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November 2011

NBD0020 LANCINO Requiem

‘Even in stereo, the Blu-ray version leaps out of the speakers with greater immediacy than CD.  In surround, the experience is exhilarating when the chorus and sizable orchestra are given full rein, but there is also the frisson that comes from hearing so many people singing and playing in whisper.’
-Christopher Dingle, BBC Music Magazine. May 2012


NBD0026 JANÁČEK Glagolitic Mass; Sinfonietta

‘After Lancino’s spectacular, it is not too great a leap to Janáček’s exuberant Glagolitic Mass, led by one of Naxos’s stars, Antoni Wit.  This is a strong performance, and the Blu-ray opens out the choral sound so that the balance of Janáček’s rich textures is more natural, without softening its edges.’
-Christopher Dingle, BBC Music Magazine. May 2012


8.660308-09 WALLACE Maritana
‘All of this is well served here by the Irish forces.  Singing with sweet tone and clear enunciation, Majella Cullagh is outstanding.’
-Andrew Lamb, Opera, March 2012


8.572824-25 SHOSTAKOVICH New Babylon

‘Fitz-Gerald uses his own edition of the score, prepared after careful research.  The joy of it lies in the light instrumentation of 18 players, mostly one to a part, which adds new clarity to a varied score offering plenty of signposts to the Shostakovich to come.  There’s also the novelty of 130 extra bars – four new minutes of bitter music for the film’s original ending, subsequently cut.’
-Geoff Brown, BBC Music Magazine, March 2012


ODE 1195-2 MENDELSSOHN / SCHUMANN Violin Concertos
‘If I describe the Mendelssohn performance as meticulous, this is not to suggest a lack of spontaneity or awareness of the broader picture but rather a situation in which a determination has led to an account of unusual depth and subtlety…A particularly clear recording, with finely balanced orchestral textures and distinguished solo woodwind playing, helps make this one of the most impressive accounts of the work available.’
-Duncan Druce, Gramophone, February 2012


ODE 1183-2 TÜÜR Awakening
Erkki-Sven Tüür is surely one if the most consistently high-quality  composers around…When the bolder, more stylistically emancipated perspectives of his recent music meet the direct, almost vibrato-less timbres of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the results are more than musically impressive, they are spiritually stirring…I can only say that I feel greatly enriched for having acquired it.’
-David Fanning, Gramophone, February 2012


8.572585 CHOPIN Piano Trio, Op. 8
‘It isn’t easy to find rarities from a composer who has been as microscopically investigated as Chopin, but apparently it’s still possible.  This CD opens with an enchanting 1828 Rondo for two pianos, written when Chopin was 18.  It proves a fresh and joyous discovery, treated with plenty of TLC by the engaging duo of Simon Crawford-Philips and Philip Moore.’
-Jessica Duchen, BBC Music Magazine, February 2012

8.572675 DEBUSSY Fantaisie for Piano and Orchestra
‘The magical sounds conjured up by Jun Märkl and his stunning orchestra continue to seduce the ear throughout this latest instalment in his outstanding Naxos series…Another artistic triumph for Märkl and his distinguished soloists…’
-Julian Haylock, Classic FM Magazine, January 2012

‘A lovely supple performance of the clarinet Rhapsodie from Paul Meyer…Alexandre Doisy plays with a nice mix of spice and smoothness in the saxophone Rapsodie, and the wonderful Emmanuel Ceysson brings both enchantment and spirit to the two harp Danses.’
-Geoffrey Norris, Gramophone Magazine, January 2012


8.572639 JANÀČEK Glagolitic Mass; Sinfonietta
‘Antoni Wit’s Warsaw Philharmonic forces plug directly into the emotional power of Janáček’s music, reacting like demons to the distinct undulations of its speech-inspired melodic lines and spanning a rich tonal spectrum all too often missing in performances of the Glagolitic Mass.’
-Andrew Stewart, Classic FM Magazine, February 2012

‘This new coupling of the best-known masterpieces of Janàček’s last and most productive decade enters a highly competitive market…It is pleasing to report, therefore, that the new contender is seriously competitive, both in terms of the quality of musicianship and interpretation on display, as well as the recorded sound…The balance is first-rate and no tiny detail is overlooked.’
-Malcolm Riley, Gramophone Magazine, January 2012


8.572868 Sleep, Holy Babe
‘The vocal ensemble Blossom Street has cast its net wide to find a broad spectrum of lullabies ranging from a 16th-century O Emanuel to a modern setting by Daniel Burges of the words of the Coventry Carol, together with other contemporary treatments of sacred or soothing texts, sensitively sung.’
-Sunday Telegraph, November 12,2011

‘Given the dire economic situation, it’s not the least of the miracles of Christmas that such a good bunch of newly recorded festive CD’s had been released, several containing worthwhile new pieces that expand our musical horizons.  For instance, my Christmas CD of the year, Sleep, Holy Babe from Blossom Street – a choir of British singers in their 20’s directed buy 28-year-old Hilary Campbell – has no fewer than eight world-premiere recordings…Campbell, who contributes an attractive carol of her own, Sleep My Dreaming One, has chosen music that is reflective rather than extrovert, tonal but never facile, and with real spiritual depth.  I love it.’
-David Mellor, The Mail on Sunday, 27th November 2011




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