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Steven J Haller
American Record Guide, July 2013

…Couton paints an enchanting scene. © 2013 American Record Guide

Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, March 2013

French conductor Nicolas Couton leads the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra of Bulgaria in committed performances of these pieces. His attention to thematic detail and dynamic shading give the music an emotional dimension that precludes their rigorous structure from making them sound academic.

The recordings were made in the Sofia Bulgaria Concert Hall, and project an average sized soundstage in a pleasant acoustic. © 2013 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, January 2013

There is nothing to match the present disc which is built around a complete newcomer in the shape of the Second Symphony.

The Second Symphony is a patently ambitious affair and while it has picturesque elements it proclaims itself from the outset as a work in which the great verities will be explored…The first movement Allegro moderato immediately strikes a defiant attitude. There are some torridly protesting climaxes along the way…with brass and strings at full stretch slashed through with swirling woodwind figures. The sound of the Andante recalls the organ loft: long singing lines and plangent liturgical atmosphere settling into dreamy disengagement and Delian flow. The soulful upwelling of this writing is quite touching with its overarching Franckian flavour. Cast all such aside for the Dvorák/Bizet chuckle of the Allegro vivace. This is jumpy-jaunty music across which we are treated to a long yet quick-coursing melody that sings along with a full set of lungs. In the centre there are some doe-eyed reminiscences of the pulse-calming Andante. The finale starts with smokily eldritch woodwind tendrils twirling skywards. When that fades we move to a fine example of Unendliche Melodie with aspiring passionate strings…The composer is telling us that this is an epic canvas and so it is. It’s well worth hearing and sports some impressive writing…

This is a rewarding and revelatory disc thoroughly documented by Jacques Tchamkerten. It will not disappoint those many followers of the late-romantic symphonic tradition. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

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