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







Reviews from the last week
249 reviews completed so far this month
This month's reviews
Last month's reviews


[New] National Discography updates by Mike Herman
Russian, Soviet & post-Soviet Symphonies
Previous updates
British Symphonies
French Symphonies
British & Commonwealth Concertos
British Orchestral Works

[New] Piano Trio Survey: "H" composers Discography & Review Index by David Barker

[New] Kenneth Leighton's Concerto for Strings by John France

Second Thoughts and Short Reviews: Spring 2017-2 by Brian Wilson & Dan Morgan

Forgotten Artists: Carlo Vidusso by Chris Howell


In order to persuade more of you to make a donation to MusicWeb International we are giving away CDs - click the Donate button top right for more details.

Publishing schedule
Monday: Other reviews (nostalgia, books, other music); Friday: Articles.
Live performance reviews posted daily at Seen and Heard
Jazz reviews posted weekly

Shopping on-line? Help us by doing it through the MusicWeb sales page.

Daily batches for printing (pdf) Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday


Wednesday May 31st

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Two-Part Inventions, Three-Part Sinfonias - Karin Kei Nagano (piano) rec. 2016 ANALEKTA AN28771 [54.15] [DC] Worth checking out.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Orchestral & choral works - John Corigliano (violin) Leonard Rose (cello) Dame Myra Hess (piano) Erica Morini (violin) Hollywood Bowl O, P-SO New York/Bruno Walter PRISTINE AUDIO PASC485/PASC489 [4 CDs: 300:55] [JQ] Brahms performances of great stature in expert transfers.

Andrea GABRIELI (1532/33-1585) Madrigali et Ricercari a quattro voci - Speculum Ens, Tastar de Corde rec. 2010-2011 CENTAUR CRC3471 [76:22] [JV] Fine performances by singers and instrumentalists.

Franz KROMMER (1759-1831) Symphoniies 1-3 - O della Svizzera Italiana/Howard Griffiths rec. 2013/14 CPO 555099-2 [77:26] [RK] Griffiths delivers crisp performances, which present the abundant strengths and pleasures of these works in best view.

László LAJTHA (1892-1963) Symphonies Nos 3 & 4, Suite No.2 - Pécs SO/Nicolás Pasquet rec. 1995 NAXOS 8.573645 [74.15] [MW] A useful and attractive addition to the recorded repertoire of twentieth century Hungarian music.

Oskar LINDBERG (1887-1955) Orchestral works - Örebro SO/Stig Westerberg rec. 1994 STERLING CDS1015-2 [56:12] [SG] If you like Sibelius, you will enjoy this music.

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) The Complete Piano Trios - Trio Martinů rec. 2016/17 MUSICAPHON M56970 [75:20] [JW] The Musicaphon team offers unvarnished and dedicated readings but in all honesty, they are eclipsed by the Smetana Trio.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Romeo and Juliet - Maria Kochetkova, Davit Karapetyan, Pascal Molat, Luke Ingham, San Francisco Ballet & O/Martin West rec. 2015 C MAJOR Blu-ray 739104 [128:00] [RMay] A very fine and well filmed performance that now joins other top recommendations.

Pellegrino SANTUCCI (1921-2010) Sacred works - Schola Cantorum Paolo Guglielmetti/Antonio Quero, I Solisti Laudensi/Fabio Merlini rec. 2015/16 TACTUS TC921980 [3 CDs: 190:40] [MR] Genuinely affectionate performances of music by a hitherto overlooked Italian composer whose music exudes religious conviction and artistic sincerity.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die schöne Müllerin - Bo Skovhus (baritone) Stefan Vladar (piano) rec. 2016 CAPRICCIO C5290 [59:13] [GF] Skovhus and Vladar are a safe bet in this cycle.

Tuesday May 30th 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1759) Gloria in Excelsis Deo - Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2013 BIS BIS2201 Blu-ray [93:00] [DBi] A moving video celebration of a landmark recording event.

Richard BLACKFORD (b. 1954) Violin Concerto, Clarinet Quintet, The Better Angels of Our Nature, Goodfellow - Maria Gajdosova (violin), David Campbell (clarinet), Solstice Qt; Emily Pailthorpe (oboe), Brno Phil/Richard Blackford; BBC SO/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2008-15 NIMBUS NI6338 [67:21] [JWh] A really enjoyable disc containing four memorable and entertaining pieces.

David GORTON (b. 1978) Lachrymae Variations, Forlorn Hope - Stefan Östersjö (eleven-string alto guitar) Longbow/Peter Sheppard Skærved rec. 2015/16 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0396 [62:22] [JW] An engagement with the music of John Dowland’s Lachrimae and the results are two very different structures that pay homage and yet also offer a strong and personal compositional slant on things.

