Reviews of Boxwood & Brass Performances

2018

I loved the sheer variety of instrumental colour, of texture, which was evident throughout the programme. The extracts from Beethoven’s Egmont were a joy. Originally arranged by Friedrich Starke and re-mastered by bassoonist Robert Percival, the music sounded full of energy and vitality thanks to the razor-sharp performance of this excellent ensemble. The extracts from Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito were also refreshing. The duet, aria and finale brimmed with character realisation; this was particularly true of the recitative enhanced last section… the playing [in Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony] was superb, particularly in the Scherzo which fizzed with crisp, beautiful articulation” - York Press

Weber’s ‘Adagio and Rondo’ demanded virtuoso technique coupled with a light touch. The ensemble effortlessly delivered both.  The most startling item was Mozart’s Symphony number 39 in Eb. Six wind players performing a Mozart Symphony seemed a reckless undertaking but this was a masterly arrangement...  The balance was little short of miraculous with horns powerful enough to drown the rest of the group, playing quickly and quietly. It was an outstanding tour de force.” – Craven Herald 

2017

The nine players of Boxwood & Brass produced a wonderfully compelling sound, and one that most in the UK are not used to hearing. Their sense of consort was outstanding, in what must have been a difficult programme to prepare and rehearse. The technical difficulties are apparently enormous, although that was never evident from their performance… This is a repertoire, and an exciting group, that is well worth following.” Andrew Benson-Wilson

a fascinating and well-executed examination of music written for the so-called Harmonie” Criticks (British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies)

2016 and earlier

“an amazingly polished performance ... Individually and as an ensemble, the performers displayed an obvious enjoyment of the music and their collective enjoyment was infectious ... these period wind instruments are capable of a much wider range of dynamics and timbre, with far greater subtleties than their later counterparts” Criticks (British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies).

Throughout the concert the players made us forget that the challenges that playing such period instruments presented, allowing us to concentrate on the music and the remarkable range of colours of which the instruments are capable. We were able to not only hear some superb playing, but could also appreciate the sense of engagement and enjoyment that the performers clearly feel with this repertoire.Robert Hughill

 

"Boxwood and Brass seeks to recreate this music that is rarely performed nowadays. The spoken introductions by Robert Percival (bassoon) hinted at their scholarly approach but, like the music, these talks were also lively and entertaining." Criticks (British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies)

“The amazing Georgian music just added to the magical atmosphere and sense that we had somehow stepped back in time.”  Madame Guillotine

Reaction to our debut CD Music for a Prussian Salon
 

Boxwood & Brass's sound is nothing short of revelatory” Early Music Today, June-August 2017

button-bright performances caught in a sympathetic acoustic... performed with spirit and vigourGramophone

The performances by Boxwood & Brass of this little-explored repertoire are beautifully prepared and executed, with a polished tone from both clarinettists and an authoritative and focused contribution from horns and bassoon... While this CD makes a valuable contribution to our wider understanding of an important aspect of the history of the clarinet, it also provides a very entertaining and rewarding listening experience for the general listener” Early Music Review (5 stars)

It is clear that the musicians have a passion for bringing life to this music, which they do easily with their excellent sense of ensemble, individual high-level performance, and pure fun” The Horn Call

impressive, technically but also musically... If you like this kind of repertoire this disc is not to be missed. I am looking forward to upcoming projects of this outstanding ensemble” Musicweb International/Johan van Veen

The repertoire of the various combinations of wind band are not as well known as they should be, which makes this recording a particularly valuable contribution to the world of music. The playing ... is outstanding, both technically and musically” Andrew Benson-Wilson

varied and delightful... a finely satisfying disc” Robert Hugill (4.5 stars)