Samson – Editor’s Choice – Gramophone

Martin Cullingford, Gramophone

John Butt really does excel at these explorations of monumental major works; the performance is wonderful, while the level of historical and musical enquiry further enriches our appreciation.

Samson – Critics’ Choice – Gramophone

Richard Wigmore, Gramophone

Today… I’m plumping for Samson: for its superb solo team… its thrillingly immediate choral singing, and the mingled gravitas and theatrical urgency of John Butt’s direction.

Read the full review in the December issue of Gramophone.

Samson – Gramophone Review

Richard Wigmore, Gramophone

This new Samson now becomes the top recommendation: for its uniformly excellent soloists, its excitingly ‘present’ choral singing, and above all, its urgent sense of theatre.

Read the full review in the December issue of Gramophone.

Samson – Critics’ Choice – Gramophone

David Vickers, Gramophone

It is unprecedented for an unabridged Samson to nail its enigmatic challenges… [its] manifold musical details, incremental theatrical tensions, literary subtleties and emotional trajectory…

Read the full review in the December issue of Gramophone.

Samson – Musicweb Review

Simon Thompson, Musicweb

In short, this is superb, the best Handel oratorio I’ve heard in years.

Read the full review here.

Requiem Aeternam – Seen and Heard International Review

Simon Thompson, Seen and Heard International

With such beautiful singing and, particularly, intelligent programming, every component of this programme was exquisitely formed…

Read the full review here.

Requiem Aeternam – The Herald Review

Keith Bruce, The Herald

★★★★

… the variety of tonal colour this group of singers blended to produce made an otherwise very full and often fascinating sound.

Read the full review here.

Requiem Aeternam – The Scotsman Review

David Kettle, The Scotsman

★★★★★

An exceptional evening of music, deeply thoughtful, compassionate and nourishing.

Read the full review here.

Samson – BBC Radio 3 Record Review

Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3

As Samson, Joshua Ellicott navigates the tightrope between opera and oratorio really well … That’s one of the joys of Butt’s new recording, revelling in the dramatic colour of Handel’s imaginative scoring.

Listen to the full review here.

Samson – Planet Hugill Review

Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill

★★★★★

Butt’s thoughtful and intelligent response to Handel’s music gradually seemed to be most natural and created a finely satisfying whole … a profound response to Handel’s music and Milton and Newburgh Hamilton’s words.

Read the full review here.

Samson – The Herald Review

Keith Bruce, The Herald

With the Consort’s best instrumentalists in place and Linn Records’ Philip Hobbs producing, this is an immaculate, and hugely important, recording. More prizes assuredly await.

Read the full review here.

Prom 71 – Bach Night – The Times Review

Neil Fisher, The Times

★★★★

‘There was a frisson from hearing period instruments used in such unexpected ways… [Butt’s] lively tempos produced plenty of lithe, energetic playing, and enough body in the strings to bring the music out into the vastness of the space. ‘

Read the full review here.

Prom 71 – Bach Night – Classical Source Review

Andrew Neill, Classical Source

The Consort, with a strength for the Royal Albert Hall of over forty, provided a glorious, rounded, sound without compromising leanness.

Read the full review here.

Prom 71 – Bach Night – Seen and Heard International Review

Agnes Kory, Seen and Heard International

‘The most astonishing aspect of this concert was the unity of players within each section, and the unity of the newly commissioned Bach companion pieces with their designated Suites… the oneness of the flutes gave an extraordinary demonstration… I heard only one while my eyes saw all three. The virtuoso movements of the Bourrées and the final Badinerie are hard enough for one player but three players blending their virtuosity to such extent is mind-blowing.’

Read the full review here.

Lammermuir Festival – Opening Concert – The Herald

Keith Brown, The Herald

★★★★

[Dunedin Consort] play baroque music with a vivacity few can match.

Read the full review here.