Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Guy Rickards
Gramophone, July 2020

The suite from The Games sets the tone for the album: the musical style may be to mainstream opera what the graphic novel is to King Lear but it has a catchy cinematic immediacy. The opera’s dystopian vision of ritualistic games enacted by humanity on a new home planet is like a cross between The Hunger Games and Serenity while the baleful figure of the Gamemaster—a combination of the MC from Cabaret and Killian from The Running Man, brilliantly declaimed in a virtuoso, theatrical rendition by Theo Blackmann—leads the new Mankind into Downfall.

…An intriguing release, a touch fiercely recorded. Devotees of Monk need not hesitate. © 2020 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Gwyn Parry-Jones
MusicWeb International, May 2020

This CD’s music represents a meeting of musical minds, a collaboration between Monk with her vocal group, and the brilliant instrumental ensemble Bang on a Can. The result is music which is softly incandescent, haunting and very beautiful.

The music is superbly recorded, allowing us to appreciate Monk’s liquid and translucent textures… © 2020 MusicWeb International Read complete review

James Manheim, May 2020

The album includes a variety of little-known, but thoroughly enjoyable Monk works, rearranged for voices (mostly) and small ensemble by members of the venerable New York avant-garde group Bang on a Can All-Stars. …It is beautifully engineered and often hypnotic. A real find for Monk fans that points to where her music will be in the public mind ten years hence. © 2020 Read complete review

Kathleen Mcgowan
I Care If You Listen, April 2020

The beauty and peculiarity of Memory Game is that it is built entirely from new arrangements of Monk’s music. Arrangements are, effectively, time machines: they begin as a conversation between the composer and the arranger—or between the composer and a previous self. They carry the potential for both affirmation and change in the re-interpretation of the piece.

The arrangements that make up Memory Game have an arc of their own, and aren’t only a retrospective or a museum of her previous work; she expects her audience to follow her as they are able, and to trust her artistic vision. © 2020 I Care If You Listen Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, March 2020

It is a most interesting collaboration of Monk, her Vocal Ensemble and the Bang On A Can All Stars, the latter in this case an electric-acoustic chamber setting of some six instrumentalists, two doubling with their voices.

This is surely among her very best. © 2020 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

The Guardian, March 2020

The Bang on a Can All-Stars cover nine of Monk’s works for theatre with compelling authority, alongside her trusted Vocal Ensemble. © 2020 The Guardian

Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, March 2020

This new CD, her [Monk] first in quite some time, is quite different from most of her prior releases (except for Atlas) in that it combines her singing and that of her vocal ensemble—Theo Bleckmann, Katie Geissinger, Allison Sniffin and Monk herself—with an instrumental ensemble drawn from Bang on a Can.

It’s nice to know that Monk is still around and as wonderfully out-there as ever! © 2020 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group