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             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Guillaume LEKEU

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral



Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
L’Estro Armonico, Op. 3 No. 8, RV522 (1711) [12:02]
Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805)
String Quartet Op.32 No.6 in A, G206 (1780) [16:04]
Niccolò PAGANINI (1782-1840)
String Quartet No.7, MS34bis, string quartet version of quartet for guitar and strings [23:38]
Eddy Brown and Roman Totenberg (violins)
unnamed string orchestra (Vivaldi)
York String Quartet (Boccherini and Paganini)
rec. c.1939 (Vivaldi) and 1949 (remainder)

There’s a mystery at the heart of this disc. Forgotten Records has been perfectly right to replicate details from the Regent LPs from which these performances derive as they credit the York String Quartet. There’s a minor sub-mystery about this ensemble as well, since the labels of the LPs, but not the covers, call the group the New York String Quartet. Given that this is a common name and there were several incarnations of New York groups, it’s best to describe them as the York. But the real mystery is the first piece, the Vivaldi Concerto from L’Estro Armonico, which is clearly not a quartet performance.

The two violin soloists are extremely fine players and underserving of anonymity so, to cut this mystery short and knowing that Regent sometimes had recourse to transfer Royale 78rpm sets, I am sure that this is actually Eddy Brown and Roman Totenberg and an anonymous string ensemble in their four-sided Royale recording of around 1939. It seems to be very difficult accurately to date Royales so I’m going for that date or thereabouts. By some fluke this is one of the Brown Royales I have, so I ran it alongside the CD and, apart from a small pitch discrepancy, they match up. So, by default and not design, this joins APR’s Eddy Brown transfers, some of them Royales, in broadening appreciation of this Leopold Auer-trained American violinist, as well as Totenberg, who lived far longer and is better known. Expressive and elegant, with quick, glancing slides in the slow movement the performance is buoyant and attractive even if the recording itself is just a touch bass-orientated.

The Paganini recording is certainly ex-Royale 586-88, recorded around 1949 and released the following year. This is the familiar arrangement for string quartet of the original work for guitar and ensemble. It was the work’s first-ever recording. The York was led by Max Pollikoff (1904-84), well-known in New York circles for his ‘Music in our Time’ series, and a good chamber player. His serene solo passages are laudable, the pizzicati and sensitively shaped tempi equally so. Paragraphs are well integrated into the music’s witty rhetoric.

The Boccherini was released on LP with the Vivaldi under the name of the York Quartet, which has confused things, as noted above. It’s crisply played, well balanced, stylish and genial if very slightly small-scaled. The quartet’s sound is quite tight and crisp, not at all expressively voluptuous, notwithstanding the repertoire.

There are no notes but some internet sites to pursue are included and I liked the jacket artwork, which is very appropriate.

Jonathan Woolf

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
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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger