Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Bacewicz,Bartok,Bjørklund,Britten
WORKS: Works for strings by Britten, Bacewicz, Bjørklund & Bartók
PERFORMER: Trondheim Soloists


Hold on to your hats. Even if you are well-acquainted with high quality surround sound recordings, this will come as a revelation. The first thing to hit you is the sensational feeling of being enveloped by the music, placed right in the centre of the action, but not claustrophobically so.

It is a visceral experience, and it is tempting to wax lyrical about recording matters for the audiophiles. However, that would miss the bigger picture of a wonderful programme thrillingly played by the Trondheim Soloists.

Rarely has there been such drive to the ‘Boisterous Bourrée’ and ‘Frolicsome Finale’ of Britten’s Simple Symphony, yet there is no lack of emotion in the ‘Sentimental Saraband’. Similarly, the Bartók Divertimento is incisive yet charming with a suitable whiff of mystery in the Molto Adagio.

Grazyna Bacewicz’s Concerto for String Orchestra from 1948 is a searching work, and the central Andante is especially haunting.Though not as distinctive, Terje Bjørklund’s semi-minimalist Carmina is also a welcome inclusion, and, as elsewhere, the Trondheim Soloists are committed advocates, their energy captured, not produced, by the recording.


Nonetheless, if you remain to be convinced about surround sound, try remaining impervious to this exceptionally musical disc. Christopher Dingle