Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Carson Cooman
Fanfare, November 2019

…I reviewed rapturously a new CD of orchestral music by David Gompper, including a violin/cello double concerto, a clarinet concerto, and an orchestral overture. This album has remained one of my absolute favorite discs of the year, and I recommend it unreservedly to all. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review

Allen Gimbel
American Record Guide, July 2019

This music is hyper-diatonic with highly expanded scale formations and mathematical structures determining much of the activity, but it is interesting despite its improvisatory language.

Sunburst (2015) is a tone poem depicting solar sizzle and radiation, with some quasiromantic fragments, a cello cadenza, and a robotic dance. Like everything else on program, the events are impressive enough… It is music of considerable skill… A name worth remembering, though. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide


Carson Cooman
Fanfare, July 2019

This newest release is primarily devoted to two concertos: a Double Concerto (2012–16) for Violin and Cello and a Clarinet Concerto (2013–14). The disc concludes with a short orchestral poem, Sunburst (2015). Gompper’s major works are usually created carefully over several years; their material is often explored and developed in performance-tested intermediate versions or satellite pieces. The polished results display the virtue of this process, as these are tremendously compelling pieces. The music is both sophisticated and genuinely appealing, and there is no question that he succeeds brilliantly at his goal in writing concertos that are rooted in the traditions of the instrumental repertoire. Varied formal designs as well as event-timing continue to interest the composer greatly, and each of his concertos thus pursues a completely different formal structure.

I recommend this disc every bit as strongly as I did its predecessor. This is expressive, rich, beautifully made music that will truly repay every listen from the first onwards. It speaks with a voice of the present but is deeply rooted in tradition, and it never for one moment forgets the genuine communicative power that great music can have. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, April 2019

The performances are stirring, featuring Wolfgang David on violin and Timothy Gill on cello for the Double Concerto, Michael Norsworthy on clarinet for the Clarinet Concerto, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Emmanuel Siffert for the whole of it.

Sunburst caps our program with something impossible to ignore, beautiful to hear, and cumulative in its complex being so that we gain all the more as we repeat the experience. © 2019 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music. Read complete review

BBC Music Magazine, April 2019


Soloists and the RPO play with rigour and flair. © 2019 BBC Music Magazine

Guy Rickards
Gramophone, March 2019

The cello (which opens the work stratospherically high) and violin—superbly played by Timothy Gill and Wolfgang David respectively—are the dominant elements, the orchestra acting as ‘amplifier and resonator’. The Clarinet Concerto (2013-14) was also reworked, from the clarinet-and-piano Traceur (2011), both deriving from the art of parkour. The soloist, here the nimble-tongued and -fingered Michael Norsworthy, negotiates vividly orchestral obstacles and landscapes like a ‘traceur’ free-running through a city.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Emmanuel Siffert take it all in their stride and Naxos’s sound is exemplary. © 2019 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2019

A product of London’s Royal College of Music, David Gompper has worked as a pianist, conductor, composer and university professor now based in New York. Born in the United States in 1954, he was a composition pupil of Humphrey Searle, the pioneer of serial music in England, Searle having been taught by Webern. That is the key to Gompper’s style, that is just one short step away from atonality. Completed after a number of years in formulation, the Double Concerto for violin, cello and orchestra, is some distance away from a ‘conventional’ concerto, its format being an Introduction, four Episodes, a Cadenza and Coda, the final version, here receiving its World Premiere Recording, lasting not far short of thirty minutes. It’s title ‘Dialogue’ offers a guide to the relationship between the two soloists, though it is not one of peaceful conversation. Never an obvious showpiece, it still presents a challenge to both performers and orchestra, while the conductor—Emmanuel Siffert—has immense logistics as he guides his orchestra through the music’s complex nature. As the work comes towards its final Coda, there are opportunities for the soloists to luxuriate in the tonal quality of their instruments, Wolfgang David, and the cellist, Timothy Gill, ending the score in peace. We return to the usual three movement structure for the Clarinet Concerto of 2014, Gompper exploring the outer limits of the instrument’s possibilities, with active outer movements surrounding the languid central movement. Here the soloist, Michael Norsworthy, could relax in exploring the instruments quiet possibilities, while, for the first time on the disc, we find happy sounds in the finale. A purely multi-coloured orchestral picture, Sunburst, completes the disc. My admiration goes to the Royal Philharmonic for their totally committed playing throughout the disc, and also to the excellent sound team that have captured it. © 2019 David’s Review Corner

Records International, January 2019

Gompper’s idiom is based in tonality, though rather ambiguously so, with excursions into a variety of more modernist styles as dictated by the music’s narrative. In recent years the composer has explored the potential of the concerto genre (see also 05M083), and these works conform to the tradition of placing the soloist(s) center stage in lively dialogue with the orchestra. © 2019 Records International Read complete review

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group