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July 20 , 2012

Reviews of the Week

John Surman's solo album Saltash Bells keeps charming reviewers with its musical expressions of childhood memories

Lilting soprano sax dances over gruff and urgent baritone, there are solitary bass clarinet ruminations and dense and dancey synthesised rhythms. Here the lap of water in a muddy inlet is palpable, church bells echo from afar and a country dance held at “The Crooked Inn” is brought to life. Gently bucolic, with a hint that all may not be well.
Mike Hobart, Financial Times

Erhaben und ängstlich, ein wenig froh und noch öfter melancholisch sind Surmans Reflexionen über die Mächte, die einen durchs Leben ziehen. So gut er in Bands ist, noch intensiver tönt er ganz allein. Delikatessen für die Ohren sind das.
Samir Köck, Die Presse

The Guardian on Terje Rypdal's box-set Odyssey - In Studio & In Concert

Aged 28, Rypdal […] formed his Odyssey quintet in 1975, and part of this three-disc set is the band’s debut studio album – a mix of dreamy sustain-pedal sounds, orchestral string-synth effects, and bursts of percussion-heavy rocking. The other two CDs (featuring previously unreleased material with Swedish Radio’s big band in 1976) represent the beginnings of the guitarist’s career as a composer. The pop-song structure of Better Off Without You, represent a very different Rypdal, and the guitarists’s nine-part Unfinished Highballs suite is a kaleidoscope of ghostly woodwind scoring and church-organ sounds. It’s an intriguing extra chapter to the Rypdal story.
John Fordham, The Guardian

The unique musical blend of Arianna Savall and Petter Udland Johansen Hirundo Maris enchants the Independent on Sunday

Arianna Savall (daughter of Jordi) is a harpist and singer with a boy’s treble. Petter Udland Johansen plays twangy/scrappy things and sings. The ensemble splices elements of Nordic and Mediterranean tradition into a drifting, formal but ballasted slow dance. Gorgeous.
Nick Coleman, Independent on Sunday

American critic Grego Applegate Edwards on Dennis Russell Davies' and the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester's recording of music by Witold Lutoslawski and Béla Bartók on Musique funèbre

A pairing of Witold Lutoslawski and Bela Bartok isn't a big stretch. After all, they were both Eastern European, both lived and worked in the 20th century, each in their own way were modern innovators, and Bartok was a major influence on Lutoslawski. But it works especially if the program leads off with "Musique Funebre", written by Lutoslawski to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Bartok's death. […] So there you have it - a kind of alternation between the somber and the earthy, the question of influences, some somewhat unstandard juxtapositions and an excellent series of performances by Dennis Russell Davies and the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester.
Grego Applegate Edwards, Classicalmodernmusic.blogspot.com

German daily Rheinische Post on Estonian vocal group Vox Clamantis' Filia Sion

So frisch, authentisch und auf einfache Weise richtig singt das estnische Ensemble Vox Clamantis unter Jaan-Eik Tulve diese Musik. […] Gipfel ist das geradezu vom Himmel säuselnde "O ignis spiritus" der Hildegard von Bingen. Mit dieser CD wird mancher wieder fromm werden.
Wolfram Goertz, Rheinische Post