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William Zagorski
Fanfare, June 2004

"[Paul Daniel] proves to be a worthy contender - one informed by both imagination and zeal. In his drive, attention to detail in matters of orchestral articulation, and in his no-nonsense phrase shaping, he often comes closest to Boult...On balance, Daniel's is an unabashedly youthful take on this monumental score. His greatest virtue is in that he moves things forward with vigor, informs everything with raw enthusiasm...he approaches this score with, like the venerable Boult, a sense of boyish discovery...each generation has to come to grips anew with this music, and here Daniel does so splendidly."

Rebecca Agnew
Classic FM, November 2003

"The sea is clearly in the blood of Paul Daniels' orchestra and chorus, with impassioned contributions from soprano Joan Rodgers and baritone Christopher Maltman. Great value."

Stephen Johnson
BBC Music Magazine

"What's really remarkable about this performance is the way Vaughan Williams's music seems to match the questing spirit of Walt Whitman's verse. She [Joan Rodgers] is still wonderfully musical and touchingly expressive, while the strong, ardent baritone singing of Christopher Maltman is a clear gain...the chorus-orchestra balance is exemplary !V more convincing than on the EMI recording. A clear top recommendation. 5 stars."

Andrew Achenbach

"Daniel steers a confident course throughout, rising superbly to the multi-faceted challenges of the visionary finale...Naxos provides full texts and Richard Whiteman's lucid booklet-notes are a genuine asset."

David Patrick Stearns
The Philadelphia Inquirer

"The great washes of choral sound conjured by composer Ralph Vaughan Williams in his ambitious setting of Walt Whitman poems have long masked the practical problems of a piece that tries to say intimate, nuanced things with a huge, potentially unruly performing apparatus. This recording goes far to solve that problem with precision choral singing, fine shadings from conductor Paul Daniel, and excellent efforts from the vocal soloists. Joan Rodgers and especially warm-voiced Christopher Maltman approach the piece like art song. That makes the 63-minute symphony seem more eventful than ever, which makes you realize what a stupendous achievement it is. Four Stars."

Colin Clarke
MusicWeb International

"Paul Daniel leads a vivacious account of the score, with big contrasts between fast and slow tempos (particularly in the outer movements), and he gives this sprawling work the immediacy and sense of expectancy it needs. There's always a feeling that the next big climax is just around the corner, and Daniel clearly relishes the music's sense of spectacle while never stinting the more reflective moments. He also secures fine playing from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and the chorus acquits itself admirably with excellent diction and plenty of enthusiasm."

Matthew Rye
The Daily Telegraph (Australia)

"Paul Daniel's performance with the Bournemouth forces is one of the most successful to reach CD: it has spaciousness, drive and power in all the right places. The orchestral playing is refined, the choral singing robust and the ensemble tight."

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