CD review: Nicholas Daniel and the Britten Sinfonia

Nicholas Daniel shot to fame upon winning the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition with Vaughan Williams’ oboe concerto, and here he returns to the work on a disc of luscious English pastoralism. Suffusing its lyricism with wistful longing, Daniels gives a performance both reflective and robust. He handles the juxtaposition of lyrical and scherzo-like material with élan, integrating both into a sweeping arch to poignant effect.

Read the full review at Sinfini Music.

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Heavenly music: The Sixteen in Oxford’s Christ Church Cathedral

The Sixteen

The programme notes for The Sixteen’s 2013 Choral Pilgrimage draw attention to how composers have been inspired by the grandeur and beauty of their places of worship and work. In this context, the setting for The Sixteen’s concert in Oxford was more than suitable. Completed in 1200, Christ Church Cathedral is a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. For a long time this cathedral was the smallest in England, and for Saturday’s concert the intimate space was packed full of choral music devotees.

Read my full review at Bachtrack.

A Choral Christmas: A Review of ‘Advent at Merton’

With their debut CD last year garnering them widespread critical praise, Oxford’s most recent choral foundation has a lot riding on their shoulders. The Choir of Merton College proves that this reputation is deserved with a range of repertoire spanning between the fourteenth-century and some of today’s leading composers.

View the full review here.