Reviews

ARG review of Bach Cantatas vol. 1

"The vocal blend from [Sherezade] Panthaki and [Reginald] Mobley is nothing short of astounding."

The Arts Desk Review of A Dust in Time

"That the work is so moving is also down to the performance; though recorded over two days, the Del Sol Quartet’s rendition feels like a single take. There’s lots to love about this release before you’ve even inserted the CD. The engineering is impressive..."

Fanfare review of Rapture and Regret (Henry Fogel)

"Overall, this is a lovely collection of music that is well performed and recorded with excellent balances between the performers."

Fanfare review of Rapture and Regret (Colin Clarke)

"This is a great introduction to the vocal and pianistic output of Daron Hagen, brilliantly produced and recorded."

Fanfare review of Armenian Songs for Children

"...the recorded sound is natural and well balanced..."
– Henry Fogel, Fanfare Magazine September/October 2022

Classical Music Sentinel review of Tisdale Virginal Book

"The audio recording sits you on the keyboard bench as if you were playing the instrument yourself, and in doing so, offers a private and relaxing listening experience, which is exactly what the sound of the virginal was meant to do."

Silver Telly Award for Chanticleer Live from London

"Silver Telly award in the non-broadcast music category (their highest honor)."

Opera Today review of Chanticleer's "Love, Always"

"Every iota of the cathedral-like resonance was exploited by the singers...which reverberated with embracing visceral power. The textural graininess of the lower tessitura showcas[ed] both the colour of the low voices and the complex movements of the inner lines... a wonderful cushion of vocal sound... Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)’...highlight[ed] both the rich layers of the collective sound and the beauty of the individual voices that stepped forward through the glowing texture."

Gramophone review of Bach Sonatas and Chorale Preludes

"Balio...and Bengston...achieve a stunning clarity of line, wide variety of colour and a sense of the right tempo that is complemented by the dynamic sheen and spaciousness of the audiophile recording."

Hank Dutt review of Dream Drapery

Release: Dream Drapery
"Dream Drapery by the Galax Quartet and contralto Karen R. Clark is a bold and beautiful recording...the Galax Quartet and Karen R. Clark are locked sonically in a loving embrace."
– Hank Dutt, violist of the Kronos Quartet

Fanfare review of Dream Drapery

Release: Dream Drapery
"The recording, made in Berkeley, California, is fabulously vibrant, allowing the natural electricity of the performances to reveal itself through the music itself. This is fascinating repertoire, performed, recorded, and presented to the highest possible standards."
– Colin Clarke, Fanfare, Jan/Feb 2021

SFCV review of Saul

Release: Saul
"The recording was superbly produced, recorded, edited, mixed, and mastered by PBO's former recording engineer, David v.R. Bowles of Swineshead Productions, LLC...Auditioned in 24/192 high-resolution, Bowles's achievement captures all the nuance and color that were transmitted by First Congregational's uniquely live, resonant, and spacious acoustic..."

Miami Classica review of The Listeners

Release: The Listeners
"...la iglesia de Berkeley donde se origina la espléndida toma en vivo. (...the church in Berkeley where the splendid live recording originates.)"

The Strad review of Brilliance Indéniable

"The resonant church acoustic and clear, natural recording serve these players well in terms of blend and balance."

Gramophone Editor's Choice for Handel Arias

"Editor's Choice, September 2020"

Early Music America review of Handel Arias

"...the recorded sound lets the listener enjoy the interplay of Handel's writing, savor instruments doubling the voice, or zero in on an instrumental line inside the mix"

MusicWeb International review of Handel Arias

"It gets the well-balanced recorded sound that it deserves."

Gramophone review of Myrtle & Rose

Release: Myrtle & Rose
"With fresh, engaging accounts of Robert [Schumann's] two cycles...as well as impeccable engineering, there's a great deal to be enjoyed in this release."

Europadisc review of Myrtle & Rose

Release: Myrtle & Rose
"The performances are aided by a sympathetic recording made in the Trianon Theatre, San Jose, California, which has just the right degree of intimacy to suggest the 19th century domestic music-making of which these masterpieces represent a highpoint."

