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Reviews

August 2014 - BBC Music Magazine

Matthew Rickard is equal to Howells’s challenging piano textures.

Anthony Burton

Review of CD made with Rupert Marshall-Luck of the complete works for violin and piano by Howells (EMR CD019-20)

Please click here to read the review in full on the BBC Music Magazine website

 

May 2014 - MusicWeb International

The quality of the performances here is such that Marshall-Luck and Rickard need not fear competition. These are surely reference performances.

John Quinn

Review of CD made with Rupert Marshall-Luck of the complete works for violin and piano by Howells (EMR CD019-20)

Please click here to read the review in full on MusicWeb International

 

September 2013 - BBC Music Magazine

Gurney’s Sonata could hardly find better and more convincing exponents than Rupert Marshall-Luck and Matthew Rickard. ... The disc concludes with a deeply sympathetic and highly competitive account of Elgar’s Violin Sonata that stresses the lyrical nature of this late masterpiece.

Calum MacDonald

Review of CD made with Rupert Marshall-Luck of works by Gurney, Sainsbury & Elgar (EMR CD011)

 

September 2013 - Seen and Heard International

The duo demonstrated both passion and tenderness in a fine performance.

Roger Jones

Review of concert at the Pittville Pump Room, Chelthenham with Rupert Marshall-Luck

Please click here to read the review in full on Seen and Heard International

 

August 2013 - Fanfare Magazine

Rickard’s role is by no means that of mere accompanist. ... All of these pieces are written for violin and piano, not for violin with piano. There’s a significant difference, and it’s in the way that the piano engages the violin in dialog and equal partnership. One hears in Rickard playing a true melding of mind and spirit with both Marshall-Luck and the composer.

Jeremy Dubins

Review of recordings made to date with Rupert Marshall-Luck

 

June 2013 - Gramophone

It’s good to be reminded what a powerful piece [the Elgar Sonata] is, helped by the concentration of Marshall-Luck and his pianist, Matthew Rickard.

Edward Greenfield

Review of CD made with Rupert Marshall-Luck of works by Gurney, Sainsbury & Elgar (EMR CD011)

 

May 2013 - Seen and Heard International

We should not ignore the artistry of Matthew Rickard whose playing was exemplary in majesty and in quiet abnegation – a still small voice, yet telling. His contribution throughout was key but among the many moments that completed and complemented the violinist’s primo role, that series of ever-so quiet notes near the start live on in the memory in Rickard’s hands. ... As to the performances, they brimmed with the personalities of these two very fine artists and paves expectations for next year’s concert.

Rob Barnett

Review of recital at the 2013 English Music Festival with Rupert Marshall-Luck

Please click here to read the review in full on Seen and Heard International

 

May 2013 - MusicWeb International

Elgar’s Sonata is not exactly a rarity on CD, with rival versions existing by Nigel Kennedy, Lorraine McAslan, Tasmin Little and Daniel Hope. This new version more than holds its own in this illustrious company. It is a splendid performance which underlines the wistful nostalgia of Elgar’s late masterpiece more than any other account I have heard. Rupert Marshall-Luck and Matthew Rickard get [closest] to the heart of this piece, combining glorious playing with a real understanding of the emotions behind the notes.

David Jennings

Review of CD made with Rupert Marshall-Luck of works by Gurney, Sainsbury & Elgar (EMR CD011)

Please click here to read the review in full on MusicWeb International

 

March 2013 - British Music Society

Rupert Marshall-Luck and Matthew Rickard have teamed up once again to give us a stunning recording of works that juxtapose the previously unknown with the familiar. ... [This is] a first-rate release. More please!

Rodney Foord

Review of CD made with Rupert Marshall-Luck of works by Gurney, Sainsbury & Elgar (EMR CD011)

 

March 2013 - Fanfare Magazine

Marshall-Luck and Rickard give an impassioned account [of John Pickard’s Violin Sonata]

Colin Clarke

Review of Toccata Classics CD of Chamber Music by John Pickard (TOCC 0150)

 

February 2013 - MusicWeb International

The performance could hardly be bettered: both musicians play with fine feeling and sensitivity and truly bring out the poetry behind the notes. ... Matthew Rickard is an exemplary partner. ... Marshall-Luck and Rickard display both passion and poise in a deeply-felt reading.

John Quinn

Review of CD made with Rupert Marshall-Luck of works by Gurney, Sainsbury & Elgar (EMR CD011)

Please click here to read the review in full on MusicWeb International

 

January 2013 - The Strad

Marshall-Luck proves highly responsive to the music’s expressive ebb and flow, as does his devoted accompanist Rickard, who negotiates these demanding scores with aplomb.

Julian Haylock

Review of CD made with Rupert Marshall-Luck of works by Vaughan Williams, Holst & Walford Davies (EMR CD006)

 

October 2012 - Intermission Bristol

Matthew Rickard was a welcome addition to this concert, and the interaction between violin and piano proved to be very successful. Both Marshall-Luck and pianist Matthew Rickard were well attuned to the atmospheres and psychological shifts that affect the piece. The [Gurney] Sonata ... was delivered with conviction and the details of the piece came across beautifully.

Ragnhild Melbye

Review of lunchtime concert given with violinist Rupert Marshall-Luck at the Victoria Rooms, Bristol

Please click here to read the review in full on the Intermission Bristol website

 

October 2012 - International Record Review

The contribution of Matthew Rickard lacks nothing in commitment or insight.

Richard Whitehouse

Review of Toccata Classics CD of Chamber Music by John Pickard (TOCC 0150)

 

October 2012 - MusicWeb International

The piano writing [of the Gurney] is bass-rich but, thanks to the sensitive playing of Matthew Rickard, the violin never sounded swamped. ... There are several passages of remarkable stillness in the music, to which Rupert Marshall-Luck and Matthew Rickard brought a particularly strong sense of atmosphere. ... I loved this music and I thought that Rupert Marshall-Luck and Matthew Rickard invested it with great poetic feeling.

John Quinn

Session report of the recording of a CD of Violin and Piano works by Gurney, Elgar and Sainsbury due out in 2013

Please click here to read the report in full on MusicWeb International

 

October 2012 - International Record Review

There is no doubting Rupert Marshall-Luck’s commitment to the cause ... and in Matthew Rickard [he has] an adept and sympathetic accompanist.

Colin Anderson

Review of CD made with Rupert Marshall-Luck of works by Vaughan Williams, Holst & Walford Davies (EMR CD006)

 

October 2012 - Gramophone

Rupert Marshall-Luck and Matthew Rickard elegantly apply their fine playing to [the disc’s] performance. They capture its quintessential Englishness beautifully.

Caroline Gill

Review of CD made with Rupert Marshall-Luck of works by Vaughan Williams, Holst & Walford Davies (EMR CD006)

 

July 2012 - MusicWeb International

On this recital disc Rupert Marshall-Luck and Matthew Rickard concentrate on communicating the music without any idiosyncratic or intrusive exaggeration. This high calibre partnership speaks of sanguine spontaneity and a natural warmth and affinity for the music. I was impressed with Marshall-Luck’s appealing timbre and Rickard has a fine sense of keyboard colour.

 

Michael Cookson

Review of CD made with Rupert Marshall-Luck of works by Vaughan Williams, Holst & Walford Davies (EMR CD006)

Please click here to read the review in full on MusicWeb International

 

June 2012 - Seen and Heard International

There were a number of piano passages [in Sacheverall Coke’s First Violin Sonata] that left you thinking of the big Rachmaninov concertos. Matthew Rickard more than met these challenges.

 

Rob Barnett

Review of recital with the violinist Rupert Marshall-Luck at the 2012 English Music Festival

Please click here to read the review in full on the Seen and Heard International website

 

April 2012 - Music at Lunchtime, Farnham URC

Matthew is a formidable soloist, as became clear during the concert.

 

The final item in the concert was the Scherzo in E flat minor by Brahms. This is a virtuoso piece, full of fire, and it received a stunning performance which left the audience breathless.

 

John Mansfield

Review of solo recital at Farnham United Reformed Church on 10th April 2012

Please click here to read the review in full on the Music at Lunchtime website

 

February 2012 - MusicWeb International

Matthew Rickard is [Rupert Marshall-Luck’s] fine sonata colleague and he expertly propels the piano writing which is powerful strong and highly effective.

 

Jonathan Woolf

Review of CD made with Rupert Marshall-Luck of Violin & Viola Sonatas for EM Records (EMR CD003)

Please click here to read the review in full on MusicWeb International

 

January 2012 - Gramophone

Matthew Rickard’s piano-playing is also impressive, notably in the flamboyant writing in the Bantock.

 

Edward Greenfield

Review of CD made with Rupert Marshall-Luck of Violin & Viola Sonatas for EM Records (EMR CD003)

 

November 2011 - MusicWeb International

[the acoustic of the hall] allows Matthew Rickard’s heroically impressive piano playing to register with power and attractive sonority – in both works the pair of players are excellent at negotiating the numerous transitions between sections with perfect accord and musical conviction.
 

This is a well-programmed, finely played and valuable disc – qualities that could be used to define the English Music Festival itself.

 

Nick Barnard

Review of CD made with Rupert Marshall-Luck of Violin & Viola Sonatas for EM Records (EMR CD003)

Please click here to read the review in full on MuiscWeb International

 

October 2011 - CROCKS Newsletter

Violinist Rupert Luck and pianist Matthew Rickard, give dedicated performances of all three works. ...

 

The piano is well rounded and perfectly balanced against it. [the violin]

 

Bob McQuiston

Review of CD made with violinist Rupert Luck of English Violin Sonatas for EM Records (EMR CD001)

Please click here to read the review in full on the Classical lost and found website.

 

July 2011 - MusicWeb International

Luck and Rickard make a strong case for the piece [the Walford Davies] and I enjoyed both the music and their performance very much. ...

 

The finale [of the Bowen] is a bravura, often fiery creation, which is tossed off with fine virtuosity by these two players.

This is an outstanding disc. Rob Barnett beat me to it in designating it as a Recording of the Month but my welcome for it is no less strong. Both Rupert Luck and Matthew Rickard are fully on top of and responsive to this music and their performances are not only skilful and very musical but also full of commitment. I sense they are delighting in unveiling to a wide audience this unknown repertoire – certainly the description ‘unknown’ applies to the Bliss and Walford Davies works. The performances have been splendidly recorded in the sympathetic acoustic of the Wyastone Concert Hall and the documentation is excellent.

This release is a most auspicious launch for EM Records and I look forward eagerly to future releases. In the meantime I hope collectors of English music will reward the enterprise of the label and enrich their own experience by hastening to add this CD to their collections.

 

John Quinn

Review of CD made with violinist Rupert Luck of English Violin Sonatas for EM Records (EMR CD001)

Please click here to read the review in full on MuiscWeb International

 

May 2011 - International Record Review

This is a most imaginative and rewarding release: the world première recording of a significant unpublished work by Bliss, along with violin and piano sonatas by Walford Davies (another première recording) and York Bowen...

 

The performance by Rupert Luck and Matthew Rickard has an inspiring confidence and commitment that characterizes their approach throughout. ...

 

This first release from the English Music Festival label deserves the warmest possible welcome. Not only do the performances have real authority but the recorded sound is excellent...

 

The EMF has announced plans for several more interesting releases in the near future and the series could not have made a stronger start than it does here: Luck and Rickard offer an ideal combination of enterprising programming, some impressive musical archaeology to bring these works to life, and superb playing. This fine disc is a complete success and can be very warmly recommended to anyone with a serious interest in British music.

 

Nigel Simeone

Review of CD made with violinist Rupert Luck of English Violin Sonatas for EM Records (EMR CD001)

 

April 2011 - Classicalsource.com

A warm welcome for the first release in the English Music Festival’s recording label, EM Records. Three violin sonatas kick-start this welcome enterprise, Rupert Luck and Matthew Rickard securing persuasive renditions of pieces by Arthur Bliss, Henry Walford Davies and York Bowen. ...

 

With fine and committed performances, and a full and well-balanced recording, this release is a good start to a label that will hopefully run and run and indeed capture “The Spirit of England”.

 

Colin Anderson

Review of CD made with violinist Rupert Luck of English Violin Sonatas for EM Records (EMR CD001)

Please click here to read the review in full on the Classicalsource.com website.

 

March 2011 - MusicWeb International

The Bowen is a very fine, moving and exciting work – no half measures! The performance is fiery to the point of molten. Breath-taking stuff! ...
 

There is nothing tentative about these performances which are highly skilled and completely dedicated and immersed.
 

EM records have started out magnificently with this disc. We must hope to hear much more of Luck and Rickard. Let them continue to explore and harry the periphery rather than being drawn to the well-served ‘great and good’.

 

Rob Barnett

Review of CD made with violinist Rupert Luck of English Violin Sonatas for EM Records (EMR CD001)

Please click here to read the review in full on MusicWeb International

 

November 2010 - The Arthur Bliss Society Newsletter Vol. 8, No. 2

The work itself, as well as the performance, captivated the audience. It wasn’t one of those concerts where I find at some point I have switched off: all three works commanded my full attention, the Bliss more than the others. They have much in common, and my neighbour in the comfortable seats (not the pews) extolled as one virtue of the Festival the way it brought out the connections between the featured works. Bliss later travelled a long way from this early work, but here it could be appreciated in context. My neighbour was also full of praise for the players who acquitted themselves brilliantly and with palpable and infections enthusiasm. It felt as if they were truly engaged with the works, and they attacked them with gusto. How nice it would be to able to revisit the performance in recorded form - one day, perhaps.

Review of recital at the 2010 English Music Festival on 29th May 2010 with the Violinist Rupert Luck.