Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?  
Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Em Marshall-Luck
MusicWeb International, February 2014

The arrangements are all highly impressive—intriguing and well-crafted. The performances on this disc all do the works and composer justice…The four-handed Ye Banks and Brae, in which Rosemary Tuck is joined by Richard Bonynge, is particularly spectacular, making this altogether a satisfying and enjoyable release. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Alan Becker
American Record Guide, July 2012

This collection of short pieces by the composer of the opera Maritana has some 20 deletable Irish and Scottish airs in arrangements that would have done Liszt proud.

Tuck and Bonynge sound as if this music is in their blood. It just ripples forth from their fingers. Above all, this is music meant to entertain; and it does so most effectively. Good tunes abound—from ‘Blue Bells of Scotland’, ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’, and ‘Home Sweet Home’, to ‘When Ye Gang Awa’ Jamie’, and ‘The Weary Pund o’ Tow’. Some songs are given elaborate treatment, others played with variations, and still others creatively imitate bagpipes or have humorous twists.

If you love the music of Gottschalk this should have great appeal as well. It rarely takes itself too seriously and avoids the pitfalls of weightiness. Everyone at some point needs a good wallow, and this more than fulfills that guilty pleasure. The sound is good… © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Barry Witherden
BBC Music Magazine, June 2012

Many of these pieces were designed to be playable by talented amateurs, and the eschewal of showy virtuoso writing becomes a virtue in itself.  Even relatively simple music needs to be played with skill, clarity of vision and honest feeling. Tuck shows these in abundance, producing another lively, engaging recital. © 2012 BBC Music Magazine

Colin Anderson
International Record Review, April 2012

WALLACE, W.V.: Opera Fantasies and Paraphrases (Tuck, Bonynge) 8.572774
WALLACE, W.V.: Celtic Fantasies (Tuck, Bonynge) 8.572775

[William Vincent Wallace’s] paraphrases are…arranged adeptly and with dedication. Be it Rigoletto, La Traviata, or La sonnambula , and several other famous operas, the familiar melodies are treated with respect and remain recognizable…the tunes are enough and it’s good to be reminded of their indelible qualities…Wallace’s arrangements of his own operas…many now be a useful calling-card to rekindle interest in his own pieces. ‘The Night Winds’ from Lurline is effective, and the Grande Fantaisie from his most successful stage work Maritana suggests it as a piece of some worth…

…the popular tunes that he sought to decorate and extend are firmly engaging and memorable. Sentimental, sweet and positive, it’s good to be reminded of these ballads or discover new ones, even if sometimes Wallace usurps their essential simplicity. The Blue Bells of Scotland, Home Sweet Home (Bishop) and Ye Banks and Braes (Robert Burns) are recognizable titles, as are the melodies, and others make for attractive listening.

Rosemary Tuck plays with skill and affection, never trying to over-inflate, and it’s good to have Richard Bonynge when a second pianist is required. They are a well-matched pair and are not only enjoying themselves but they appreciate the essence of Wallace’s arrangements. The recording presents the piano(s) as warm and immediate. Peter’s booklet notes are a helpful introduction to Wallace and his work. © 2012 International Record Review

Frank Behrens
Art Times, April 2012

Say “William Wallace” to a Scotsman and “national hero” might be the instant identification. But this article is about William Vincent Wallace (1812-1865), the composer of at least three immensely popular operettas and victim to the decline of the public’s taste for his kind of musical theatre.

But part of his legacy was a treasure chest of piano pieces based on Scottish folk melodies, 20 of which are heard on a delightful Naxos CD titled “Celtic Fantasies.” Rosemary Tuck seems to be having a lot of fun with them; and, although conspicuously listed as soloist, Richard Bonynge plays only one selection.

Several melodies will be familiar to the listener: “The harp that once through Tara halls,” “Those endearing young charms,” “The blue bells of Scotland,” and “John Anderson my Jo.” It makes one want to grab a claymore and…play the disc many times. © 2012 Art Times

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2012

The Irish-born, William Vincent Wallace is largely remembered for a colourful life that left a trail of women and debt as he fled from one country to the next. What little musical standing his name now enjoys resides in one opera, Maritana, though in his day he earned a living as a virtuoso pianist that took him around the world. In early 19th century homes he would also be known for his piano arrangements of Scottish and Irish traditional music that were well within the scope of the gifted amateur pianist. He wrote over fifty works in this genre, some of the melodies still well-known in the British Isles. Stylistically they belong more to Chopin and Mendelssohn than the outgoing virtuosity of Liszt, with an abundance of right hand decoration to weave a web around the basic theme. It would be wrong to suggest these are cameos or trifles, for many last around five minutes. One theme is certainly to known to singers, the Kinloch of Kinloch also having the Northumbrian song title, Blow the Wind Southerly. Internationally the melody Home Sweet Home is certainly the most famous, and on this theme Wallace does ask for a performer of some considerable skill. Probably the forerunner of further discs, the Australian pianist, Rosemary Tuck, has selected twenty works, including Ye Banks and Braes in a four handed version in which she is joined by Richard Bonynge. Throughout you have to admire the agility of her playing and the crystalline quality of those dazzling runs. That aspect is well served by a recording made in the UK. © 2012 David’s Review Corner

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group