REVIEWS

ADRIAN BUTTERFIELD

'How does a critic begin to describe the most perfectly performed musical experience in many years? By listing, of course, in a roll of honour, those who created it, beginning with the masterly Adrian Butterfield, whose sure direction (from the violin) and complete immersion in the idiom was undoubtedly responsible for the exceptional quality of the performance.'

 

Barry Creasy, musicOMH

St. Matthew Passion, St. John’s, Smith Square, London 17th June 2015

 

 

 

'The two books make for delightful listening, the Sonatas ever varied - here refined, there folksy - and often surprising in their harmonic twists and turns. Violinist Adrian Butterfield and his colleagues are sympathetic interpreters, fully conversant with the intimate and yet intricate French Baroque manner.'

 

Kate Bolton, BBC Music Magazine,

Oct 2013 (Leclair Violin Sonatas Book 2)

 

 

 

'This trio offers intelligent, idiomatic performances from Leclair's second book, which demonstrates a striking synthesis of Italian melodiousness and French elegance.'

 

Robin Stowell, Strad Magazine,

Sept 2013 (Leclair Violin Sonatas Book 2)

 

 

 

'Technically and musically, Butterfield is a marvel.'

 

Julie Anne Sadie, Gramophone,

Sept 2013 (Leclair Violin Sonatas Book 2)

 

 

 

'The highlight [of a concert in the Tage Alter Musik, Regensburg] was the Violin concerto in E (BWV1042) with Adrian Butterfield as soloist, giving a fine demonstration of how Bach (and practically every other Baroque composer) constructs a musical line from a succession of little motifs, notably in the Adagio’

 

Andrew Benson-Wilson, Early Music Review, 2013

 

 

 

'The Wigmore Hall was set alight by this most singular performance last Monday... The orchestral playing was purely wonderful under Adrian Butterfield... The evening sped by and I can honestly say this was the very best thing I've heard this year.'

 

John Murphy

April 2013 (Handel's La Resurrezione)

 

 

'The London Handel Orchestra's lively performance of Handel's Italian oratorio La Resurrezione [conducted by Adrian Butterfield] filled the Wigmore platform and beyond.'

 

The Times

April 2013 (Handel's La Resurrezione)

 

 

'The London Handel Players have, over the decade of their existence, established an enviable reputation in the field of Handel performances. Here they bring the same authority and enthusiasm to this music by his Italian-born contemporary as characterized their earlier releases on the Somm label. Adrian Butterfield, violinist and director, urges his players along with a powerful demonstration of tasteful virtuosity, superbly revealed in the First Sonata, and what follows is a marvellous exhibition of collective instrumental excellence. As performances, these want for nothing in terms of technical brilliance and musical integrity, and the recorded balance is singularly satisfying...It all adds up to a hugely absorbing and fascinating aural picture not just of a composer's work but of an entire period in musical history.'

 

Marc Rochester, International Record Review,

April 2013 (Geminiani, Op.1)

 

 

 

'Adrian Butterfield, Alison McGillivray and Laurence Cummings bring sure technical command, sound stylistic sense and uncomplicated, utterly instinctive musicianship to these accounts, which conclude their project on Leclair's first book of violin sonatas. They skilfully realise the character and poetry of these works, which closely juxtapose the Italian and French styles. 

Further, Butterfield masters the multiple stopping and other virtuoso demands of the Twelfth Sonata with ease, communicating the largely two-voice texture of its Largos with striking lyricism and revelling in the contrapuntal complexities of its two fugato movements. A detailed, well-balanced recording and informative booklet notes complement this highly recommendable release.'

 

Robin Stowell, Strad Magazine,

February 2010 (Leclair Violin Sonatas Book 1)

 

 

 

'Leclair's Corelli-haunted First Book of Sonatas might have been overshadowed by later volumes, but there's a deal of attractive music to savour. The ensemble interplay is exemplary.'

 

BBC Music Magazine,

January 2010 **** (Leclair Violin Sonatas Book 1)

 

 

 

'Elegant and musically persuasive performances from Adrian Butterfield'

 

Andrew McGregor, BBC CD Review,

31st October 2009 (Leclair Violin Sonatas Book 1)

 

 

' "Authentic" performances are rarely done with such confidence and verve.'

