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Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International, October 2016

This is a very good recording and English speakers, …The Virginia Arts Festival Players, not too well represented in the catalogue, perform very well under JoAnn Falletta’s direction and the violin part is very well performed by Tianwa Yang. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Roger Hecht
American Record Guide, July 2016

…the performance is enthusiastic, cleanly drawn, and charming… © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



David Olds
The WholeNote, May 2016

The story is narrated effectively and Yang’s violin playing is flawless and convincing in this new performance. © 2016 The WholeNote Read complete review



Geoff Adams
Otago Daily Times, May 2016

The trumpeter David Vonderheide and percussionist Robert Cross deserve special mention but all excel.

JoAnn Falletta conducts the ensemble in this performance of the popular work that becomes surely the best recording available, suitably crisp and boisterous in its rhythms and beautifully recorded.

Tianwa Yang shines out technically… © 2016 Otago Daily Times Read complete review




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, May 2016

The musical performance under JoAnn Falletta, with Tianwa Yang as the violinist, is outstanding, clear and crispy, beautifully balanced, and rhythmically sharp. © 2016 Pizzicato Read complete review



Graham Rickson
The Arts Desk, May 2016

Instrumentally, it’s pretty superb: JoAnn Falletta’s seven-piece pit band is suitably punchy and incisive. Violinist Tianwa Yang’s playing is flawless, especially good in the three slinky dances which the Soldier plays for his revived Princess in Part 2. Trumpet and trombone in the tiny “Royal March” are phenomenally good, and Stravinsky’s all-important bassoon part is handsomely delivered by Laura Leisring. Highly enjoyable, and possibly the best modern recording of an important, influential work. © 2016 The Arts Desk Read complete review



Tim Ashley
Gramophone, May 2016

It’s a fine performance all round, …Ensemble values are high, with actors and instrumentalists nicely integrated and a strong sense of give and take that reflects the recording’s theatrical origins. Violinist Tianwa Yang is dexterous but unshowy in her all-important solos, but there’s never any sense of her attempting to upstage the Virginia Arts Festival Chamber Players, all of whom are very much her match in terms of virtuoso refinement. Conductor JoAnn Falletta steers the work more towards sophisticated cabaret than creepy folk tale: we’re very conscious here of its monetarist satire and of the flashes forward, dramatically and musically, to The Rake’s Progress. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, April 2016

There never was much doubt about this one. Naxos lined up its “A-Team” in the persons of Tianwa Yang, violin, and conductor JoAnn Falletta… © 2016 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review




Infodad.com, March 2016

Clearly a work inspired by World War I, Histoire du Soldat is sufficiently timeless so that it still has impact today. © 2016 Infodad.com Read complete review




Andrew Clements
The Guardian, March 2016

The musical performance under JoAnn Falletta, with Tianwa Yang as the violinist, is neat and crisp without being too slick; perhaps occasionally it’s a bit cool, not earthy enough, but it never becomes routine. © 2016 The Guardian Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2016

Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat exists in three formats, with a truncated Concert Suite and the complete score subdivided into French and translated English texts. It is in this latter format we have a performance taken ‘live’ from the Virginia Arts Festival in 2015. To be more exact it comes in an American translation, the brogue of Fred Child as the Narrator, and Jared McGuire, as The Soldier, taking the story more into the world of Mark Twain, with Jeff Biehl as a suitably Hollywood creepy Devil. Language is always a difficult question in such situations, but in its original guise Stravinsky positively uses the French words as spoken music, and we certainly miss that here, but, of course, that equally applies to most opera translations. Naxos already have an English version using English actors, and played by the Northern Chamber Orchestra. This new ‘live’ performance does, of course, have the advantage of excellent actors interacting with the musicians, and not, as in most other recordings, added later and often in a different acoustic, and that is the case in the earlier Naxos release. In essence it is a play with ‘incidental’ music, the story of the soldier who exchanges with the devil his old violin in return for a magic book that gives the soldier untold wealth. But money does not bring happiness and he resorts to get the violin back, though once you have sold your sole—his cherished violin—there will only be one winner. The seven musicians in the ensemble play for less than half the length of the work, though they do have the famous name of Tianwa Yang to add luster, she playing the solo violin that is the kernel to the whole story. In sum, this is a fine performance I can commend to you, but with the spoken dialect as the uncertain factor. Excellent recorded sound. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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