One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,514 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

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



Song without Words
Johann Kaspar MERTZ (1806-1856)
Lied ohne Worte, from Bardic Sounds, Op.13 [4:14]
György LIGETI (1923 -2006)
Sonata for Cello solo (1948-53) arr Kostas Tosidis [7:32]
Alan RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971)
Elegy (1971) [8:13]
Richard Rodney BENNETT (1936-2012)
Impromptus (1968) [8:04]
Julián ARCAS (1832-1882)/Francisco TÁRREGA (1852-1909)
Fantasia on themes from La Traviata [7:13]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Moments musicaux D 790 (pub 1828) arr. Ganesh del Vescovo; No.1 [6:29]: No.2 [7:35]: No.3 [1:54]
Marcin Kuźniar (guitar)
rec. 2017, National Forum of Music, Wrocław

This new Polish label has a roster of young musicians and a perceptive eye for programming. This guitar disc, for example, clearly works on an arching principle that begins with one of Johann Kaspar Mertz’s well-known genre pieces and ends with a Schubert arrangement by way of a sequence of twentieth-century works and an operatic fantasia transcription.

Guitarist Marcin Kuźniar finds appropriate refinement and delicacy of articulation for Mertz’s song without words, which is simple in structure, perhaps, but typically melodious in effect. He moves forward boldly to Ligeti, taking on Kostas Tosidis’ arrangement of the two-movement Sonata for cello solo and finding that it acts as a kind of programmatic bridge, the slow cantilena of the first movement offering decidedly Baroque elements, and the Capriccio movement striking a virtuoso, almost Paganinian stance for the instrument. The arrangement is effective, and the performance convincing.

Two British works follow. Rawsthorne’s Elegy was his last work; indeed, he didn’t live long enough, quite, to finish it, that responsibility vesting with Julian Bream, for whom it was written, and who both edited and completed it. Ranging from meditative, melancholic paragraphs to faster, almost jazzy runs, the music remains oddly enigmatic. By contrast, Richard Rodney Bennett’s Impromptus – also written for Bream – is cast in five crisp, brief movements that encode twelve-tone procedures in a creative and imaginative way. The music remains appealing, embracing silent pools in the central Elegiaco or more florid pleasures in the Con fuoco.
The fantasia on themes from La Traviata was written by Julián Arcas and further amended by Francisco Tárrega. In seven minutes, it covers the overture and main themes, ending optimistically – not despairingly – with the dance patterned Sempre libera. Kuźniar concludes by playing three of the set of Moments musicaux D790 in the guitar arrangements of Ganesh del Vescovo (he has actually transcribed all six) that manage to retain those elements of intimacy so important in the piano originals. Perhaps the association of Schubert the guitar player adds another pleasurable gloss on these transcriptions.

As yet the label has yet to get to grips with idiomatic English translations in its booklet but that’s a small matter. The booklet itself is attractively laid out, in Polish and English, and the recording is sympathetic.

Jonathan Woolf

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month



From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience