Reviews

This engrossing DVD showcases five attractive scores together with the silent films for which they were written. The entire package has been thoughtfully curated and is attractively presented. Each film is uniquely fascinating but the thread that connects them is Ed Hughes’s skilfully conceived and delightfully accessible music which receives unstinting advocacy from all the performers here.

” —Richard Hanlon, MusicWeb International

A fitting memorial to John McCabe, one in which his friends, colleagues and former students pay him homage in some beautifully performed music. As a whole this is a wonderful set of pieces, with a great variety of styles and make up of ensemble, but throughout the performances are excellent. Peter Lawson’s piano playing is thoughtful and at times evocative of McCabe’s own style, whilst John Turner’s tone is, as ever, beautiful throughout, with the same being true of both that of Linda Merrick and Alistair Vennart, with all performers having a significant part to play in my enjoyment of this disc.

” —Stuart Sillitoe, MusicWeb International

This is an ingenious recital, excellently planned and played. With a spacious but focused recording set-up, strands come through with clarity. This is a challenging and successful recital.

” —Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International

All three works presented are valuable and the Camilleri concerto should now find a place in programmes that feature Bartok’s sonata. A thought provoking and rewarding issue.

” —David Hackbridge Johnson, MusicWeb International

Revelatory clarity… this excellent CD opens with the premiere (and so far, the only) recording of Charles Camilleri’s stunning Concerto for two pianos and percussion. The recital of these three excellent works is superb. The recording is ideal.

” —John France, MusicWeb International

The ballet suites are a dark and sombre affair, epic in proportions and impressively bold. Yet they have their more introverted moments of profound reflection. Haunting, ghostly and ethereal are adjectives I would use to describe the general tenor. The soloists and choir are raptly intense and Kitaenko directs a sure-footed account. The imaginative and colourful orchestration [of Tempo Costante], drawing on a resourceful array of percussion, confers a kaleidoscopic sonic blend. The recordings sound fresh and vibrant. This captivating release will no doubt stir me on to explore more of this composer’s strikingly potent music.

” —Stephen Greenbank, MusicWeb International

The music takes full advantage, especially under Simmons’ hands, of the imaginative and emotionally evocative colouring of which the Abbey organ is capable. The repertoire is well chosen and makes for very satisfying listening. There’s no doubt about the power and grandeur of this magnificent pipe organ.

” —Alex Baran, The Whole Note

I have not heard anything from Cooman that was not well-crafted and engaging. Owl Night is that and a good deal more. It is orchestral-depth organ music in the grand tradition. I recommend this to anyone who loves the organ. Good music. Very good.

” —Grego Edwards, Gapplegate Classical Modern Music

I enjoyed this CD immensely… superbly atmospheric and often gorgeous music. Beautifully played, well-presented and superbly recorded.

” —John France, MusicWeb International

Robert Stoodley and Linda Ang are clearly capable of filling the shoes of their predecessors [Goldstone & Clemmow] on Divine Art. I expect this to be the first in another long line of excellent piano duo recordings.

” —James Harrington, American Record Guide

The singing and accompaniment are top-notch. These performers obviously under¬stand the important role of the poetry in Art Song, so their accounts of these 52 songs display emotional depth and literary understanding. Listeners are sure to find others of interest—there is something for everyone here. Notes on the society, composers, performers, and texts. A lovely production.

” —Robert Delcamp, American Record Guide

Utterly intriguing. This marvellous collection of works for clarinet, performed by the excellent Heather Roche, certainly exemplifies the composer’s intense, playful and endlessly exploratory musical voice. Performance 5/5 Recording 5/5

” —Kate Wakeling, BBC Music Magazine

I have always found much to enjoy and admire in Christopher Fox’s music. Heather Roche is a superb advocate for Fox’s clarinet works. Fascinating timbral contrasts. It is difficult to imagine Metier’s recorded sound could be improved.

” —Richard Hanlon, MusicWeb International

CLASSICAL CD OF THE WEEK. McLachlan fires off hardcore firecrackers right out of his hand. He’s off and away, wildly pouncing through the tumultuous passages – with unstoppable dynamism, galloping – not dancing. [I have] newfound, strengthened admiration for his world premiere recordings that are, for the time being, not being bettered but only made to sound better by the competition.

” —Jens Laurson, Forbes

Another entry in this immensely rewarding series. This volume reveals the composer’s range more than some of the previous ones. But some pieces here also remind us that Cooman is a versatile composer with well established modern credentials.

” —, Records International

These highly approachable, thoroughly tonal works make up a most appealing programme… finely crafted concert works, enjoyable by anyone with a taste for lush neo-romanticism.

” —, Records International

Excellent CD: it tackles big themes without being intimidating and while decidedly modern [keeps] both feet in the traditional and harmonious camp. Blunt is well worth investigating, a modern composer with an old-school sound and never off-putting.

” —Jeremy Condliffe, The Chronicle

Mesmerizing quietude. Music that hues closely to a Japanese aesthetic based on simplicity of utterance and purity of expression… absolutely intriguing and immensely satisfying, leaving this listener in a state of completely peaceful relaxation.

” —Rafael de Acha, Rafael Music Notes

Brenton Broadstock’s superb Made in Heaven: Concerto for orchestra is a sheer delight to listen to… simply outstanding from end to end. The four works by Nan Schwarz…[are] a subtle balance of jazz and classical. It is a sheer pleasure to listen to this ‘cool’ music. I cannot fault the vibrant recording.. The balance of jazz soloists and symphony orchestra is ideal.

” —John France, MusicWeb International

This is quintessentially original music. It demands for you to listen. Really listen. Pure sound: acoustic or electronic. And pure sound is delivered by Fineberg, in spades, in four exotically-titled compositions. The players are beyond reproach: All these artists walk dangerous territory bravely and elegantly. You will be rewarded. I certainly was.

” —Rafael de Acha, Rafael Music Notes