Retorica CD chosen as Gramophone Choice, April 2013,
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Bach and other composers show how much can be done with a solo violin, so it is no surprise that the violin duo, seemingly a convenience of the instrumental lesson, can yield the riches vividly displayed by Retorica. EJ Moeran's Sonata is a substantial essay, pastorally flavoured, with a dazzling central presto. John McCabe's Spielend, like David Matthews's Eight Duos, Op 79, were specially commissioned and come over strongly. There's a rare, buoyant 18th-century Sonata by William Croft, but best of all is the Theme and Variations (1937), by Alan Rawsthorne,a hidden-away but patent little masterpiece.

The Sunday Times, 2012


More info at NMC          Composition Today - Review
Bach and other composers show how much can be done with a solo violin, so it is no surprise that the violin duo, seemingly a convenience of the instrumental lesson, can yield the riches vividly displayed by Retorica. EJ Moeran's Sonata is a substantial essay, pastorally flavoured, with a dazzling central presto. John McCabe's Spielend, like David Matthews's Eight Duos, Op 79, were specially commissioned and come over strongly. There's a rare, buoyant 18th-century Sonata by William Croft, but best of all is the Theme and Variations (1937), by Alan Rawsthorne,a hidden-away but patent little masterpiece.

The Sunday Times, 2012


More info at NMC          Composition Today - Review
Les martinets noirs is the French name for swifts. McCabe describes them as “acrobatic Pucks of the air,” adding that one of his annual delights in summer is to watch them wheeling about in the stratosphere, and then swooping down around trees and chimney pots. The swifts’ screaming call, like children at a fairground, seems to suggest sheer joy in movement, and it is a sad moment when summer begins to wane and one looks into the sky for the swifts only to find they are there no more. Violin duo Retorica (Harriet Mackenzie and Philippa Mo) excel as the acrobatic swifts.

More info at Dutton More at Presto Classical