Related Reviews
BBC Music Magazine
4½ Stars
'...Maxwell Davies devices of whooping horn glissandos and hyperactive chattering trumpets, delivered with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's bombproof expertise; and Ben Gernon's conducting is forthright and immaculate.'
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MusicWeb International
'The programme is well chosen, excellently played and beautifully recorded, making it about the most accessible introduction to Max's music that I can think of.'
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MusicWeb International
'An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise is a "joyous and show-stopping" piece...This performance is both refined and deliciously decadent...As a final salute to Sir Peter Maxwell Davies it could hardly be bettered.'
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New Zealand Herald
5 Stars
'The Scottish Chamber Orchestra has released a most attractive sampling of orchestral works, interspersed with solos by guitarist Sean Shibe...He gives it a magnificent performance, especially in the luminous resonances of a breathtaking Adagio molto [of Hill Runes].'
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Crescendo
« Farewell to Stromness est toute vibrante et gracieuse... [Ebb of Winter et Last Door of Light] de fort beaux exemples de l'exceptionnel talent de Peter Maxwell Davies... »
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Gramophone
'For a single-disc introduction to the many voices of Max, look no further.'
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Classical Music
5 Stars
'Committed and polished performances...Excellent sound.'
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The Arts Desk
'[Peter Maxwell Davies’s An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise] packs an emotional, uplifting punch, and this performance is a belter...The Scottish Chamber Orchestra, whose flawless, fearless playing under Ben Gernon is a consistent pleasure.'
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The Scotsman
5 Stars
'Ben Gernon conducts a performance that glistens with crystal clear textures and those mysterious Orkney soundscapes.'
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Herald Scotland
'The most beautiful, resonant and soulful performance of Max's Farewell to Stromness.'
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McAlister Matheson Music Newsletter
'...played with an irrepressible panache and swinging energy...It's all hugely life-inspiring.'
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Financial Times
4 Stars
'An atmospheric performance under conductor Ben Gernon.'
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The Sunday Times
'...this disc affords a fond farewell to the composer and the musical realisation of his adopted Orkney.'
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The Observer
4 Stars
'...it makes a worthy and deeply felt portrait of Max's Orkney.'
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SCO & Sean Shibe - Maxwell Davies: An Orkney Wedding, With Sunrise - AllMusic


03 December 2016
AllMusic
James Manheim

This Linn release was recorded in the fall of 2015, before the death of Peter Maxwell Davies the following spring. It's not clear whether it was intended as a tribute to the still-active composer, who was suffering from a terminal illness, but it would serve perfectly well as one, at least for the less brash final phase of Maxwell Davies' career. This composer, perhaps better than anyone else thus far, has split the difference between the avant-garde and the great British pastoral tradition, and this group of pieces exemplifies his accessible late style. Included is an ebullient performance of one of Maxwell Davies' most popular pieces of any period, An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise (sample anywhere here), but it's balanced by some comparative rarities including the five Hill Runes, guitar miniatures that weave various capabilities of the instrument into tightly defined tonal worlds. This work, as well as the slightly more expansive Farewell to Stromness, fills the role of entr'actes in the program between the larger orchestral pieces; they are beautifully played by guitarist Sean Shibe. An Orkney Wedding is at the end, balanced by the opening concert overture, Ebb of Winter, a work with overtones of ecological collapse, and the central Last Door of Light is another work with connections to Orkney. The enthusiasm of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and its youthful conductor Ben Gernon in this music is hard to overstate; they make it clear that however fashions may change, the music of Peter Maxwell Davies will be around for a long time to come.    
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Ben GernonBen Gernon
Scottish Chamber OrchestraScottish Chamber Orchestra
Sean ShibeSean Shibe
Maxwell Davies: An Orkney Wedding, With SunriseMaxwell Davies: An Orkney Wedding, With Sunrise