Richard Blackford

a new Lyrita
Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Nimbus on-line

Piano Trios
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.

British composers

  • 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

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 smartphones
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 from:

The Red Piano
XIAN Xinghai (1905-1945)
The Yellow River piano concerto (1970) [21:18]
In that place wholly far away (arr. Zhang Zhao) [3:57]
Glowing red Morningstar lilies (arr. Wang Jianzhong) [4:24]
Pi huang [6:10]
MA Jingfeng/ZHANG Nan
Remote Shangri-la [2:36]
Liu Yang river (arr. Wang Jianzhong) (1951) (3:29)
Kangding love song (arr. Zhang Zhao) [1:31]
REN Guang (1900-1941)
Colourful clouds chasing the moon (1935) [3:17]
Five Yunnan folk songs (arr. Wang Jianzhong) (1958) [5:34]
ZHU Jian’er (b. 1922)
Celebrating our new life (1952) [1:44]
LEI Zhenbang (1916-1997)
Why are the flowers so red? [1:53]
My motherland [6:03]
Yundi (piano)
China NCPA Concert Hall Orchestra/Chen Zuohuang
rec. Concert Hall, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing, 2-5 July 2011
EMI CLASSICS 0886582 [62:11]

Experience Classicsonline

Thus far Yundi has been associated on disc with the music of Chopin, so this latest release marks something of a radical departure. Radical in repertoire terms, but stylistically it marks a somewhat strange staging post too, unless one sees his nationality as of overriding importance. The Chinese music here consists of a stream of wispy miniatures bulked out by The Yellow River Piano Concerto, a work of huge popularity in its native country.
Lasting twenty-one minutes and cast in four movements the concerto derives from the 1939 Yellow River Cantata composed by Paris-trained Xian Xinghai. If you’ve not heard it before, it’s a cocktail of Chinese melodies served warm, shaken by Liszt and stirred with a dash of Rachmaninov, and poured into a glass of corn. The second movement cello cantilena is one of the music’s strongest points, but the whole shebang is more a series of Chinese musical tags roped together through adept orchestration. Pianistically the harp and Chinese cimbalom (yangqin) imitations are the classiest moments, and Yundi plays these with due diligence and ear for requisite colour. Otherwise, the music passes by with Nationalist fervour intact. It’s always struck me, though, as a peculiar act of Cultural Nationalism to appropriate a foreign musical aesthetic and sink one’s own melodies rather tritely into the mix: it’s like patting a dog on the head whilst it bites your legs off.
There is a sequence of solo piano works. Pi Huang is the old fashioned name for Peking Opera-Beijing Opera just doesn’t have the same ring, does it?-and is a rather anodyne piece. The Kangding Love Song is better, though Colourful clouds chasing the moon and My Motherland are better still in their impressionist kind of way. There are brisk folk songs aplenty, as well as Celebrating our new life, the Chinese equivalent of the kind of dross Soviet Realism deemed necessary.
It’s all a long, long way from Chopin. 

Jonathan Woolf

see also review by Rob Maynard

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from:






























































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.