Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

David W Moore
American Record Guide, March 2016

The performances are polished and played with feeling and recorded in fine sound. If you are interested in what is going on north of the border, here is some meat for your pleasure. The idioms are expressive and you will not find these young folk boring. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Laurence Vittes
Gramophone, October 2015

…four immediately attractive commissions…easy on the ear, played with highly euphonious style and virtuosity © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Ralph Graves
WTJU, September 2015

It’s a heady mix of music that I found appealing, intriguing, substantial and enjoyable. The Gryphon Trio gives each work its due; though the styles and approaches are different, the trio’s sure-footed performances bring a certain consistency to the album as a whole. © 2015 WTJU Read complete review

Réa Beaumont
The WholeNote, September 2015

The CD opens with Brian Current’s These Begin to Catch Fire, which suggests patterns of light reflecting on the water at Lake Muskoka. The intensity of this mesmerizing composition is heightened through a series of complex polyrhythms in the piano part, played flawlessly by Parker.

Andrew Staniland’s Solstice Songs highlights the importance of the celestial seasons in this compelling instrumental work… The ensemble effectively communicates the wide scope of moods that range from an ethereal nocturnal atmosphere to an exciting perpetual motion finale.

In his song cycle Letters to the Immortal Beloved, James K. Wright uses as its text Beethoven’s famous love letters written 200 years ago. Wright’s deeply moving composition, exquisitely sung by mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah, seamlessly weaves Beethoven’s own Andante favori into the third movement in further tribute to the composer.

Centennials by Michael Oesterle celebrates the centenary of the birth of three individuals born in 1912: chef Julia Child, composer Conlon Nancarrow and painter Jackson Pollock. Their contrasting personalities are captured perfectly and the Trio’s skills are particularly evident in the final movement with its extreme fluctuations of temperament that the production team has recorded with balance and clarity. An excellent CD. © 2015 The WholeNote Read complete review

James Manheim, August 2015

This enjoyable group of contemporary Canadian chamber pieces gives exposure to a quartet of composers largely unknown outside the Great White North. All the pieces have some kind of readily evident extramusical content, but all treat the idea of extramusical content differently. A recommended sampling of contemporary music from the country where it is arguably most vital in the Western hemisphere. © 2015 Read complete review

Ettore Garzia
Percorsi Musicali, July 2015

Even if today it is truly difficult to scandalize with certain methods, it is also true that the process of renovation of classical music might know no pause: the compositions given by Canadian composers to Gryphon Trio are an emblem of how to renew the ideas and make them work without hurting anyone. With music that recalls history, its characters and art in general, Elements Eternal has many strings to its bow and is a confirmation of the freshness of composition by Canadian musical generations. © 2015 Percorsi Musicali

David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2015

Four works from major Canadian composers writing in the 21st century and commissioned by the internationally acclaimed and award winning Gryphon Trio. From that North American school of composition that is creating a more listener-friendly atonality, Brian Current’s These Begin to Catch Fire fashions a musical picture of the brilliant sunshine reflecting from the water of lake Muskoka near Toronto, the score equally embracing Minimalism in its repeated note patterns. Looking at time through the passage of solstice and equinoxes, has provided the inspiration for Andrew Staniland’s Solstice Songs, an often turbulent three-movement score that takes us deep into the earth’s subterranean rumblings. It offers the cello a solo role in the long opening movement, the finale a hectic dance led by the piano. Centennials by Michael Oesterle portrays three people: Julia Lloyd, Conlon Nancarrow and Jackson Pollock, all who would have celebrated their 100th birthday in 2012, the mood here leaning heavily towards tonality as thematic ideas pass around the trio in fleeting solos, his picture of Pollock moving from vivacity to a central mood of tenderness in a song of love. It is those feelings that continue into James Wright’s Letters to the Immortal Beloved, three songs for a mezzo using words written by Beethoven to an unknown lady and discovered after his death either unsent, or returned to him. Written with their roots in art songs of the late 19th century, Wright uses the trio to provide a soft and subtle backdrop. An affectionate look at yesteryear, with Julie Nesrallah, as the soloist. Throughout the Gryphon Trio are persuasive advocates in a close-up recording. © 2015 David’s Review Corner, June 2015

The Gryphon Trio members throw themselves into all these works with enthusiasm… © 2015 Read complete review

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group