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Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, March 2014

These two concertos, I’m happy to say, are among [Maxwell Davies’] finest and most interesting works…I should also like to commend Catherine Marwood for her excellent playing, both technically and expressively. She gives a simply marvelous performance here. I was particularly taken by some of the deftly-conceived passages using string portamento in new and dramatic ways.

All in all, a good CD, and one that I feel is well worth your investment. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review



Ronald E. Grame
Fanfare, March 2014

MAXWELL DAVIES, P.: Strathclyde Concertos Nos. 3 and 4 (R. Cook, Franks, Morrison, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Maxwell Davies) 8.572353
MAXWELL DAVIES, P.: Strathclyde Concertos Nos. 5 and 6 (Clark, Marwood, Nicholson, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Maxwell Davies) 8.572354

I couldn’t be more thrilled to see these marvelous works back in the catalog.

…this should be a most welcome pair of releases. There is no overstating the richness of the composer’s invention, or the intensity and clarity of the argument, or the surprising and often profoundly moving beauties to be found in these scores. It is not easy music, but to those willing to invest the time to appreciate these genuinely rewarding works, these discs are urgently recommended. Now if Naxos would but favor us with the rest of the series, to include the particularly hard-to-find Unicorn-Kanchana recording of the first and second of these concertos, to complement the live recording of the number two already released… © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review



Infodad.com, November 2013

Davies has a fine sense of how his works should sound and considerable skill at bringing the sound out—he is in fact a fine conductor of works other than his own. And the soloists all handle their roles with skill and careful involvement. © 2013 Infodad.com Read complete review



Paul Corfield Godfrey
MusicWeb International, October 2013

With this release Naxos continue their praiseworthy revival of the old Collins catalogue with two further episodes in Maxwell Davies’s cycle of Strathclyde Concertos written for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Many thanks to Naxos for rescuing these unique recordings. They are a most valuable restoration to the catalogue. Roll on the final two releases. © MusicWeb International Read complete review



Ettore Garzia
Percorsi Musicali, September 2013

…From the musical point of view, in Strathclyde n. 5 the classical influences are mixed without slavishly provide those ancient models, the feeling evocated in the three movements of piece is the instrumental “strangeness” which is within the spirit of Mozart, Haydn and even Ban, magnificent polyphonic lines with inlay that keep you on mental pressure, developping their reflective task…

…Supported by a great score on the flute, the concert no. 6 reveals its modern instinct, a writing with a bland serialism which reproduces the theme of the painting by Bruegel, but as well as on the left side of the painting is observed a relaxing lake that gives a man the hope of eternal contemplation, similarly, in the deep flowing of the concert’s movements, Maxwell Davies is able to bring out the same hope by using only a simple musical score… © Percorsi Musicali



David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2013

Strathclyde Regional Council and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra commissioned ten concertos from Peter Maxwell Davies featuring the orchestra’s section leaders. That the composer states his debt to Haydn, Mozart and Bach is nowhere more acutely felt than in the opening of the Fifth concerto for violin and viola. Its dark colours speak of loneliness until the turbulent orchestral passage interjects to send the music spinning forward. Contrasting with the slow movement we have a proactive finale, the violin busily dancing around the lyric viola that is here beautifully played by Catherine Marwood. The Sixth is for flute, and is somewhat shorter than the Fifth, its wistful opening giving way to a much more active central section. Though described as an adagio, there is activity in the central movement before we move to a finale with the influence Scottish folk music always in the background. Sadly the disc comes in memoriam to David Nicholson who died three years ago having been a founder member of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He produced a very silvery tone particularly suited to the happiness of that finale. As I have commented in previous reviews of this series, we can take these as benchmark performances, the composer conducting the Scottish orchestra that produces a whole spectrum of subtle colours. The sound quality from ill-fated Collins Classics label is excellent, and we are grateful that Naxos have rescued and reissued them. We have two further discs promised to complete the cycle. © 2013 David’s Review Corner






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2:53:34 PM, 24 November 2014
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