Samson – The Arts Desk Review

Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk

Handsomely produced, with outstanding notes and glowing sound, this is a treat.

Read the full review here.

Samson – The Financial Times Review

Richard Fairman, The Financial Times

This recording breaks new ground as conductor John Butt bolsters the Dunedin Consort with members of Tiffin Boys’ Choir.

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Samson – Classical CD Choice Review

Graham Williams, Classical CD Choice

The performance itself is, needless to say, utterly splendid and makes the best introduction to the piece for modern listeners.

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Samson – Giornale Della Musica Review

Paolo Scarnecchia, Giornale Della Musica

The pure voices of the Tiffin Boys’ Choir blend with those of the sopranos making their texture richer and brighter.

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Samson – #13 – UK Specialist Classical Chart

We are delighted to announce that shortly after its release in late October that our recording of Handel’s Samson was ranked #13 in the UK Specialist Classical Chart of w/c November 1st 2019.

Samson – BBC Radio 3 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 – 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.

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Samson – Stretto Review

Michel Detrieue, Stretto

Don’t miss it for anything!

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Handel Ode for St Cecilia’s Day — Gramophone Review

Richard Wigmore, Gramophone

[Carolyn Sampson’s] poised, invariably graceful contributions are among the disc’s prime pleasures: from her radiant sense of wonder in the sarabande aria ‘What passion cannot music raise and quell!’, in dialogue with Jonathan Manson’s musingly eloquent cello; through the wistful ‘The soft complaining flute’, where Sampson veils her naturally bright tone (a word, too, for Katy Bircher’s poetic flute-playing); to the scintillating coloratura of her final hornpipe aria…

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Handel Ode for St Cecilia’s Day — AllMusic Review

All Music by Blair Sanderson

Such sunny numbers as the chorus, ‘From Harmony’, the tenor’s martial aria, ‘The Trumpet’s Loud Clangour’, and the famous March, with its popular trumpet solo, give a clear indication of the predominantly joyous nature of the Ode. The Concerto Grosso in A minor, Op. 6, No. 4, also composed in 1739, is an elegant filler piece that rounds out the disc, and emulates Handel’s inclusion of concertos and other music in the first performance of the Ode. Linn Records provides a robust and rich sound, and the forward placement of the musicians gives them remarkable presence in this 2018 release.

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Handel Ode for St Cecilia’s Day — The Financial Times Review

The Financial Times

Soprano Carolyn Sampson and tenor Ian Bostridge are engaging soloists, Sampson sounding especially luminous. The Polish Radio Choir sings Dryden’s text with impressive clarity and the Dunedin Consort shines in the solo opportunities for cello, trumpet, flute and organ with which Handel hymns music’s sacred spheres.

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Handel Ode for St Cecilia’s Day – Editor’s Choice – Presto Classical

Presto Classical, Editor’s Choice

Augmented by the Polish Radio Choir, this full-blooded reading of Handel’s great hymn to the patron saint of music plays out on a larger scale than we’re perhaps used to from Butt and his Dunedin forces, to powerful and frequently moving effect: there’s a sardonic glint behind Bostridge’s apparent paeon to the bellicose effects of martial music, whilst Sampson provides balm with a beautifully fluid account of ‘What passion cannot music raise and quell!’.

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Handel Ode for St Cecilia’s Day — The Sunday Times Review

The Sunday Times, 11 November 2018

Written to celebrate the patron saint of music on November 22, 1739, the Ode for St Cecilia’s Day contains some of Handel’s most affecting work, turning his attentions verse by verse to a particular instrument. Butt’s reading with the Dunedins and the Polish choir has irresistible sweetness, with the tenor Ian Bostridge and the soprano Carolyn Sampson on top form.

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Handel Ode for St Cecilia’s Day — Classical Source Review

Classical Source ★★★★

The Dunedin Consort’s interpretation of Handel’s Ode (setting words by John Dryden that revel in the role of music within the cosmic order) brings the work to life with enthusiasm, charm, and wit…

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Handel Ode for St Cecilia’s Day – The Observer Review

Nicholas Kenyon, The Observer

…one of the greatest moments in all of Handel, superbly realised by Carolyn Sampson and the Dunedin Consort under John Butt, working here with the Polish Radio Choir. Ian Bostridge adds his plangent imagination to Dryden’s vivid conjuring of music as the power that raises chaos into harmony, while Sampson’s “What passion cannot music raise and quell” is vividly touching.

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