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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

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