Ketil HVOSLEF (b. 1939) Chamber Works III - Ricardo Odriozola (violin) Einar Rřttingen (piano) Hilde Haraldsen Sveen (soprano) Frode Thorsen (recorder) rec. 2014 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1117 [64:45] [SSi] This disc is a worthy successor to the previous two volumes of this interesting and rewarding series. I look forward to future releases.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sir James MacMILLAN (b. 1959) Stabat Mater - The Sixteen/Britten Sinfonia/Harry Christophers rec. 2014 CORO COR16150 [59:47] [JQ] A masterpiece which should be heard by anyone who values eloquent contemporary music.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 2, Corelli Variations - Vanessa Benelli Mosell (piano) London PO/Kirill Karabits rec. 2015 DECCA 4814393 [54:16] [ST] Most Rachmaninov fans will already have a better recording of the concerto and, fine as the Corelli Variations are, they seem scant reason to buy a disc that’s already under an hour’s running time.

Kevin RAFTERY (b.1951) Chamber works - Heath Qt, Berkeley Ens, Animare Ens rec. 2013 MÉTIER MSV28569 [66:13] [JF] I cannot fault this CD.

Julius RÖNTGEN (1855-1932) The Late String Trios - Offenburg String Trio rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573384 [73:07] [SV] A wonderful variety of sonorities conjured from just three players.

Claudio Arrau in Germany - Pre-War recordings Works by Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn & Liszt - Radio O/Hans Rosbaud rec. 1929-39 MUSIC & ARTS CD-1060 [67:34 + 56:07] [JW] A commanding retrieval.

Jacqueline Eymar (piano) Radio Recordings rec. 1958-72 MELOCLASSIC MC1037 [79:51 + 78:23] [SG] A must-have for pianophiles.

Monday May 29th 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations - Pietro De Maria (piano) rec. 2016 DECCA 4815087 [78:55] [SG] An impressive sequel to the Well-Tempered Clavier.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 3 Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 10 - Dresdner Philharmonie/Michael Sanderling rec. 2015/16 SONY CLASSICAL 88985408842 [48:45 + 56:05] [MC] Characteristically stylish and entirely compelling.

Ernst KRENEK (1900-1991) Complete Piano Concertos Vol. 2 - Mikhail Korzhev (piano), Eric Huebner (piano), English SO/Kenneth Woods rec. 2016 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0392 [69:00] [DM] Another indispensable instalment in this important series; kudos to all concerned.

Johann Simon MAYR (1763-1845) Mass, Stabat Mater - Orpheus Vocal Ens, Concerto Köln/Florian Helgath rec. 2015 CARUS 83.480 [77:51] [GF] A very valuable addition to the growing Mayr discography.

Boris TISHCHENKO (1939-2010) Symphony No. 8, Concerto for Violin & Piano, Three Songs to Poems of Marina Tsvetayeva - Chingiz Osmanov (violin) Nikolai Mazhara (piano) Mila Shkirtil (mezzo) St Petersburg State SO/Yuri Serov rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573343 [59:51] [SA] Showcases Tishchenko’s broad range of styles.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Lohengrin - Klaus Florian Vogt, Camilla Nylund, Dutch Ntl Opera Ch, Royal Concertgebouw O/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2015 RCO LIVE RCO17002 [3 SACDs: 210:45] [ST] Not a first choice, but a very good one.

Cello Stories The Cello in the 17th & 18th Centuries - Bruno Cocset (cello) Les Basses Réunies rec. 1998-2013 ALPHA 890 [5 CDs: ca 6 hrs] [TPo] A package that arouses pleasurable anticipation which is only partially fulfilled.

Dialoge Michael Sieg (cor anglais) Angelika Merkle (piano) rec. 2016 GENUIN GEN17454 [57:37] [JW] The playing is technically eloquent if on the cool side but the programming is not always beyond reproach.

Enigmas Works by Bowen, Elgar, Leighton, Rubbra & Sackman - Elspeth Wyllie (piano) Catherine Backhouse (mezzo) Claire Overbury (flute) Hetti Price (cello) Alexa Beattie (viola) rec. 2016 DIVINE ART DDA25145 [77:40] [RB] A natural voice demands to be heard. Well worth your listening contemplation.

Hic Et Nunc Capella de Ministrers/Carlos Magraner rec. 2016 LICANUS CDM1641 [63.45] [GH] A pleasing hour of escapism.

Friday May 26th

George ANTHEIL (1900-1959) Over the Plains, Symphonies Nos 4 & 5 - BBC PO/John Storgĺrds rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHAN10941 [65.45] [IL] A promising start to what one would hope to be a new Antheil series.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin - James Ehnes (violin) rec. 1999/2000 ANALEKTA AN28772-3 [73:52 + 76:25] [ST] Ehnes shows that modern Bach still reaps rewards and that the “authentic” brigade doesn’t necessarily have the whole market to itself.

