"Joby Talot’s Alice ballet score stands in the line of Prokofiev’s Cinderella: Tuneful, strongly characterised, with glittering orchestral colouring. Fool’s Paradise is more minimalist and expressive." *****
Anthony Burton - BBC Music magazine (Brief Notes section) - October 2013
"... Fool’s Paradise is really a very impressive score and alone makes this disc most worthwhile..."
Paul Corfield Godfrey - MusicWeb-International.com - 12 June 2013
"...This is music which, when played as sympathetically as it is here, stands up well on its own, even without the delights of the Opus Arte DVD."
Ivan March - Gramophone magazine - July 2013
"...Talbot’s mixed musical background continues to serve him well with these inviting, atmospheric compositions."
Roger Thomas - International Record Review - April 2013
"Joby Talbot’s suite from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Fool’s Paradise brims with energy, wit and colour. Performed by the Royal Philharmonic, the aural setting for the world down the rabbit-hole is quite magical. Highly recommended."
Gavin Engelbrecht - Northern Echo - March 2013
"This first CD release of composer Joby Talbot’s collaborations with choreographer Christopher Wheeldon includes the scores Fool’s Paradise (2007); and their subsequent piece, the Carroll-inspired Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2011). The scores are performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Christopher Austin, a frequent collaborator of the composer. Following earlier releases on Signum (earlier issues include Path of Miracles and Tide Harmonic), this is music of great liveliness and colour, but perhaps lacking that final soupçon of individuality. Nevertheless, it’s hard to imagine in the scores being given greater advocacy than they receive here."
Barry Forshaw - Classical CD Choice - March 2013
"Opening with, in the composer Joby Talbot’s words, “a strange, bitonal tick-tock”, this suite drawn from the score to the Royal Ballet’s first full-length ballet for 20 years is a blast. This is real music – witty, unpretentious and clever, and the extracts chosen on this disc never outstay their welcome. Themes associated with specific characters are invariably memorable and intelligently developed. The suite’s opening is entrancing – a hazy dreamscape, overlaid with glittering percussion. Everything is beautifully judged – the Cheshire Cat’s music is strangely undefinable and teeters on the edge of invisibility, the purring woodwinds giving the game away. The Mad Hatter’s tea party’s muted trumpets suggest a music-hall turn. The ballet’s apotheosis briefly implies that we’re going to get something grandiose along the lines of Daphnis and Chloe, before Talbot wraps things up sweetly and calmly. The coupling, Fool’s Paradise was first performed in 2007. Scored for strings and piano, it’s a more restrained affair, though no less attractive. Derived from a piano trio written to accompany a silent film about a ballerina in peril, Talbot’s music is melancholy and affecting – the concertante piano part beautifully delivered by the composer. Both scores are given inspired performances – conductor Christopher Austin helped Talbot finish the orchestrations for Alice and his Royal Philharmonic Orchestra sound as if they’re having a ball. All given spectacular sonics, in a recording made in London’s Henry Wood Hall."
Graham Rickson - The Arts Desk - January 2013
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