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140 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent CD!
The booklet which accompanies the CD gives a real insight into what Nicola intends with this CD. The cross over between classical and traditional can be quite a divide - unfortunately - and many from one side cannot see any beauty in the other. Nicola does a good job with the first few tracks being the 4 movements of Bruch's Scottish Fantasy - and the accompanying...
Published 3 months ago by Alan G

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacklustre
I love Benedetti's playing, so I'm not sure why this CD leaves me asking why she made it. Perhaps it is the choice of music, but there is nothing here that demonstrates her quick, light and magical touch. It's pleasant listening, but not in the same class as her other recordings.
Published 26 days ago by Miranda


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent CD!, 19 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Homecoming - A Scottish Fantasy (Audio CD)
The booklet which accompanies the CD gives a real insight into what Nicola intends with this CD. The cross over between classical and traditional can be quite a divide - unfortunately - and many from one side cannot see any beauty in the other. Nicola does a good job with the first few tracks being the 4 movements of Bruch's Scottish Fantasy - and the accompanying notes are very useful. There then follows some Burns melodies then some by Scott Skinner. There are a couple of tunes by Phil Cunningham and in one of these she is joined by Aly Bain. Nicola is a lovely friendly person, and her playing here is exquisite.

I can understand that someone who was looking for out and out classical music would be a bit disappointed, equally anyone who wanted a toe tapping Scottish CD would be equally disappointed. I had intended giving this only 4 stars as there is some mouth music, which I personally do not enjoy, but as I am writing this (with the CD playing in the background!) I think that is unfair. She has set out to do something on this CD and I think she has certainly achieved it, and I would wholeheartedly recommend this CD to folk with open minds!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Beautiful!, 24 July 2014
By 
G. Wylie "george11171" (Scottish Highlands) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Homecoming - A Scottish Fantasy (Audio CD)
An absolute treat! The flying fingers and true ear of Nicola ably supported by a highly talented supporting cast. Great collection of toe tapping and soul tugging music. What more can you seek? Play and enjoy!
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All encompassing views of Scotland from this credit to Scotland..., 7 July 2014
By 
Robert Roy (Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Homecoming - A Scottish Fantasy (Audio CD)
This is a slightly odd concept album that I hope doesn't alienate as many of the wonderful Nicola Benedetti's many fans as it delights. Although top class musicians such as Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma have released albums celebrating their own cultural heritage, there has rarely been a mix up of the purely 'classical' with their less serious side.

To begin with, Nicola Benedetti gives us a stonking version of Bruch's 'Scottish Fantasy', a work that was described by a popular recorded music magazine in the 50's as 'a lot of tosh!' What was surprising is that this was the first version of the work by a violinist called Jascha Heifetz. Well, 'tosh' or no 'tosh', it's still a work than can delight listeners with its open hearted sincerity. However, it does need a first class performer than can bring this to the fore which Benedetti certainly does.

It's a work that's been very fortunate on record, if less so in the concert hall and I suspect it's because it's extremely difficult to play! There is much double stopping and a notorious passage in the last movement that very few play convincingly. Fortunately, young Nicola negotiates it with ease. This is beautiful playing and, for once, it really sounds Scottish, bringing out the characteristic sentimental feeling that all Scots have for their country. (As Billy Connelly once said, 'we're the only people who get misty eyed about our country WHEN WE'RE STILL THERE!') So often, it's played as the Scottish concerto Paganini didn't write.

This sincerity is well projected by Benedetti who receives superb support from the BBCSSO who were early supporters of this remarkable young Scottish woman.

The rest of the album...

Well, it's certainly well performed although I do wonder if the arrangements of the Scottish Tunes for solo violin and orchestra are perhaps a little self-defeating since their charm is in their very simplicity. Having said that, I do like the 'Variations on Auld Lang Syne' for unaccompanied violin. That would be something to hear on Hogmanay! (How about it for the 'Hootenanny' Jules Holland?!)

Despite the mouth music tracks being well done I can take or leave it. The tracks with Phil Cunningham are very good indeed although, if I'm really honest, Nicola is no Aly Bain.

So, a super album but one I'm not sure who it's aimed at.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Wonderful Scottish Fantasy, 25 July 2014
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This review is from: Homecoming - A Scottish Fantasy (Audio CD)
Another cracker for Nicola and I can't stop playing it - this CD contains so much and tracks are all very different - yes a recommendation from me I shall be playing this for years to come and purchasing more to give as gifts.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you'll enjoy these tracks, 10 July 2014
By 
I. A. Wright "Ian Wright" (Didcot, Oxon, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Homecoming - A Scottish Fantasy (Audio CD)
Nicola Benedetti's virtuosity and range of styles shine throughout this album. If you have Scottish genes and are proud of your heritage, you'll enjoy these tracks. But you don't need to be even slightly Scottish to enjoy Nicola's wonderful musicianship working on the tunes on this CD.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful playing by Nicola and lovely singing by Julie Fowlis, 13 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Homecoming - A Scottish Fantasy (Audio CD)
A really lovely CD. Beautiful playing by Nicola and lovely singing by Julie Fowlis, a super mix of traditional and folk music
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 10 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Homecoming - A Scottish Fantasy (Audio CD)
An absolute wonderful celebration of Scottish culture, would give it ten star if it was possible!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb performance and choice of pieces, 20 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Homecoming - A Scottish Fantasy (Audio CD)
I really love this CD. Nicola Benedetti's performance is immaculate, both highly accurate and full of feeling and joy. The Bruch Scottish Symphony is absolutely tremendous: I've heard it before, but never played like this. The mix of music on the CD might seem a little odd at first - the Bruch is followed by a group of arrangements of Burns songs played with profound emotion and feeling - and also by some folk and traditional Scottish tunes, by the likes of Phil Cunningham. Everything is beautifully played, all of the pieces are linked by an undefinable Scottish character, and also linked by Nicola Benedetti's own style. Her performance and interpretation is immaculate. This is uplifting "feel good" music of the highest quality.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lacklustre, 24 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Homecoming - A Scottish Fantasy (Audio CD)
I love Benedetti's playing, so I'm not sure why this CD leaves me asking why she made it. Perhaps it is the choice of music, but there is nothing here that demonstrates her quick, light and magical touch. It's pleasant listening, but not in the same class as her other recordings.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must for your collection., 13 Sep 2014
By 
Thom Robert "Robert of Burgundy" (Burgundy France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Homecoming - A Scottish Fantasy (Audio CD)
Launched at just the rioght time for the SCottish independance election. Greta production of teh classic pieces and the Burns and Scottish songs. Almost a desert island disc.

A must for your collection.
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Homecoming - A Scottish Fantasy
Homecoming - A Scottish Fantasy by Nicola Benedetti (Audio CD - 2014)
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