Christmas disc reviews

In our latest recording for Naxos, Christmas with Septura, we re-imagine some of the musical masterpieces that Christmas has inspired. The album reached the top 5 of the Specialist Classical Chart in its first week on sale.

This is what the press have had to say about it:


If you like a shot of brass to set the festive ambiance, this new anthology by Septura, an elite group drawing on the finest players in London, is just the ticket.

Three rousing numbers from Handel’s Messiah cap a recital so entertaining that the missing words don’t matter.

BBC Music Magazine (Performance ★★★★, Recording ★★★★)


Septura’s new disc is a classy, erudite affair…The arrangements are beautifully done; who’d have thought that individual movements from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio would sound so idiomatic played by a brass septet?

In a pair of movements from Rachmaninov’s Vespers, the players’ impeccable intonation [lends] the richer harmonies a thrilling physicality which can be missing from wobbly vocal performances.

An enchanting disc, brilliantly recorded and a steal at this price.

The Arts Desk –2016’s Best Seasonal Discs


While this might be a disc firmly targeted at the Seasonal market…the quality of the music, arranging and playing is worthy of all-year listening.

I thoroughly enjoyed this disc from first to last. The programme skilfully balances familiar and unusual music and is drawn together by the considerable skill of the arranging and playing. The sound of Septura is exceptionally beautiful – warm and rounded but with dazzling brilliance too when required…this is a beautiful sounding disc.

Throughout the programme, these are musically as well as technically satisfying performances. In fact the perfection of ensemble, balance and intonation is striking.

Nick Barnard, Musicweb International


Christmas with Septura (Naxos) features an excellent bass septet performing arrangements of music by Bach, Handel, Rachmaninov, and Warlock. The arrangement of “Ich freue mich in dir” (“I am delighted in thee”) is a joy to listen to. This is a great one to play in the background to lift everyone’s spirits.

Jason Victor Serinus, The Bay Area Reporter


The playing is sublime throughout the recording…the musical arrangements, all compiled by Septura artistic directors Simon Cox and Matthew Knight, are additionally first-rate.

A serious disc of serious classical festive-themed repertoire and featuring brass performance of the highest calibre, which should be high on the Christmas wish list of every seasoned fan of brass.

Craig Roberts, Brass Band World (Performance ★★★★★   Recording ★★★★★)


Throughout the playing is refined and silky smooth as befits the music, the balance between instruments ideally blended…a disc we will get out each Christmas to savour this fabulous brass playing that has been atmospherically recorded.

David Denton
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