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North Sea Radio Orchestra CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Aug. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: The Household Mark
  • ASIN: B000I6AFME
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,693 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I count myself lucky to have found this album since it seems to be receiving little in the way of the media attention it deserves. I found a track of theirs on the "Folk Off" compilation (yes the title nearly put me off, but it is a fine collection of music) which piqued my interest, the piece('Guitar Miniature'), a short solo acoustic work, was not really typical of the album, which, far from disappointing, surpassed all my expectations.

The band/group(led by Craig Fortnam) have been described as 'unique english chamber music' which, at best, only describes the tools of their trade, you'll hear chamber strings, choral music, english folkiness, romantic poetry, experimental organs, modern classical minimalism, acoustic guitar, wind instruments and performances of the highest calibre.

The music is very beautiful and amazingly varied; short solos, epic pieces, ancient, and modern but the album never becomes fragmentary. As well as featuring the superb instrumental pieces there are the 'songs' where pieces of poetry(Yeats,Shelley...and some original lyrics) are sung in choral harmony or crisp clear solo (by the wonderful Sharon Fortnam).The music can be soft and soothing one minute then lively and vigorous the next but is never bland. It demands your attention and transports the listener to a place of timeless wonder.

The most obvious comparison to draw would be with the Penguin Cafe Orchestra (particularly their first album which is quite different and more intense than their later work), but they are, perhaps, more song based. Fans of the former would, I feel, have no problems liking this. Any body expecting a pale imitation (or even a good one!) can think again the music found here has its own distinct character.No one else is doing anything like this at the moment and, regardless of genre, this is as good as anything out there.

Beautiful, unique; a treasure.
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By Andy on 10 April 2007
Format: Audio CD
Wanted to add to the positive comments below. This is really a great record - chamber pop, but it's a bit prog-ish and long form in places, and thus puts me in mind of Rachel's and similar. In the same way, it could be considered not outside the bounds of `post rock', although it is generally quite `up' in tone, even joyous in places, and could be nothing but English - perhaps `post pop'. Anyway, the quality orchestration would see it appeal to fans of Max Richter, Nyman, and Glass's more accessible stuff, but for all that it's a unique sound. On the first couple of listens, some of the music seems slightly awkwardly wrenched to fit the lyrics (the bulk of which, as mentioned in the other review, are taken from the work of long-dead poets), but pretty soon it all makes sense and the cadences contribute to the pleasing oddness of it all. Track 6 "Mimnermus in church" (from the poem by William Johnson Cory) is utterly sublime - quasi-religious, wall-of-sound magnificence that will appeal to everyone from `real' chamber music fans to headphone-music stoners. Apparently this largish ensemble plays in churches around London from time to time, which would be quite something to see. Their music deserves to be heard widely.
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Format: Audio CD
Bought this on a whim. Actually on the strength of the previous reviews here. Well when I lived in the UK, I used to soar in reverie while listening to the shipping forecast. How could I resist an album by a band with such a name?

And this is indeed a very special album which stretches and strains against genre boundaries, although it is basically a kind of indoor folk music. Anyone who has heard "Mr and Mrs Smith and Mr Drake", "Desperate Straights", "Music From the Penguin Café", RIO spinoffs like "News From Babel" or the soundtrack to 1973's "The Wicker Man" will be well prepared. If those references mean nothing to you, then the sound of this album will probably either be 'too weird' or 'delightfully fresh', depending on so many things. Go on. Take a risk! I guarantee it wont hurt.

The music here sounds like folk musicians, each with a slight hangover, have broken into the manor house, found it empty, and then made themselves comfortable in the music room, with chamber instruments like oboe, clarinet, harmonium, acoustic guitar and so on, providing a calm, cool melancholy texture, ideal for quiet evenings.

'Orchestra' is no overstatement. There's a sizeable bunch here, including the sublime Larcombe brothers (from "Stars in Battledress"). The connection with Cardiacs has not been mentioned by the other reviewers, so I ought to do the honours: "Mr Drake" (sometimes we call him Bill) and Kavus (both from Cardiacs) are part of the choir, but there's none of Tim Smith's schoolboy racket here, just soothing, spacious 'chamber folk'.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Coming from the same musical sphere as 'The Kronos Quartet' and 'Portico Quartet' this is intelligent, well crafted music, with a wonderful sprinkling of Folk and Classical Music. The symbiosis works well, and elevates it into an intellectual level without being pretentious. This is warm, welcoming music, that is a complete joy to listen too. The playing and the arrangements are immaculate, and I would implore people to treat themselves to this beautiful music...For Lover's of Well Crafted Musicianship...ENJOY!!!
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Format: Audio CD
A great record. Love the longer proggy tracks. Wonderfully played. There is a bit of everything here. Intersting choice of lyrics, gives it a timeless quality.
Took a chance with this from hearing a couple of tracks on Stuart Maconies Freak Zone, but well worth it.
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