Laci BOLDEMANN (1921-1969) Svart är vitt – sa kejsaren - Sven Nilsson (bass) Gunilla Slättegĺrd (soprano) Hovkapellet/Operakören/Operabaletten/Per Ĺke Andersson rec. 1965 STERLING CDO1111/2-2 [47:40 + 43:38] [GF] A valuable addition to the catalogue of Swedish opera on CD.

Giacomo CARISSIMI (1605-1674) Motets - Consortium Carissimi/Garrick Comeaux rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573258 [65:38] [JV] From the angle of repertoire this disc has to be welcomed, but the interpretations give only a glimpse of what Carissimi's music is about.

Giacomo MEYERBEER (1791-1864) Grand Opera - Diana Damrau (soprano) Ch & O l’Opéra National de Lyon/Emmanuel Villaume rec. 2015 ERATO 9029584899 [81.27] [MC] Diana Damrau is in remarkable form, and it is hard to imagine Meyerbeer’s cause receiving greater advocacy.

Jaan RÄÄTS (b. 1932) Complete Piano Sonatas Vol. 1 - Nicholas Horvath (piano) rec. 2016 GRAND PIANO GP765 [51:29] [RB] Masterly command of these dark yet gleaming materials whether in propulsion or in hypnotic doldrums.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Concertos for mixed instruments - La Stagione Frankfurt/Michael Schneider rec. 2013-2014 CPO 7778922 [59:30] Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902261 [72:05] [BW] Go for both of these very enjoyable recordings if you can.

Leipzig! Works for wind ensemble by Grieg, Hartmann, Reinecke & Svendsen - Oslo Kammerakademi rec. 2012 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1058 [69:18] [SV] A delightful wind program.

New Era Works for clarinet by Stamitz, Mozart & Danzi - Emmanuel Pahud (flute) Albrecht Mayer (cor anglais) Kammerakademie Potsdam/Andreas Ottensamer (clarinet) rec. 2016 DECCA 4814711 [71:58] [ST] While the music is all pleasant it isn’t quite top drawer enough to grip consistently.

Les Vendredis String Quartet Pieces from Belaieff’s Friday Concerts - Szymanowski Qt rec. 2015 SWR MUSIC SWR19034CD [77:35] [SSi] A wonderful collection of miniature pieces for string quartet, some light, short and perhaps best as encores, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Thursday May 25th

Eyvind ALNAES (1872-1932) Symphony, Piano Concerto - Hĺvard Gimse (piano) Oslo PO/Elvind Aadland rec. 2016 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1112 [70.11] [GH] For any one searching for an Alnaes disc to add to their library, I can see no reason why this disc could not make a natural starting point.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) & Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Choral Music -  Carice Singers/George Parris rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573695 [71:40] [RB] A stunning disc in every aspect.

Felix DRAESEKE (1835-1913) Quintets, Scene for violin & piano - Soloists Ens Berlin, Breuninger Qt rec. 2009 CPO 555107-2 [75:44] [SG] Music too good to miss.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Violin Sonata Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Romance Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Violin Sonata, Romance, Notturno e Tarantella - Tasmin Little (violin), Piers Lane (piano) rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHAN10940 [76:47] [SB] I greatly enjoyed this recital.

Salomone ROSSI (c1570-c1630) The Songs of Solomon - Profeti della Quinta rec. 2008 PAN CLASSICS PC10343 [58:35] [JV] An interesting and enjoyable disc.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) The Collection rec. 1964-2002 WARNER CLASSICS 9029586013 [13 CDs: ca 14 hrs] A Portrait rec. 1983-2013 RICERCAR RIC375 [8 CDs: ca 10 hrs] [SSi] The question which of these box sets to go for is answered simply: both. Each of them offer a fine collection of Telemann’s music in excellent performances.

French Piano Concertos Works by Boulanger, Françaix, Poulenc, Ravel & Tailleferre - Florian Uhlig (piano) Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern/Pablo González rec. 2015 SWR MUSIC SWR19027CD [71:30] [LW] A curate’s egg, but recommended to those who want these particular works.

Martin Luther and Music Bach-Chor Siegen, Johann Rosenmüller-Ens/Ulrich Stötzel rec. 2011 CPO 555 098-2 [70:59] [ST] The performances are good, but the historical documentation leaves much to be desired, so the disc can’t be wholeheartedly recommended.

Poems & Pictures Works by Ravel, Schubert & Mussorgsky - Leticia Gómez-Tagle (piano) ARS PRODUKTION 38224 SACD [68:09] [GPJ] Thoughtful yet fully realised performances of two of the greatest and most challenging masterpieces for the piano, played by this brilliant Mexican artist.

Silence On Joue - Take 2 La Pieta/Angele Dubeau (violin) rec. 2016 ANALEKTA AN28743-4 [60:36 + 45:31] [BMC] An interesting collection of music taken from film scores, arranged for a string ensemble.


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