One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati







Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from

Georges ONSLOW (1784-1853)
Cello sonata in F, Op. 16 No. 1 [22:03]
Cello sonata in C minor, Op. 16 No. 2 [31:06]
Cello sonata in A, Op. 16 No. 3 [17:20]
Maria Kliegel (cello); Nina Tichman (piano)
rec. 28-30 November and 1 December 2011, Deutschlandfunk Kammermusicksaal, Cologne, Germany
NAXOS 8.572830  [70:29] 

Georges Onslow was born into scandal, as the essay to this CD explains with glee. His father had been booted from the U.K. Parliament for a gay affair, fled to France, and there married a rich heiress and proved his ability to procreate. Young Georges came of age in the shadow of Beethoven, publishing these cello sonatas in 1821, when Beethoven’s five sonatas were more or less the only examples of works which put these instruments on an equal footing.
So there’s a really fantastic air to the Onslow cello sonatas: they’re at the start of a new repertoire, with only Beethoven as a guide, and they capture a moment at the dawn of romanticism which also includes the likes of Schubert, young Mendelssohn, and Cherubini. The first, in F, is a charmer with good tunes given to the two instruments in equal measure. I find myself especially attracted to the andante. The third is even more compact, with a slow movement that’s a mere introduction to the finale. This is a work with a very light tone, even some humor, until the finale, which begins with an unexpected minor-key turn - think of Schubert’s last piano sonata.
In between comes the second sonata, an epic work in C minor that spans 31 minutes. It opens with the cello declaring the obligatory troubled main theme, and its ‘menuetto’ is, like many romantic minuets, a dramatic scherzo in disguise. There is a very graceful secondary theme, however, and a trio the delicacy and romanticism of which took me by surprise. Will the troubled finale’s coda, with its growling low cello notes, come around in the end to a cheery C major conclusion? Well, actually, no, it won’t.
Maria Kliegel’s playing seems to have become fairly controversial of late: her tone is big and fluid with lots of ripples of vibrato. These are very romantic accounts of the sonatas. Nina Tichman is an excellent pianist and consistently a pleasure to hear; the recorded sound is faultless and balances the two parties very well. All told, this is a first class production which sheds light on music I am very glad to have in my collection.
Brian Reinhart