Reviews

A handsomely designed and annotated CD of original works for symphony orchestra. A juxtaposing of tempi, dynamics, tonality, and the alternating of soloist and ensemble give much of Nan Schwartz’s appealing music a uniquely sui generis sound. The music of Brenton Broadstock is most … this composer is a true original. Eminently tonal, richly melodic music… Hats off to the composers, the conductor, and the musicians of both orchestras!

” —Rafael de Acha, Rafael Music Notes

The feature itself is a vibrant and engaging portrait of the famously bohemian city by the sea. Ed Hughes’s score for a mid-size ensemble, and recorded by the Orchestra of Sound and Light, is just as colourful as the images on screen, too. It seems he was really inspired by the material, and the results are a joy. He has done excellent work on the shorts on the disc too.

” —Pamela Hutchinson, Silent London

Tonally based, lyrically romantic, embracing a modern idiom yet eminently approachable. This valuable release provides a fascinating conspectus of the composer’s orchestral music. The performances are uniformly excellent.

” —Stephen Greenbank, MusicWeb International

Overall, this is a marvellous disc. The cover notes are interesting and informative and the recording quality is superb – well up to the usual standards of the Divine Art label. Andrew Wright is clearly an extremely talented and versatile performer with a lovely tone and bagsful of virtuosity… fantastically well done and a thoroughly wonderful performance.

” —Jonathan Welsh, MusicWeb International

This project is unique and exciting and features both solo and chamber works. Noteworthy but accessible compositions… wonderful CD.

” —Brian Walker, International Trumpet Guild Bulletin

The composer is right when he says the collection shows how a great player can make an instrument speak in so many voices; for music that is quite abstract, the sleeve notes are straightforward and add to the experience, and Heather Roche is an accomplished clarinettist. Most of the music is also pretty accessible.

” —Jeremy Condliffe, The Chronicle

Wright is a pianist-scholar, and an aficionado of this sort of repertory. His best skill is his legato playing, and that’s an essential skill to have if you are going to play and record a program of operatic transcriptions. , I am expecting The Operatic Pianist III in early 2021, and I am sure I will enjoy that one too.

” —Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare

Willscher composes well-crafted music of real inventiveness in a thoroughly tonal idiom that makes liberal use of medieval modes and modern dissonances… Willscher’s voice is definitely his own. The playing here is absolutely terrific, with Cooman at every point making the best possible case for his friend and colleague’s music. Enthusiastically recommended.

” —James A. Altena, Fanfare

The writing is very accessible and tonal, though occasionally he toys with the harmonies enough to remind you that he is, in fact, a contemporary composer. Turner has composed delicate and attractive music that is tuneful and that has the appropriate holiday glow about it. The performances are exquisitely lovely and the recorded sound is perfectly balanced, warm and natural… one of the holiday season’s nicest releases.

” —Henry Fogel, Fanfare

The performance by the Stoodleys is spirited and energetic. Their linearity, elasticity, gracefulness, and blended tonal palette [provides] a winning performance. As a whole, playing that is lively, graceful, and shaped by tasteful, unexaggerated expressivity.

” —Daniel Morrison, Fanfare

Most of the music on this disc is quiet, tonal, and consonant… all of the music is solidly crafted. Fans of Cooman’s music will definitely wish to add this to their burgeoning collections; recommended accordingly.

” —James A. Altena, Fanfare

[Braid] has a voice all of his own… a voice that is often intimate, reveling in whispered confidences. Beautiful, stunningly performed… beautifully recorded. The placement of the guitar is spot-on in the sound space, the crystal clarity and absolute joy. A notable disc.

” —Colin Clarke, Fanfare

This CD is worth purchasing not only for the repertoire and performances … The ensemble plays with impeccable intonation and great expression… , but also because it raises awareness of (and money for) an important cause.

” —Jane Ellsworth, The Clarinet

Braid’s archtop guitar seems ideal to accompany mezzo soprano Emily Gray.

” —Barry Kilpatrick, American Record Guide

This is a fine collection of music assembled and performed by violinist Madeleine Mitchell.

” —Nathan Faro, American Record Guide

Madeleine Mitchell is a British violinist of great virtuosity. This is a splendid disc that deserves a place in the library of all lovers of contemporary violin music, presenting, as it does, a range of contrasting but complementary pieces of high quality. This CD would be a great introduction to modern violin works.

” —iClassical Editor, iClassical

(EDITOR’S CHOICE – DISC OF THE MONTH)
Not only opera lovers, but also those of great piano literature can only be impressed by these readings. such a repertoire can be approached only by those who are able to be a great virtuoso, a refined psychologist of notes and musical nuances and a skilful storyteller… all qualities that Andrew Wright proves to possess adequately. The recording enhances the piano sound with fine tonal balance even in the most convulsive passages and capable of expressing in detail the finest tonal nuances.

” —Andrea Bedetti, Audiophile Sound

This recording that stars one of the greatest British violinists, Madeleine Mitchell. The result is a sound landscape in which tradition and innovation are able to co-exist, not ashamed to highlight lyricism and melodic development. Artistic judgement: EXCEPTIONAL; Technical judgement: EXCELLENT- EXCEPTIONAL.

” —Andrea Bedetti, Audiophile Sound

A diverse and finely realised programme.

” —Richard Whitehouse, Gramophone

The pervading elusiveness of Blunt’s music makes for an unusually intriguing listening experience. The Manchester Camerata under Stephen Threlfall provides solid support throughout.

” —Michael Schulman, The Whole Note