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Thomas Gould : header

© Laura Bodo
ALBUMS

Live in Riga (Edition Classics, 2015)
Thomas Gould (violin and director), Sinfonietta Riga

Beethoven: Violin Concerto
Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending


"… simply a beautiful performance… an absolute winner of a disc."
The Telegraph, Geoffrey Norris, 18 April 2015 *****  READ FULL REVIEW

"… poetic and elegant in Beethoven and The Lark Ascending."
The Observer, Fiona Maddocks, 26 April 2015 ****  READ FULL REVIEW

"(Gould) plays the Beethoven concerto with a pure, shining, even spiritual lyricism… The Lark Ascending makes a suitably soaring bonus."
Financial Times, Richard Fairman, 2 May 2015 ****  READ FULL REVIEW

"Gould has taken an unforced, unhurried and completely non-rhetorical view of the piece. In his hands the concerto is spacious and supple. It retains its nobility, meat and muscle, but is shaped by Gould’s subtle and seductively expressive lyricism; and for him the concerto sings. There’s also a marvellous discretion to the Riga Sinfonietta’s playing. The resultant intimacy in the performance is a wonder. The Lark Ascending is lovely coupler on this album gem."
Herald Scotland, Michael Tumelty, 10 May 2015  READ FULL REVIEW

"Yet another recording of the Beethoven? It is among the most beautiful I have ever heard. Under Gould’s direction of the Riga musicians, the march of the music is both grand and delicate, and his playing is a marvel. A rapt Lark Ascending completes an exceptional disc."
Sunday Times, David Cairns, 13 May 2015  READ FULL REVIEW

"...probably the most beautiful classical live recording of this summer."
Happinez Magazine, 20 May 2015  READ FULL REVIEW

"…a delectably articulate and pliant account of the Beethoven Violin Concerto …There’s a security, familiarity and silky warmth about Gould’s tasteful contribution … The slow movement receives beautifully poised advocacy, eschewing any suggestion of syrupy affectation or expressive mannerism …I also derived heaps of pleasure from this team’s profoundly sensitive rendering of The Lark Ascending … Gould soars aloft with effortless grace, tenderness and fragrant poetry, and the performance as a whole serves up a most moving distillation of transportive ecstasy, loss and heartache … an enthusiastic thumbs-up."
Gramophone, Andrew Achenbach, July 2015  READ FULL REVIEW

"Throughout, Gould’s playing is so lucid and polished that you wouldn’t believe this was a live recording."
The Strad, Edward Bhesania, August 2015  READ FULL REVIEW


 

Goldberg Variations (Harmonia Mundi, 2015)
Thomas Gould (violin and director), Britten Sinfonia

J.S.Bach, arr. Sitkovetsky: The Goldberg Variations

"Informed by their constant exploratory zeal in old and new terrain alike, the Britten Sinfonia shift the balance emphatically towards uncovering the breathtaking inventiveness of Bach...Thomas Gould's capacity for beguiling intimacy...timbral suppleness, fizzing roulades and tight-knit dialogue predominate...Unmissable is the desolation of the Adagio (Var 25), a set piece of especially astonishing refinement whose impact not even the ruddy Quodlibet denouement can diminish, especially after Thomas Gould’s thoroughly lived-in final Aria. Stellar Bach-playing."
Gramophone, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood  READ FULL REVIEW
GRAMOPHONE EDITOR’S CHOICE, April 2015

"...crisp, clear and buoyant with ornamentation deftly executed and rhythms kept on their toes… this delightful recording, captivating as much in the polish of the playing as in the discreet but lively musical characterisation."
The Telegraph, Geoffrey Norris, 11 April 2015 *****  READ FULL REVIEW

"The Britten Sinfonia navigates the transcription with considerable panache…A stylish performance."
BBC Music Magazine, Anna Picard, April 2015
Performance: **** Recording: ***** 
READ FULL REVIEW

"Britten Sinfonia's performance presents a remarkable balance between poise and propulsion, with Variation 23 offering a dazzling display of director Thomas Gould's virtuosic bowing."
The Independent, Andy Gill, 28 February 2015 *****  READ FULL REVIEW

"It is hard to imagine anyone not enjoying this disc, or even listening to it once without wanting to put it straight back on again."
Sinfini Music, Kimon Daltas, 14 April 2015 *****  READ FULL REVIEW

"Scrupulously faithful to the sublime spirit and often scampering notes of the original, it opens up to the counterpoints within the music, as well as allowing the greater variation of colour and dynamics possible on strings. Led by Thomas Gould the Britten Sinfonia play with sinuous beauty and virtuosic clarity, with no clattering continuo instrument clogging the textures."
The Times, Richard Morrison, 21 March 2015 ****  READ FULL REVIEW

