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John Roos
American Record Guide, November 2017

Septura has given us many wonderful moments. I think of the beautiful tuba solo by Sasha Koushk-Jalali in Darke’s ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ (arranged by trumpeter Alan Knight) and the sweet blend offered in trumpeter Simon Cox’s arrangement of the Brahms ‘Lo how a rose’. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide




James Manheim
AllMusic.com, December 2016

The English brass septet Septura (three trumpets, two trombones, bass trombone, and tuba) has emerged as a worthy successor to the various brass quintets that enjoyed a vogue at the end of the 20th century. Their ensemble work is unimpeachable, but where they break new ground is in their arrangements, which both draw on a slightly wider range of sources than usual and have a more varied selection of textures. The latter is not just a result of the fact that Septura is a septet rather than a quintet, but that it also involves novel treatments of the instruments and their groupings. © 2016 AllMusic.com Read complete review



Nick Barnard
MusicWeb International, December 2016

The sound of Septura is exceptionally beautiful—warm and rounded but with dazzling brilliance too when required. …Aided by the pleasing resonant acoustic of St. Paul’s Church Southgate and the sympathetic engineering of Phil Rowlands, this is a beautiful sounding disc.

This is a disc of delights…

Brass at Christmas might well be a cliché but when it is as good as this that is no penalty. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Jason Victor Serinus
Bay Area Reporter, December 2016

Christmas with Septura features an excellent bass septet performing arrangements of music by Bach, Handel, Rachmaninov, and Warlock. The arrangement of “Ich freue mich in dir” (“I am delighted in thee”) is a joy to listen to. This is a great one to play in the background to lift everyone’s spirits. © 2016 Bay Area Reporter Read complete review



Rad Bennett
RadsReferenceReviews, December 2016

Septura has a rich and robust sound and is made up of seven musicians—3 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, and tuba. Notably no French horns. Much of the music is arranged from Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, but there are some familiar carols as well—“Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” and “Silent Night” among them. The mix between slower, sonorous tunes and fleet, virtuoso ones seems ideal and the recorded sound is just right to give one detail with an abundance of warmth. © 2016 RadsReferenceReviews Read complete review



Jerobear
Review Corner, December 2016

Seven-piece Septura have played a blinder with this album, which presents classic Christmas music played on brass.

Septura, a group that brings together London’s leading players “to redefine brass chamber music”, manages to sound both non-brass band-y and non-Christmas-y on an album that offers a brass band playing Christmas music. It’s a Christmas miracle.

By this we mean they avoid clichés in both departments: not sounding so flat-cap brassy as to put off people who would otherwise recoil at a brass band, and avoiding that clichéd Christmas style that means a CD gets played for a week in December and then stored away with the decorations for 11 months and 50 weeks. Rather like nice choral music, this is music that suits Christmas, but could be played at any time and, while they’re a seven-piece brass band, they sound more like an orchestral brass section than a band. © 2016 Review Corner Read complete review



JMC
The Chronicle, December 2016

Seven-piece Septura have played a blinder with this album, which presents classic Christmas music played on brass.

Septura, a group that brings together London’s leading players “to redefine brass chamber music”, manages to sound both non-brass band-y and non-Christmas-y on an album that offers a brass band playing Christmas music. It’s a Christmas miracle.

By this we mean they avoid clichés in both departments: not sounding so flat-cap brassy as to put off people who would otherwise recoil at a brass band, and avoiding that clichéd Christmas style that means a CD gets played for a week in December and then stored away with the decorations for 11 months and 50 weeks. Rather like nice choral music, this is music that suits Christmas, but could be played at any time and, while they’re a seven-piece brass band, they sound more like an orchestral brass section than a band. © 2016 The Chronicle




BBC Music Magazine, December 2016

…if you like a shot of brass to set the festive ambiance, this new anthology by Septura, an elite group drawing on the finest players in London, is just the ticket. The selections range widely, from the golden sonorities of Schütz’s Geistliche Chormusik to a clever antiphohal arrangement of Leontovych’s Carol of the Bells. Three rousing numbers from Handel’s Messiah cap a recital so entertaining that the missing words don’t matter. © 2016 BBC Music Magazine



David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2016

A disc of music related to Christmas created by European composers from the Sixteenth through to the Twentieth century and here arranged for brass ensemble. It comes as part of a series of discs made by the London-based brass ensemble, Septura, using arrangements by its members, the present disc being the work of the trumpet and trombonists, Simon Cox and Matthew Knight. Most are derived from vocal music with three excerpts from Handel’s Messiah offering a substantial part of the twenty-two tracks that chronologically opens with Palestrina’s motet, Canite tuba and Robert Parson’s Ave Maria—we do not know which came first though both date from the late fifteen hundreds—and ends with three charming pieces by Peter Warlock from the nineteen-twenties. Throughout the playing is refined and silky smooth as befits the music, the balance between instruments ideally blended as after twenty-one tracks we finally reach the peace of Franz Gruber’s Stille Nacht. Maybe a disc we will get out each Christmas to savour this fabulous brass playing that has been atmospherically recorded. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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