Reviews

Seven world premiere recordings of works by British composers with a range of styles, from the deep and heartfelt Violin Concerto Soft Stillness by Guto Puw to a stunningly simple yet beautiful work from Michael Nyman. Many of the works were specially written for, and premiered by, Madeleine Mitchell, making this is a very special album for her.

” —John Pitt, New Classics

Some music hits you from the first with a special moodiness. Enter Ghost Dialogues. Some of the works have a solemn majesty, some a jazzy approach, all have a reflectiveness in some way, and all show Chris Gekker to be a marvelous, singing trumpet presence. All performers are peak, but Chris Gekker is the very artful, brilliant constant.

” —Grego Edwards, Gapplegate Classical Modern Music

In terms of musical and pianistic invention, of greater interest (than the Jaëll and Leschitzky) are Thalberg’s Moses Fantasy, one of the pieces he played during the famous Paris ‘duel’ with Liszt at the Princess Belgiojoso’s, and Saint-Saëns’s treatment of Massenet’s Thaïs, titled La mort de Thaïs.Wright admirably avoids over-playing and his pedalling is always judicious.

” —Patrick Rucker, Gramophone

Natalie Schwaabe’s CD shows the extent to which the piccolo is capable of nuances of colour and expression. The listener is rewarded by experiencing all the artistic differentiations this flutist manages to elicit from the instrument. Everything is tunefully formed… a thoroughly exciting CD.

” —Marco Ffrei, Das Orchester

The considerable demands on the soloist are superbly realised in this recording. Terrific performance by Elizabeth Hilliard, which is wonderfully controlled in terms of vocal colour and dramatic urgency (even at reduced dynamic levels) – a triumph for both composer and performer.

” —Martin O'Leary, New Music Journal

The [Buckley] work, and its performance on this CD, represents a tour de force in contemporary Irish vocal music. It is significant to have this neglected figure [Ina Boyle] and her music included on this CD. Her ability to capture a mood with short gestures is clearly in evidence here, as is her operatic leaning.

” —Martin O'Leary, New Music Journal

The “12 Suites” establish for us Mattheson’s idiomatic immersion in the baroque of his time but also a definite originality. The music comes alive thanks to Gilbert Rowland’s apposite and enthusiastic performances. The set will appeal to anyone who revels in baroque harpsichord. I for one am glad to hear and in the future re-hear these unknown gems!

” —Grego Edwards, Gapplegate Classical Modern Music

Meticulous and committed performances of four works, all highly advanced harmonically and expressive. There is beauty and character to these works. Raftery shows himself as a gifted exponent of high modernist chamber art. I come away from this program impressed and rewarded. Anyone with a liking for the intimacy of the chamber form and the sophistication of the classic modern expansiveness should readily take to this music as I have. Very recommended.

” —Grego Edwards, Gapplegate Classical Modern Music

A delight… bracing, regretful, haunting, magical… in sum this is very worthwhile music. The Adams work alone is worth the price of admission. Yet all of it fascinates and pleases. And you will be helping Parkinson’s UK! So go for it.

” —Grego Edwards, Gapplegate Classical Modern Music

If today [Szymanowski’s] music is not as frequently performed as it might be, the masterful quality and expressivity of the oeuvre as a whole demands a serious immersion. Barbara Karaskiewicz combines virtuosity and interpretive acuity to be a near ideal exponent of a series of breathtaking Szymanowski works. . I would be hard-pressed to imagine a better single CD that brings to us all that makes Szymanowski’s piano music important and movingly alive.

” —Grego Edwards, Gapplegate Classical Modern Music

[The composer] never let go of the unique flavour that marks his writing. He always favoured the modernists and held a high regard for the French impressionists. Soldano is very at home with this repertoire, revealing a connection far beyond what academic understanding alone can forge. It’s a real pleasure to hear this music presented by an artist who clearly believes in its revival.

” —Alex Baran, The Whole Note

Their playing has been utter perfection, with a pianistically Zen oneness to all articulation, dynamics and phrasing. It always takes a few minutes of wonder at the technical beauty of their performance before you can relax into what the composer has actually intended to say. All the more reason to laud this substantial seven-CD set as the pinnacle of their lifetime’s work. It’s a beautiful set, brilliantly assembled and as inspired as anything they have ever done. Goldstone & Clemmow’s final recording project is definitely an item to collect.

” —Alex Baran, The Whole Note

[The Soloists] are solidly supported by the good pianist Nigel Foster. The 19 songs on this recording were chosen from a total of three hundred. Roe always lets the chosen text flow into the composition. She creates settings aligned to the subjects of her texts and also uses unusual subjects for her songs.

” —Uwe Krusch, Pizzicato (Luxembourg)

There’s not much point talking about the playing (world class) or the composing (ditto). What’s it like to listen to? With so many composers, it’s clearly a varied listen. An interesting album, a blend of jazz, film noir soundtrack, classical and ambient.

” —Jeremy Condliffe, The Chronicle

This is a repertoire from the top of the pianistic canon, requiring not only the mastery of the workshop, but also the exceptional knowledge and sensitivity – these qualities Barbara Karaśkiewicz owns. [A] very successful album.

” —Witold Paprocki, Twoja Muza

Polish pianist Barbara Karaskiewicz shows that she can master all of the heterogeneous aspects of Szymanowski’s styles… a perfect technical and stylistic maturity. The recording is characterized by a full and wide sound…. [and] has a natural glow without application of additional effects.

” —Edmondo Filippini, Music Voice (Italy)

The Italian pianist Alfonso Soldano plays a highly entertaining program. The interpretations seem very natural and balanced, leaving in the music the charm that characterizes it.

” —Remy Franck, Pizzicato (Luxembourg)

Barbara Karaskiewicz makes the development of the composer from the romanticist to the expressionist clear and plays the four works on a high level technically, musically always correct, and highly sensitive.

” —Remy Franck, Pizzicato (Luxembourg)

The context adds a certain poignancy and significance to a recording that stands on its own as a finely executed program of chamber works. Mind Music is polished, expressive, and programmed coherently. More than that, however, it is a provocation to think more deeply about neurodegenerative conditions, the relationships between music and health, and the role of music as a social force.

” —James V. Maiello, Fanfare

[Parker’s] music, on the present evidence, is engaging, always easy on the ear. A fun disc, without doubt – especially in such expert performances as these.

” —Colin Clarke, Fanfare