One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
Google seem to have closed down local search engines. You can use this FreeFind engine but it is not so comprehensive
You can go to Google itself and enter the search term followed by the search term.


International mailing

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

Some items
to consider

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




simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin

Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive

Cantatas for Soprano


Plain text for smartphones & printers

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

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 through MusicWeb
for £5.99 postage paid world-wide.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 [29:33]
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23 [35:35]
Sviatoslav Richter (piano)
Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra/Stanislaw Wislocki
Vienna Symphony Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan
rec. 1959 and 1962. ADD stereo
ALTO ALC 1200 [65:00]

Working from original Deutsche Grammophon LPs Paul Arden-Taylor has given these two classic performances a fresh lease of bargain basement life. This continues the line established by Alto’s previous resurrection of the Richter/Michelangeli Rachmaninov concertos, which on that occasion married up DG and EMI sessions (review).
In fact the Schumann concerto here is from the same forces as the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2. The similarly plangent results can trace their source from a hypnotically deep romantic tradition. Here it is sensitive to the telling impact of the most careful attention to dynamic contrast without descending into mannered italicisation. The Tchaikovsky concerto finds the participants in burly romantic form. This is high octane stuff but I still prefer the growl and swoon of the Postnikova and Rozhdestvensky version with the same orchestra (review review). Still Richter is extraordinary though at times he does seem to be engaged in an epic struggle with Karajan. It keeps the listener on his toes. I also recall that another later collaboration between Karajan and Alexis Weissenberg was well worth hearing – one of my formative musical listening experiences (EMI ASD 2576). Let me not leave this work without again holding a laudatory torch for a rare CD coupling of what I consider to be among the very finest couplings of the first two Tchaikovsky concertos: Mikhaïl Petukhov with the Buenos Aires Phil conducted by Alexander Anissimov – the latter on very good form by comparison with his occasionally lacklustre showings on Naxos in Glazunov - Pavane ADW 7387
The LP stock yields up really good red-blooded results: towering yet poetic especially in the case of the Tchaikovsky. That said, in the Schumann and in the second movement of the Tchaikovsky there are some largely veiled but not inaudible low level thumps. Those and other occasional though discrete audio detritus are to be heard if you go listening. On the other hand you really have better things to do in this elite company.
Once again James Murray provides the complementary liner notes touching in all those fine little details that round out the experience.
These are performances full of vibrant character and the stuff of which musical discoveries are made likewise for those new to repertoire and for older and even jaded listeners.

Rob Barnett