The Last Island: chamber music by Peter Maxwell Davies,
Hebrides Ensemble (Delphian)
Daily Classical Music
It’s not an overstatement to suggest that this disc is sensational. As an approach to Maxwell Davies’ music, it could scarcely be bettered.
Reich Sextet, LSO Percussion Ensemble (LSO Live)
BBC Music Magazine
In Sextet, LSO’s Percussion Ensemble achieve a wonderfully transparent weave.
An inspired performance … a faultless account … the immediate accessibility of the ‘Sextet’, aided by the brilliance of the LSO Percussion Ensemble’s stunning playing, will surely bring new converts to Reich’s archetypal and iconic oeuvre … The performances and the recorded sound are so outstanding. Unreservedly recommended.
Wall Street Journal
The LSO recording has a gauzy quality that makes the work’s keyboard and percussion timbres sound seamlessly blended.
Messiaen Chamber Works, Hebrides Ensemble (Linn)
HIGH FIDELITY, DENMARK
I have not heard any better recording of these works.
A very persuasive interpretation.
A completely convincing recording in optimum sound.
Rarely has the song of the warbler been heard so vividly as in this recording. The “Fantaisie” deserves special praise: Moore and Janiczek give this premiere recording a mature interpretation. Messiaen fans will grab this SACD!
The precision in “Danse sept trompettes” is overwhelming!
Their ferocity and unanimity in the taxing “Seven Trumpets” is second to none.
ATLANTA AUDIO SOCIETY, USA
Distinguished and thoroughly compelling accounts.
NOTTINGHAM EVENING POST
Simply unmissable. Images of natural and spiritual worlds are translated into highly personal music.
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
These are superb performances, with delightfully jaunty piano in the Pièce. Janiczek and Moore combine transcendent intensity with finely judged pacing in the Theme and Variations, placing this firmly among the best accounts on disc.
A darkly expressive and finely nuanced reading that takes its place among the best interpretations of the work on disc.
A superlative recording. Rarely have Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus and Louange à l’Immortalité de Jésus sounded so ethereal. The balance is perfectly judged to give all the tonal variety that Philip Moore extracts from the piano. Absolutely captivating and highly recommended.
MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS
The Hebrides Ensemble play with patent devotion.
Vivid, beautifully judged performances.
For Moore’s dark reading of the Quartet and for the clues as to Messiaen’s early development in the newly found Fantasie, this disc is well worth coughing up for.
The Hebrides Ensemble play as if they believe in every note.
The fiery Fantasie for violin and piano has an intrinsic, dynamic tunefulness that is hotly pursued in this performance by violinist Alexander Janiczek and pianist Philip Moore. A highly significant recording.
Breathtaking sensitivity and depth from the Hebrides Ensemble in this outstanding performance. This disc is more than just a premiere recording; this is special playing from a special group of musicians.
NEW YORK CLASSICAL REVIEW
The program was expertly played. Reich says the music [Quartet] demands ensemble virtuosity, and Druckman, Currie, Crawford-Phillips and Moore performed the piece with obvious command and confidence.
[Reich’s Quartet] was played with an unassuming virtuosity and a well-nigh faultless sense of ensemble.[Sextet] demands immense reserves of stamina and concentration on the part of their players, challenges superbly met in performances at once hypnotic and thrilling.
A mesmerising performance [of Reich’s Quartet] performed immaculately and with great virtuosity. The ensemble has a captivating stage presence.
Philip Moore is a pianist of real fortitude. His andante theme [from Brahms’s Piano Quintet] was beautifully stated – unfussy and eloquent.
Giving a beautifully precise yet poetic realisation of an intensely complex score [of Crumb’s Makrokosmos III] were pianists Elizabeth Burley and Philip Moore. At times almost trance-like in its hypnotic power, it was completely absorbing in its impact.
[Beamish’s transcription of La Mer] needs great players. And by Jove did it have them in violinist James Clark, pianist Philip Moore and cellist Will Conway.
Moore’s solo account of Debussy’s Berceuse Héroïque was luminously moving.
The performance combined moments of aching stillness with bursts of hi-octane ecstasy. Most of all, they wrung every pore of emotion from the score.
Philip Moore provided exquisite pianistic cushioning throughout.
The experience of hearing Messiaen’s Quartet For The End Of Time performed by the Hebrides Ensemble was utterly transcendent, the clarity and intensity of this work superbly realised in this performance… After playing like that there is only silence! The overwhelming and timeless nature of Messiaen’s work clearly affected both the performers and the entire audience.
One of the most innovative and thrilling ensembles in Europe.
Was this the Hebrides Ensemble’s finest hour? A performance marked not only by one of the group’s most towering emotional interpretations, but also by a remarkable serendipity. It was a glory of intimacy, of poignancy, of tenderness, and of a bewitching sense of infinity.
There was gorgeous solo playing and revelatory moments of transparency and sparseness.
Easily the most imaginative musical programme to come out of this Edinburgh International Festival so far, with blistering performances to boot! Few concerts come more stimulating than this.
Bewitching and revelatory.
LONDON EVENING STANDARD
They played it as if it was a matter of life and death.
THE SUNDAY TIMES
A daring but triumphant Wigmore debut.
As eloquent as anything we’ve heard in London so far.
The Hebrides Ensemble melded themselves into the concert’s haunting sound world, mixing flamboyance and stasis to equal advantage.
From the first explosive fanfare to the last climax they presented this music with a winning freshness and technical command, the ghostly ‘Macbethian’ heart of the work beautifully choreographed by Philip Moore at the piano.
There was music to grab you by the lapels in the Philharmonia’s Schnittke concert. A piano crunch and throbbing string chords led us into his last Concerto Grosso. Martyn Brabbins conducted bouncy performances from James Clark (violin), Philip Moore (piano) and an ensemble game for anything.
His sense of poetry in this solo recital was a delight. He has the ideal sensitivity for the Romantic period, and is able, at exactly the right moment, to pull back on the most tender melodies, to moving effect. The Rachmaninov Preludes were played with tremendous vigour, style and flourish. A thrilling performance. After the interval we heard Chopin Etudes, so enchanting that members of the audience could barely restrain themselves from an audible hum.
MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS
A hugely virtuosic performance was presented with skills that you would hardly believe possible from such a young player. His lively and clear approach to the pianism was balanced by his ability to linger dreamily over the rich romantic phrases too. In the final pages he dared all – and won.