Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Joseph Magil
American Record Guide, March 2014

Adrian Butterfield and company play in a pleasing manner that does justice to the music… © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Robert Maxham
Fanfare, January 2014

Several years ago, the three Naxos discs comprising Adrian Butterfield’s performances of Jean-Marie Leclair’s first book of violin sonatas…appeared, and I highly recommended them…Butterfield and harpsichordist Laurence Cummings have now returned, with Jonathan Manson rather than Alison McGillivray playing the viola da gamba, with an installment of six sonatas from the composer’s second book.

Butterfield remarks that violinists have not taken up Leclair’s first two books of sonatas, perhaps because of their modest demands; perhaps his insightful and cleanly-recorded performances (along with those of the first book) will revive some interest in them. Strongly recommended… © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

BBC Music Magazine, October 2013

Butterfield and his colleagues are sympathetic interpreters, fully conversant with the intimate yet intricate French Baroque manner. © BBC Music Magazine

Robin Stowell
The Strad, September 2013

This trio offers intelligent, idiomatic performances of sonatas from Leclair’s second book, which demonstrates a striking synthesis of Italian melodiousness and French elegance. Adrian Butterfield is a neat and sensitive violinist with a secure technique and a pure tone. Jonathan Manson and Laurence Cummings provide stylish support. © 2013 The Strad Read complete review

Julie Anne Sadie
Gramophone, September 2013

The violinist Adrian Butterfield…has a genuine affinity for Leclair’s music. Having completed a three-disc set of Leclair’s Op 1 Sonatas in 2009…he turns here to Op 2…with a recording of the first five sonatas and a trio…in which the viol, beautifully played here by Jonathan Manson, is an equal partner with the violin. Technically and musically, Butterfield is a marvel. © 2013 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone, August 2013

Here are many aspects of many stringed instruments in many forms from many musical eras—all presented with aplomb. Adrian Butterfield is particularly adept with the Baroque violin in the first volume of the second set of sonatas by Jean-Marie Leclair…Jonathan Manson and Laurence Cummings ably support Butterfield’s playing, which is suitably virtuosic but never overwhelms the music with greater intensity than it can bear. Compositionally poised, these Leclair sonatas lie firmly in the Baroque realm; played with elegance, they offer listeners an attractive opportunity to hear some lesser-known music of the early 18th century. © 2013 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2013

Born in Lyon in 1697, little is known of Jean-Marie Leclair’s early musical training, but he was to become a violinist and composer of the highest quality and esteem. He was in the service of the royal court in the Netherlands, but he otherwise spent much of the last forty years of his life in Paris where he was murdered in 1764. He wrote extensively for the violin including forty-eight sonatas, but fearing that their inherent difficulty would detract from sales of his music, he also made versions for flute where the problems were minimised. The present disc includes six from the second volume, some of which are also featured in their flute versions on Naxos 8.557440–41. So far as the accompaniment was concerned, Leclair was less than clear of his expectations, the present disc, which will form part of the first recording of the complete opus 2 sonatas, employs the viola da Gamba and harpsichord. All three performers come from that group of UK musicians who live a life in Baroque performances, and features the much acclaimed Adrian Butterfield playing a copy of a Baroque violin of 1734. With an open and piquant tonal quality, he still retains that  expressive cantabile quality to which Leclair often commented. Certainly the profusion of double-stopping would have been challenging to 18th century violinists, particularly in respect of intonation. Standards are today vastly different, Butterfield despatching the technically demanding passages with ease, passages of crossing strings creating an exciting brilliance. His intonation is perfect; tempos have a commendable urgency and decoration introduce an element of fantasy. In Laurence Cummings we have one of today’s finest Baroque harpsichordists, his balance with Butterfield and Jonathan Manson’s Viola da Gamba being perfectly judged. Very good sound quality. © 2013 David’s Review Corner

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group