Voix des Arts review of Mass Transmission

"A critically important voice in the chorus of artists whose contributions fostered the success of Mass Transmission is that of recording engineer David v.R. Bowles...True to his reputation, Bowles achieves this spectacularly on Mass Transmission."

Opera News review of Mass Transmission

"Critic's Choice"

SFCV review of Joseph and his Brethren

"The recording, engineered, as usual, by David v.R. Bowles of Swineshead Productions, is clear and well-balanced."

Gramophone review of Joseph and his Brethren

"The recorded sound is clear and well-balanced."

MusicWeb review of Joseph and his Brethren

"On the new recording, the engineers have provided a much more intimate acoustic. It provides clarity and detail for all of the soloists and the orchestra. The chorus gains particularly because the listener can enjoy the wonderful diction of the Philharmonia Baroque Chorale. The new recording is definitely preferable in terms of the sound quality."

Classical.net review of Soaring Solo

Release: Soaring Solo
"MSR's sound reproduction is excellent."

Classical Net review of Legacy: The Spirit of Beethoven

"...the instruments on this recording actually sound pretty good...the sound reproduction is excellent in all works."

Fanfare review of Legacy: The Spirit of Beethoven

"This recital is a triumph in multiple ways. Mok is a supremely musical player, the recording is excellent and notes by Patricia Stroh, curator of the F. Brilliant Center, as wonderfully knowledgeable. Recommended."
– Colin Clarke, Fanfare Magazine

The Classical Reviewer review of Legacy: The Spirit of Beethven

"The detailed recording is well-nigh perfect, bringing the different tone and texture of each instrument."

SFCV's review of La Temple de la Gloire

"A new recording captured live in the inhospitable confines of UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall on the orchestra's own recording label...David v.R. Bowles's production and engineering is spacious, allowing this large work to sound full but not boomy, and with less loss of clarity than a listener in the actual theater would have experienced."

Stereophile review of Timeless

Release: Timeless
"Cappella SF's impeccable musicianship is presented in the best possible sound. Captured...by David v.R. Bowles of Swineshead Productions, the blend of direct sound and natural resonance strikes me as ideal...Bowles and [executive producer Carol] Rosenberger deserve kudos for the naturalism of the results."

Voix des Arts review of Amour sans ailes

"This MSR Classics release, recorded by Swineshead Productions engineer David v.R. Bowles with the ambient clarity that the music requires, restores Hahn's songs their rightful place..."

MusicWeb International review of Poldowski Art Songs

"The recording is first class"

Fanfare review of Poldowski Art Songs

"the recorded sound is well balanced and warm"
– Henry Vogel, Fanfare Magazine

Sequenza21 review of Now Fatal Change

"Angel has a rich, resonant voice that handles both registral edges of the vocal part with ease. St. John draws similarly plummy tone from her instrument, finely tuning the many passages of multiple stops and performing ostinato sections with verve."
– Christian Carey, Sequenza21

Rafael's Music Notes review of Cantatas of Handel, Rameau and Steffani

"...the engineering is top notch"

The WholeNote review of Mother of Light

"The usual superb quality of Delos recordings only enhances the beauty of the experience."

Juno Award nomination for Mother of Light

"Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral, 2018"

MusicWeb International review of Schumann Piano Quintet etc.

"The playing is captured well and sympathetically by the sound engineer..."

Gramophone review of Six Concierti for Two Keyboards

"The enjoyment of the players on this recording is both evident and infectious, with the stereo separation just right for enabling the ear to pick out the musical compliment-sharing."

Voix des Artes review of Six Concierti for Two Keyboards

"This music is not unknown, but hearing this disc, in the context of which producer and recording engineer David Bowles centers the music in an acoustical space of stunning, almost clinical clarity, may prompt the listener to believe that this is his first contact with these Concerti."

