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Enterprising … a further welcome Ferio collection

Gramophone, Richard Whitehouse

The saxophone quartet may not be an unexplored medium these days, but few outfits are as enterprising as Ferio, now following up their excellent release of Baroque transcriptions (12/18) with ‘Evoke’ – an equally diverse collection that draws on the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

Jazz Suite comprises seven movements from suites for jazz ensemble and variety orchestra by Shostakovich. Several current ‘drive-time’ favourites are featured here – the incisive March, strutting Foxtrot and suavity of the now ubiquitous Waltz No 2 high points of a collection concluded by the infectious high spirits of the Dance aka ‘Public Holiday’ from The Gadfly. Equally effective, Carmen Suite draws on those orchestral suites arranged from Bizet’s opera – from which the sultry Habanera, soulfully eloquent Intermezzo or the cumulative panache of Gypsy Dance could well be in demand from saxophone ensembles everywhere.

Both these transcriptions have been devised by Iain Farrington with his customary expertise. His own Animal Parade deftly continues the lineage of Saint-Saëns with its quirky penguins, anarchic monkey and ingratiating alley-cats, before ‘Blue Whale’ evokes far more affecting imagery. The late Pedro Iturralde exemplifies a ‘crossover’ that did not take the line of least resistance: Memorias is a suite touristique that unfolds from and back to an austere Lisbon, via decadent Casablanca then enervated Algiers, with a perceptiveness acute in its subversion.

Throughout this recital, Timothy End contributes pianism as discreet or assertive as required. Excellent sound and notes by Ingrid E Pearson enhance a further welcome Ferio collection.

The recording:
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Ian Farrington's Arrangements - Revive- Ferio - Chandos
Glorious lightness of tone and touch … breathtaking

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Performed here with panache by this super-versatile group

BBC Music magazine (Brief Notes section), Jeremy Pound ****

Beautifully controlled performance revealing musicianship of the highest order

The Westmorland Gazette, Clive Walkley

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Natural singers, phrasing supplely and expressively

Gramophone, Richard Bratby

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Character, texture, and colour through dynamic nuance

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A delightful take on beautiful music

The Royal Gazette, Bermuda

BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 Record Review

On Saturday 30th September Andrew McGregor was joined on BBC Radio 3 Record Review by oboist and producer Sarah Devonald to review the latest wind CD releases. The Ferio Saxophone Quartet’s recording for Chandos, ‘Flux‘, featured on the programme. McGregor and Devonald discussed the recording at length and praised it very highly for the choice of repertoire, the calibre of the performances by Ferio and the quality of the sound.  

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Their ability to create a beautifully unified, warm tone … highly recommended

Classical Notes, Nick Boston

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Playing is of the highest level throughout

Classical Music Magazine

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Gramophone Magazine: what’s immediately striking…is the tonal subtlety and expressiveness of the Ferios’ playing

Gramophone Magazine, Richard Bratby

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Unalloyed delight … irresistible exuberance
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Ferios's 'Flux' is MusicWeb International Recording of the Month

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Flux
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Plenty of High Quality Music on the Festival Fringe

Seen and Heard International, Simon Thompson

Ferio Saxophone Quartet 5 star review – Brighton Festival

The Argus, *****

Exquisite pace, mood and dynamics – 5 Stars

 The Latest, Andrew Connal ★★★★★

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03/07/2022