Press Reviews 2014

Jim Gilchrist in The Scotsman

“superb performance” (Renaud Garcia Fons)

eloquent” (Euan Stevenson)

A showstopper saw [Julian] Bliss wander through the hall, letting rip on his conveniently wireless-amped clarinet while drummer Matt Skelton thundered from the stage. It was Goodman’s famous 1938 ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’, although “stompin’ at the East Neuk” was the phrase which came to mind.”

Ken Walton in The Scotsman

“fired by equal measure of intellectual sculpting and theatrical impulsiveness” (Gould Piano Trio / Schubert’s Piano Trio in E flat)

tantalisingly impetuous, but sensitive enough to engage the delicious will o’ the wisp subtleties of the finale” (Belcea Quartet / Schubert’s ‘Rosamunde’ Quartet)

Master of all things Schubert… His instinctive musicality, every tonal touch a meaningful gem, was absolute magic to the ears. (Christian Zacharias / Schubert’s Piano Sonata in B flat)

“In Cambo Barn, the SCO, under Clemens Schuldt, also included MacMillan’s hauntingly picturesque ‘A Meditation on Iona’, which highlighted the electrifying immediacy of this unlikely venue’s visceral acoustics.”

Kate Molleson in The Herald

“These Frenchmen are masters of textural nuance – what a vast and vivid palette they produce – and their ability to move around their instruments seems plain effortless… Every shade of vibrato and intonation was applied with careful intent, and their delivery was never presumptuous or overblown.” (Quatuor Ebène / Beethoven’s Quartets Nos 131 & 132)

There’s nothing quite like Mozart played properly on a fortepiano… I mean fiercely, passionately, full of sweet, clanging, kaleidoscopic noises that only a fortepiano can muster.” (Kristian Bezuidenhout / Mozart’s Sonata in C minor K457)

“You’d be hard-set to find better period wind playing anywhere… together their sound is gorgeously elegant and congenial.” (Ensemble Marsyas / Beethoven’s Quintet in E flat for piano and Winds Op 16)

The Goulds played magnificently, bringing lively definition to the Pictures and impassioned drama to the new work.” (Gould Piano Trio / MacMillan’s Fourteen Little Pictures and Second Piano Trio)

“Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings was carried by the tenor Allan Clayton, whose delivery was vivid and astute and whose voice is perfect for Britten – those full, sweet upper notes, that ability to enter on chilly, unwavering lines. Alec France-Gemmill was as technically impressive as ever.” (Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Christian Zacharias)

“Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ Symphony closed the concert, Zacharias taking great care to delineate every voice and let every phrase breathe. The result was spacious, beautiful and ponderous.” (Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Christian Zacharias)

Kate Molleson in The Guardian

“what emerged through the afternoon was a tender, largely solemn, at times very painful portrait of this most human of composers” (Schubertiad)

“Christian Zacharias played a monumental account of Schubert’s last piano sonata, the B flat major D960. Raging with life, full of resolve, here was all of Schubert’s emotional gamut, from obsession to whimsy, stoicism to utter collapse.” (Christian Zacharias / Schubert’s Piano Sonata in B flat major D960)

David Kettle in The List

“There was something spectral about their hushed, scurrying scherzo, and remarkable tight ensemble in the robust finale.” (Gould Piano Trio / Schubert’s Piano Trio in E Flat D929)

“An entirely fresh perspective on the music – he discovered little scraps of melody you’d never heard before, tied sections together in novel ways, charted ideas as they developed and returned with expert precision.” (Llŷr Williams / Schubert’s Impromptus D935)

“It’s hard to imagine finer quartet playing… extraordinarily detailed, subtly nuanced, and responsive to each of the foursome’s contributions.” (Belcea Quartet / Schubert’s ‘Rosamunde’ Quartet D804)

“The Scottish Chamber Orchestra gave an astonishing concert… with young conductor Clemens Schuldt providing big sounds and grandiose visions.” (Scottish Chamber Orchestra & Clemens Schuldt / Musical Landscapes in Cambo Barn)

David Nice in The Arts Desk

“…the potato barn is a hit, no doubt about it. Who would have thought that Sibelius’ Seventh Symphony… could have rippled so translucently in such a venue. This, one of the ultimate tests for a conductor’s flexibility and control, proved definitively that young Clemens Schuldt… has all the mastery it takes.” (Scottish Chamber Orchestra & Clemens Schuldt / Musical Landscapes in Cambo Barn)

The funeral march-like slow movement stunned in its elliptical coda, the buffets were colossal with big tone from pianist Benjamin Frith, and the finale’s repeated notes superbly articulated.” (Gould Piano Trio / Schubert’s Piano Trio in E Flat D929)

“I’d single out their extraordinarily refined and introspective ‘Rosamunde’ Quartet (the A minor, D804) as one of the two emotional highlights of the day.” (Belcea Quartet)

“Is the Andante sostenuto the saddest music in the world? It felt so here. And just as one feels the heart might break, Schubert brings us out into the light. There is no greater inspiration to bring consolation to grief, and no finer pianist alive than Zacharias to modulate it so well.” (Christian Zacharias / Schubert’s Piano Sonata in B flat D960)

Plus a few others

Gould Piano Trio

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Renaud Garcia-Fons image

Renaud Garcia Fons

Llŷr Williams

Llŷr Williams

2014 Sand Sculpture

2014 Sand Sculpture