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PRESSREVIEWS

Paul Janssen

Klassieke Zaken • Review of the CD "Not a Single Road"

“The five members of this dynamic quintet are pioneers of new performance techniques and new sounds." 

 

"With these four very recent works we are taken into an entirely new recorder landscape... This all shows that Seldom Sene is making an original mark on recorder history”

Margaretha Coornstra

"Van Veldhoven distinguishes herself not only through the rich, warm and colourful timbres of her voice, but also through her delicate and exquisite interpretation.

 

The five members of Seldom Sene hold true to their name: through their rich choice of instruments they produce a beauty seldom heard, so much so that the usual stereotype associated with recorders is instantly forgotten."

Martin Hoffmeister

MDR.de (26 September 2017) • Review of the album "J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations"

"With passionate command, skilful precision, nuanced dynamics and their outstanding potential for colouring, the ensemble succeeds in creating a surprising spectrum of enchanting, unheard-of sounds from Bach's Variations without compromising the "idea" of the work."

Read the complete review (in German) here

Dr. Hans Würdinger

Passauer Neue Presse (August 2016) • Review of the concert "Baroque en concert" • Vornbach 15/08/2016

"Musical passion, dynamic virtuosity, life-affirming creativity in the arrangements - this is how Baroque music can cross the boundaries of space and time."​

 

"This performance was replete with radiant and passionate interpretations which, played in the brilliant acoustic of the baroque Vornbacher church, moved the many listener’s hearts as well as minds."

Johan van Veen

MusicWeb International (July 2016) • Review of the CD "El aire se serena"

"This disc is a model of creative and thoughtful programming. It was a good idea to focus on Spanish music: a large part of this repertoire is little-known and it is certainly seldom played by recorder consorts."

"The playing is of the highest order: immaculate intonation and perfect ensemble are two of the main requirements for a good performance of consort music. The fact that a large part of the programme is of vocal origin comes off well: one of the features of these performances is the vocalised style of playing, with the delicate but clearly audible dynamic shading which is a feature of renaissance vocal music. In their phrasing and articulation the players also observe the vocal origin of the music."

Read the complete review here.

Mario Guada

Codalario (May 2016) • Review of the CD "El aire se serena"

"Ensembles like Seldom Sene prove that the recorder is an incredibly noble instrument, able to move the listener and communicate emotions at an extraordinary level."

"Heirs of the great recorder ensembles like Sour Cream or the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet - which tells a lot - the quintet stuns us again with their expression, their elegant and subtle sound and their immense power to surprise the listener and evoke a whole world of sensations."

Read the complete review (in Spanish) here.

S.M.W. Bezemer

Reformatorisch Dagblad (3 March 2016) • Review of the CD "El aire se serena"

"When I was listening to this record, someone asked: what kind of organ is this? According to the legendary Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet this was the goal of any recorder consort: to sound like a little organ. However, Seldom Sene (...) takes this ideal even further: a recorder is more than an organ pipe, human breath provides extra depth."

"The perfect and expressive ensemble playing leads to a listening experience out of the ordinary.

The structure of the programme also deserves a compliment: the first half is rather serious in character, later there is more variation and the pieces become shorter but also more spectacular."

Marcel Bijlo

Klassieke Zaken (January 2016) • Review of the cd "El aire se serena"

“In September 2014, the Dutch recorder quintet Seldom Sene won the Van Wassenaer Competition for Early Music Ensembles with an overwhelmingly positive response from both the jury and audience. Since then, the five recorder players have been on a path to success and now they have brought out a beautiful second CD recording."

"Whether it is a deep motet or a virtuosic dance, Seldom Sene performs all music with the concentration and flair that we already heard on their first album. El aire se serena features the complete recorder family ranging from the sopranino to the sub-contrabass and there is an abundance of variation in repertoire as well as instrumental combinations. Seldom Sene truly is one of the most delightful and original Early Music ensembles from the Netherlands."

Koen Dieltiens

Blokfluitist (January 2016) • Review of the CD "El aire se serena"

"Gorgeous buzzing sounds of which you cannot get enough, resulting in truly enchanting and perfectly balanced chords."

Johan van Veen

Musica Dei Donum (February 2016) • Concert review

"It was a concert to savour: rare instruments, uncommon repertoire and performances which were technically accomplished and musically compelling."

Read the complete review here.

Peter Sühring

Concerto (November 2015) • review of the "Berliner Tage für Alte Musik"

"Seldom heard or seldom arranged music was performed by the recorder quintet Seldom Sene, who are based in Amsterdam. From religious settings of consort music to arrangements of 20th century choral preludes, they presented a finely tuned, well balanced, and beautifully worked sound-panorama, creating geometrically balanced sound-mosaics."

