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Mike Parr
MusicWeb International, January 2020

Throughout the recording the Septura members play with wonderful precision and commitment. Their sound is clean and well produced. They are assisted by the spacious acoustic which was well captured by the recording engineers. Derek Jacobi recites the story very elegantly with appropriate wonder and humour.

An original and very welcome presentation of traditional Holiday confection. © 2020 MusicWeb International Read complete review




James Manheim
AllMusic.com, December 2019

The brass septet Septura has put brass ensemble music on the charts at a level not seen for some years, and this version of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, Op. 71, offers an ideal illustration as to why. It’s not just the virtuosity of the group, although that’s impressive enough. … A top Christmas release of 2019. © 2019 AllMusic.com Read complete review



The Arts Desk, December 2019

Seriously impressive playing and engineering, and another Naxos bargain. © 2019 The Arts Desk



Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, December 2019

Septura, consisting of Huw Morgan, trumpet in E-flat; Alan Thomas and Simon Cox, trumpets in B-flat; Matthew Gee and Matthew Knight, trombones; Daniel West, bass trombone; and Peter Smith, tuba, with Scott Lumsdaine standing in on percussion, are up to the unconventional, as usual. A familiar Tchaikovsky ballet gets a new sound, as well as a new look, in a version for brass septet and narrator arranged by Knight and Cox, and based on the Alexandre Dumas adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffman’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.

The arrangements for brass generally bring out the brightness and the feeling of uninhibited joie de vivre in Tchaikovsky’s score… © 2019 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review



Lark Reviews, November 2019

The arrangement if delightful and works extremely well for brass ensemble. However—unless you have a very skilful technical set-up—each short piece of music is preceded by narration from Derek Jacobi. © 2019 Lark Reviews Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2019

The ever resourceful and technically remarkable British brass septet, Septura, have a Christmas delight with their adaptation of Tchaikovsky’s ballet, The Nutcracker. I am sure the composer would have been delighted with the ingenuity the arrangers, Matthew Knight and Simon Cox have shown, Knight having also created a linking narrative from Alexander Dumas’s adaptation of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. It is here spoken by one of the UK’s best known actors, Derek Jacobi, and recorded in a very different ambiance. We have the complete ballet music, even though it is often prodigiously difficult for brass instruments, particularly for Peter Smith’s tuba, an instrument not usually called upon to produce such dexterity. Then the speed and agility of the trumpets in the characteristic dances is no less remarkable, and so you could continue with this high degree of incredulity with the virtuosity and sheer audacious brilliance that Septura display. Add to these accolades the outstanding quality of the recording, and you have a Christmas present for young and old. © 2019 David’s Review Corner



Brass Band World, November 2019

This is world class in its own right and the perfectly proportioned story, narrated with such enchanting brilliance by Derek Jacobi, elevated this recording to a new level. The Nutcracker is a mightily impressive achievement and is a delightful treat for listeners of all ages© 2019 Brass Band World



Brass Band World, November 2019

Rarely does a recording project manage to capture each aspect of delivery so perfectly. © 2019 Brass Band World





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