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Retrospect Ensemble

Retrospect Ensemble

Retrospect Ensemble intends to take its musicians and audiences on an exciting journey, exploring the repertoire of four centuries and embracing the practices, styles and aesthetics of former ages with renewed vigour and a fresh approach.



Linn 40th Anniversary Collection
Linn 40th Anniversary Collection
Linn celebrates its 40th anniversary with a limited edition collection bursting with stand-out music 

AKD 425  

J.S. Bach: Harpsichord Concertos
J.S. Bach: Harpsichord Concertos
Matthew Halls directs Retrospect Ensemble in this fascinating recording of Harpsichord Concertos. 

CKD 410  

Purcell: Twelve Sonatas in Three Parts
Purcell: Twelve Sonatas in Three Parts
Retrospect Trio perfectly capture the timeless beauty of Purcell's Twelve Sonatas in Three Parts. 

CKD 374  

The Super Audio Collection Volume 5 Sampler
The Super Audio Collection Volume 5 Sampler
An impressive new collection showcasing the best of Linn Record's artists. 

AKP 389  

J.S. Bach Easter and Ascension Oratorios
J.S. Bach Easter and Ascension Oratorios
A spectacular performance of Bach's choral music led by Matthew Halls. 

CKD 373  

Purcell: Ten Sonatas in Four Parts
Purcell: Ten Sonatas in Four Parts
The first recording with this new super-group marks the 350th birthday of Henry Purcell 

CKD 332  

Retrospect Ensemble

Launched on 1 May 2009, Retrospect Ensemble gave its inaugural UK performance at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, opening the festival with a critically acclaimed performance of Handel's late masterpiece, Jephtha. Shortly afterwards they made their Edinburgh Festival Debut with soprano Carolyn Sampson.

Founded by Matthew Halls, Retrospect Ensemble is embarking on a new journey both for its musicians and audiences - exploring the repertoire of four centuries and embracing the practices, styles and aesthetics of former ages with renewed vigour and a fresh approach. The choice of the name Retrospect Ensemble ensures that the group need not restrict itself to one particular historical period nor to a rigid configuration; concerts range from small chamber ensemble to full orchestra and choir.

The ensemble records for the innovative Linn Records and this is their second disc for the label recently named Label of the Year by Gramophone, following their critically acclaimed debut recording of Purcell Trio Sonatas (CKD 332):

‘The playing is immaculate - expressive and alert to all the nuance and variety of this superb music. An absolute winner for the Purcell year...' Hugh Canning, The Times, 31st May 2009

‘Delightfully expressive and sensitively ornamented playing and a rewarding recording as well. One of the best new contributions to Purcell's discography I've heard so far in this 350th anniversary year...' Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 CD Review, 30th May 2009

The ensemble's current diary includes appearances at two of London's foremost festivals, the Spitalfields Festival and Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music. The ensemble has an annual Wigmore Hall series; concerts across Europe and the Far East; has established an exciting partnership with the Korean National Opera, following an initial collaboration for performances of Gluck Orfeo ed Euridice in Spring 2010; and has a flourishing Young Artist Programme.


For further information - www.retrospectensemble.com
Retrospect in the Charts
29 October 2012
No.13 in the UK Specialist Chart
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BBC Disc of the Month
19 October 2012
for Retrospect Ensemble's Bach
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Awards nod for Retrospect and Phantasm
21 November 2011
International Classical Music Awards nominees announced
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OBF and Matthew Halls announcement
25 August 2011
OBF names Matthew Halls as Artistic Director
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Gramophone Award Finalists Announced
16 August 2011
Retrospect Ensemble, Phantasm and Avison Ensemble nominated
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Retrospect in the Classical Charts for second week
18 April 2011
the Ensemble make it two weeks in a row
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Retrospect in the Classical Charts
11 April 2011
Bach enters at number 15
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Meeting Matthew Halls
10 February 2011
Matthew Halls in person with BBC Music Magazine
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Finalists in the Gramophone Awards announced
26 August 2009
Success for Retrospect Trio and Dunedin Consort
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Retrospect's Purcell tops HMV chart
11 June 2009
Number One Chamber and Instrumental disc
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Retrospect enter the charts
07 June 2009
New Purcell album at No. 16
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Limelight
4 Stars
'...illuminating details, crisp rhythmic articulation and clever yet tasteful ornamentation.'
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Fanfare
'The readings are buoyant, energetic, and fresh-sounding.'
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Audiophilia.com
'a very pleasant sound.'
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theartsdesk.com
'fizzes with energy.'
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HiFi News
'the clarity and presence are especially remarkable'
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Gramophone
'This is a joyful and invigorating release.'
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All music
'AllMusic’s Favorite Classical Instrumental Albums of 2012'