Fanfare review of Facing West

Release: Facing West
"The choral writing, and indeed the realization in this performance, is deeply set and richly toned. The excellent recording captures the Capella SF's sound to perfection. This is a tremendous disc, effectively a celebration of great poetry in song. Recommended."
– Colin Clarke, Fanfare Magazine

Fanfare review of La Gloria di Primavera

"High production values – full texts (and translation), and superlative sound – complete the picture. A feather in the cap of all concerned..."
– Christopher Brodersen, Fanfare Magazine

Gramophone Editor's Choice of La Gloria di Primavera

"Editor's Choice"

Audiophile Audition review of La Gloria di Primavera

"However, there is nothing stingy about the sound or performances; superb 5.1 surround with excellent depth and breadth."

De Neue Merker review of La Gloria di Primavera

"Die in absoluter high definition, 5 channel surround Technik realisierte Einspielung spielt alle akustischen Stückerln...Mit dieser Aufnahme holen Sie sich ein Stück herzerwärmenden Frühling ins Wohnzimmer. (The recording, realized in absolute high definition, 5 channel surround technology, plays all acoustic pieces ... With this recording you bring a piece of heartwarming spring into your living room.)"

Gramophone Editor's Choice for Les Messes a Teneur

"Editor's Choice"
– Gramophone Magazine

Diapason d'Or for Les Messes a Teneur

"Diapason d'Or"
– Diapason magazine

Olivier Messiaen prize for Les Messes a Teneur

"Olivier Messiaen prize for the best choral recording"
– Académie du Disque Lyrique, France

Classics Today review of Haydn Symphonies 57, 67, and 68

"The live sonics, a touch close and maybe very slightly edgy, actually suit the boldness and panache of the music. Haydn lovers rejoice."

Classical Candor review of Haydn Symphonies 57, 67, and 68

"Fortunately, this is one of the better live recordings I've heard, almost making that 2% you could say...It's miked fairly close, as we might expect of a live recording, yet it still shows a good deal of air and space around the ensemble, as well as displaying a fine sense of depth and dimensionality."

Audiophile Audition review of Haydn Symphonies 57, 67, and 68.

"...these inscriptions – engineered and edited by David V.R. Bowles – capture the incisive clarity of Haydn's often audacious symphonic inventions."

Audiophile Audition review of The Flaming Fire

"...the performances and sound are first rate. Parthenia scores another winner."

IRR review of The Wandering Shades

"It never sounds in the least congested, but floats up as if on warm California air currents..."
– Andrew Parker, International Record Review, March 2015

Classical Candor review of From A to Z

Release: From A to Z
"he sound is very dynamic, with a huge range from softest whispers to extra-large outbursts."

The Strad review of From A to Z

Release: From A to Z
"There's no doubting their energy or commitment in these live recordings, though, which brilliantly capture the group's passion and vigour in warm, rich sound."

Classical Voice of NC review of Chamber Music of D.J. Sparr

"... an interesting and pleasing blend of electric, electronic, and standard instruments ... not only does the music bear repeated listenings, it reveals itself as richer with each one"

Audiophile Audition review of Highlights from Handel's Teseo

"The sound is clear and close, not unlike the host of recordings [McGegan] made for Harmonia Mundi in days gone by."

Voix des Arts review of Moments of Love

"... soprano Dominique Labelle and pianist and composer Yehudi Wyner take advantage of the boon of a superb recording for Bridge Records, masterfully produced by David v.R. Bowles... In these Moments of Love, Dominique Labelle and Yehudi Wyner dispense nothing but pleasure that stirs the soul with the truest essence of song."

Audiophile Audition review of Moments of Love

"The sound is very soft and isolation chamber pure, nicely rounded and comfortable."

Audiophile Audition review of Brahms Violin Sonatas

"This is a fine issue, deliciously recorded in the warm atmospherics of Wells Fargo Auditorium in Reno, and can be recommended without reservation and no little enthusiasm."
– Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition, August 2013

Fanfare review of Bassoon Transcended

"The sound is pristine on this recording and it places the bassoon in front of the piano."
– Maria Nocklin, Fanfare Magazine, Jan/Feb 2014

Fanfare review of Beethoven 4+7

"The sound engineering in both symphonies is excellent."
– Dave Saemann, Fanfare Magazine, November 2013

ARG review of The Composer's Piano

"The sound is excellent...Both Mok and Bowles offer a coherent, illuminative presentation."
– Kang, American Record Guide, November 2013

Fanfare review of The Composer's Piano

"A most worthy effort and an excellent recording warrants a strong recommendation."
– Jerry Dubins, Fanfare Magazine, Jan/Feb 2014

MusicWeb International review of The Music of David Carlson

"The sound balance and general audio quality is very good."

