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September 2011

NBD0015 SCHUMANN Scenes from Goethe’s Faust

‘Wit and his well drilled Warsaw forces are impressive in Schumann’s Scenes from Goethe’s Faust.  The rarity of this masterpiece is baffling, and this unaffected performance should win many friends, especially in the much-better Blu-ray sound.’
-Christopher Dingle, BBC Music Magazine. May 2012


8.572705 SIBELIUS Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7; Finlandia
‘Inkinen captures the Seventh’s almost tidal surge convincingly, from the opening quasi-religious polyphony through the livelier following sections, with their increasingly dancing melodies, to the radiant finale…these are fine performances, solid and richly played.’
-Michael Scott Rohan, BBC Music Magazine, January 2012


8.572788 RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Capriccio espagnol; Overtures
‘One of the great pleasures of these Russian releases from Gerard Schwarz and his Seattle orchestra is the quality of the solo playing.  Right from the outset here you’re in the excellent company of swaggering, Spanish-rustic clarinet (of) Christopher Sereque and the fabulously incisive tones of leader Maria Larionoff.’
-David Nice, BBC Music Magazine, January 2012

‘Rimsky’s orchestral music is so deftly written that in the hands of today’s top-flight professionals it almost plays itself.  But the Seattle Symphony’s performances for Gerard Schwarz don’t just sparkle, as you would expect at this kind of supercharged American technical level.  Their brilliant response is also strongly characterised at every point; Capriccio espagnol here has a dark and spicy pungency that makes it something more than just a pretty Spanish postcard…It’s genuinely difficult to imagine better performances.  This is a delicious orchestral feast.’
-Malcolm Hayes, Classic FM Magazine, December 2011


8.572640 ARNOLD Cello Concert; Symphony for Strings
‘Two meaty offerings from opposite ends of Sir Malcom Arnold’s career top and tail this stimulating Naxos anthology…The performances span a period of some five years (and emanate from no fewer than four different venues) but are never les than expert and thoroughly dedicated.  No true Arnold enthusiast will want to miss this valuable release.’
-Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone Magazine, December 2011

‘The Northern Chamber Orchestra and the Manchester Sinfonia respectively deliver crisp, intelligent readings, supporting two stellar soloist performances.  In the Cello Concerto, Wallfisch encapsulates Arnold’s peculiarly British musical sensibility brilliantly, giving us pithy severity one moment and personal, lyrical expressiveness the next.  John Turner’s recorder performance is a virtuoso tour de force.’
-Charlotte Gardner, Classic FM Magazine, November 2011

‘All the performances are excellent, each of them palpably savouring the composer’s diamond-sharp craftsmanship; Raphael Wallfisch’s mellow-tones virtuosity excels even in this company.’
-Malcolm Hayes, BBC Music Magazine, November 2011


8.572525 PÄRT Piano Music (including Für Alina)
‘This is a well conceived crash-course in significant moment in the development of Pärt’s music.  The best-known piece included is Für Alina.  The others will be refreshingly unfamiliar to most people (indeed, the perky miniature Für Anna Maria is a première recording) and Ralph van Raat plays with both sensitivity and verve.’
-Barry Witherden, BBC Music Magazine, November 2011



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