Reviews

This recording was made at a concert given in May 2003. The performances are worth preserving. . The diction of all is excellent—I didn’t need to consult the booklet very often to understand what was sung. Many of these songs are little known gems that aren’t heard on these shores very often, if at all.

” —David Reynolds, American Record Guide

Chris Gekker’s full and warm trumpet sound is always welcome. Chris Vadala is the fine tenor saxophonist. Clara O’Brien is the rich-voiced mezzo soprano. Beautiful playing and collaborating by pianist Rita Sloan.

” —Barry Kilpatrick, American Record Guide

Mr Wright has the prodigious technique these arrangements require. Wright’s two Lisztian arrangements are excellent—the most desirable nine minutes here. Excellent sound.

” —Stephen Wright, American Record Guide

[A] virtuoso compilation of recordings, pieces and performances that bring together a myriad of personas. All of these pieces address in some way live-ness, the musical poetics of distance and nearness. What could have possibly gone underway in the rush of live performance is captured in recording, flickering instability becoming itself textual. Perhaps, this speculative listening environment encompasses the situation of listening to these recordings – metaphorically blindfolded to the live bodies of the performers, we lead these bodies through our auscultation into the imaginal daylight of hearing.

” —Madison Greenstone, Tempo

[Craig’s] second disc for Metier is perhaps the most challenging and avant-garde collection that I have heard in some time. Bravo to Craig for continuing to strike out into the unknown.

” —Tom Moore, American Record Guide

Schoenberg’s bizarre Buch der Hängenden Gärten will probably never end up on anybody’s list of favorite song cycles. The vocal line is extremely, sometimes frustratingly challenging; and there is no “pay-off” for the performer at the end. Stefan George’s poems are dense with concentrated poetic images that make them difficult to penetrate. It’s hard to […]

” —David Reynolds, American Record Guide

All delightfully presented. Soldano definitely relishes all of the peculiarities of the composer’s writing. Great sound and praiseworthy notes.

” —Alan Becker, American Record Guide

Turner’s style is tonal but interesting, lyrical with harmonic twists. He has a very personal style, and successfully avoids direct influence from the more major contemporary carol writers. A disc worth exploring.

” —Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill

The sound is somewhere between modern and more traditional. We also found it approachable; perhaps because there are hints of popular music in here, with nods to jazz and even popular classical music.

” —Jeremy Condliffe, The Chronicle

This CD demonstrates the violin at its most bleak/stark/purest; take your pick. It has a range of sounds and it’s a varied collection and hard to sum up. Overall, it’s a meaty programme with lots to hold the interest. Despite being modern, none of it is “challenging”, as the more unlistenable modern music is described. In fact, it’s got a depth you’d expect from a CD of more established music.

” —Jeremy Condliffe, The Chronicle

Lyricism is supplied in abundance by Wright. His warm tone and his ability to spin a legato phrase on what is essentially a percussion instrument are very impressive. There is something truly vocal about his playing. I can recommend this disc… very natural recorded sound and superb notes round out the production.

” —Henry Fogel, Fanfare

Marcus Blunt is one of those genuine British composers whose music has been unfairly overlooked for too long. This remarkably successful disc presents four of his works. Magnificently performed, very well recorded and finely balanced… and the entire production is strongly recommended.

” —Robert Matthew-Walker, Musical Opinion

The music has a bit of contemporary harmonic spice to liven up our holiday listening punch. Yet the music remains strikingly in the carol tradition. Anyone of Classical choral bent will find this album refreshing and substantial. Warmly recommended as a beautifully performed set of brand new yet ageless carols!

” —Grego Edwards, Gapplegate Classical Modern Music

This [is] a lovely thing to have, as an object: a nice box, with seven CDs and a thick booklet. That’s before you hear a note. The CDs have been carefully planned as separate programmes. The playing is superb throughout. If you’ve ever thought you’d like some cultured music but don’t know where to start, this is it.

” —Jeremy Condliffe, The Chronicle

This has got to be one of the coolest things… by definition [the carols] are all short and definitely sweet. It’s like having high-quality carol singers round your house. It’s a delightful and atmospheric programme of Christmas music.

” —Jeremy Condliffe, The Chronicle

Neat, undemonstrative and individual little carols that totally surpass their ‘closed circle’ origins.

” —Andrew Mellor, Gramophone

The compositional style and harmonic language of both composers is highly complex and adventurous… it is very individual, drawing upon many influences and diverse techniques. Gemini is one of Britain’s most important and most durable contemporary music ensembles. Gemini can certainly be regarded as ideal interpreters of this music. These are indeed excellent and fully committed performances.

” —David Ross, The Clarinet

A big feature of much of the music on the disc is Braid’s use of the archtop guitar, which Braid uses to surprisingly subtle effect. The music on the disc dates from the period 2012-2015 and is preponderantly in a gently modal, tonal style. An attractive introduction to the more intimate music of [the] composer. Here we have an array of fine performances and a selection of fascinating timbres.

” —Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill

Andreas Willscher has won many awards for his compositions. . His organ works are especially fine and varied – involving often a mélange of post-tonal modernism, minimalism, and jazz and rock elements. Organ Symphony Nos 19 and 20 were both composed in 2017 so are truly contemporary. They are lively, thrilling works with great rhythmic vitality.

” —John Pitt, New Classics

Cooman’s organ compositions come in many styles… tonal and accessible though never lacking in complex chromaticism. Simmons plays with fine technique and assurance and the live recording quality is outstanding.

” —John Pitt, New Classics