Atlanta Audio Club review of 8 Bassoon Concerti

"All of this has been recorded optimally by producer/engineer David Bowles at the Glenn Gould Studio of the CBC in Toronto."

Just Plain Folks Awards for 8 Bassoon Concerti

"Winner of "Best Classical Album" and "Instrumentalist of the Year"."

Audiophile Audition review of Schumann Piano Trios vol 2

"Even more of a balance, the scale of this performance manages a robust energy of the concert hall fused to the musing interiority of the salon, quite a sophisticated achievement, I dare say."

Fanfare review of Schumann Piano Trios vol 2

"The incredible realism of the recorded sound…also assists greatly in both presence and in giving some natural 'air' around the instruments."
– Lynn René Bayley, Fanfare Magazine

Vois des Arts review of Two serenades

"...a recording of great sound quality despite 'live' recording conditions...the present recording is superior in every way, not least in the immediacy of the sound. Church sanctuaries can be tremendously difficult recording venues, but every challenge is met and conquered in this recording."

Classical Candor review of Two Serenades

"..the sound is warm and accommodating, not at all bright or excessively reflective, making for an easygoing listening experience."

MusicWeb Int'l review of American Flute Quintets

"Record of the Month"

Operatoonity review of Atalanta

Release: Atalanta
"Of course, the quality of this recording also is to be commended in complementing the form."

Classical Candor review of Atalanta

Release: Atalanta
"..there is excellent clarity throughout the set, with well-extended highs and plenty of air around the voices and instruments."

Gramophone review of A Wind Blows from the East

"The clear sound, recorded at Christ the King Episcopal Church in Stone Ridge, has just the right touch of ambience."

Audiophile Audition review of Les Grâces Françoises

"A nicely intimate recording"

International Record Review of Les Grâces Françoises

"The recording...has been well engineered so as to balance clarity and intimacy with the acoustic ambience of the venue as a whole."

Audiophile Audition review of Philharmonia Four Seasons

Release: Four Seasons
"..superlative stereo sound...[with] good tonal balance and transparency...multi-miked, but well-mixed."

Miami Clasica review of Philharmonia Four Seasons

Release: Four Seasons
"Optimal performance and recording make this new version of one of the most recorded classical compositions a must for connoisseurs and neophytes."

Stereophile review of the Philharmonia Four Seasons

Release: Four Seasons
"Elizabeth Blumenstock is the soloist, and she is as fearless as she is accomplished. Sonics are perfect. Wow – another Four Seasons. I mean it: Wow."

Classical Candor review of Philharmonia Four Seasons

Release: Four Seasons
"I had about half a dozen recordings of The Four Seasons on hand for comparison...they all sounded glassier, softer, rougher, or less clear as the case may be than the Philharmonia Baroque recording, which outshone them all."

James Wegg review of Philharmonia Four Seasons

Release: Four Seasons
"Recording engineer David v.R. Bowles has once again faithfully captured every measure of art, breath taken and string pretested to produce an engaging 'you are in the thick of it' result."

New Yorker review of Nuits d'Ete

"One of "The Best Classical Music Recordings of 2011""

New York Times review of Nuits d'Ete

"The recording is almost too forbiddingly beautiful."

SFCV review of Nuits d'Ete

"Editing and mastering engineer David v.R. Bowles (of Swineshead Productions)...has done miracles to make the arias sound as if recorded on far better equipment."

Chicago Tribune review of Haydn Symphonies 88, 101, 104

"The fact that the performances were caught on the wing, in clear, truthful sound, seals the deal. Highly recommended."

Audiophile Audition review of Haydn 88, 101, 104

"No hesitations over the live recording engineered by David v. R. Bowles, a former member of the orchestra, who brings a tutored ear to the task."

