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Excellent performances, highly characterful, firmly shaped and dramatic

New York Times, Paul Griffiths


The “Duets for Storab” for flutes… have a livelier, more dynamically varied and more vividly drawn performance in the recording by the Galliard Ensemble, a young British team (Deux-Elles DXL 1019).


…elemental in Sir Harrison’s music: the principle of two voices, of pair activity, of joining and separating, of finding the right fit — at the simplest level, the just placement of one note against another… he started his first published piece, “Refrains and Choruses” for wind quintet (1957), with one prolonged note, which becomes an invitation and a challenge to other motifs, other instruments. These have to place themselves against that note, either to accompany it or to make it their accompaniment.

The Galliard compilation effectively begins from this point (after an electric little overture in the “Hoquetus Petrus” for piccolo trumpet and flutes, a homage to Pierre Boulez) and ends with Sir Harrison’s second work for wind quintet, “Five Distances” (1992).


Both receive excellent performances, highly characterful, firmly shaped and dramatic. And both gain from the way they are programmed here: as the origin, and a much later instance, of a musical world where growth, forceful and urgent, proceeds not only within each piece but in the gaps between.

Sprinkled into the gap between the two quintets is a succession of other wind pieces — including “Linoi,” in a knockout performance by the clarinetist Katherine Spencer — and piano solos.

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Excellent playing, well-balanced and full of character

Gramophone, Geoffrey Norris

The glittering talent that is the Galliard Ensemble

What’s on in London, Duncan Hadfield

Performed with assurance and flair

BBC Music Magazine, Anthony Burton

These will become reference performances

O Publico, Teresa Cascudo

They have technique, style and high spirits in spades

Time Out, Martin Hoyle

Immaculate performances … a pure delight … unreservedly recommended

MusicWeb International, Hubert Culot

Demands that were easily met

The Times

A young ensemble of considerable merit

Gramophone, Arnold Whittall

Superb sound

Richard Whitehouse

Excellently played

BBC Music Magazine, Nicholas Williams

One of the highlights

Paul Conway, The Independent

Stunning music and extraordinary playing


The Observer, Edward Bhesania

Well performed

The Sunday Times, Paul Driver

The performances are simply breath-taking

Gramophone, Andrew Achenbach

Endlessly fascinating

The Guardian, Andrew Clements

Incisive, confident and well-tuned

BBC Music Magazine, Anthony Burton

Excellent ensemble playing and vivid recording.

Classical Music on the Web UK, Peter Grahame Woolf

Galliard Ensemble
Like angels sent from heaven

Paul Patterson

Beautiful, delicate and fluent playing

Aberdeen Press and Journal, Alan Cooper

A highly talented wind quintet

West Somerset Free Press, Trevor L Sharpe

Galliard Ensemble
Immaculately prepared

Seen & Heard, Peter Graham Woolf

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