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BBT Track Record

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Reza Namavar’s Fetiapoipoi for recorder and chamber orchestra

BBT co-commission with Orchestra of the 18th Century
World première 23 May 2024
Tivoli Vredenburg, Utrecht

Lucie Horsch will leave you breathless listening to a Vivaldian fever dream … [Lucie Horsch] sings elongated quotes from Sovente il sole in the second movement, until the tension is released in a percussive final section. A wondrous and successful work that you will want to listen to more often.

Marnix Bilderbeek, NRC, 24 May 2024

Recorder stars are thin on the ground worldwide, but in the Netherlands they pop up every now and then to enrich musical life with the force of a comet with superior virtuosity on this surprisingly versatile instrument … The irresistibly pure and passionate musician Horsch managed to win over all hearts not only as a recorder player but also as a singer. The orchestra bravely resisted and let her frolic above a solo orchestral part, resulting in a magical experience for the audience.

Wenneke Savenije, De Muse, 27 May 2024

Composer Reza Namavar cleverly exploits the sparkling wit of recorder prodigy Lucie Horsch. What makes [her] special, besides her stunning virtuosity, is the way she communicates with her audience … Horsch is also a mezzo-soprano (and pianist, though not tonight) and an interesting programmer … she put together an evening of Bach and Vivaldi and asked composer Reza Namavar to write a recorder concerto for her and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century … First, the recorder flutters above unruly trembling and pounding strings. In the middle movement, a theorbo gently drips while Horsch sings snippets from Vivaldi’s aria Sovente il sole. Finally, the plucked cellos and double bass excite the recorder player to play faster and faster and higher. The wriggling figure at the end is a nod to Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps.

Jenny Camilleri, Volkskrant, 26 May 2024

Orlando Project

Ema Nikolovska mezzo-soprano
Sean Shibe guitar

Wigmore Hall, 14 May 2024
Bath Festival, 23 May 2024

… if I say that the experience felt like being awake in a vivid dream, I do so as a compliment. … Some might call this eclecticism with a faint whiff of eccentricity. Others, me included, would salute the sheer imagination it takes to pull off a programme such as this… it had a wonderful continuity… their shared artistic purpose and daring made it gel, along with the melding of Sean Shibe’s endlessly nuanced playing and the expressive beauty of Nikolovska’s voice.

I adored Cassandra Miller’s Dream Memorandum (It Reminded Me of the Truth), which riffed on the idea of biography. Over gentle guitar musings and recorded vocal harmonies Nikolovska narrated the voice notes she’d sent to Miller during the creative process. It could have been self-indulgent, but it entered a space in which time seemed to float, giving us a moving glimpse of the performer’s inner life.

Rebecca Franks, The Times, 24 May 2024

A Gardener’s World
Flower songs by Chausson, Elgar, Gustavino, Muriel Herbert, Mendelssohn, Poulenc, Schubert, Clara & Robert Schumann, Toldrà, Haydn Wood and
Flanders & Swann
Alessandro Fisher tenor
Anna Tilbrook piano

Rubicon Classics RCD 1087

A marvellous recital, both in terms of programming and of execution. Congratulations to recording engineer Oscar Torres and Producer Peter Thresh for capturing the Wigmore acoustic so successfully. This disc is a real triumph for all concerned, full of freshness, full of discovery.

Colin Clarke, Classical Explorer, March 2024

Alessandro Fisher’s debut recording is not so much a garden posy as a whole estate, within which he and his pianist Anna Tilbrook plant a programme that elegantly blends the familiar with the lesser know…. Fisher is in fine voice … a commandingly English tenor with a burnished upper register … ‘Flowers reveal the feeling of the heart’. And, in Fisher and Tilbrook’s horticultural recording, much else besides.

Christopher Cook, BBC Music Magazine, April 2024

The lightness and flexibility of Alessandro Fisher’s tenor is a joy in all of these things… It’s a tenderly expressive recital and a sensitive publisher. A Gardener’s World turns out to be a beautiful place to lose yourself for a while.

Andrew MacGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review, 24 February 2024

I’m inclined to rate Sibelius’s six Op 88 song as this recital’s pièce de résistance. Whether it be in the spine-tingling moment when the vocal line rises to a top B flat in that noble ode to the neglected thorn (The Thorn), the heartbreak conveyed in The Flower’s Fate, the trilling of the lark in Blue Anemone or the tranquil The Two Roses, the words battered and broken, delivered half-spoken, this is an interpretation of rare insight …

I’d suggest that not since Martin Isepp accompanied Janet Baker on that bargain Saga long-player from many moons ago has a British singer made a more auspicious recital debut on record.

Adrian Edwards. Gramophone, March 2024