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Borletti-Buitoni Trust

Leonard Elschenbroich cello

Prokofiev and Kabalevsky CD on Onyx Classics

"This is an enterprising, thoroughly recommendable release from a coming star"
David Gutman, Gramophone, February 2015

"Never has this often underestimated work [Prokofiev’s Cello Sonata] seemed more rich in incident and so eloquently expressive"
Daniel Jaffe, BBC Music Magazine, February 2015

Erik Bosgraaf recorder

Willem Jeths Recorder Concerto, co-commissioned by Borletti-Buitoini Trust.

Jeths' Recorder Concerto tops the genre *****
"Those who thought that a quiet-sounding renaissance recorder would lose out to an outsized modern symphony orchestra had not counted on [Willem Jeths].  Jeths has a great feeling for the concerto...  and [his] Recorder Concerto can claim right away to be one of his best compositions in this genre.
"Jeths' long melodies – and they are proper melodies – were played by Erik Bosgraaf with a tremendous sense of line and phasing."
Peter van der Lint, Trouw, Amsterdam, 22 December 2014

Watch a video of the world premiere of Willem Jeths' Recorder Concerto

Bram van Sambeek bassoon

Sebastian Fagerlund Mana - Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra, co-commissioned by Borletti-Buitoni Trust, on behalf of Bram van Sambeek, with Lahti Symphony Orchestra and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

"Dutchman Bram van Sambeek understands Fagerlund’s language and was able to transform the voice of the bassoon into a wizard’s voice which, in the Sibelius Hall’s woodwind-friendly acoustic, appeared to originate from the ceiling and intoxicatingly envelop the audience. The atmosphere of an incantation ritual was satisfyingly many-layered:  the mix included shamanistic drums, keening, lamentations and incantations and Fagerlund brilliantly balanced agony and animistic joy of life."
Auli Särkiö, Rondo Classic, 6 December 2014

Shamanism à la Fagerlund
"The piece [Mana] grabs the audience’s attention from the very first note, with the bassoon a kind of sorcerer driving ahead, trance-like, on a breathtaking journey through ever-changing exterior and interior landscapes...A magical wind instrumentalist, Bram van Sambeek is one of the few bassoon players to have chosen a career as a soloist and chamber musician and he mastered effortlessly the hair-raising technical challenges that pepper Fagerlund’s score."
Mats Liljeroos, Hufvudstadsbladet, 7 December 2014


Watch a video of the world premiere of Sebastian Fagerlund's Mana

Elena Xanthoudakis soprano

Jewels of the Bel Canto, CD on Signum Classics

"Australia's new bel canto superstar"
Limelight Magazine  Record of the Month, July 2014

"...[her voice] has a light timbre and gives the impression of effortlessness in the rapid runs and wild vocal leaps...This is an outstanding debut album from a young singer who will hopefully attract a new generation of bel canto fans."
Steve Moffatt, Limelight July 2014

"Her tone is well formed, focused and supported, and she can cover a wide vocal range. The top of her voice does not become thin, which is just as well, for there is no shortage of high notes, which are steady in their production. Add to all that her flexibility and one has a singer who is worth hearing." 
John T. Hughes, International Recording Review June 2014

"She possesses that special requisite in bel canto singing of being able to power up to stratospheric notes with ease and pinpoint accuracy. With its trumpet effects, testing coloratura runs and top Cs, Donizetti’s regimental song 'Chacun le sait' from La Fille du Regiment proves but a walk in the park for Xanthoudakis."  
Graham Strahle, The Australian 19 May 2014

"From the first aria on this disc, Australian-Greek soprano Elena Xanthoudakis makes it obvious she is a singer to watch.  Her exquisitely focused voice has warmth and suppleness aplenty...Her intelligent approach and melting tones make each gem on this debut recording a winner."
Patricia Kelly, The Courier Mail May 2014

"An extraordinarily accomplished debut"
Fine Fish Sydney Australia May 2014

Sivan Magen harp

Fantasien, CD on Linn Records

"Magen begins with his own arrangement of CPE Bach's Fantasie in E flat, Wq58/6. Listening blind you would swear that it was simply a work from the standard harp repertoire that had previously escaped your notice; likewise Magen's arrangements of four Intermezzos by Brahms, who, in common with most major composers, wrote nothing for solo harp. These make up for the omission. I urge you to hear Magen playing Op 117 Nos 1 and 2- and Mozart's Fantasie in D minor, K397, a work surely indebted to CPE Bach. Harpophiles and bravurafanciers in general will not fail to fall for the Fantasie on Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin by the Russian harp virtuoso Ekaterina Walter-Kiihne (1870-1930). Magen seems destined to be the Zabaleta de nos jours, with a paintbox of colours allied to fabulous dexterity and nuanced phrasing. The recording (Philip Hobbs in The Menuhin Hall) has real presence and depth."
Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone, August 2014

"Magen uses every means at his disposal to create a compelling emotional narrative that draws the ear irresistibly on... Magen takes us into a rarefied dreamworld of musical colours and dynamic shadings that creates the strange impression of the notes floating free of musical gravity."
Julian Haylock, BBC Music Magazine April 2014
***** PERFORMANCE
***** RECORDING

"Without doubt Sivan Magen's fine musicianship and scintillating performances on this disc will further enhance this artist's burgeoning reputation"
Graham Williams, SA-CD.net March 2014

"Sivan Magen is a dazzlingly virtuosic musician and in this recital disc has set out to show the flexibility of his instrument..."
Sinfini February 2014

Adam Walker flute

Huw Watkins Flute Concerto, commissioned by Borletti-Buitoni Trust, London Symphony Orchestra, Fidelio Charitable Trust and Walker Watkins Consortium

"The fluency and apparently effortless virtuosity of this extraordinary musician [Adam Walker] combined with Watkins' flair and impeccable craftsmanship was spellbinding."
Rian Evans, The Guardian 15 May 2014

"Walker, playing with staggering virtuosity and charm, kept the audience on the edge of their seats throughout, and brought the house down at the end."
Tim Ashley, The Guardian 26 February 2014

"Adam Walker's playing was miraculous, his tone shifting imperceptibly from seductive roundness to an edgy astringency and adding layers of nuance to Watkins's already thoroughly imagined, translucent writing. Walker literally breathed character into the music, with an effortless, assured virtuosity that played games to great effect with the orchestra, and with Daniel Harding superb in his control of balance and attack."
Peter Reed, Classical Source 25 February 2014

"Walker had as many notes to play as the rest of the orchestra put together, and his non-stop stream of birdsong was presented with a virtuosity which was discreet rather than showy (no flamboyant flutter-tonguing, or shakuhachi effects)."
Michael Church, The Independent 24 February 2014

"Adam Walker seemed up for every challenge thrown at him. The opening veered between agitation and calm, cascades of obsessive repetition giving way to something more lyrical. Then came a movement of soulful rhapsody, Walker’s flute calling out longingly, the rest of the orchestra responding in kind... Flute-players may end up being grateful for the way that this new concerto expands their repertoire."  
Nick Kimberley, London Evening Standard 24 Feb 2014