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Gramophone review for ‘A French connection”

I’m very happy to read the very warm reviews for ‘A French connection’, the recent Chausson-Debussy-Franck disc that Natacha and I made for Champs Hill Records. We adore these pieces and it’s wonderful to read the enthousiastic reactions 🙂

“ Beyond ‘fabulous’ it’s not always easy to put a finger on what Chausson;s ear-grabbing Concerto actually is…This is a rapturously full-bodied account…Rowland leading from the front with is won shimmering, wide, polished sound which becomes piercingly sweet up on top and huskily rough and cloaked down below. It’s impossible not to be sweet along by the sheer confidence of it’s luxuriously sweeping largesse when the long lined power of each of their ,any climaxes would have had Scriabin himself weeping with ecstasy. In the slower, lighter textured interludes it feels as though you’ve been dropped into a different universe in which time has momentarily, transcendentally stood still. I’m also not sure I’ve ever hear such a programmatic feeling Grave, which is deeply, eerily, menacingly dark..On to the finale and there;s some specially exciting playing from the quartet, who all the way through are phenomenallly blended with Rowland – the benefit of individual friends over an established ensemble.

…A refreshingly individual, non-eccentric reading [of the Franck Sonata}..It’s hard not to be seduced by Rowland’s sultry toned, long lined lyricism in the premiere recordings of Craig White’s arrangement of three Debussy Preludes… When it can be hard these days to differentiate between the top violinists individual sounds, Rowland truly sounds like nobody else “


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