Schubert sonatas

Newest Releases

Piano solo and duet
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.


Moravec - Twelfth Night Recital
15%off £17.21 (until Dec 7)

Katerina Englichová - harp
15%0ff £10.83 (until Dec 7)

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

Sibelius Symphonies Maazel
4CDs + Blu-ray audio
Special Price £36.75

RVW A Sea Symphony - Elder

Shostakovich Symphony 10 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem

Dvorak Opera Premiere

Grieg, Mendelssohn sonatas




Would you like a hyperlinked weekly summary of the CDs we have reviewed?

Click for further details

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Plain text for phones
and Printers

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Prima voce
Red Priest
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc through MusicWeb
for £14.99 postage paid World-wide.

Christophe d’ALESSANDRO (b 1961)
Les douze degrés du silence (2008-9) [25:10]
Symphonie de l’empereur jaune (2010-11) [42:37]
Christophe d’Alessandro (organ)
Markus Noistering (electronics)
rec. August 2012, l’église Sainte-Elisabeth de Hongrie, Paris.

Experience Classicsonline

The combination of organ with electronics can create fascinating worlds of sound, and one of my favourite contemporary discs of recent years has been Han-Ola Ericsson’s The Four Beast’s Amen (see review), which I would urge on anyone willing to take on a wild inner journey of the imagination. As the title suggests, Les douze degrés du silence is a quieter affair, at least to start with, the electronics more often than not creating an ‘augmented reality’ rather than putting our perceptions through a sometimes hellish hall of mirrors as Ericsson does. The pieces are brief, intriguing and improvisatory; the sounds captured and transformed live using computer programmes. The techniques used are outlined in some detail in the booklet notes. Sound quality in the recording is decent if not hugely spectacular, if that’s what you are hoping.
Each number has its own title based on the vision of Dorothée Quoniam, or Sister Marie-Aimée de Jésus (1839-1874). No. VIII Silence de l’esprit is particularly haunting, taking the already unearthly half-stop glissando effects of the organ and turning them into something even more animal and unnerving. This could easily have been given 25 minutes rather than the meagre 2:55 we are allotted. Much of the music of Les douze degrés du silence is very approachable, some of it even sounding distinctly ecclesiastical. This rather easy-going character moves us without a bump into the Symphonie de l’empereur jaune, a rather lyrical opening Prelude taking us into an overwhelming crescendo and climax, (In)harmonic fear. The piece is a musical commentary on texts by 4th century Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi and started out as an improvisation, the present recording a recreation made with the organ of Sainte-Elisabeth in mind.
There are some marvellous and magical effects along the way in this piece, and numerous passages of static exploration of sound which can captivate or irritate, depending on your point of view. I like the way d’Alessandro often delivers on the promise of moments of eloquence after periods of exploratory development, the way he tempts with tonal teasers and arouses interest with a variety of electronic effects. As is always the risk with extended works of an improvisatory nature, there are a few passages which defy categorisation as either interesting or eloquent, and the attempts to make an upward glissando effect work in track 18 can be held up as an example neither fish nor flesh. I admire many of the effects we are given here, though struggle a little to find the compositional integrity I feel is so strong in Hans-Ola Ericsson’s disc. The subject of the music could be almost anything, and given a blind audition of the piece I suspect that China and the Yellow Emperor would be one of the last associations which spring to mind.
These comments are probably just me being overly picky, but sometimes I just wish composer/performers would explore and develop just a few of their best and most effective ideas into music with a distinctive and irreducibly powerful message, rather than filling time with daisy-chains of enigmatic curios. The final Chaconne “glossolalies” of the Symphonie for instance, is a stand-alone masterpiece, gothic-horror chord progressions heightened in effect and given nightmarish proportions with gargling sounds of bestial suffering which grow as the music develops, enveloping us in prehensile terrors. Yes, we’ll have some more of that, please.
Dominy Clements

Support us financially by purchasing this disc through MusicWeb
for £14.99 postage paid World-wide.



































































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.