Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Alan Becker
American Record Guide, September 2017

All are skillfully accomplished and enjoyable and mostly free from extravagant emendations that distort the intent of the original.

Severus…plays with beautiful tone and deep emotion. …this is one gorgeous recording of music that sings forth with divine beauty. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Nick Barnard
MusicWeb International, July 2017

Throughout the disc, the playing is aided by an impressively truthful and unfussy recording. The piano is quite close, without being oppressively so and the studio environment is supportive without adding excess resonance which might bloat the piano sound or blur the detail.

Alongside Severus’ interesting essay, Keith Anderson contributes a valuable note on the various transcribers. Allied to the quality of the recording and the all-round excellence of the music-making on display as well as the generous playing time this makes for a very enjoyable disc indeed. …an excellent recital in every respect. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Barry Forshaw
Classical CD Choice, July 2017

Sergei Rachmaninov’s songs rival his piano works in terms of popularity, and are the culmination of a uniquely Russian lyrical tradition. Piano transcription became a fashionable art form in its own right after Liszt’s work in the genre, and Rachmaninov’s elaborate piano parts make his romances ideal for solo performance in works that express effortless sensuality as well as darkness and loss. Unearthed in 2002, Rachmaninov’s own transcription of his remarkable Suite in D minor explores both tragic depths and light-hearted bravura. © 2017 Classical CD Choice Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, June 2017

[Julia Severus] is most definitely in her element with this music. A more sensitively romantic but never overly gushing exponent of this rare music would be hard to find. © 2017 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

James Manheim, June 2017

This fine release by Julia Severus contains two different classes of music. The piano transcriptions of songs by Rachmaninov and others were popular in their own time before being deemed insufficiently high-minded by academic tradition gatekeepers. …The transcriptions are by various composers, including Severus and Rachmaninov himself in a couple of cases. The piano parts are sort of the main attraction anyway, even in the original songs, and they work beautifully as transcriptions. Severus has a real way with these, making the piano seem to sing in all but words. © 2017 Read complete review

Lark Reviews, May 2017

These are fascinating items. Rachmaninov was responsible for transcribing his own works—as well as laying down many of them for player pianos where we can hear the composer himself performing his own works. Here we have twenty-two pieces, plus the longer Suite in D minor which only came to light a few years ago. Julia Severus is a convincing soloist with real romantic flair. © 2017 Lark Reviews

Records International, May 2017

Those of us familiar only with Lilacs and Daisies may be surprised that Rachmaninov did this many other transcriptions of his own songs (as to the Suite, well this is the third one we’ve offered in just a few months). What’s even more remarkable is that all of them come from Soviet and Russian publishing houses where they have been gathering dust for around a century. © 2017 Records International

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2017

Don’t be mislead by the cover of the disc, the release is largely given to six arrangers who have transcribed a number of Sergey Rachmaninov’s various songs. I don’t quite go along with the back insert which asserts that ‘Rachmaninov’s songs rival his piano works in terms of popularity’, for it is becoming a rare event to hear a recital containing any of his songs. They were all written by the young composer using Russian poets for the texts, and are mostly quite short and published in groups, the disc’s twenty tracks mostly taken from those included in opus 14, 21 and 26. Spring Waters, the eleventh of opus 14, is arranged by the performer, Julia Severus, and comes closest to the composer’s most popular piano works. I equally enjoyed her version of Why is My sick Heart Beating so Frantically, and a group transcribed by Alexander Schaefer was made while Rachmaninov was still based in Russia and probably with his blessing. There is one of his best known melodies, Do Not Sing to Me, Beautiful Maiden—the fourth of opus 4—before we move to the main item on the disc—the composer’s arrangement of his orchestral Suite in D minor, and shorn of its orchestral textures it does sound rather bald. There is not much to showcase Severus’s technical bravura, but I have again been pleased with her innate musicianship that we have heard on previous Naxos releases. The sound quality from the Berlin studio is very good. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group