Classical CD Review
'an intimate sonic picture that has super-clarity as well as warmth'


International Record Review
'...a must-have music disc for all music lovers.'
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Pizzicato
Review in French.
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The Irish Times
4 Stars
'...stylish but also sensitively recorded'
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Early Music Review
'Very highly recommended indeed.'
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The Sunday Times
'The concertos sound pristine and revealed anew, like cleaned Old Master paintings.'
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BBC Online
'...sheer ear-popping brilliance...'
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Music Web International
Recording of the Month: '...anything that Matthew Halls and the Retrospect Ensemble touch seems to turn to gold.'
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Pizzicato
Review in French
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Audiophile Audition
'...vigor and fresh approaches'
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BBC Music Magazine
5 Stars
Disc of the Month: '... vibrant energy'
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Codaex
Features in: 'Codaex interesting releases in October 2012'
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Opera News
'A new period-instrument ensemble from London brings verve, precision and spontaneity to a recording of J. S. Bach's Easter and Ascension Oratorios.'
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The Consort
'This particular recording, featuring the Retrospect Ensemble, has a lot to recommend it; especially the technically refined and elegant quality of both the orchestra and the soloists. The choruses are refreshingly crisp and bright, sung in a soloistic manner that I find very appealing.'
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musica Dei donum
'... the closing line of the B section is beautifully sung'.
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PS Tracks
'It is simply the most musical realization of these two works I have ever encountered'.
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American Record Guide
'The music is meditative and reflective. The sound is excellent.'
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The Absolute Sound
'The Retrospect Ensemble's Bach performances are pretty much ideal...'
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Fanfare
'Halls' interpretations are above reproach, and his musicians respond at a very high level. What's not to like? Heartily recommended.'
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OregonLive.com
'...a bright British conductor...'
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Fanfare
'Heartily recommended.'
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Classica
4 Stars
'...le duo meditative de la soprano et flute traversière idéalment assure par Carolyn Sampson et Rachel Brown.'
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Audiophile Audition
5 Stars
Multichannel Disc of the Month: 'The fact is that there is not a weak link anywhere in this cast...'
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American Record Guide
'...a nicely blended and balanced instrumental group'.
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MusicWeb International
"...the Linn recording is a must."
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Gramophone
'The Retrospect Ensemble's orchestral playing and choral singing is of the highest quality...'
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Scotland on Sunday
5 Stars
"There is plenty of action and passion in these two, quite different, works..."
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BBC Music Magazine
4 Stars
'...enjoyably relaxed and unselfconscious performances.'
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Pizzicato
5 Stars
'...superbement interprétées.'
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Audio Video Club of Atlanta
'...the impression is that of heavenly beauty without earthly weight...'
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International Records Review
'...highly impressive playing...'
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San Francisco Classical Voice
'The soloists are all excellent.'
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McAlister Matheson Music
'top class'
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The Observer
"Matthew Halls directs sprightly singers and accomplished players."
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The Times
4 Stars
"A disc to make your heart leap."
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ResMusica
Clef de ResMusica Award: 'Un premier disque d'un ensemble prometteur, enregistré qui plus est de fort belle manière par Linn Records.'
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AudioVideoHD
'...dirigiendo esta brillante y fresca interpretación de dos de los tres monumentales oratorios de Bach...'
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Early Music Review
'Fielding an excellent group of singers and players, and with soloists of such calibre, this is a landmark Bach recording.'
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The Sunday Times
4 Stars
Classical Record of the Week: "Top-drawer Bach throughout, beautifully recorded and documented by Linn."
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Le Monde
'...la plus belle musicalité...'
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The Scotsman
5 Stars
"Musical highs don't come much better...Conductor Matthew Halls gleans warmth from this wonderful music."
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SA-CD.net
5 Stars
"Retrospect Ensemble simply sparkles in this repertoire...Johann Sebastian himself would give this one not 5 but 10 stars as well."
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Classics Today
5 Stars
'...can boast renditions of Bach's Easter and Ascension oratorios as fine as--or better than--any in the catalog.'
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Musical Pointers
"The recording at St Jude's Church in Hampstead...makes the most of a perfect acoustic."
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