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Joel Frederiksen, Artistic Director
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CD Reviews:

Reviews of "The Elfin Knight"

From a new listener

Email received December 14, 2011, from an excited new listener:

Dear Ensemble Phoenix,
I just came to dicovere your **incredibly beautiful** CD 'The Elfin
Knight' and, as a barokque cellist, I would like to thank you for by listen to this disc richt now, I more than ever can experience (my) passion and love for this wonderfull repertoire.. Just amazing sound, spirit, mood.. Prachtig!!
Hope to see and hear you once live,
Best regards,
(Name withheld) from Brugge, Belgium

19. 12. 2011

Totally Addicting!

The result, with the gorgeous instrumental accompaniment, is astonishingly powerful. As the program is also put together with an ingenious ear and curiosity...it is completely irresistible.

EARLY MUSIC NEWS, Laurence Wittes
1. 12. 2007
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Le Monde de la Musique


1. 11. 2007
See article as PDF file (187kB)

His diction is impeccable

Throughout this superb disc it's apparent that, to bass Joel Frederiksen, the instrument is as much an extension of the voice as the music is of the word...Frederiksen, whose rich, clear bass seems capable of an almost infinite degree of tonal shading. His diction is impeccable, as is his taste, combining as he does a period approach with a looser, more expressive, folk style.

1. 11. 2007

Frederiksen's voice brings the heart to melting

Joel Frederiksen's voice has the affect of suns' rays on a cold winter day: It warms all the way to the tips of the toes and brings even the iciest heart to melting. With his wonderfully flexible and absolutely natural bass voice the singer kidnaps his hearers in long-forgotten sound-worlds: in pieces about existential themes like war, death and love.

NDR-kultur.de, Marcus Stäbler
2. 10. 2007


(5 Forks)

***** DIAPASON, Roger Tellart
1. 10. 2007
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How rare to find a record that is both historically authentic and truly original

Frederiksen...overturns all such clichés with this radical reworking of ancient pops from archival sources. (He) delivers Greensleeves raunchily and at speed, reinterpreting it as a failed roadside transcation between prostitute and client. Two contrasting versions are given of Scarborough Fair and a pair of John Dowland glooms are freshened up with deft changes of mood and insturmentation. What Frederiksen does is not so much song recital as musical storytelling, a forgotten fireside art. How rare to find a recordthat is both historically authentic and truly original.

***** THE EVENING STANDARD, Norman Lebrecht
19. 9. 2007

I can’t stop listening to it

At last, a disc of Elizabethan music that doesn’t sound boring or stilted. It has been in my car stereo for a week — I can’t stop listening to it.

**** THE BUFFALO NEWS, Mary Kunz Goldman
15. 9. 2007

78 Minutes of Pure Pleasure

 ...78 minutes of pure pleasure...this CD goes directly to my list of 'outstanding discs of the year'.... Frederiksen's warm, resonant timbre, like the lower register of a large-sized viola--is absolutely perfect: soothing and mesmerizing, beguiling, sensuous, an instrument fully mastered and employed with both the naturalness and rare skill of a great storyteller.... uniquely fresh and thoughtful...within five minutes I was a committed fan. Several of the tracks--indeed, perhaps the entire program--easily could have a life far outside the immediate audience of classical vocal music listeners...

(10/10) Best of the Year Selection

********** CLASSICSTODAY.COM, David Vernier
1. 9. 2007
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Joel Frederiksen...brings the old dances and street ballads magically to life

Ballads from the time of Shakespeare can be irresistible when everything comes together as it does here: The bass singer and lutenist Joel Frederiksen with his ensemble captures with every story-telling tone exactly that which brings the old dances and street ballads magically to life.

8. 8. 2007

Engaging, involved listening that will surely brighten your day

He is a master of the subtle art of vocal story rendition, and is able to keep his voice in check and at the service of the music. After spending most of my time in this repertory with the likes of Emma Kirkby and Custer LaRue, I was somewhat hesitant when I popped this disc in, but I needn’t have feared; these folks play this music with not only stylistic consistency and admirably facile technique, but with a high degree of affection and obvious love.


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This brilliantly sung and played recital is a real gem

Harmonia Mundi continues as classical music’s “class act”, a major label with a distinctive identity and an amazingly consistent level of quality. This delightful and intelligently assembled program shows both why early music continues to attract a loyal following, and just how an intelligently run label can put together a production that stands apart from the boatload of similar stuff dumped on the market each month. This brilliantly sung and played recital is a real gem.

2007 Best of the Year Selection




...he acts out the story of each song with his voice

Joel Frederiksen...brings his delicious, expressive bass voice to more than a dozen Anglo-Saxon tunes...Like a true Renaissance troubadour, he acts out the story of each song with his voice.


***** EARLY MUSIC AMERICA, Beth Adelman

A Glorious Feast of Early Music


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