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June 8 , 2012

Reviews of the Week

British reviewers are thrilled by Alexei Lubimov's recording of the Preludes by Claude Debussy - BBC Music Magazine even makes it it's 'Recording Of The Month'

As Lubimov explains in typically intelligent booklet note, he is not claiming historical fidelity, but simply exploring the timbres of the early 20th-century piano. And what an exploration it is, for the instruments allied to Lubimov’s individuality bring the pieces alive in ways that are by turns mesmerising, thrilling, beguiling and playful. […] Lubimov’s imaginative responses to Debussy, captured wonderfully by ECM, are endlessly fascinating. There are a few exceptional recordings of the Préludes in which the enjoyment in exploring Debussy’s pianistic palette remains undimmed on each listening. Lubimov’s set joins that select company.
Christopher Dingle, BBC Music Magazine

The textures are intense and immediate, the blend of the instruments beguiling as Lubimov is joined by Alexei Zuev for Trois Nocturnes for two pianos.
Anna Picard, Independent On Sunday


The Hilliard Ensemble is hailed for the brilliance of its performance on the new recording of Gesualdo's Quinto Libro di Madrigali

Few vocalists if any could match this group for their tuning. In works such as Dolcissima mia vita (with its chromatic ending and its flickering lines at the word ‘fire’), the effect is sauperbly assured and focused.
Anthony Pryer, BBC Music Magazine


Early Music Review on John Holloway's Sonate concertate in stil moderno

It is, therefore a mark of John Holloway’s musical integrity that his gentle and persuasive advocacy for his instrument in this repertoire is so entirely convincing that whilst listening to this disc, one can’t imagine this music any other way.
Catherine Groom, Early Music Review


Leading french daily Le Monde on Dennis Russell Davies' and the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester's recording of music by Witold Lutoslawski and Béla Bartók on Musique funèbre

L’interprétation qu’en donne Dennis Russell Davies est de plus suggestives. Ce n’est plus un orchestre à cordes (sensibles) que conduit le chef américain mais une légion d’arbalétriers tendus vers une seule et évidente cible: le Divertimento de Bartók, à son tour atteint en plein cœur (expression d’outre-tombe) par ce collectif d’une grande efficacité.
Pierre Gervasoni, Le Monde


US jazz magazine Downbeat on All Our Reasons by the Billy Hart Quartet

A largely collective ensemble, nominally led by drummer Billy Hart but featuring material evenly distributed between hart, pianist Ethan Iverson and saxophonist Mark Turner, this foursome seems a perfect fit for a contemporary ECM outing.
Expanisve in scope, but with resonance and focus, All Our Reasons has the spirit of great early albums by Jan Garbarek and Keith Jarrett. But this band, with Hart mooring everything with a sense of grace, wisdom and adventure, brings today’s New York scene to bear on that 40-year-old label sound.
John Corbett, Downbeat