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July 2006 Critics' Choice

UK Naxos Quotes July 2006

8.557811 Strauss: Alpine Symphony
“Scored for a mighty orchestra, complete with thunder and wind machines, this huge work is rendered with thrilling power and passion by this fine orchestra of Weimar – with which the composer had many associations – under the magisterial Antoni Wit.”
The Observer, 04/06/06

8.557812 Shostakovich: The Execution of Stepan Razin
“Fascinating set of fragments”
The Guardian, 02/06/06

“Stunning playing linked with the Symphony Chorale in Stepan’s folksy moments. Up-front, high impact sound at a crazy price.”
Yorkshire Post, 02/06/06

8.557391 Primrose: Viola Transcriptions
“tonal richness is superbly demonstrated… There’s plenty of Spanish fun too.”
The Sunday Times, 11/06/06

8.557661-63 Berio: Complete Sequenzas
“There’s much to relish in this three-disc set.”
The Times, 09/06/06

“All [Sequenzas] are recorded here, brilliantly; Naxos has issued a winner.”
What’s On In London, 08/06/06

“Performances are generally very fine… Perhaps the most impressive of all is Ken Menday’s version of Sequenza XII for bassoon, which with its constant need for circular breathing is as much a test of a player’s endurance as it is of his technique. As a budget-price demonstration of Berio’s genius, these discs are well worth exploring.”
The Guardian, 23/06/06

8.559290 Crumb: Songs, Drones and Refrains of Death
“For all its structional ingenuity it is the dark power of the music that is the most impressive, with the extended vocal techniques of the soloists matched by Crumb’s equally virtuosic ear for instrumental sounds.”
The Guardian, 16/06/06

8.558191-92 Peter Maxwell Davies: A Portrait
“It’s an impressive and enlightening compilation, giving a timely and fascinating overview of a fascinating and unique musical mind.”
The Scotsman, 23/06/06

“One of a series on the Naxos Educational label, the Max Portrait is a stunningly effective piece of work… two CDs packed with essential and substantial extracts from his works in every genre, organized with a sense of flow, logic and coherence that can only be described as supremely intelligent. On top of this, and making the portrait probably the most complete we will ever have, the second CD contains a CD-Rom element… The musical extracts are wonderfully chosen and present a unique window into the mind of the man. This is for everybody. Every educational establishment in the land, from schools to conservatoires, should get a copy. At 9.99 a snip it’s a priceless treasure trove of music and information. I thought I knew a lot about Max, but there’s even more to learn through this glorious collection. A s I said, it’s the answer to the question.”
The Herald, 24/06/06

8.557777 Ireland: The Holy Boy
“It was a good idea for the Magginis to insert Ireland’s own quartet arrangement of his piano prelude, The Holy Boy, between the two bigger works, for, with its yearning melody and subtle harmonic shifts, it gives a flavour of what Ireland’s mature music was like.”
The Guardian, 30/06/06

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