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Nature’s Voice – Online Broadcast – The Times Review

Simon Thompson, The Times

★★★★★

“As much commitment as if the church had been packed to the rafters… One advantage of the expertly constructed video is that you get to see the players closer than in the flesh. Nowhere is that more engaging than with director John Butt, who works his magic from the keyboard, every gesture communicating love for the music and joy in the moment… Add soprano Rowan Pierce and you’ve got something pretty special. Pierce’s voice, simultaneously pure and rich, is one to lose yourself in.”

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.

Lammermuir Festival – Opening Concert – The Times Review

Simon Thompson, The Times

★★★★★

John Butt conducts Bach’s eternal masterpieces as though the music were the elixir of life. Silky strings, spicy winds and raucous horns gave the music a colour that any baroque ensemble would envy, and Cecilia Bernardini’s violin solo in two Vivaldi concertos flowed in and out of the ensemble with organic flexibility.

Read the full review here.

Bach Harpsichord Concertos – Edinburgh International Festival – The Times

Simon Thompson, The Times
★★★

This first concert in the series started as they mean to go on: the Dunedin musicians play on instruments from Bach’s time, and the pair of harpsichords, both from 1755, come from St Cecilia’s remarkable collection of historical instruments. What’s not to like?

Read the full review here