Reviews

“Nicely packaged, splendidly engineered, intelligently annotated and, most important, played to perfection by Alfonso Soldano, the album is a gem – one cannot help but marvel at the variety of moods in this ever-changing music. Alfonso Soldano proves himself a masterful interpreter of this music… [he] is a pianist of the first order and his Castelnuovo-Tedesco album a thing to treasure.” – Rafael de Acha (Rafael Music Notes)

” —Rafael de Acha, Rafael Music Notes

Divine Art is a record company that focuses its efforts instead on creating very special things… Andrew Wright dazzles with his command and conquest of the pianistic mine fields of [these works]. The demands this repertory places on technical wizardry, including interlocking and alternating and cross-voicing from hand to hand, extended passages using massive octaves, unending arpeggios, and its call for the stamina of a sportsman are beyond the reach of any but the most valiant of pianists. Mr. Wright is one such keyboard artist.

” —Rafael de Acha, Rafael Music Notes

Natalie Schwaabe is a fantastic, even stunning, piccolo and flute player whether producing sound the usual way, flutter tonguing, or singing and playing at the same time. She handles all the demands with aplomb and artistic vision. Jan Philip Schulze plays the Dickens out of his parts, which means when you put the two together the result is a program you just have to hear.

” —Todd Gorman, American Record Guide

One would expect a Polish pianist to bring an extra dimension of understanding when performing this great composer. These performances show that to be so… Karaskiewicz’s program offers a good introduction to the composer, and her extensive notes are worthy of the highest praise. Here is yet another great recital, a superb sampling. The plush fullness of the sound is an added attraction.

” —Alan Becker, American Record Guide

Trios for piano, violin and cello as well as smaller works by Irish composer Rhona Clarke are well played by The Fidelio Trio. The musicians are acquainted with the composer and her music, and have recorded lively and expert performances.

” —Uwe Krusch, Pizzicato

It is difficult to understand how much wonderful music Franz Schubert wrote in his short life… No less admirable is the perseverance of Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow – their concentrated playing, the youthful freshness and even carefree spirit that they elicit from this music; a spontaneity that never subsides. Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow invested a lot of dedication and talent in this exceptional project.

” —Guy Engels, Pizzicato

The material is very well arranged, with a balance between shorter and longer works, varied musical styles, and complementary key relationships. The performances may justly be considered among the best by one of the best piano duos… every hearing reveals other beautiful musical moments. Goldstone and Clemmow take perfection of ensemble to its summit. The little things, like placing emphasis on an important chord with a barely perceptible break and minuscule tempo relaxations at the end of phrases, are all done as one… taken as a whole there is no competition.

” —James Harrington, American Record Guide

The suites are mostly of medium difficulty and moderate inventiveness… Rowland does well to embellish the music, taking it far beyond the notation.

” —Bradley Lehmann, American Record Guide

A triple CD of music for harpsichord in a nice presentation case and well played. Fans of keyboards need know no more. The playing is certainly fine and the music stands up well to Handel’s own harpsichord music… three hours of quality music.

” —Jeremy Condliffe, The Chronicle

Exordium, the opening piece on this CD, certainly makes for a great beginning … which pushes the organ’s and organist’s limits to their full potential. Besides the closing Veni Creator Spiritus also being a full on all-stops blazing type of piece, most of the other pieces sandwiched in between are soft, lyrical and evocative works, all great at displaying a pipe organ’s individuality and range of stops. Each and every piece on this disc has a distinct style and unique sound, unlike many other composer’s collections that bring on ear fatigue after a while.. an enriching listening experience.

” —Jean-Yves Duperron, Classical Music Sentinel

Chris Gekker is a master of his instrument. His technique is impeccable: The Metier recording is so clear one can hear every detail of attack. In addition, there is a real musical intelligence at work, here coupled with a fervent belief in the music he plays. This is a most varied recital, then, caught in superb sound. The combination of technique, taste, and musicianship is remarkable.

” —Colin Clarke, Fanfare

This is a lovely disc… the performances here have such warmth and engagement that they make a delightful disc. The programme has the advantage of being full of relatively rare gems, which makes it so much more intriguing.

” —Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill

With all proceeds from the sales being donated to Parkinson’s charities, this two-CD set is immensely worthwhile. The performances are immaculate. Rarely have I have been so engaged in this repertoire. Production values are first-rate… this is an important release. Go buy it!

” —Guy Rickards, Gramophone

This CD, fascinatingly, covers the whole range of {Szymanowski’s] styles from the Op 1 Preludes to the later Mazurkas, Op 62…. this particular grouping of works is unique. Barbara Karaskiewicz seems to have known Szymanowski and his language for a number of years… you are in safe hands with this CD. The booklet is, for me, a model of what I like to see and read. The recording is also ideal. All in all this disc would make an ideal start for anyone coming anew to this fascinating composer.

” —Gary Higginson, MusicWeb International

Lydia Kakabadse writes music that speaks clearly of her non-UK roots. The music is approachable yet atmospheric. The mezzo-soprano Jess Dandy, a name new to me, has a fabulously rich voice. This is a most enjoyable disc of music, flavored with various folk musics and traditions.

” —Colin Clarke, Fanfare

This is a most impressive coupling from Irish-American mezzo Aylish Kerrigan, who has previously won plaudits from Fanfare critics. Kerrigan’s performance is impeccable in the way she moulds the melodic lines with such affection. There are songs of extreme beauty here. The recording is supremely produced and engineered.

” —Colin Clarke, Fanfare

The pairing of these two contemporary song cycles makes for an exceptionally strong program, and the works are interpreted by mezzo-soprano Aylish Kerrigan and pianist Dearbhla Collins with extraordinary commitment, skill, and style. Excellent sound and a meticulous attention to nuance and detail.”

” —Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold, Fanfare

The Fidelio Trio plays with grace, commitment, and elegance. The acoustic on the studio recording is warm and rich Clarke’s writing for piano, cello, and violin is sensitive, introspective at times, never esoteric, and always communicative in a highly personal way. This recording offers a welcome sampling of Rhona Clarke’s instrumental work and goes a long way to enhancing her reputation as one of Ireland’s most original contemporary composers.

” —Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold, Fanfare

This is an excellent release of music by two significant composers who happen to be married to each other. Mandala 3 is an extremely striking and individual piece, and this new recording is very welcome. This is important music by two master composers beautifully performed by their frequent collaborators. Recommended.

” —Carson Cooman, Fanfare

Natalie Schwaabe proves herself herein to be a piccolo player of consummate skill, and pianist Jan Philip Schulze is a most sympathetic and gifted collaborator in the pieces that utilize him. I found the entire CD to be captivating and well worth exploring, and containing works that will bear up well on repeated listening. Highly recommended to collectors, even to those who might not consider themselves particularly adventurous.

” —David deBoor Canfield, Fanfare