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Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, September 2013

…Joyful Company of Singers[’]…contribution to this performance, along with that of the four vocal soloists and, needless to say, the London Philharmonic, is first-rate. Sympathetically led by Thomas Martin and superbly recorded by Naxos in Henry Wood Hall, this rare recording of Bottesini’s rarely heard Requiem is unreservedly recommended. © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review



Lindsay Koob
American Record Guide, July 2013

Give this music a chance, and I’ll bet good money you’ll come away with a new appreciation for its creator. Bow the knee, as ever, to Naxos for giving the musical public the chance to do just that.

[Thomas Martin] leads a very nicely crafted performance here, with excellent soloists, a very fine chorus, and a well-known orchestra in top form. We get impressive sound and an adequate booklet, complete with texts and translations. You won’t find any other recordings of this music, so no fan of big-band choral extravaganzas should not be without this one. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Malcolm Riley
Gramophone, June 2013

…the ‘Quid sum miser’…[is] beautifully sung by the tenor Agustín Prunell-Friend. It’s worth buying the disc just to enjoy this aria, with its exquisite clarinet obbligato.

The other soloists give equally operatic and distinguished performances. The Joyful Company of Singers are also on splendid form and sing this music as though they’ve known it for years. The a cappella section at the start of the ‘Libera me’ is especially effective. An enjoyable piece, worth exploring. © 2013 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




Patric Stanford
Choir & Organ, May 2013

Though he earned vast riches during his lifetime as a virtuoso of the double bass, Bottesini’s versatility as a remarkably complete musician took him around the world on an unremitting schedule as a conductor too, while never apparently depriving him of time to compose 13 operas and a wealth of other work, including this Requiem to the memory of his brother. During a lifetime dominated by Verdi, his operatic style gained little critical enthusiasm, though the warmth of this performance, both choral and orchestral, suggests such neglect to be a great pity. © 2013 Choir & Organ



Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, February 2013

This work, in fourteen sections, deserves better as this lovingly performed reading goes to show. The music is lively and often inspired. It is tuneful, with some bel canto moments as in the Quid sum miser and the plangently cooling Lacrymosa. That aspect is offset by the influence of Mendelssohn and Schumann. The Dies Irae and the final Dies illa are gems of breathlessly feathery enthusiasm; not to be missed. There are even some grandly Beethovenian moments as in Quaerens me. The brash Sanctus has an Aida-like marching regality. The polished and serenely Mozartean Agnus Dei paves the way for the fugal terracing of the Requiem Aeternam and a wonderfully ethereal Libera me.

Michael Ponder and Eleanor Walton bring sure-footed judgement to the recorded sound which has plenty of impact and flatters this very worthwhile work.

If you enjoy the grand requiems of the nineteenth century you must not overlook this. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2013

Giovanni Bottesini’s Messa da Requiem was composed in response to the death of his brother, its first performance coming just three years after Verdi’s Requiem. Completed in 1877 and welcomed at its world premiere, it immediately fell into neglect, and remained unperformed for a century. As posterity has shown, it’s timing could not have been more unfortunate, for where Verdi used wide dynamics and exciting gestures to enliven his audience, Bottesini’s score was clothed in muted and reverential colours of a previous generation. Today he is best remembered as the greatest double bass virtuoso of his time, and for the many works of fiendish difficulty that he composed for the instrument. One of his greatest living champions is the bassist, Thomas Martin, who here turns to conducting a highly engaging performance of the Requiem. He has a very a good quartet of solo singers and a fine chorus in the London-based Joyful Company of Singers, while the London Philharmonic offer nicely polished playing in a score that is woodwind orientated. Very good sound quality from London’s Henry Wood Hall. © 2013 David’s Review Corner






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8:17:51 PM, 28 November 2014
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