnia XVI: Vocal Works 6 - Membra Jesu nostri Siri Karoline Thornhill, Dorothee Wohlgemuth (soprano) Patrick van Goethem (alto); Jörg Dürmüller (tenor); Klaus Martens (bass) Amsterdam Baroque O/Ton Koopman (organ) rec. 2011 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72255 [55:43] [MS]

Another excellent issue in this series. Truly joyful and played with profound gusto and sympathy.

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.