Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Jens F. Laurson
Ionarts, July 2019

John Ireland’s legacy as a teacher might be greater than as a composer; he taught a good swath of England’s 20th century music—most notably Benjamin Britten—at the Royal College of Music. But his music, too, is worthwhile.

…The Downland Suite in this very arrangement is an obvious starting point for the Ireland-experience. (It is also included on this particular fine Chandos recording with Richard Hickox, which would make as good an introduction.) Whichever way you go, enjoy the breezy delight. © 2019 Ionarts Read complete review

Steven Kruger
Fanfare, September 2016

Raphael Wallfisch and David Curtis are on the same page here. The smaller pieces are played with simple beauty. At its best, there is something curiously satisfying about the British approach to emotion in music. Less breast-beating. Much English music—and its nostalgia—seems to go by, instead, at the pace of normal life. Maybe that’s the key to David Curtis’s performance here. He lingers…but not too long. It leaves you thinking nothing beautiful is ever yours until it is taken away. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Don O’Connor
American Record Guide, September 2016

The performances—both by Wallfisch, the lead cello, and the ensemble as a whole—are superb. They’re also properly scaled, neither inflating the music nor sounding quaint. The record will delight people fond of pastoral English music, but who’d like it a little different, with added spice. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International, July 2016

…an enjoyable and enterprising recording… © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Des Hutchinson
MusicWeb International, June 2016

…a lovely and fascinating disc.

Wallfisch’s cello is impeccably balanced, with glorious tone, as a leading but not dominant voice in the ensemble. An occasional sense of strain in the orchestra’s upper strings is readily mollified by the forgiving acoustic. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, June 2016

The performances are respectable, as is the recording quality. Raphael Wallfisch sounds well on the solo cello parts.

Modern period Anglophiles will find this album a good addition. The music will appeal to those who appreciate an impressionist coloration. …A most pleasant listen. © 2016 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Andrew Achenbach
Gramophone, June 2016

That tireless champion of British music Raphael Wallfisch plays with full-throated eloquence; Curtis and company provide most sympathetic support. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Bruce Reader
The Classical Reviewer, May 2016

This is a delightful disc of arrangements that provide some really beautiful English string gems, exquisitely played by all concerned. © 2016 The Classical Reviewer Read complete review

Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, April 2016

Renowned British cellist Raphael Wallfisch is joined by the Orchestra of the Swan (OOTS) under their Artistic Director David Curtis for these spirited, immaculately played performances. In their hands the sonata arrangement is a moving contribution to symphonic repertoire featuring the cello. © 2016 Classical Lost & Found Read complete review

Stephen Pritchard
The Guardian, April 2016

Wallfisch…finds grace in several tuneful miniatures, notably a Cavatina from 1904. David Curtis and the Orchestra of the Swan make light work of the bucolic Downland Suite, but it is perhaps the wistful Soliloquy, a piano piece from 1922 arranged for cello and strings by Graham Parlett, that most intrigues in a collection that charms… © 2016 The Guardian Read complete review

John Brunning
Classic FM, April 2016

John Ireland’s music is often inspired by landscape and romantic sensitivities. With its significant musical clues, broad, songlike melodies and turbulent finale, the Sonata in G minor is one of his most expressive and passionate works. A Downland Suite is one of Ireland’s most attractive compositions, especially its exquisite Elegy and popular Minuet made familiar through its use in radio and television. Ireland’s evocative piano works lend themselves well to string orchestra arrangements. They include the exquisite miniature Soliloquy and In a May Morning, the second movement of Sarnia, inspired by spring on Guernsey. Here’s a composer who is due for serious rediscovery. © 2016 Classic FM

David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2016

Seven world premiere recordings would look to be a major discovery of works by John Ireland, but in fact they are arrangements of familiar instrumental scores. I wish the programme notes would have illuminated why and at whose behest they were made, for they are so perfectly in Ireland’s style that they could well be original works, and in the case of the orchestration of the piano part to the Cello Sonata by Matthew Forbes, the work of over twenty minutes in length should be added to the British concert repertoire. In three contrasting movements, it has long been a cello recital favourite, the dramatic opening heralding the massive eruption in the hard-hitting finale. Two piano pieces, Summer Evening and In a May Morning, are arranged by Graham Parlett for string orchestra, and, while retaining the mood of the original pieces, they now have the added depth of tonal colours. He was also responsible for arranging the piano piece, Soliloquy, and the three pieces for violin and piano, Bagatelle, Berceuse and Cavatina to form works for cello and strings. The disc ends with one of Ireland’s best known works, The Dowland Suite, a 1932 score that was used as the test piece for the National Brass Band Championships. He later recast two movements for orchestra in 1941, the composer Geoffrey Bush, adding the remaining movements after the composer’s death. It is an immediately attractive piece, its tonality belonging to a whole generation before its creation. The outstanding soloist is Raphael Wallfisch who, through a long career, has been unstinting in his support of British music. Now one of the UK’s most valued chamber ensembles, The Orchestra of the Swan resides in Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, and is here working with its Artistic Director, David Curtis. In every way a hugely desirable release. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group