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Roger Hecht
American Record Guide, March 2016

The readings under review here are well done, bracing, quite refreshing, and played on modern instruments with no vibrato. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, January 2016

Under the direction of Kevin Mallon, the Thirteen plays with a fine sense of style, nicely rounded tone, and technical responsiveness always at the ready. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review



George Hall
BBC Music Magazine, November 2015

An almost exact contemporary of Haydn’s, the German-born Franz Ignaz Beck published four sets of symphonies, of which the attractive and imaginative second collection is skilfully performed here. © 2015 BBC Music Magazine



Richard Wigmore
Gramophone, October 2015

Kevin Mallon draws spruce, carefully shaped playing from his Canadian chamber forces, always alive to felicities in Beck’s part-writing. …the players phrase the slow movements with grace and sensibility, and evidently relish the lusty exuberance of No 5’s opening movement, horns pealing out bravely. The harpsichord continuo is discreetly balanced and the church acoustic gives an attractive bloom to the sound. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Ralph Graves
WTJU, September 2015

The Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra…has a light, transparent sound that’s well-suited to this material. The recording is clean with just a hint of ambient sound. © 2015 WTJU Read complete review



Robert Cummings
Classical Net, September 2015

…the Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra is excellent throughout, showing consistently spirited playing and a great sense of joy. …Mallon’s interpretations are convincing, and he thus makes a fine case for Beck as an important symphonist. The sound reproduction by Naxos is very clear and well balanced… © 2015 Classical Net Read complete review




Remy Frank
Pizzicato, September 2015

Here we have delightful and inspired performances of Franz Ignaz Beck’s Opus 2. Kevin Mallon gives vital and characterful readings of the music. © 2015 Pizzicato



David Barker
MusicWeb International, August 2015

The performances are clean and sprightly… © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review




WGBH, August 2015

Kevin Mallon and the Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra honor the German composer Franz Ignaz Beck in a collection of his second set of six symphonies. Esteemed as one of the more prominent members of the highly influential Mannheim School of composers, Beck’s symphonies became instrumental to the evolution of the genre, helping to break new ground for future Classical symphony composers. © 2015 WGBH



Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International, August 2015

Rather than his own period orchestra with whom he made earlier Naxos recordings, Kevin Mallon here directs a small modern-instrument ensemble but the result shows awareness of period practice: stylish performances, well recorded, of stylish music which, though it dates from the infancy of the symphonic form—before Haydn—is well worth hearing. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Infodad.com, July 2015

…Kevin Mallon leads the Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra with real pep and sure understanding of these works, producing performances that are as vivid and expressive as they can be within Beck’s chosen, limited sound world. © 2015 Infodad.com Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2015

Ten years ago, when Naxos issued the first release in the Sinfonias of Franz Beck, I described them as being the role models that shaped the era of Haydn and Mozart. Since then we have had three further discs that have enhanced Beck’s stature, and points to the fact that he was probably the most gifted orchestral composer of his time. Many parts of his life are not well chronicled, but he was certainly a highly gifted pupil of Johann Stamitz and was proficient on several instruments. Thereafter his name appears in many places across Europe as a performing musician, and he obviously created much interest as a composer, his symphonic music readily accepted for publication in Paris during the 1750’s and 60’s. We do not have the exact date of composition of the opus 2, but, unlike the orchestral weight of the following opus 3,they were scored for a small ensemble of strings and harpsichord continuo, a pair of horns being added to the Second and Fifth Sinfonias. In the accepted form of three movements, two fast ones enclosing a slow andante or adagio, the writing is often highly decorated and calling for much agility in the first violins. It is certainly true to say that the basic melodic material is as pleasing as anything we find in early Haydn, and even more immediately memorable. The performances from the Canadian group, Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra, are neat and ideally schooled in that aspect we today call ‘period informed style’. The conductor, Kevin Mallon, keeps the outer movements moving at an urgent pace in an immaculate recording from Naxos’s resident Canadian team. The release is made in conjunction with newly edited performing parts from Artaria Editions. © 2015 David’s Review Corner





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