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Giv Cornfield, Ph.D
December 2006

The first volume (of what I hope will be a complete traversal of the gifted St. Georges' works) was recorded by Takako Nishizaki and a German orchestra. This disc is every bit as enjoyable as was Vol. I, with the added advantage of somewhat livelier acoustics. The three concerti on this CD seem to have been chosen for the very high register the composer favoured in writing them. Qian Zhou is a supreme master, and is given solid support by Kevin Mallon and his Torontonians.



Giv Cornfield, Ph.D
The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics, December 2006

The first volume (of what I hope will be a complete traversal of the gifted St. Georges' works) was recorded by Takako Nishizaki and a German orchestra. This disc is every bit as enjoyable as was Vol. I, with the added advantage of somewhat livelier acoustics. The three concerti on this CD seem to have been chosen for the very high register the composer favoured in writing them. Qian Zhou is a supreme master, and is given solid support by Kevin Mallon and his Torontonians.



Fanfare, November 2005

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Gramophone, January 2005

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Julian Haylock
The Strad, December 2004

UK Naxos Quotes December 2004

"Here we have the Toronto Camerata, under its founder-conductor Kevin Mallon, on world-class form, playing with an alertness, precision, sensitivity and stylistic awareness that would put many more celebrated bands to shame. The velvety, gently cushioned engineering is straight out of the Philips mid-1970s copybook: the performances possess a devotional quality in keeping with this voyage of discovery and there are excellent notes from Allan Badley. In short, these are captivating performances of inexplicably neglected repertoire that would come highly recommended at three times the price."





Colin Clarke
MusicWeb International, October 2004

"In many ways, this is what Naxos is all about: the delights of discovering obscure/neglected repertoire in performances that, while not shaking the Heavens, nevertheless are polished and assured. In the main, anyway.

I refer the reader to Jonathan Woolf’s review of this disc for background to the composer (http://www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev/2004/Aug04/boulogne.htm ). To describe the music, the first composer who sprang to mind was J. C. Bach. There is a galant element to this music that cannot fail to delight – possibly there is more Sturm und Drang than J. C. might be wont to allow, but the clouds tend to pass ’ere long.

Qian Zhou is a young violinist whose successes include the Long/Thibaud competition (Paris). She plays with all the confidence of a major competition winner, allied to the freshness of youthful discovery. The Toronto Camerata under the Irish conductor Kevin Mallon provide sterling support, buoyant and springy of rhythm and without fail perfectly balanced.

Occasionally Zhou can appear strained, especially in the upper register, and it is at these moments her tuning suffers. Nevertheless, her expressivity in slow movements is most convincing. The slow movement of the D major (Op. Posth) is surprisingly intense and almost gloomy. Saint-Georges’ writing is always gripping, setting up an impression of an independently musing soloist – a more agile episode forms contrast.

The G major Concerto contains a very emotional contrasting subject in the exposition of the first movement and a supremely jolly finale, played with charm if not too obvious glee.

Finally, another D major concerto (Op. 3 No. 1) reveals that Zhou can be truly expressive, particularly in the second movement cadenza. Interesting to end the disc on a non-flashy ‘Rondeau’ (in fact the whole concerto is predominantly lyrical).

Naxos gains brownie points by having Allan Bradley, the editor of the scores used, contribute the booklet notes. Unfortunately they promptly lose them by having the booklet discuss the works in reverse order to what we actually hear.

Worthy of investigation, certainly, if not quite the barrel of delight it could have been."



Stephen Pettitt
, August 2004

Perhaps the finest work here is the D major Concerto, Op 1 No 3. Qian Zhou plays with a lovely singing tone and Mallon directs with flair."






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