One of the most grown-up review sites around

51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

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

Some items
to consider


Reger Violin Sonatas
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Brahms Symphony 3
Dvorak Symphony 8
9 cello sonatas
Piano Music

Clara Schumann
piano concerto

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!

Quite splendid

Winning performances

Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc

a huge talent

A wonderful disc

Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!

Roth’s finest Mahler yet

Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
The Miserly Knight (1904) [59.06]
Misha Didyk, Peter Bronder (tenors), Sergey Murzaev (baritone), Ildar Abdrazakov, Gennady Bezzubenkov (basses)
BBC Philharmonic/Gianandrea Noseda
rec. Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, 2008/9
CHANDOS CHAN10544 [59.06]

Rachmaninov’s opera The Miserly Knight sets one of Pushkin’s four “little tragedies”. The story is of a poor knight, whose lack of wealth precludes him from partaking in courtly life. His father, the Baron, is a miser with cellar full of gold, who broods upon his beloved gold and rages in his mind at his son, whom he believes will squander it after his death. The son approaches the Duke to ask him for justice against his father, who happens to turn up just then. The son hides while the Duke talks to the Baron, in the course of which discussion the Baron slanders his son, accusing him of plotting his death, whereupon the son bursts out of his hiding place to defend himself against such lies. The Baron challenges his son to a duel; the son accepts, but the Duke intervenes and sends the son out of the room, only for the Baron to die from a seizure, his last thoughts on his gold.

The performance here is well-paced and well-proportioned; a wholly dramatic interpretation overall. The voices are well-differentiated. This is especially important as the two main dialogues occur between similar voice-types.

There is also a good balance between the large orchestra and the voices: the dramatic power of the latter makes an impact but never at the expense of the orchestra, the writing for which carries much important motivic material. The dramatic centre-piece of the opera is the Baron’s great soliloquy, which is realised admirably. The dialogues between the son and the moneylender, and the Duke and the Baron that are placed each side of the centre-piece are not overshadowed by this. This balance can be admired both at the poet’s and composer’s end and also at the performers’: all excellent and superbly done.

The booklet provides interesting background and detail about the work, with enough musical “signposts” given to enable a listener to absorb the work in an informed manner. It also includes texts. The presentation is all of the very highest standard, too, as one would expect from Chandos.

The Miserly Knight is certainly worth hearing, especially in as good a performance and recording as we have here.

Em Marshall-Luck



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger