The Gallimaufry Ensemble Shelly Organ Peter Sparks Louisa Sparks Holly Randall Alexia Cammish

Ilkley Concert Club, March 2012

"[Mozart Quintet for Piano and Winds] From the spacious introduction it was clear that this very individual ensemble was fully up to all the challenges that this wonderful music offers...The tight ensemble playing was a joy to hear; the balance between piano and winds always perfect and their phrasing had an intensely vocal quality... [Hindemith Kleine Kammermusik] This pungent and characterful music received a suitably robust performance that fully brought out its mordant humour. The more reflective moments were equally well done with some lovely legato playing in the central slow movement. Throughout there was real understanding of the style required for this no-nonsense anti-romantic music. An enjoyably bracing listen." - Ilkley Gazette, March 2012





Clitheroe Concerts Society, December 2011

"The quality of the playing was quite superb. The accuracy and ensemble was universally excellent throughout. A wonderful evening of music" - Clitheroe Advertiser, December 2011





Richmondshire Concert Series, Zetland Centre, Richmond, March 2011

"the playful and technical challenges were well met by the ensemble ... a fine performance ... splendid anarchic entertainment" - Darlington and Stockton Times, March 2011





CD RAM019 - Birtwistle's Five Distances for Five Instruments

"it's very well played and persuasively shaped ... this [recording] is well worth having" - Gramophone, October 2004





Park Lane Group Series, Purcell Room, January 2003

"The Gallimaufry Ensemble's account of Elliott Carter's big, tough, unyielding Quintet (1991) ... was dazzlingly well done, and a reminder of how much more happily the piano cohabits with winds than with strings." - The Times, January, 2003

"The performance was confident, the Stravinsky-like arabesques launched with brio; the players, standing in a semi-circle (as far apart as the platform allows), accumulated intensity and fragmented the material with full appreciation of Birtwistle's language. The confidence flowed too in Elliott Carter's Quintet, with Iain Farrington as the unfazed pianist." - Classical Source, January, 2003

"Carter's Quintet ... was arrestingly performed, with every facet of its strenuous intellectualism unblinkingly explored." - The Guardian, January, 2003

"They clearly possess boundless nerve and resolute techniques" - The Times, January, 2003

"The end of Wallfisch's piece was theatrically brought off by the ensemble."
"In Carter's Quintet ... there was some expertly precise ensemble playing." - The Evening Standard, January, 2003

"Proceedings opened with the Gallimaufry Ensemble, who made a strong impression with a late-night recital at Almeida Opera last June. A demanding programme opened with Harrison Birtwistle's Five Distances - its Ivesian intricacy of discourse well conveyed, even if the platform of the Purcell Room made for limited spatial separation. The performance of Elliott Carter's Quintet ...[had]... a strong sense of cumulative momentum, to which the forceful but expressive pianism of Iain Farrington contributed in no small measure." - Classical Source, January, 2003





Almeida Festival, Almeida Theatre, June 2002

"Late-night wind music, especially after an opera, has a long and distinguished currency, and the Gallimaufry Ensemble provided a recital fit for the occasion. Berio's Riccorenze is a virtual five-part 'sequenza', drawing the players into an animated but tightly co-ordinated discourse with outbursts of lyrical intensity towards the close. Five Distances reinvents the quintet on Birtwistle's own, inimitable terms - the instrumental interplay often having the illusion of improvised freedom. Robert Fokkens's thoughtful and harmonically-dense study in opposites saw the ensemble expand to a sextet, in which guise John Woolrich's fast-moving capriccio provided a bracing conclusion.

Excellent playing and an attractive programme that ought to have attracted more of the opera audience back from the bar. The Gallimaufry's Park Lane recital at the Purcell Room next January is eagerly awaited." - Classical Source, June, 2002





Changing Winds III, RAM Recital Room, February 2002

"It [Poulenc's Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano] was a spirited performance played with great energy. The outside movements were rhythmically tight and taken at good challenging speeds and the slow movement had some beautiful, magical moments. Dynamics and balance were excellent throughout. A very enjoyable performance.

[In Elliot Carter's Eight Etudes and a Fantasy] the four players were excellent in all respects. Each movement was given the right mood and speed and the final Fantasy ... was spot on.

Berio's Ricorrenze was played with great aplomb. It is a busy piece requiring great concentration and again was well executed by the Ensemble.

[In Villa-Lobos's Bachianas Brasileiras no. 6] There was a wonderful sense of phrasing and virtuosity from both players in this accomplished performance.

The whole concert was thoroughly enjoyable and the Ensemble performed a very challenging concert brilliantly with great stage presence." - Double Reed News, Issue 59, Summer 2002


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