Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?  
Keyword Search
 in   
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews



 
See latest reviews of other albums...

Geraint Lewis
Gramophone, April 2017

BENJAMIN, G.: Written On Skin (Royal Opera House, 2013) (NTSC) OA1125D
BENJAMIN, G.: Written On Skin (Royal Opera House, 2013) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7136D

Katie Mitchell’s much-praised production is seen here in its Covent Garden incarnation with Benjamin himself at the helm. The original cast responds with tailor-made immediacy. © 2017 Gramophone



James H. North
Fanfare, September 2015

BENJAMIN, G.: Written On Skin (Royal Opera House, 2013) (NTSC) OA1125D
BENJAMIN, G.: Written On Skin (Royal Opera House, 2013) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7136D

The three major roles are exquisitely done; in his roles of Angel 1 and The Boy, Bejun Mehta sings like an angel. So does Hannigan, who is also a fine stage as well as vocal actress; we suffer and grieve with her Agnès.

Written on Skin is a powerful opera, musically and dramatically. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review




Ken Smith
Gramophone, December 2014

BENJAMIN, G.: Written On Skin (Royal Opera House, 2013) (NTSC) OA1125D
BENJAMIN, G.: Written On Skin (Royal Opera House, 2013) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7136D

…Katie Mitchell’s original production matches visual layers to musical ones—with subtitles to catch every turn in Martin Crimp’s text. © 2014 Gramophone




Christopher Dingle
BBC Music Magazine, April 2014

BENJAMIN, G.: Written On Skin (Royal Opera House, 2013) (NTSC) OA1125D
BENJAMIN, G.: Written On Skin (Royal Opera House, 2013) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7136D

This is an outstanding release in every way. The scenario of Written on Skin is a straightforward story of illicit love, set in a time of the troubadors, but knowingly and constantly viewed from the 21st century, the characters stylised in a way that paradoxically makes them all the more believable. © 2014 BBC Music Magazine



Richard Fairman
Gramophone, April 2014

BENJAMIN, G.: Written On Skin (Royal Opera House, 2013) (NTSC) OA1125D
BENJAMIN, G.: Written On Skin (Royal Opera House, 2013) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7136D

This live recording from the Royal Opera House preserves the original production by Katie Mitchell and gives powerful visual representation to an opera that is to a large extent a drama of the mind.

Filming and sound are both excellent…The cast is excellent, especially Barbara Hannigan as the wife, combining vocal trapeze-work with a thoroughly modern dramatic intensity, and Christopher Purves in the Golaud-like role of the husband…A new opera that will surely repay repeated viewings. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




Lawrence D. Devoe, MD
Blu-rayDefinition.com, February 2014

From all vantage points, the Benjamin/Crimp portrayal of this tragic ménage à trois is well conveyed by Katie Mitchell’s stage direction, Vicki Mortimer’s designs, and Margaret William’s film production. The contributions of the principals are superb and create a moving and deeply penetrating production that will stay with viewers long after the curtains have dropped.

In spite of being filmed, the images are crisp and clear throughout with surprisingly little motion artifact. Staging being 21st century minimalist is reasonably effective. The cinematographers convey effectively the intimacy and occasional brutality on stage with excellent visual angles and camera movement.

Written on Skin deals with the powerful human themes of infidelity, brutality, and revenge…This 2013 Covent Garden production gives us as a good a production of this work as we are likely to get. © 2014 Blu-rayDefinition.com Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2014

George Benjamin is one of the most exciting and innovative British composers born in the second half of the 20th century, and a conductor much in demand. Already with operas to his name, of which Into the Little Hill is one of the most deeply moving theatre experiences I have encountered in recent times, he now adds Written on Skin, a fantasy or parable story depending on how you look at its inner meaning. Benjamin’s credentials are impeccable, having studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Messiaen, and Cambridge University with Alexander Goehr. From that background he has fashioned a very personal modern tonality, his lyric vocal writing showing a distinctive French flavour. The cast is excellent, Christopher Purves creating a suitably objectionable wealthy man, while Barbara Hannigan portrays the down-trodden wife looking for sensual satisfaction with total credibility. Add the committed playing of the orchestra under the composer’s direction, and I suppose the stage setting is fashioned to reflect that this is not intended to be a pleasant evening. First class visual and sound presentation… © 2014 David’s Review Corner



Nicholas Sheffo
Fulvue Drive-in, January 2014

Martin Crimp wrote the text and this work only just debuted in 2012, so it is an event to celebrate and behold because I think this might become some kind of modern classic. Ideas of magic, religion, spirituality and a sense of history as the narrative goes from place to place…work in its favor and I’ll be curious to see the reaction as this work slowly circulates in artistic circles. You should get this disc to be one of the first ones to experience it before that happens so you can have it to yourself for a while. © 2014 Fulvue Drive-in Read complete review





Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group