Tom Bickley

American Recorder (Summer 2015) • Review of the CD "Taracea"

"Their playing stands out for beauty of tone and sense of ensemble (...). They wisely place Frans Geysen’s Omtrent A-B-C, an appealing minimalist work, following the driving rhythms of Bach, and Fulvio Caldini’s gentle, chordal Die Sonne following Robert Johnson’s jovial A Knell. The dramatic climax of the disc surely is Aspasia Nasopoulou’s Lelia doura."

Fabrice Fitch

Gramophone (January 2015)

"The range of styles in this enterprising recital is only the most striking of several distinctive features. The programme is carefully chosen, the passage between styles cleverly judged on the whole, the contemporary works included here being especially well integrated."

 

"The recorder consort’s wonderful transparency makes it an effective vehicle for polyphony: Cabezón’s setting of Susanne un jour and the Holborne Pavan and Almain are a delight. Boismortier’s Concerto Op 15 No 2 is one of the discoveries of the disc, and Frenzel’s brooding setting of Aus tiefer Not shows off the consort’s lower instruments to great effect."

Krijn Koetsveld

Head of the jury, International Van Wassenaer Concours (September 2014)

"We all agreed upon the winning ensemble: they were clearly the most impressive, using a variety of subtle nuances in their playing. Seldom Sene were well prepared and incredibly concentrated during their performance."

Rob Overman

Head of the press jury, International Van Wassenaer Concours (September 2014)

"Their authenticity, the fun they had on stage and impressive stage presentation were crucial in our decision. They dared to take risks and were also able to make good use of the performance space"

Frits van der Waa

De Volkskrant (September 2014) • Review of the CD "Taracea"

"The heavenly sounding recorder choir at the beginning of the CD (Susana, Cabezón), is already of great class. Even more beautiful is Aus tiefer Not by Hermann Robert Frenzel, wherein the lower voices seem to merge into a mighty organ itself. There are also spirited arrangements of Bach, and three contemporary works, which can be quite shocking to the ears of unsuspecting listeners. A piece full of surprises is Seldom Sene by Christopher Tye, after which the ensemble is named: a work of two minutes, which begins quite commonly enough, but just before the end takes an unexpected turn. Very rarely heard indeed."

Paul Jansen

Klassieke Zaken (September 2014) • Review of the CD "Taracea"

"Seldom Sene smoothly combines renaissance works, baroque 'fireworks' from Bach to Boismortier, and contemporary repertoire from the likes of Frans Geysen and Fulvio Caldini, forming a beautifully sounding 'Mosaic'. Never a dull moment throughout, this is an ensemble to watch."

Jan de Kruijff

Muzikalifeiten (August 2014) • Review of the CD "Taracea"

"These five musicians give an admirable performance throughout the entire CD, both technically and expressively. The melodic lines are clear, the Intonation pure, and one can hear the dedication and motivation involved.

 

A perfectly formed, inspirational 'lesson' for budding recorder players (...) This oboe-playing reviewer was totally raptured by the performance, and admiringly listened to the complete CD a few times in a row."

Eberhard Iro

Landshuter Zeitung, Germany (February 2014)

“The musicians took us on a journey through 500 years of music history and displayed an impressively colourful and broad variety of seldom heard music.”

Early Music Review

York Early Music Young Artists Competition (2013)

“Seldom Sene perceptively exploited a range of contrasting textures, and was the only ensemble of the day whose memorisation of the dots enabled unbridled spontaneity.”

Alfons Sagmeister

Passauer Neue Presse (2012)

"Splendidly, with full dedication and with efortless technical command, the five musicians took the audience of the Portenkirche with them to the Baroque period with the beautiful concerto in A minor by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier. Seldom Sene​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ delivered a brilliant interpretation on recorders of  vocal works by Vásquez, Morales and Victoria. The emotions of the text ranged from deep earnest to beaming joy, and were transmitted perfectly to the audience."

Gustavo Beytelmann

International Chamber Music Competition Illzach (2011)

"The jury was unanimous, the Prix d'Interpretation of the International Chamber Music Competition 2011in Illzach goes to Seldom Sene for their extraordinary and sublime interpretation of contemporary music. They play with power, precision and profound expression. In addition, their performance of historical repertoire was extremely well balanced and beautiful.”

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Amsterdam Concertgebouw, September 2014

Kruiskerk Amstelveen, February 2014

Photo: Claudia Hansen, 2011

Kruiskerk Amstelveen, February 2014

Van Wassenaer Competition, September 2014

Photo: Yat Ho Tsang, August 2015

Händel-Haus Halle, March 2016