New York Times review of Haydn Symphonies 88, 101, 104

"The recordings...were beautifully produced and engineered by David v. R. Bowles."

Audiophile Audition review of Piano Trios of Mendelssohn

"...a recording that is about as good as it gets... I was quite surprised at the passion emitting from my speakers, and the sound is excellent."

MusicWeb International review of Going Solo

Release: Going Solo
"The recorded sound will do very nicely, not too close and not too recessed."

Audiophile Audition review of Going Solo

Release: Going Solo
"Sant'Ambrogio's playing here and throughout is captured in warm, intimate, very present sound, adding to the appeal of this eminently appealing program. Highly recommended!"

AllMusic.com review of Tomkins Bach Cello Suites

"A strong recording all around... Editor's Choice."

Juilliard Journal review of Schumann Piano Trios vol 1

"Bowles, who also served as engineer and editor for the disc, has sensitively caught the presence of the instruments, recording them at Green Music Center in Rohnert Park, Calif."

AllMusic.com review of Schumann Piano Trios vol 1

"Avie's sound is detailed and clear."

SFCV review of Night Draws Near

"Recording/mastering engineer David v.R. Bowles of Swineshead Production deserves ample credit for conveying the group's inward intimacy while capturing just the right amount of church resonance."

The Countertenor Voice review of Night Draws Near

"The sound of this recording is very intimate; singers are simultaneously identifiable and well-blended throughout the stereo field."
– Frank Richards, The Countertenor Voice, February 2011

SF Examiner review of Barber Strauss Mahler

"...the technical work that went into the recording is definitely impressive."
– Stephen Smollar, San Francisco Examiner

SFCV review of Mendelssohn Piano Trios

"...The first thing to be said about it is that the sound itself is wonderful...this is exactly what a piano-and-strings balance ought to sound like."

Ensemble Magazine review of Mendelssohn Piano Trios

"This is a contribution to last year's celebration of Mendelssohn worth listening to. (add AV2187-ensemble.txt)"
– Ensemble Magazine, Germany, January 2010

Metro UK review of Mendelssohn Piano Trios

"Their period-instrument sound is warm and caressing, and beautifully captured with just the right amount of comforting bloom."
– Metro UK

Fanfare review of Late Dates with Mozart

"The recorded sound, hardly over-reverberant, presents a balanced, close-up portrait of the performers."
– Fanfare, July 2010

Fanfare review of Bassoon Surrounded

"...it has all been captured in ultra-realistic sound."
– Fanfare magazine, May/June 2010

SFCV review of Together

Release: Together
"Wonderfully recorded at Skywalker Studios, the close-miked blend brings to the fore all the color and nuance of these superb artists."

AllMusic review of Together

Release: Together
"The sound from Skywalker Studios beautifully showcases the details of the ensemble instrumental work."

The Double Reed review of Romanza

Release: Romanza
"Combine this with state-of-the-art "concert hall" recording technique, and you have a CD that is equally Perfecto: a fabulous recording that I cannot recommend highly enough."
– Ron Klimko, The Double Reed, 2008

Audiophile Audition review of Romanza

Release: Romanza
"The sound is very naturally captured, as are all of the best MSR releases, without undue microphone placement on the soloists."

ARG review of Romanza

Release: Romanza
"...excellent sound..."
– American Record Guide, March / April 2007

Just Plain Folks 2009 award for Bacchanale

Release: Bacchanale
"Classical Orchestral Album of the year"
– Just Plain Folks Awards 2009

Audiophile Audition review of Music of Michel Corrette

"...the CD is cleanly recorded..."

MusicWeb review of Music of Michel Corrette

"...recorded to perfection..."
– Gwynn Parry-Jones, The MusicWeb - June, 2006

WholeNote review of Music of Michel Corrette

"Engineer David v.R. Bowles' achievement is noteworthy"
– Alex Baran, WholeNote Magazine - February, 2006

ARG reviews Music of Michel Corrette

"...a very enjoyable recording..."
– American Record Guide - July/August, 2006

ARG review of Music of Josef Bodin de Boismortier

"I like this recording very much."
– American Record Guide - July, 2006

MusicWeb International review of Music of Josef Bodin de Boismortier

"...quite extraordinary recording...delightful music played with consummate skill, and recorded to perfection."

