David Denton: ‘interesting, innovative and perfectly played’

David Denton
David’s Review Corner, April 2015

The most interesting, innovative and perfectly played disc of brass ensemble music I have ever encountered comes from the London-based group, Septura. As a person with an in-built aversion to transcriptions and arrangements, that commendation is all the more surprising, the two members of the group, Simon Cox and Matthew Knight, having perfectly achieved the sound and period feel of these excepts from the Baroque era. I could well imagine being seated in a baronial hall, with players in the minstral’s gallery beguiling our ears with the latest music from the latter part of the 17th and early 18th century, each of the works being derived from popular operas of the day. That modern instruments can sound as if they come from that period, only adds to a total feel of authenticity, though I guess that no group of that period could have dreamed of such performing perfection. The speed of articulation of all involved is riveting, while chording, balance and rhythmic unanimity is immaculate; their ability to play pianissimo right off the musical map for most brass groups. When you add to this the fact that the music they have chosen sounds, in their hands, as if it were intended for brass ensemble. Recorded in a church acoustic that has a reverberation that does not blur the sound, the engineering adding the final accolade to a remarkable release.