Septura’s recording of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker was released in November 2019, and was picked as one of the Christmas highlights of 2019 by both Classic FM and the Daily Mail (UK), and was AllMusic.com’s December Editor’s Choice.
Throughout the recording the Septura members play with wonderful precision and commitment. Their sound is clean and well produced. They are assisted by the spacious acoustic which was well captured by the recording engineers. Derek Jacobi recites the story very elegantly with appropriate wonder and humour…An original and very welcome presentation of traditional Holiday confection.
MusicWeb International, January 2020
This ingenious brass septet arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s seasonally inflected final ballet is a hoot, in a very good way. The transcriptions, by Knight and trumpeter Simon Cox, are invariably successful. Act 2’s character dances are predictably enjoyable; there’s some splendid tuba work in the “Dance of the Mirlitons,” and muted trumpets make for an effective celeste substitute in the Sugar Plum Fairy’s solo. And how well this group surmounts the bigger tutti moments. Check out “A Forest of Fir Treed in Winter” and marvel. Seriously impressive playing.
The Arts Desk, December 2019
The brass septet Septura has put brass ensemble music on the charts at a level not seen for some years, and this version of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, Op. 71, offers an ideal illustration as to why. It’s not just the virtuosity of the group, although that’s impressive enough. … A top Christmas release of 2019.
AllMusic.com, December 2019
This is world class in its own right and the perfectly proportioned story, narrated with such enchanting brilliance by Derek Jacobi, elevated this recording to a new level. The Nutcracker is a mightily impressive achievement and is a delightful treat for listeners of all ages…Rarely does a recording project manage to capture each aspect of delivery so perfectly.