Reviews

I enjoyed both electronic works. Mulvey’s attractive and satisfying exploration of this unique sound world… is music to sit back to, close one’s eyes and simply enjoy. ) I enjoyed the sheer simplicity of [Fox’s] highly meditative work: I did not want it to end.

” —John France, Music Web International

There is a wide variety of musical styles presented here, including jazz, avant-garde classical and simple musings. I was impressed by the playing of these pieces, which typically sounds extremely complex and technically demanding. The result is impressive and enjoyable.

” —John France, Music Web International

Fox responds to a number of intriguing stimuli from art to mathematical equations [and] explores every aspect of the instrument’s capabilities in terms of pitch, rhythm, and timbre, consistently stretching limits in the pursuit of engaging musical soundscapes. Heather Roche responds to the challenge admirably with tour de force commitment and skill, giving all of these works performances for which any composer would be grateful. The standard of musicianship is exemplary. The disc is a valuable and welcome addition to the Fox discography.

” —Andrew King, BMS Newsletter

Lefanu’s Invisible Places (1986) is a remarkable and succinct clarinet quintet. The major work, however, is Mandala 3. The musical treatment ranges far and wide, but [Lumsdaine’s] style is unified and the effect haunting. This is a work that stays long in the memory. Fine performances throughout by the marvellous group Gemini and the various soloists.

” —Guy Rickards, Klassisk

Blunt is a refined and approachable composer working in a tonal idiom not a little influenced by the harmonic ambiguities of Scriabin. The substantial, three-movement concerto is reminiscent of Prokofiev, Rachmaninov and quite a lot of late Scriabin. The four-movement symphony may be relatively brief, but it belongs firmly in the British symphonic tradition.

” —Reviews Editor, Records International

Madeleine Mitchell has assembled works by her roughly contemporary British composers. She inspired many of them, and all receive on this disc their recorded premieres. There’s so much here that something’s almost bound to reach a receptive audience. Recommended.

” —Robert Maxham, Fanfare

A splendid compilation on two very generously filled discs, complete with printed texts in the well-written and informative booklet that comes with them. In fact this is an extraordinarily varied and intelligently chosen program featuring a wide range of musical styles. Everything is written very well for the voice, and each song is an apt setting of its chosen poem. This is a set I shall return to often. It is recommended enthusiastically.

” —Henry Fogel, Fanfare

Rose’s musical aesthetic is tonally based, but is far afield from anything resembling traditional functional harmony. The composer has developed his own harmonic language, and I find his musical idiom both innovative and pleasing. Skaerved and Mathews play together with impeccable precision and skill. Both Skaerved and Mathews are masters of their instruments, and apart from the inspired music heard herein, are well worth hearing in their own right.

” —David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare

Metier’s work to search out interesting, vibrant new music continues with this coupling of music by two composers. There are two individual voices here. Hearing them together enables us to appreciate the strengths of each of them. Fascinating and stimulating.

” —Colin Clarke, Fanfare

[Blunt’s] music is both approachable and rewarding on a deeper level. Wonderfully imaginative from concept through to realization, and presented here in miraculous beauty by the Manchester Camerata. Glorious. The recording is superb. This is a tremendous success from all viewpoints.

” —Colin Clarke, Fanfare

The 19 works collected here form a wonderfully balanced sequence of pieces large and small. Although the prevailing mood is elegiac-to-wistful, there are plenty which remember John’s engaging, pithy sense of humour. The musical styles are many and varied, from the formally dramatic, the abstract, and straightforwardly tonal. Beautifully performed by all four players and recorded to match.

” —Guy Rickards, Gramophone

Roe’s songs are almost defiantly, aggressively tonal and folk-like, like paintings by Grandma Moses popping up at an exhibition of dour minimalist artists. Stephen Varcoe lavishes crisp diction… Varcoe and the soprano Anne Marie Sheridan are ideally characterful. Robin Tritschler… is convincingly romantic.

” —Benjamin Ivry, Opera Now

This is music with gravitas, but melodic and made easy on the ear by the skill of the composer. It’s (mostly) a long way from the jazz/easy listening music of Henry Mancini. Serious music (it’s not lightweight classical film fare) but listenable and with a spring in its step.

” —Jeremy Condliffe, The Chronicle

The music of Vyacheslav Artyomov is deep, ultimately spiritual and brilliantly crafted. Brilliantly impressive…played with notable commitment and technical aplomb. – (5 stars)

” —Robert Matthew-Walker, Musical Opinion

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