Helpful votes received on reviews: 100% (24 of 24)
Location: Cambridge, UK


Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,318,250 - Total Helpful Votes: 24 of 24
Angel at Ahipara ~ Christopher Blake
Angel at Ahipara ~ Christopher Blake
5.0 out of 5 stars Ravishing beauty, 16 Dec 2012
Christopher Blake is a composer of extraordinary talents, who has also had a highly distinguished career in the New Zealand public service, though he is now Chief Executive of the NZSO. This is one of the very best CDs to come my way in 2012. It comprises four works for strings, Angel at Ahipara (1999), Night Journey to Pawarenga (2003), Christ at Whangape (2007) and Anthem on the Kaipara (2006). There is a story behind each of them that is told in the booklet. However, the story does not matter. The music does. It is extraordinarily beautiful throughout, with a high level of invention and a strongly spiritual sense. Mr Blake has the gift for fine melody that remains with the listener. The… Read more
Bate: Concerto for Viola & Orchestra / Vaughan Wil&hellip ~ Stanley Bate
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CD of the Year, 22 Nov 2008
I had eagerly anticipated a CD of a major work by Stanley Bate (1911 - 1959), and this stunning performance of his Viola Concerto confirms that he was a composer of considerable substance, whose neglect is incomprehensible (the BBC and Britten both hated Bate, which may have something to do with it). It is a big work, with memorable themes, that grows in stature with every playing. Yes, there is a strong whiff of Vaughan Williams about it and echoes of the Walton Concerto, as well as hints of Prokofiev and Shostakovitch. But the composer's own character shines through, and the first movement in particular is magnificent. Perhaps we can now have a recording of his Third Symphony that caused… Read more
Erich Zeisl: Piano Concerto; Pierrot in der Flasch&hellip ~ Erich Zeisl
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected Treasure, 9 May 2007
I bought this CD on the strength of a recording of Erich Zeisl's fine Cello Sonata, but I was not expecting the pure delight that I found. The Piano Concerto (1952) is a big work, but it has that lyrical intimacy that some other large concertos have (Brahms Piano Concerto No 2 for example). The whole work is full of memorable themes and gives pleasure from start to finish. The magnificent first movement curiously pre-figures the first movement of Lou Harrison's beautiful Piano Concerto. The main theme of the slow movement is gorgeous and unforgettable. In the last movement there are moments when Rachmaninov is not too far away, but it is Zeisl's own distinctive voice that makes the concerto… Read more

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