One of the most grown-up review sites around

50,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

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

Some items
to consider


A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin


Nick Barnard review
Michael Cookson review

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Anderson Choral music

colourful and intriguing

Pekarsky Percussion Ensemble

one of Berlioz greatest works

Rebecca Clarke Frank Bridge
High-octane performances

An attractive Debussy package

immaculate Baiba Skride

eloquent Cello Concerto

tension-filled work

well crafted and intense

another entertaining volume

reeking of cordite

Pappano with a strong cast

imaginatively constructed quartets

the air from another planet

vibrantly sung

NOT a budget performance

very attractive and interesting

finesse and stylistic assurance

Support us financially by purchasing
these through MusicWeb
for Ł10 each + postage.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Symphony No.8 in G major Op.88 [38.50]
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Tod und Verklärung Op.24 [24.29]
Prague Symphony Orchestra / Zdeněk Košler
rec. live, Albert Hall, Nottingham, 13 February 1967
William WALTON (1902-1983)
Scapino Overture [8.16]
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Piano Concerto No.3 in C major Op.26 [28.13]
Miloslav KABELÁČ (1908-1979)
Reflections Op.49 [15.15]
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Rapsodie Espagnole [16.45]
Antonín DVOŘÁK
Slavonic Dance No.15 Op.72 [2.44]
Peter Katin (piano)
Prague Symphony Orchestra/Zdeněk Košler, Václav Smetáček (Kabeláč)
rec. live, Royal Festival Hall, London, 8 February 1967 (Walton, Prokofiev), 6 March 1968 (Kabeláč); Albert Hall, Nottingham, 13 February 1967 (Ravel, Dvořák)

These two discs are derived from concerts given in the UK during tours by the Prague Symphony Orchestra in 1967 and 1968. The listing above needs to be cross referenced with a third OCCD issue (OCCD CD14/2011 - review), which contains a great performance of Shostakovich’s 10th Symphony recorded at the RFH on 6th March 1968. The performances are a continuing example of a touring orchestra giving of their best. The recording, whilst obviously not as smooth as one prepared in the studio, is more than acceptable, though the audiences of the 1960s seem to have been particularly prone to colds and coughs.

On the first of the above CDs Dvořák’s 8th is simply magnificent, the more so given how often these players must have performed it. There is no hint of routine anywhere. The rhythms have a lift and an incisive quality born of native instinct and the impact is helped by the distinctive colouration of the wind and brass. In those days orchestras from Eastern Europe did sound different. The Slavonic Dance given as an encore in Nottingham is played at tremendous speed and is greeted with cheers. Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration has been lucky on record and this performance simply adds to the choice of splendid readings. For myself nothing can quite match the Vienna Philharmonic and Fritz Reiner, recorded a decade earlier and still sounding astonishing.

The second CD is a mixed bag with one essential performance. The reason to buy the disc is Peter Katin’s only performance and recording of the Prokofiev 3rd Piano concerto. The notes describe his mixed feelings about the work but what comes over is a superbly confident display of virtuosity which quite rightly brings the house down. This is simply unmissable. As to the rest: Scapino is Walton letting his hair down and is dispatched with gusto; Miloslav Kabeláč's Reflections is a set of nine miniatures for orchestra written in 1963-64. It tickles the ear but for me it went nowhere in particular. Ravel’s Rapsodie is the only doubtful performance. It sounds to me as if the conductor is uncertain how to present Ravel’s typically filigree writing. Comparing this to the likes of Pierre Monteux leaves no doubt in my mind as to who understands the piece best, but this is just 17 minutes of 71 so it does not matter greatly.

Overall these CDs add to the feeling that we owe thanks to Geoffrey Terry for preserving such unrepeatable evenings in the concert hall. I doubt if such straight recordings, made, remember, with just two microphones, will ever again appear (though there are hints on the grapevine that certain engineers associated with the Berlin Philharmonic and maybe other European orchestras are relearning the art of the simple microphone pair). Live concert recording captures an urgency that rarely comes out of the studio.

Dave Billinge
Previous reviews
CD10/2010: Jonathan Woolf
CD2/2008: Jonathan Woolf ~ Paul Serotsky

We are currently offering in excess of 50,400 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
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