David Denton – Yorkshire Post, 26 July 16
The Festival opened in the fine acoustics of Pickering’s historic church with Septura, probably today’s leading European brass group. Their programme mixed Baroque and 20th century music, a taste of their trademark refinement and sheer unabashed virtuosity. Absolutely fabulous.
Our hotly-anticipated third disc is out: Russian music by Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Scriabin and Rachmaninov. It contains perhaps our most ambitious transcription to date: Shostakovich’s epic 8th string quartet.
Brilliantly done…Arranging a string quartet by Shostakovich into a piece for brass septet has a touch of madness about it: surely the two remote sound worlds could never connect. Simon Cox and Matthew Knight, respectively trumpeter and trombonist in Septura, have made a brilliant job of doing just that with the black, elegiac Quartet No 8 Op 110. Sour, fierce string attacks translate convincingly into trumpet blasts. Sonorous chordal passages acquire added depth.
The Observer ★★★★
Notable for its polished technique and ensemble
BBC Music Magazine (Performance ★★★★ Recording ★★★★)
I would say that this set of transcriptions is Septura’s most successful to date, a tribute to the skills of the players and the arranger.
Particularly well adapted
Another first rate release from this enterprising ensemble. Highly recommended
Brass Band World
Music for Brass Septet 2 transports the listener to the Baroque theatre: music by Handel, Purcell, Rameau and Blow. This is brass instruments in their element, and some of our reviewers seem to have agreed:
This is virtuoso playing: glossy, brilliantly articulated, audaciously coloured, technically flawless. You can hear the admiration for the source material in Knight’s arrangement of the Blow and Cox’s Rameau, Handel and Purcell.
BBC Music Magazine (Performance ★★★★ Recording ★★★★★)
The performances are what one expects from U.K. brass players – bright, clear, full and rounded in tone, with the right blend of heft and lyricism when called for.
WQXR New York: Album of the Week
The most interesting, innovative and perfectly played disc of brass ensemble music I have ever encountered…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…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.
Spectacularly virtuosic playing.
Musical sensibilities, tonal beauty, balance, intonation, technique… all struck me as faultless.
Devoted brass music fans absolutely must not miss Septura’s spectacularly virtuosic playing! However, even if you do not often listen to brass, you owe it to yourself to hear what finesse is possible at the highest level of the art.
This Septura brass CD is an excellent addition to any music lover’s collection. Their musicality and technical playing abilities have set a high standard for Baroque music on brass instruments.
International Trombone Association Journal
Stylistic perfection. …this album along with Septura’s first has already received the highest plaudits from far and wide, …a veritable feast of beautifully portrayed artistry allied to virtuosic deliverance.
Brass Band World
Septura’s supporters – individuals, companies and foundations, most notably the Rayne Trust – have enabled us to bring together this extraordinary group of players in our attempt to create a brand new medium for classical chamber music.
We have now launched our supporters’ scheme, so that anyone can help us towards realising this project., through three different tiers: Friends, Supporters and Patrons.
Septura’s debut recording for Naxos has been a chart success, reaching No.3 in the Specialist Classical Chart. This is what the press have had to say:
Uplifting debut from a magnificent seven…stirring, thoughtful debut
The Observer ★★★★★
Superbly played and warmly engineered debut disc of imaginatively conceived arrangements
BBC Music Magazine (Performance ★★★★, Recording ★★★★★)
Septura match the sincerity of Bruckner’s motet texts in their noble performances.
This is an excellent brass septet…The sounds are full and beautiful from beginning to end.
American Record Guide
This is brass playing at its most exalted
Recital of pure gold
Ritmo ★★★★ (Spain)
Throughout the record the playing is exceptional…This is a superb album, full of thoughtful and intelligent music making at its best.
We’re thrilled that our debut recording has reached the Top 10 in the UK classical album chart in its first week of release!
We also made it to No. 3 in the UK Specialist Classical Chart.
Thanks to everyone who bought the album – and if you haven’t go your copy yet, it’s available on Amazon and iTunes now:
We are delighted to announce that Håkan Hardenberger has agreed to become an Advisory Patron for Septura.
Håkan is the greatest trumpet soloist today – alongside his phenomenal performances of the classical repertory, he is also held in high regard as a pioneer of significant and virtuosic new trumpet works. His approach to repertoire creation for the trumpet is something which Septura wishes to emulate for brass septet, and he will advise the group with these goals in mind.
Håkan joins the advisory group alongside Dr. Martin Knight and Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood (Principal of the Royal Academy of Music).
Photo © Marco Borggreve
We spent the last few days recording our first CD for Naxos Records, which features transcriptions of choral and organ music for brass septet by Brahms, Bruckner, Mendelssohn and Schumann, alongside Bruckner’s Two Aequali for three trombones. The acoustic of St. Paul’s Church in New Southgate, North London proved ideal for this repertoire, and we are all looking forward to hearing the results. The disc is due to be released in summer 2014, so watch this space!
We are pleased to announce that Septura will be an Ensemble in Residence at the Royal Academy of Music (London) for the 2013-2014 academic year. In addition to rehearsing and performing at the Academy, the group will be coaching brass students and giving them the opportunity to observe our recording sessions. We also have an exciting project in the pipeline with composition students, several of whom are penning new works for the group which will be played in workshops in January 2014.
Click here to read the RAM Brass Department’s Autumn Newsletter.