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             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Bax Piano Music

Guillaume LEKEU


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


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Domenico CIMAROSA (1749-1801)
Overtures - 4
I sdegni per amore: Overture (1776) [8:17]
La finta Frascatana: Overture (1776) [7:08]
I tre amanti: Overture (1777) [7:38]
Le donne rivali: Overture (1780) [8:08]
I finti nobili: Overture (1780) [5:57]
Il pittor parigino: Overture (1781) [10:00]
L'amante combattuto dalle donne di punto – La Biondolina: Overture (1781) [5:03]
Giunio Bruto: Overture (1781) [7:00]
L’amor costante (1782) [6:55]
Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, Pardubice / Michael Halász
rec. 2014, The House of Music, Pardubice, Czech republic
NAXOS 8.573459 [66:26]

There is a great deal to enjoy in this album. The selections are all tuneful and appealing. The conductor, Michael Halász, understands the Classical style. He moves things along without becoming driven – the opening Allegro con spirito of L’amor costante, in fact, is surprisingly relaxed – but he does tend to let changes of texture, rather than of actual volume, indicate dynamic contrasts, and the players get unstuck here and there in I finti nobili. I would also have preferred more emphasis on the dissonant grace notes in L’amante combattuto. The Pardubice ensemble, at least as recorded, seems unusually well stocked with basses for a “chamber orchestra”. They provide a sturdy foundation for the compact sonority without weighing it down.

It takes a while to get to the really good stuff. For me, what makes this composer stand out is his wind writing. Solos are unfailingly lovely and idiomatic; translucent blocks of tone from the wind choir seduce the ear. Even simple, sustained oboe and horn notes fill in amid the busy strings without causing clutter. (You can hear all of this in Cimarosa’s opera Il matrimonio segreto, and enjoy a good comic opera in the bargain.) In this programme, however, the first four pieces – all tripartite, fast-slow-fast sinfonie (think Mozart 32) – have a generic, string-dominant sound, with the winds merely reinforcing the tuttis. It was only in I finti nobili that I started hearing what I would call the real Cimarosa, including a little horn duet, an extended oboe theme, and, for the recap, a clean, clear flute solo. There is more to come: in Il pittor parigino, some of those sustained tones, including a oboe note below the bustling strings; in Giunio Bruto, a woodwind-and-horn hunting call. The bristling L’amante combattuto reverts to a more conventional style, but the woodwind doublings register more vividly than they did in the earlier pieces.

Mind you, Cimarosa’s imagination still comes through, even where his woodwinds do not. In the three-part sinfonie, most of the slow central movements are in duple meter, yet composer and conductor keep them buoyant. I sdegni per amore and Il pittor parigino even suggest a Minuettish grace. Only the Andante con moto of I tre amanti comes off as square. And, throughout the album, the breezy, unbuttoned exuberance of the Allegros is consistently fetching.

The recording is full and present. The lighter textures evince a spacious acoustic that does not, however, distract from or interfere with the full passages.

Try it. You will like it – some of it, probably, more than the rest.

Stephen Francis Vasta

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

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