Limelight Young Critics Competition

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Review 11

★★★★

Instead of “not doing anything at all”, and pondering about how “everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days”, why not “get down on Friday” with the New Sydney Wind Quintet. Formed in 2004 by five Australian wind players, the group is regarded as this country’s leading wind quintet. Aside from appearing in broadcasts, they have also held major positions in European and American symphonies, developing an impressive and recognised reputation over their seven years together.

Their second album Quintopia features a mixture of pieces from Ravel and Percy Grainger, Lyle Chan and Carl Nielsen... No remixes and duets with artists such as Rebecca Black or Lady Gaga. This compilation fuels imagination, feeling and relaxation, evoking moods of peace and calmness. Beginning with mellow oboe and flute solos stretching along the first few tracks, we are transported to a place free from anxiety, letting the mind wander with no sense of time, as if striding along a lake or falling asleep on the grass in a field.

We then turn to Grainger’s folk tunes, bringing out a reminiscence of the Scottish Highlands. A hint of energetic and light jazz is recognised in the performance of Chan’s works, which seem to be composed as homage to Carl Stalling, the composer of Looney Toons, further adding to the humorous intention. A sonata and theme and variations conclude the CD on a positive-sounding harmonic progression. Like tasting wine, the sounds of Quintopia become more enticing the further one pursues its tracks.

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