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

Brahms Symphony 4 Dvorak Symphony 9
Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano"
IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra

Sinfonie Concertanti for two flutes and orchestra



A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin


Nick Barnard review
Michael Cookson review

an inspirational performance

An indispensable acquisition

The finest we have had in years

bewitching sound

Simply amazing

A splendid addition

One of the most enjoyable

quite superb!

utterly essential

A wonderful introduction

An outstanding CD


One of the finest versions

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Robert SCHUMANN (1801-1856)
Piano Concerto in A minor, op. 54 (1841) [32:10]
Norbert BURGMÜLLER (1810-1836)
Symphony No. 2 in D major, op. 11 (1835) [30:49]
Colibrì Ensemble/Alexander Lonquich (piano)
rec. 2017, Studio Odradek, Italy
ODRADEK ODRCD355 [63:04]

The Schumann concerto was the work that led me into the world of classical music, and hence it has a special place in my heart. It was probably for this reason that I requested this CD, when it looked as though it would go unreviewed.

Alexander Lonquich is not a name I recognise, but a little searching indicates that he has quite a number of recordings covering more than a decade across a range of prominent labels, ECM and Alpha, for example. The notes indicate that he has an ongoing connection with the Colibrì Ensemble. Choosing to record such a staple of the repertoire is courageous, and alas, not particularly successful. At over 32 minutes, it is one of the slower versions out there, without seeming to achieve any special insight in doing so. It is competently performed, no more. There is, however, a much bigger problem here. Someone - the recording engineer seems the most likely candidate - has got the sound levels wrong, leading to what sounds to me like clipping at climaxes. It is most evident in the concerto, where the Steinway piano sounds harsh and distorted in the fortissimo moments. It is less evident in the symphony, but is there if you listen very closely.

Norbert Burgmüller was one of the less well-known composers to die very young, younger even than Schubert. The pairing of his uncompleted second symphony is appropriate since he was a friend of Schumann, who orchestrated the third movement Scherzo after Burgmüller’s death. He also contemplated completing the final movement, but chose not to. There is an alternative recording of this work on MDG, which also features his piano concerto and an overture, so these are far more attractive options than the discmate here. However, I think the Colibrì Ensemble makes a better case for the work, which has reminders of Beethoven, the Pastoral especially.

The Pescara-based ensemble comprises 41 players, so might be considered a largish chamber orchestra. They play well enough, the smaller number of players suiting the Burgmüller particularly. The booklet notes provide good information on Burgmüller’s life and the symphony, but the recording quality is a huge problem. I see on Presto Music that you can purchase a download of the symphony only for approximately half the price of the CD; that would be my recommendation.

David Barker

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