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Terry Robbins
The WholeNote, October 2018

Three members of the UK chamber ensemble Karolos—violinist Harriet Mackenzie, violist Sarah-Jane Bradley and cellist Graham Walker—are the excellent performers. © 2018 The WholeNote Read complete review

MusicWeb International, September 2018

The performance of the three string players of the larger ensemble, Karolos, Harriet Mackenzie, Sarah-Jane Bradley and Graham Walker are excellent throughout, with each player making light of what ever challenge the composer lays before them. Their performance seems to portray their enjoyment of this music whether as soloists or members of the trio. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, August 2018

Three members of the performing group Karolos provide the fine performances we hear. There is Harriet MacKenzie on violin, Sarah-Jane Bradley on viola and Graham Walker on cello. As players of the solo works they are accomplished and idiomatically appropriate, and as a string trio they excel with a coordinated and briskly brio or a tenderly reflective undulating whole as needed. © 2018 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Colin Anderson, August 2018

Very well-played as the group Karolos, Harriet Mackenzie, Sarah-Jane Bradley and Graham Walker also shine individually: between the two works for three players, each of Karolos’s members comes to the fore. In Caprice after Puck, Bradley nourishes its fifteen-minute continuous span with conviction and colour, poise and personality, relishing the music’s quick-change artistry. Finally, the Partita for Solo Cello (1985), of eight lively and communicative vignettes, gives Walker the opportunity to shape significantly and solicit numerous attacks, timbres and volumes from his fine-sounding instrument, sharing his enjoyment with us.

With the exception of String Trio No.2, these pieces are recorded for the first time, surprisingly, for they are notably rewarding. It’s a handsome collection, very well captured, vivid and immediate, tonally faithful. © 2018 Read complete review

Stephen Pritchard
The Guardian, July 2018

Altogether sparer is the often astringent but always interesting chamber music of Stephen Dodgson. Karolos, the eminent UK ensemble, is setting out on an exploration of Dodgson’s work on the Naxos label, beginning with his string trios and works for solo violin, solo viola and solo cello. Dodgson (1924–2013) echoed the baroque in his use of ornamentation, variation and intricate displays of virtuosity, so that his Sonatina in B minor for solo violin, expressively played here by Harriet Mackenzie, is both a tribute to Bach and a statement of his own individuality. © 2018 The Guardian Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2018

To other composers of his time, Stephen Dodgson was the consummate craftsman, yet, for some inexplicable reason, his music seldom fired public approbation. This new release, recorded in 2014, the year following his death at the age of eighty-nine, offers a retrospect of his chamber music, four of the works receiving their ‘World Premiere Recording’. Born in London, his early career was largely in teaching, much of his compositions being commissioned as background music for documentary films. Those who wished to propagate his ‘classical’ music did obtain broadcast performances, but the recording industry were less charitable. That could arise from the fact that he did not become a composer of fashionable ‘English’ music, but created his own very individual style. It was founded upon tonal melodic invention, the first String Trio from 1951 asking the listener to acquaint themselves with his personal idiom in order to lodge it into their memory-bank. Maybe Naxos should have opened the disc with the Second Trio that immediately grabs your attention with its innovate textures, the whole work worthy of a place among the finest English chamber music scores, the soulful second movement a masterpiece, a return to its mood at the close of the work leaving one deeply concerned at the way the world is heading. It is a pity that one of the ‘big names’ has not taken up the Partita for Solo Cello, its eight movements oscillating between fast and slow, offering plenty for virtuosos. Like many cellists, Graham Walker, does at time audibly slap the fingerboard, but here and throughout the disc, the members of Karolos are highly persuasive Dodgson advocates, Sarah-Jane Bradley’s viola in Caprice after Puck—a score taking its title from a character in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream—makes for a gorgeous track. Superb sound quality. © 2018 David’s Review Corner

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