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

Robert RADECKE (1830-1911)
Overture to Shakespeare's King John, Op. 25 (1860) [10:32]
Symphony in F Major, Op. 50 (1877) [33:15]
Nachtstück (A Night Piece), Op. 55 (1890) [9:43]
Two Scherzi, Op. 52 (1888) [11:17]
Sinfonie Orchester Biel Solothurn/Kaspar Zehnder
rec. 16-19 June 2015, Calvinhaus Biel, Switzerland. DDD
CPO 777 995-2 [64:53]

The life of the evidently handsome Silesia-born Robert Radecke (see illustration in booklet) spanned the 19th and 20th centuries. His world is very much of the romantic late 19th century. He was appointed music director at the Royal Court Opera Berlin in 1863 but gravitated towards ecclesiastical music; not that this is apparent here.

His personal acquaintance with Schumann, Wagner, Liszt, Brahms and Richard Strauss is, in the case of the music on this CD, evidenced in a certain resemblance to Schumann and Brahms. His work-list extends to songs, chamber music, symphonies (three of them), overtures, hymns, choral works and organ music. The present disc is reported to be the first of two exploring Radecke and crowd-funded from Biel and through a direct grant by Christian Radecke, the composer’s great-grandson.

The King John concert overture is suavely dramatic taking in elements of the accelerando manner of Schumann with the calming aspects of Mendelssohn's Fair Melusine and the kinetic variety of Weber's Oberon. The four movement Symphony again touches on Schumann especially in the first and last movements; this time the Fourth Symphony. There's a downy Mendelssohnian chatter to the second movement while the third suggests the dreamy slow-motion of a thronged ballroom. The Nachtstück has an unhurried quality and is dark and tense before giving way to yearning romance. It's clear that Radecke was no slouch when it came to music with a rushing pulse and the two Scherzi play to this strength. In fact they teeter and sweep excitingly around the world of the early Tchaikovsky symphonies and of the vintage era Glazunov symphonies. The second Scherzo also sports some charming writing for woodwind.

Neither Sinfonie Orchester Biel Solothurn nor Kaspar Zehnder are familiar names - at least not to me. However they are more than equal to the task of advocating Radecke persuasively. Let's hope they will take on more Radecke and also be taken on by CPO to move into stormier territory - perhaps with Bruno Walter's Second Symphony; well past time to take up that inspired baton again. The readably detailed liner-notes are excellent and are in German, English and French.

This is not heaven-storming music but is eminently craftsmanlike and satisfying both at technical and emotional levels. It will appeal to listeners who already have an appetite for Mendelssohn and Schumann or further afield for the orchestral Benedict and Sullivan.

Rob Barnett



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