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Archive for Review

Two MusicWeb International Recordings of the Year!

TWO SOMM releases have been named MusicWeb International Recordings of the Year! We also have to share this wonderful quote from critic Nick Barnard: “I am glad to be able to include a disc from SOMM again this year – their recordings, repertoire and performances are always a delight.” “Mark Bebbington has an astonishingly wide […]

International Piano Reviews “Unmissable” Dora Bright and Ruth Gipps Piano Concertos

“A treat for fans of English music: two piano concertos by two ladies, Dora Bright (1862-1951) and Ruth Gipps (1921-1999). Bright’s writing in the concerto is highly Romantic, gesturing towards Schumann and Brahms, but the material is undeniably English. … [Samantha] Ward is a fine player… finding just the right flow for the appealing melodies. […]

British Music Society Enjoys Composers At The Savile Club

“Mr Karpeyev has chosen a fine programme of works demonstrating great variety of style and tempo, some energetic from the start, others introspective, others showing brilliant scalar passages, some with folk-song character, others with a simple melody above a homophonic accompaniment. An unexpected delight on this disc is Roy Douglas’s piano-solo arrangement of the ‘Popular Song’ […]

British Music Society Reviews The Travelling Companion

“This double CD is the World Première recording of the last of Charles Villiers Stanford’s nine operas. It contains a narrative element strikingly similar to Puccini’s Turandot. … With the attractive tonal colours of Stanford’s music, in particular his orchestral and choral writing, it provides a fascinating and enjoyable experience. … Performances are excellent, especially […]

Two SOMM Recordings Are International Piano Highlights of 2019!

“The main event on this intelligently programmed disc is Bax’s Sonata in E-flat minor (1921). The white-hot intensity in the music may be a response to the loss of life in the Irish Easter Uprising of 1916, and Bebbington catches the music’s anger and grief superbly in playing of enourmous range and power. First-rate sound […]

Leon McCawley’s Haydn Piano Sonatas in International Piano

A second “sparkling” review for Leon McCawley and his Haydn: Piano Sonatas, Volume Two; this time in International Piano Magazine: “There is an abundance of joy in McCawley’s sparkling acciaccaturas of the D major Sonata (No 59), maxilmally contrasted with the central Largo e sostenuto, a dignified post-Baroque sarabande. He is expert at finding underlying […]

Gramophone Reviews Leon McCawley’s “Sparkling” Haydn Sonatas

Gramophone Magazine reviews Leon McCawley’s second volume of Haydn’s Piano Sonatas in the November 2019 issue: “Light of touch, stylistically assured and brimful of intelligence and wit, Leon McCawley’s second instalment of Haydn sonatas for SOMM fairly sparkles with delight. This follows his 2016 recording of four sonatas plus the F minor Variations (2/17) and, […]

Gramophone Declares The Travelling Companion a Landmark Recording!

Gramophone Magazine’s Richard Bratby reviews the world premiere recording of Stanford: The Travelling Companion in the November 2019 issue: “This is a landmark: the first full-length commercial recording of any of Stanford’s nine completed operas. It’s all the more remarkable in having been brought about by the semi-professional New Sussex Opera, who last year revived The […]

Leon McCawley’s Haydn Piano Sonatas, Vol. Two Receives a Four Star BBC Review!

“a well-balanced selection of six sonatas… recorded with appropriate crispness and cantabile in Turner Sims hall. The sparkle of McCawley’s touch is instantly apparent… as is his evenness of fingering in the passagework… Most impressive throughout the disc is McCawley’s command of subtle nuance and rubato without ever sounding self-conscious or mannered. The impression, so […]

Four Stars for Dora Bright and Ruth Gipps from BBC Music Magazine!

“This heartening recording features works for piano and orchestra by two long-neglected British composers… [Bright’s] piano writing is brilliant and subtle… the gem of the work is the haunting slow movement, its striking harmonies unfolding over a pedal-point fifth. … The pianist Samantha Ward sparkles and sings, bringing the work a helpful clarity and lightness […]