 

James Manheim, All Music Guide

2009 (Leclair Violin Sonatas Book 1)

 

 

'I hope this is the beginning of a complete survey of Leclair's violin sonatas from this line-up.'

 

Brian Clark, Early Music Review

November 2009 (Leclair Violin Sonatas Book 1)

 

 

 

'Adrian Butterfield is a worthy champion. He has grasped the gentle Arcadian spirit of the French Regency era that inspired Leclair's work and the extent to which the music represents a departure from the formality and introspection of much of the music of the Louis XIV period. The sweetness of his tone, aptness of tempi and the lightness with which he wears his virtuosity perfectly complement the music, and Alison McGillivray and Laurence Cummings provide unfailingly stylish support. This is one of those recordings you will want to return to again and again.'

 

Julie Anne Sadie Gramophone,

November 2009 (Leclair Violin Sonatas Book 1)

 

 

 

'As for the performance of the musicians it is simply immaculate.'

 

The Jordan Times,

August 2009 (Leclair Violin Sonatas Book 1)

 

 

 

'These are fine performances from players who really know their ground.'

 

Lindsay Kemp, Gramophone,

July 2009 (Handel Trio Sonatas Op.2)

 

 

 

'... these three outstandingly gifted players are at the peak of their collective form…'

 

International Record Review,

2008 (Handel Violin Sonatas)

 

 

 

'I can still vividly remember playing the Allegro finale of HWV361 as an 11-year-old student (plenty of boyish enthusiasm if hardly the last word in technical finesse), so to hear Butterfield’s subtly nuanced, light-as-air reading came as a special revelation. That could be said for everything in this richly enjoyable recital, which tellingly places the seven-movement D minor Sonata, HWV367 at its expressive core. Here these three outstandingly gifted players are at the peak of their collective form, pouncing on the third movement Furioso with gleeful abandon and stunning virtuosity (a special word of praise here for cellist Katherine Sharman’s staggering agility). There is lovely sound, too, from Siva Oke and Ben Connellan.'

 

Julian Haylock, International Record Review,

March 2008 (Handel Violin Sonatas)

 

 

 

'Adrian Butterfield plays beautifully throughout and is lent wonderful support by Katherine Sharman and Laurence Cummings. This should be required listening for anyone playing these works.'

 

Brian Clark, Early Music Review,

February 2008 (Handel Violin Sonatas)

 

 

 

'Delivered with exuberant panache by Adrian Butterfield, these [startling bursts of passagework] brought well-deserved cheers from the capacity audience.” “Butterfield and his team responded with a performance that had the crowd shouting for more.'

 

Birmingham Post,

February 2008

 

 

 

'The London Handel Players shine in immaculately prepared, finely balanced and lyrical performances.'

 

David Vickers, Early Music Today,

August/September 2006 (Handel Trio Sonatas Op.5)

 

 

 

'I find all the performances well-nigh perfect...the music is absolutely gorgeous.'

 

Piers Burton-Page, International Record Review,

2006 (Handel Trio Sonatas Op.5)

 

 

 

'Their consummate musicianship is consistently delightful: sparkling violin-playing (often with two players in perfect unison) and superb continuo contributions are just as impressive as Brown’s poetic solos.'

 

David Vickers, Gramophone Magazine,

September 2006 (“Handel at Home”)

 

 

 

'This extremely attractive release is sure to find a wide audience; it's as much fun as it is beautiful.'

 

Robert Levett, International Record Review,

2006 (“Handel at Home”)

 

 

 

'Adrian Butterfield was the outstanding soloist in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, his exquisite sense of musical line and phrasing matched by a lovely singing tone quality achieved through the minimal use of a gentle vibrato – reflecting contemporary records of the expressive singing quality of the original soloist, Franz Clement.'

 

Andrew Benson-Wilson,

Early Music Review, 2006

 

 

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Adrian Butterfield

VIOLINIST | DIRECTOR | CONDUCTOR

© Adrian Butterfield  2016

Adrian Butterfield

VIOLINIST | DIRECTOR | CONDUCTOR

© Adrian Butterfield  2016