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Borletti-Buitoni Trust

Heath Quartet string quartet

Béla Bartók Complete String Quartets on Harmonia Mundi

"A fine achievement – the end of the last quartet, No 6, is quietly devastating."
Andrew MacGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review, 10 June 2017 (CD of the Week)

"The unfolding of the counterpoint in the first two quartets, and whirlwind delicacy and transparency of the final section of the Third, are spellbinding. And their treatment of the deeply tragic finale of the Sixth, which never becomes lachrymose, could hardly be bettered... the totality of the set is undeniably convincing."
Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 09 June 2017

"...these six works, formally ingenious, technically challenging and texturally resourceful, still stand as one of the great pillars of 20th-century art music. The Heath Quartet play each with an electrifying intensity, maintaining an irresistible impetus and negotiating abrupt character changes with aplomb."
Stephen Pettit, Sunday Times, 4 June 2017

Alec Frank-Gemmill horn

The Horn is a Noble and Melancholy Instrument on BIS

"There was a time when a recital featuring a number of different period horns and pianos would have almost certainly been an uphill struggle for both players and listeners.  So to encounter a programme featuring some of the core works in the horn repertoire played on historically appropriate instruments with such effortless musicianship and technical ease really takes some believing... Frank-Gemmill and Beatson enter the fray with fearless alacrity, making even the most well-worn of phrases sound freshly minted." Performance ***** Recording ****
Julian Haylock, BBC Music Magazine, July 2017

"The changes of sound and technology are fascinating, but the programme and the playing are what really make this such an excellent recital – and the recording’s pretty good as well."
Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review, 6 May 2017

"Both notable performers on modern instruments, Alec Frank-Gemmill and Alasdair Beatson here revel in the sonic possibilities offered by the historic instruments with results that are as delighting as they are enlightening."
Presto Classical

"All of which [the historical premise for the recording] is academically fascinating, but would be irrelevant if the playing of both musicians was not of such high calibre, virtuosic and technically flawless, but with real emotional depth.  And such is the variety here, there is bound to be at least one piece that steals your melancholy heart."
Keith Bruce, The Herald, 31 March 2017

"The logistical and organisational challenges must have been immense, but the musical results are glorious... Fiendish enough on a modern instrument [Schumann's Adagio and Allegro], Frank-Gemmill's fearless, colourful playing on an antique single horn paradoxically makes the piece sound easier. ... As a bonus, the pair throw in a typically anachronistic piece of English fluff: Gilbert Vintner's Hunter's Moon was a favourite of Dennis Brain. Written as late as 1942, it's an inconsequential delight, the sizzling handstopped notes a highlight. Unmissable, with Beatson an unfailingly sympathetic accompanist."
Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk, 15 April 2017

Listen to excerpts from the disc here.

Watch BBT's Artist Profile film about Alec Frank-Gemmill and his four Insight films about each of the horns here.

Kate Whitley piano/composer

I Am I Say - NMC Composer Debut Disc CD

"This debut portrait album showcases Whitley, who is not yet 30, as a lush harmonist, an orchestrator who handles instruments boldly... and a melodist who isn’t afraid of big rhapsodic elegies. The performances are direct and excellent."
Kate Molleson, The Guardian, 31 March 2017

Read the full review here.

"This selection, expertly conducted by the orchestra’s [Multi-Story] other co-founder, Christopher Stark, is an excellent introduction to her sonic world... It culminates in I Am I Say, a tremendous work for primary school children and orchestra... It is darkened and deepened by complex but deftly organised instrumental textures that rise to an ecstatic climax... Capricious, yet cogent, Whitley's music has admirably user-friendly surfaces that conceal hidden intensities. We will hear much more of her."
Richard Morrison, The Times, 18 April 2017

"Make no mistake, Kate Whitley is a composer to watch."
Richard Whitehouse, Gramophone Magazine, May 2017

“Alongside [Multi-Story Orchestra] there's been another success story: that of Whitley’s own music... Here, NMC's invaluable Debut Discs series provides a snapshot of a fresh and individual creative voice, sometimes still finding itself, often speaking clear and true. Like Britten and Maxwell Davies, Whitley values writing for local communities and for children. She's clearly got the knack; the title track is a stirring look at our place in the natural world."
Rebecca Franks, BBC Music Magazine, May 2017

Listen to excerpts from the disc here.

Watch BBT's Artist Profile film about Kate Whitley and this recording here.

Augustin Hadelich violin

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and Lalo Symphonie espagnole on LPO LIVE

"While his fireworks are terrific, it is his eloquent playing of the lyrical sections that makes Hadelich's account of this warhorse [Tchaikovsky] stand out from the crowd. ... If you are interested in an up-to-date recording of Lalo's Symphonie espagnole and want one of the finest accounts in my opinion of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, then you need look no further."
Leslie Wright, Music Web International, March 2017

"The first movement [Tchaikovsky] highlights the lyrical cantabile qualities of his playing, with superfine pianissimos in what feels a slightly ruminative cadenza... Hadelich's mood is rather introverted, lending a tender fragility to his soliloquies... his Lalo (recorded a year earlier) bursts with character. There is plenty of beef here, both in the violin tone and in the LPO's partnering, Omer Meir Wellber drawing out Spanish fire and stamping heels from this colourful – and strangely neglected – score."
Mark Pullinger, Gramophone, March 2017

"There is no doubt the pairing of these pieces has been carefully considered; the influence of Lalo's fresh and unassumingly simple approach can be heard in Tchaikovsky's Concerto, and Hadelich brings out the range of emotions across both pieces."
John Suchet, Classic FM, March 2017

Listen to excerpts from both works here.