Joshua Ellicott, Matthew Brook & Fflur Wyn impress critics in the Dunedin Consort's Samson disc

18 November 2019

In the well-received recent release by the Dunedin Consort, Joshua Ellicott sings the title role in Handel's Samson, alongside Matthew Brook (Manoah) and Fflur Wyn (Philistine Woman, Virgin). This recording of the dramatic oratorio has received glorious reviews:


“In this new recording, tenor Joshua Ellicott sings that scene with a probing inwardness. Handel’s setting is treated less as an operatic portrayal, more the intimate heart of an evolving religious drama.”
Richard Fairman, Financial Times****

“In the title role, tenor Joshua Ellicott…drew me more deeply into Samson’s plight: in his spiritual anguish (‘Total eclipse’ is moving in its quiet inwardness and lack of rhetoric), in the graphic encounters with Dalila and the Philistine heavy Harapha, and in his serene, cathartic ‘Thus when the sun’, where Butt’s spacious tempo again pays dividends. ...I'm plumping for Samson: for its superb solo team, led by Joshua Ellicott”

As Samson’s father Manoah, Matthew Brook field a ripe yet agile bass. His Chastened tenderness in ‘How willing my paternal love’ is profoundly moving.”

“Soprano Fflur Wyn and tenor Hugo Hymas, singing with attractive youthful tone, do well in supporting roles.”
Richard Wigmore, Gramophone

“As Samson himself, tenor Joshua Ellicott navigates that tight-rope between oratorio and opera really well.”
Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review

“Joshua Ellicott’s Samson is an appealingly sympathetic character, delivering an eloquent “Total eclipse” in Act 1”
Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk

“Here we have Joshua Ellicott, a lyric tenor known for his Evangelist in Bach's passions as well as later 19th century repertoire. Here he brings a real sense of intimacy to the role… We are in Samson's head, as much as we are anywhere and Ellicott's reading really brings this over. His account of 'Total Eclipse' starts in the most intimate, moving manner, and then grows into something approaching operatic. Ellicott's voice is a lyric one, with the remarkable staying power to cope with the long role… expressively characterful and with an ability to bring a remarkable sense of focussed power to the vocal line when needed.”

“The intention of this style of oratorio was a moral one, there was a story to tell, a point to make and words are essential. But Brook seems to have the gift in spades, and his way of combining text and music is masterly and makes even his recitatives powerfully expressive tools. Yet he can also bring a virile swagger to the music when needed as well!”
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill

“Joshua Ellicott … light and eloquent”
Nicholas Kenyon, The Guardian

“Fflur Wyn and Mary Bevan superb in the smaller soprano roles”
Keith Bruce, The Herald

You can read more about the disc here.

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