SA-CD review of The Cecilian Vespers

"The recording is clear and focused, especially kind towards the singers. Colours are perfectly captured and dynamics are natural. Left-right separation is excellent, every singer placed naturally and up front, with the orchestra and choir perfectly blended in."

Absolute Sound review of The Cecilian Vespers

"[A] first-class live recording (with none of the drawbacks we usually associate with live recording)"

MusicWeb UK review of The Cecilian Vespers

"The most exciting high baroque choral vocal music you can hear anywhere, brilliantly recorded so every tiny detail is present...Recording is accurate giving full definition to soloists against each other and each against the chorus, in the SACD surround tracks both side to side and in depth, with all musicians in the front of the hall, the chorus behind the soloists."
– MusicWeb UK

Classical Source review of The Cecilian Vespers

"The recording is first-class."

Klassik Heute review of Corelli & Co.

Release: Corelli & Co.
"10/10 in Artistic Quality, Sound Quality, and Overall Impression."

New York Times review of Suites from Platée and Dardanus

"Everything sounds wonderful in these whipcrack performances, full of color and nuance."
– The New York Times

Continuo Magazine review of Suites from Platé and Dardanus

"...beautifully recorded...[DHM's] sonics are especially realistic"
– Continuo Magazine

Classics Today review of Briefly it Enters

"Lovers of American art songs won't want to pass this up. 9 (Artistic quality) / 9 (Sound Quality)"

Alte Musik Aktuell review of The Pleasures and Follies of Love

"Record of the Month: When such outstanding production meets equally outstanding musicians, the result should be no surprise."
– Alte Musik Aktuell, August-September 2002

Klassik Heute review of Scarlatti Cantatas vol III

"Choice of the Month: the quality...is no longer diminished by the recording technique, but reinforced. 10/10 Artistic quality, 10/10 Sound quality, 10/10 Overall impression"

BBC Music review of Scarlatti Cantatas vol III

"****/****"
– BBC Music Magazine

Time Magazine review of The Faces of Love

"The American art song is still alive and well, judging by this lovely CD...[the] big-league cast responds with obvious relish."

Amazon.com editorial review of The Faces of Love

"...Even better, there's not the slightest hint of these starry singers phoning in their performances en route to the airport. Everyone performs in excellent voice and with maximum commitment."

Opera News review of The Faces of Love

"Editor's Choice: ...remarkable not only for its content for for the loving care with which it has been presented."
– Opera News

Classics Today review of Alfred

Release: Alfred
"The sound is close to ideal."

The Guardian review of Alfred

Release: Alfred
"..In this brilliant American recording Nicholas McGegan directs his period forces in fresh, resilient performances..."

Gramophone review of Alfred

Release: Alfred
"A winner, especially with the Last Night of the Proms in mind."

Daily Telegraph review of Serse

Release: Serse
"The recording is faultless."
– Daily Telegraph

International Record Review of Scarlatti Cantatas vol II

"...a palpable hit, beautifully engineered, deliciously accompanied by the select Arcadian Academy and, best of all, masterfully sung by the countertenor David Daniels."
– International Record Review

Fanfare review of Scarlatti Cantatas vol I

"Unusually beautiful examples of Scarlatti's refined yet expressive art... a treasurable addition to the catalogue."
– Fanfare

Classic CD review of Scarlatti Cantatas vol I

"Top Five Choices – *****/***** (highest rating) Revelatory... Lifts the lid on one of music's best kept secrets... Music and performance to stimulate the most jaded of taste buds."
– Classic CD

Gramophone review of Scarlatti Cantatas vol I

"Record of the Month"

Fondazione Giorgio Cini review of Concerti for diverse instruments

""Highly Recommended" prize"
– Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice

New York Times review of Concerti for diverse instruments

"A many splendored recording."
– The New York Times