"Gould and the Sinfonia give us the detailed reading and heartfelt brio that is exhilaratingly true to the arrangement in the best ways. The tempos seem totally right for each variation and the three-dimensional qualities of the string sonance come at you stunningly in this beautiful sounding recording. An arrangement like this demands a very sensitive collective instrument to succeed fully. Gould and the Sinfonia give us that. They come through with stirring realizations that put your ears in overdrive throughout. I cannot imagine a better performance and the string arrangement is wonderfully definitive. This is music that puts you in a super-human world and keeps you there throughout the duration. Strongly recommended!"
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, 11 March 2015
READ FULL REVIEW

"The Britten Sinfonia is on top form under Thomas Gould’s direction. These arrangements as played by this fine ensemble only serve to illuminate Bach’s genius. I suppose for many this will fail on two counts, firstly modern instruments and secondly because it is a modern arrangement. This would be an enormous a pity as there is some glorious Bach here. The recording from All Hallows’ Church, Gospel Oak, London, England is first class and there are excellent booklet notes. In all, this is a real winner."
The Classical Reviewer, 19 March 2015  READ FULL REVIEW

"… everything is roses… wholly satisfying."
Audiophile Audition, Mel Martin, 13 April 2015 ****  READ FULL REVIEW

 

 


Bach to Parker (Champs Hill Records, 2014)


"Champs Hill has proved itself reliable in backing winners among young musicians with particular potential for successful careers: all the new music on this disc showcases Gould's versatility at the same time as allowing his unfussy, unegotistical playing of the new music to burgeon. Long may that virtuous circle continue in his radiant playing."
Gramophone, Caroline Gill  READ FULL REVIEW

"The young British violinist Thomas Gould seems intent on becoming the Nigel Kennedy of his generation…Scythingly scintillating playing from a young virtuoso with a magpie mind."
The Times, Richard Morrison ****  READ FULL REVIEW

"Thomas Gould’s commitment to composers of his generation is impressive… an absorbing performance of the Bach Chaconne… Donna Lee has an insouciant zest, and releases real suppleness in Gould’s playing."
BBC Music Magazine, Helen Wallace, April 2015 Performance: **** Recording: ****  READ FULL REVIEW

"Gould’s technical prowess and musical intelligence are established right from the start with a warm, expansive performance of the great Chaconne...Gould’s tone is sumptuous throughout, regardless of the style he is required to play; hardly surprising, given that he plays a 1782 J.B. Guadagnini violin. The whole CD is a fascinating look at the contemporary music scene in England, and at the way that many young virtuoso musicians view their role and function in a changing musical world."
The Whole Note, Terry Robbins, 2 February 2015  READ FULL REVIEW

"…It’s good to hear works closely associated with Gould… Good also to hear his unhurried, expressive reading of the Chaconne… one hears fluidity, fluency… This beautifully recorded and well-annotated disc is unusual and wide-ranging. Thomas Gould seems to have the knack of making valuable and engaging discs."
MusicWeb International, Jonathan Woolf  READ FULL REVIEW

 


Triplicity (Pavillon Records, 2014)
Jim Rattigan, Thomas Gould, Liam Noble


"This is a superbly balanced trio and each member deserves credit for a superb album of “chamber jazz” that retains the listener's attention throughout...Gould is a revelation throughout."
Ian Mann, thejazzmann.com ****  READ FULL REVIEW

"Delicious...The combination of instruments may seem strange at first, but give it a chance and it grows on you."
Dave Gelly, The Guardian ***  READ FULL REVIEW

"Affectionate and warm...the album has wide appeal."
marlbank.net ***  READ FULL REVIEW

"It's quite wonderful..."
Lance-bebopspokenhere  READ FULL REVIEW

 


Mendelssohn: Complete Works for String Quartet (Champs Hill Records, 2014)
Benyounes Quartet, Idomeneo Quartet, Sacconi Quartet, Navarra Quartet, Castalian Quartet, Piatti Quartet, Badke Quartet, Artea Quartet, Wu Quartet, Cavaleri Quartet, Sophie Bevan (soprano), Julian Milford (piano)

"... a true delight to me to find ten groups of young string players who take the composer's notes seriously..."
"... David and Mary Bowerman, the founders of Champs Hill Records, deserve our gratitude for setting up a format that allows these quartets, showing Mendelssohn at his best, to reveal their multifarious qualities: energy, passion, tenderness, wit and civilised authority..."
"Overall, I can only applaud the musicianship of these excellently recorded performances which give us Mendelssohn in his infinite variety."
BBC Music Magazine, Roger Nichols ***** / *****  READ FULL REVIEW
Chamber Disc of the Month, September 2014

"After hearing this magnificent recording, you'll be assured of the future of string quartets..."
"... intense musical discourse, lyricism, and swashbuckling virtuosity..."
Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik  READ FULL REVIEW
Winner of the Award for Best Chamber Music Disc by The German Record Critics' Association

"...this vastly enjoyable set...an accomplished survey."
" [The Badke's] performance of the Sixth Quartet and the Artea's of the Four Pieces are among the most insightful and moving on the disc..."
Gramophone, Caroline Gill  READ FULL REVIEW

