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Hi-Fi News
Sound Quality 75%: 'The Royal Academy players are brilliantly responsive to Stravinsky’s jazzy score: brass and winds especially.'
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BBC Music Magazine
4½ Stars
Performance 4 / Recording 5: 'For anyone wanting an English language account of this key Stravinsky masterpiece...this set has much to offer....the disc merits a strong recommendation.'
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Fanfare
'...this new release joins this exalted company in my pantheon...an unequivocal recommendation.'
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Pizzicato
Supersonic Award: 'The musicians from the Royal Academy of Music deliver a fresh and at the same time mature version of these works.'
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Scherzo
'Linn Records has assembled an impressive cast in a very attractive version of Igor Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale.'
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HiFi Sound
'...this Linn Records set sounds crisp, vibrant, and entirely captivating.'
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Diapason
4 Stars
'The remarkable musicians of the Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble forget their (relative) lack of truculence with exemplary energy and daring.'
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Rhinegold
5 Stars
Editor's Choice: '...crisp and alert, securing excellent playing throughout...'
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All Music
4½ Stars
Best of 2017: '...a complete and highly entertaining performance of this innovative theatrical work...'
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Kerk en Leven
'...fascinating and enchanting...'
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MusicWeb International
'...the young players of the Royal Academy really revel in these and play with guts and a swagger which must be just what Stravinsky intended.'
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The Arts Desk
'...as versions of the original go, this new one is a winner. It's conducted, brilliantly, by Oliver Knussen, leading a flawless student ensemble.'
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The Art Music Lounge
'In short, this is a terrific release, so good, in fact, that I chose to replace the Nagano-Sting recording with it in my collection.'
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Crescendo
5 Stars
'Oliver Knussen offers a sharp and lucid reading...'
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The Scotsman
4 Stars
'The musical performance is one of stinging clarity and incision...'
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The Sunday Times
'[A] remarkable disc...'
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Europadisc
'...this new account goes straight to the top of the pile...a dazzling account of a modern classic.'
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BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
'The chief delight is the characterful brilliance of the instrumental playing from the RAM ensemble under Oliver Knussen.'
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Financial Times
4 Stars
'Harriet Walter’s lively Narrator is paired with two august composers in the other speaking roles.'
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The Guardian
4 Stars
'...the playing of the Royal Academy's Manson Ensemble is taut, fearless and detailed.'
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Gramophone
'Anyone who knows Knussen's magical disc of seemingly intractable late Stravinsky (DG, 10/95) or his unbeatable Fairy's Kiss (DG, 11/97) will want this one too.'
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Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble & Oliver Knussen - Stravinsky: The Soldier's Tale - The Herald


13 December 2017
The Herald
Kate Molleson

Top 20 Classical Albums of 2017: ‘There’s a fun tradition of venerable composers playing the speaking roles in Stravinsky’s Faustian fable The Soldier’s Tale. The custom was honoured this year with Oliver Knussen conducting Harrison Birtwistle as a superbly laconic Soldier and George Benjamin as a deliciously supercilious Devil. Bizarre and brilliant.’
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Related Links

Igor StravinskyIgor Stravinsky
Oliver KnussenOliver Knussen
Royal Academy of MusicRoyal Academy of Music
Stravinsky: The Soldier's TaleStravinsky: The Soldier's Tale