Road Trip Reviews

17th February 2015

Following the release of Aurora’s debut album on Warner Classics, here’s a round-up of press reviews.

BBC Music Magazine – Orchestral Choice

Star rating: *****

“Nicholas Collon’s young Aurora Orchestra has been creating a buzz on the London musical scene with its brilliant performances and its innovative programming. This America-themed disc, very well recorded, will enhance its reputation. John Adams’s Chamber Symphony… is taken at a cracking pace… making it an exhilarating white-knuckle ride. Aaron Copland’s ballet suite Appalachian Spring… is given a lovely performance, fresh in colouring and crisp in attack. And ‘The Housatonic at Stockbridge’… is wonderfully atmospheric in its evocation of a hymn heard through the mists over a river.” Anthony Burton

The Telegraph

Star rating: ****

“It says much for the orchestra’s imagination and that of its conductor, Nicholas Collon, that the disc has the true feel and immediacy of a live concert with an arresting variety of styles cohesively drawn into a glowingly organic whole… With such astute planning and with playing of the first order, this CD amounts to much more than the sum of its parts.” Geoffrey Norris

Read the full review here.

The Guardian

Star rating: ****

“Their performance of Adams’s Chamber Symphony has real rhythmic snap, pungency in the instrumental textures, and just the right edge of aggression; the last of Ives’s Three Places in New England, The Housatonic at Stockbridge, becomes a wonderfully subtle study in drifting textures with the ghostly presence of a hymn tune threading through it. Best of all is Copland’s Appalachian Spring, which the Aurora performs in the original (and to my mind, always the most effective) scoring for 13 instruments, managing to conjure up its perfect marriage of folksy naivety and art-music sophistication, which can easily get lost in the versions for full orchestra.” Andrew Clements

Read the full review here.

Financial Times

Star rating: ****

“Like Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation, the youthful Aurora Orchestra is on the road… The performances, directed by Nicholas Collon, are crisp and bright, rising to virtuoso level in John Adams’s scintillating ‘Chamber Symphony’.” Richard Fairman

The Independent

Star rating: ****

“On Road Trip, Aurora Orchestra take an inspired American journey linking together Ives, Copland and Adams with Nico Muhly’s imaginative arrangements of traditional folk airs, sung by Sam Amidon and Dawn Landes. As indicated by the section title “Mongrel Airs”, John Adams’ “Chamber Symphony” has a miscegenate vivacity that speaks loudly of American integration. It’s a relief to hear a British ensemble attaching it with such exuberant enthusiasm, before turning their attention to the dark, dreamy meanderings of Ives’ “The Housatonic at Stockbridge” and the bucolic pioneer charm of Copland’s “Appalachian Spring”. Muhly’s arrangements, meanwhile, bring added depth to the folk songs climaxing in Amidon’s delivery of Paul Simon’s “Hearts and Bones”.” Andy Gill

Gramophone Magazine

“All the orchestral performances are sharp, lively and (in the case of the Adams) impressively funky.”

Sinfini Music – The Big Listen

Star rating: ****

“Aurora may be London-based but under co-founder Nicholas Collon, it sounds thoroughly at home in these transatlantic landscapes.”

Read the full review here.

Road Trip is available to purchase on CD from Amazon or as a digital download, including two bonus tracks, from iTunes.