MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

and more.. and still writing ...


Search MusicWeb Here


Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer

International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews
Symphony No 1
Portrait of Ned Kelly



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
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers


Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
Petrushka, ballet suite (1911) [23:05]
Pulcinella, ballet suite (1920) [11:00]
Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936)
The Seasons: ballet in one act, Op.67 (1900) [34:55]
unnamed orchestra (Petrushka), Walther Straram Concerts Orchestra (Pulcinella)/Igor Stravinsky
unnamed orchestra/Alexander Glazunov
rec. 1928 (Petrushka), 1929 (Glazunov), 1928 and 1932 (Pulcinella)

There’s long been a profitable line in marques such as 'The Composer Conducts'. Sometimes the results can be prone to stiffness, insecurity or self-conscious directness, whilst elsewhere – though generally faster than their competitors, the professional conductors – composer-executants can bring a sense of flair and spontaneity to proceedings.

The two examples here are both Russian with Stravinsky’s Petrushka and Pulcinella suites and Glazunov’s The Seasons sharing disc space. Because of his many subsequent recordings and his longevity Stravinsky’s aptitude for studio direction is well known and even these earlier 1928-32 recordings have remained important documents in his large discography. This, however, was Glazunov’s only recording.

It was recorded in London’s Portman Rooms over three days in June 1929, Glazunov directing a pick-up band called the Symphony Orchestra, though this would presumably have included a cadre from the LSO. Columbia producer Joe Batten left behind a wonderful description of Glazunov in his memoirs on which Mark Obert-Thorn draws pertinently in the brief one-page note which forms the booklet of this release. Batten recalled Glazunov producing a performance of ‘sheer beauty’. Indeed he draws from the principals especially characterful and distinctive phrasing – it would be very interesting to find out, even at this great distance in time, the names of the principal clarinet, flute and the harpist in particular. There’s tremendous vitality in the Waltz of the Cornflowers and Poppies, along with a buoyant sense of rhythm even though it slows toward the end of the side. The Barcarolle is recorded over two sides and is a total delight; fluency itself and once again with a very characterful contribution by the clarinettist. The original recording, as Obert-Thorn notes, was prone to a sound that favoured either the bass or the treble but it’s still entirely listenable.

Petrushka was also recorded in London, but a year earlier, and without the location being acknowledged in the notes – possibly no one is sure quite where. Again this is a ‘Symphony Orchestra’ – so again it could be a rump of the LSO, though the orchestra of the Royal Philharmonic Society was doing some recording work with Weingartner at the same time. The piano is well balanced in the Russian Dance and whilst the strings are not always quite together there’s plenty of spirit to be heard throughout. Petrushka incidentally was Stravinsky’s first published commercial recording and it is heard as a suite over six 78rpm sides – despite the ballet having already been recorded complete twice by Albert Coates and Eugene Goossens. Pulcinella was a strange affair. Part of it was recorded in Paris in November 1928, the results being released on a single 78, and Stravinsky later returned to the Walther Straram Concerts Orchestra to set down two further movements in May 1932. Two venues were used. The 1932 sides are definably more open but the earlier ones are, surprisingly perhaps, more ‘present’.

The transfers are very accomplished indeed. This Composer Conducts disc is a strong entrant.

Jonathan Woolf



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

September 2022
Nikolai Medtner
Herbert Blomstedt
Tarrodi Four Elements
Secret Love Letters
Lisa Batiashvili

August 2022

Louis Caix d'Hervelois

orchestral songs



String Quartets

la folia


Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I