One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
Google seem to have closed down local search engines. You can use this FreeFind engine but it is not so comprehensive
You can go to Google itself and enter the search term followed by the search term.


International mailing

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

Some items
to consider

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




simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin

Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive

Cantatas for Soprano


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Horizon Funčbre
Leos JANÁČEK (1854-1928)
String Quartet No. 2 – Intimate Letters [24:32]
Franz Peter SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
String Quartet No.15 in G Major, D. 887 [48:27]
Taurus Quartet
rec. Academiezaal Sint-Truiden, Belgium, 2017
ET’CETERA KTC1604 [72:59]

At first sight, the coupling of these two quartets might seem somewhat strange, but they work well together, especially in this wonderful recording. The Taurus Quartet draws attention to there being very nearly exactly one hundred years between the two composers’ deaths, and each of these quartets comes from the last quarter of their output.

The disc opens with Leos Janáček’s string quartet, which is in reality a declaration of love for Kamila Stöslova, whom he had met in 1916 and was thirty-eight years his junior. The original score bore the title ‘Love Letters’ and called for the viola to be replaced by the viola d’amore.

This recording is taut and a little quicker than all the others I have, nearly two minutes faster than the classic version by the Janáček Quartet on Supraphon. The opening section of the quartet begins with the cello, followed swiftly by the violins, depicting Janáček’s first meeting and heartfelt passion for Stöslova. Here I find the Taurus Quartet to be if anything a little too aggressive in their passion. Their playing of the dance episodes, especially the Moravian dance in the final movement, is well-nigh perfect; they bring out the joy of this movement better than a lot of quartets, although some purists might not fing it sufficiently Czech in character.

I feel that the Schubert work which follows suffers from the popularity of its predecessor, the so called ‘Death and the Maiden’ quartet, whilst I have always found the G Major Quartet the finer of Schubert’s two final works in this genre. It is in many ways equally as dramatic as No. 14, a quality that the Taurus Quartet exploit well in their reading. Although they play it slightly more quickly than most performers, the Taurus Quartet still manage to convey the tension and the worry in the work, making this a darker, yet equally compelling, account of Schubert’s final quartet; there is a real sense of ensemble in their playing throughout.

Their notes are intelligent and informative, breaking down the works and giving brief notes on each movement. The recorded sound is good and the disc is attractively packaged. This release provides a convincing argument for programming these two quartets together.

Stuart Sillitoe

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD


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