 


Gwilym Simcock: Instrumation (ACT, 2014)
Gwilym Simcock (piano), City of London Sinfonia conducted by Clark Rundell, Yuri Goloubev (double bass), Martin France (drums), John Parricelli (guitar), Thomas Gould (violin), Will Schofield (cello)

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"Simcock’s score expertly expands his florid and rhythmic piano style to the larger canvas without straying too far from diatonic principles. Each piece is packed with detail, with “Clunky” a surging slow-burning highlight. Five additional pieces, grouped together as “Simple Tales” and sensitively scored for two strings, alternate between hearts-on-sleeve emotion and up-scale bucolic dance."
Financial Times, Mike Hobart ****  READ FULL REVIEW

"The suite Move! (for jazz quartet and chamber orchestra) sounds more like jazz-inflected classical music. But if its tight structure, melodic latticework and elegantly harmonised orchestration might appear to evict jazz, the chords and brass parts sometimes suggest Kenny Wheeler, while Simcock's solo-piano interludes are contrastingly loose and abstract, and the stridently marching Industrial, with its clamouring horns and funky-Jarrett piano break, bustles with spontaneous life."
The Guardian, John Fordham ****  READ FULL REVIEW

"A gorgeous album."
The Jazz Breakfast, Peter Bacon  READ FULL REVIEW

"‘Simple Tales’ manages to harness Simcock’s Englishness in the Iain Ballamy balladic quasi folk-like sense allowing Thomas Gould’s pastoral violin part on ‘Overture’ for instance and a certain melancholia again courtesy of Gould on ‘Long Road’ (probably the most memorable melody on the album emerging after a beautiful piano introduction). The fascinating ‘Mr Bricolage’, inspired improbably by a French builder-merchant firm, a tune that resolves itself a little like Chick Corea’s ‘What Game Shall We Play Today’, with a few shouts and odd excursions thrown in for good measure, is a strong highlight."
Marlbank ***1/2  READ FULL REVIEW

"Simcock’s writing for quintet feels natural, his signature jazz piano style in Overture elaborated upon by the violin of Thomas Gould and cello of Will Schofield (the original trio concept was reworked to include bass and drums, which now provide its gentle impetus). The Theme is more introspective – lush chords plus Yuri Goloubev’s typically sensitive bass soloing; and Mr Bricolage dances both vibrantly and mischievously, the players revelling in its folksy freedom, and Martin France providing the flamboyant percussive license to ‘go for it’. The several minutes of Long Road meander in and out of ‘classical’ and ‘jazz’ piano trio formats (at times, perhaps a strange marriage) until, finally – this time in dedication to Simcock’s mother and her love of Celtic folk music – Dance! (for Ann) skips and pirouettes brightly (plucked strings reminiscent of Ravel or Britten, and Thomas Gould’s showy fiddle à la Mussorgsky), the five-piece seeming at its most balanced here – a joyous conclusion."
Adrian S. Pallant  READ FULL REVIEW

"The Celtic folk ‘Dance’ utilises the violin of Thomas Gould and has you feeling like your changing partners in a square dance with its alternating changes and danceable melody...Thoroughly recommended."
Jazz and Beyond, Peter Wockner *****  READ FULL REVIEW

 


Nico Muhly: Seeing is Believing (Decca Classics, 2011)
Thomas Gould, Aurora Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Collon


"…graced by the exquisite solo playing of Thomas Gould on electric six-string violin."
The Observer, Fiona Maddocks

"…the violinist Thomas Gould soaring in ecstatic innocence."
The Independent, Anna Picard

"…the six-string electric violin stunningly played by Thomas Gould."
BBC Music Magazine, Howard Goldstein

"Thomas Gould…ferrets out some amazing sounds, from a dirty bass buzz to a celestial shimmer."
The Times, Geoff Brown

"…the superb playing skills of Thomas Gould, who made the instrument sing like a nightingale and growl like a bear."
The Times, Richard Morrison

"…played with brilliance by Thomas Gould."
BBC Music, Charlotte Gardner

"Thomas Gould handles his six-string electric violin with panache."
The Telegraph, Ivan Hewett

 


Christopher Ball: Celtic Twilight (Omnibus Classics, 2010)
Thomas Gould, Emerald Concert Orchestra conducted by Christopher Ball

"I would gladly go hear the English violinist Thomas Gould play almost anything anywhere...Rarely have I heard a violinist of Gould's generation (he was born in 1983) with the range of tasteful expression, the enormous color palette, and the ability to say something with every note. His sound has a glow such as one experiences in the soft light of a summer evening."
Fanfare Magazine, Robert Markow

"Thomas Gould makes a ravishing sound on a 1754 Gagliano, sustaining the concerto's melodic lines with a noble assurance and heart-warming intensity that compels throughout."
The Strad, Julian Haylock

 

Thomas Gould : header