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Barry Kilpatrick
American Record Guide, May 2018

Septura always sounds terrific—tone qualities, blend, and intonation are always wonderful, ensemble always precise. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, February 2018

I really didn’t expect Septura would be able to top their earlier release of Russian music, but darned if they haven’t gone ahead and done it. A real plus here are their arrangements of specimens by Ravel and Fauré of “la Mélodie,” the art song genre of which I have never been particularly fond in the past, despite the French roots of my own family.

Beautiful recordings compliment the artistry of Septura, whose members include, besides those already mentioned, trumpeters Philip Cobb and Huw Morgan, trombonist Matthew Gee, bass trombonist Daniel West, and tuba player Peter Smith. © 2018 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review

Review Corner, December 2017

This is not really a Christmas album, but it’s Christmassy.

Septura brings together a number of London’s leading brass players. It’s a brass septet and thus has no traditional repertoire, and is creating its own, recording a series of 10 CDs of different eras for Naxos.

This CD sees them turn to “one of the most ground-breaking periods of music history”: France at the outset of the 20th century. The group re-imagine works by the three composers, Fauré, Debussy and Ravel.

The playing (deliberately, given the era) is Impressionistic, and creates an atmosphere rather than presenting stirring brass anthems. It also doesn’t sound like a traditional brass band, being gentler, more like chamber music. © 2017 Review Corner Read complete review

James Manheim, December 2017

The music of the London-based brass septet Septura stands apart from that of other brass ensembles on the scene. The existing repertory for brass septet is small, but Septura is neither trying to cover that repertory nor to offer the usual brass ensemble mix of Renaissance polyphony and contemporary pieces. Instead, they aim to create a large body of arrangements for brass septet of music from various periods and of various kinds. The larger size of the ensemble, as compared to a quintet, and the arranging contributions of several members of the group contribute to the necessary flexibility, and several of Septura’s numbered series of releases on Naxos are highly recommended. This fifth volume is one of the strongest, filled with songs and orchestral pieces that one would not immediately associate with a brass ensemble, and the fun is in seeing how the arrangers do it. © 2017 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2017

The Fifth in this series from the quite remarkable London-based brass septet, Septura, takes us to arrangements of French music at the onset of the 20th century. It is a disc full of innovative ideas of re-scoring familiar music made by members of the septet, though many of the effects in the orchestral version Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite—from percussion and high violin—have to be omitted, the music emerging more closely related to the original piano duet score. In many ways the equally applies to the Pavane for the dead Princess in this version from Matthew Knight. We move into the world of song for the Three Chansons, here arranged from Ravel’s version for voice and piano. Knight is also responsible for selecting six songs by Gabriel Faure that I have known since I was a child, and, to put it very mildly, I did not enjoy the vocal line being given to a trumpet or trombone. The most extended section of the disc comes with six of the Preludes Debussy wrote for solo piano arranged by Simon Cox, and here Septura are on safer ground, as they are embellishing the music with the sonorities Debussy would no doubt have used. Indeed the arrangement of La Cathedral engloutie, which ends the disc, emerges as one of the finest pieces the composer never actually wrote. Holding principal positions in the major London orchestras, the virtuosity that the group display, in concert just as well as on disc, is quite remarkable, technical challenges never existing in their elevated musical world. The recording quality is equally superb. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

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