“Exhilarating 18th-century music provides a luxury tour of Europe” Apple Music Classical Radio

Audiences, press and the music industry have warmly welcomed Simon Murphy’s album JET SET! Classical Glitterati (PENTATONE).

Murphy and the NDA presented the album successfully in concert at The Concertgebouw Amsterdam. BBC 3, MDR Klassik, NPO 4, Classic FM and the ABC ran features on the album. Listeners on Apple Music Classical Radio streamed tracks from JET SET! and other Murphy/NDA albums more than 1.7 million times during an artist spotlight in the weeks around the album’s release. 

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Check out the album “making of”

Press Responses

“Sparkling and brilliant … an impressive portrait of an exceptional cultural period that influenced and permanently changed the sound-landscape of the European capitals in the second half of the eighteenth century. … Nothing but praise for the musicians for this expressive, adventurous, refined and irrefutably radiant recording which succeeds in illuminating 18th-century music from a different point of view.” Luister (NL)

“On the new album, JET SET!, a selection works by leading figures from the musical centres of the second half of the 18th century has been gathered together, offering a lovely overview of the different accents and fashions of the time. … The album opens with the Viola Concerto of Carl Friedrich Zelter, one of the founders of the Bach-renaissance in the 19th century. Director Simon Murphy performs as soloist. Immediately, it is clear that this ensemble distinguishes itself by its rhetorical ability, the art of telling a musical story. … And, if there is one thing which the album makes crystal clear, it is that Bach’s student Abel should be programmed much more often.” De Volkskrant (NL)

“Simon Murphy, founder and director of The New Dutch Academy Chamber Orchestra is a very enterprising musician. Murphy is a violist and a very innovative conductor, particularly in the field of musical excavations. Previous excellent recordings made by him with his ensemble include symphonies by the Italian composer Francesco Zappa. … Murphy takes his work very seriously. He not only studies the original sources, that is the manuscripts of the composers, but it is also important to him to explore the environment in which the composers worked. … Great, vibrant music by top composers of their time!” MDR (D)

“Australian conductor-violist Murphy and his Hague-based orchestra make it all very juicy. Symphonies by Abel and Reichardt are exquisitely shaped. Each movement is utterly characterful in its own unique way … which the NDA handles with utmost expressivity and seamless phrasing … For world premières, these works have a real sense of the players having lived with them for a while. Murphy demonstrates the same musicianship and sheer zest as the soloist in Zelter’s Viola Concerto. … Affection for this music and expertise are all over this release.” Early Music America (US)

Jet Set! is a pleasing, varied programme, played finely by The New Dutch Academy … The two Abel symphonies – plus Murphy’s violism in the concerto – are particular highlights.” Gramophone (UK)

“What is particularly striking about the NDA’s playing is the enormous rhythmic and dynamic energy in the outer movements, but also the lyrical delicacy with which the slow movements are shaped. The driven playing style is certainly also voluptuous … has boundless energy … and the music glitters and sparkles … For those who want to experience cutting edge historical performance practice from a different perspective, this CD is highly recommended … And by the way: Simon Murphy is not only an inspired conductor, but also a great soloist!” Opus Klassiek (NL)

“The musical generation between Bach and Mozart is the great love of viola player and conductor Simon Murphy. He also likes to bring lesser known music into the limelight. The new album focuses on the international character of the 18th-century music world. Musicians travelled through Europe in a stunningly cosmopolitan way. They met painters and philosophers, princes and courtesans, and inspired each other. Carl Friedrich Abel, for example, Murphy’s favorite composer, grew up as a student of Bach, but mainly worked in London, where there was a bustling scene around the infamous Mrs. Cornelys. It is amazing to see that so much music of more than two hundred years old has never been recorded before … It is Murphy’s merit that he brings a new generation into contact with it. … subtle, energetic and immersive … a beautiful album that grows with every listening.” Den Haag Centraal (NL)

“A fun approach to programming brings the 18th century alive. The packaging’s retro vibe – make sure you watch the trailer on YouTube! – is not the least attraction of this latest recording from The New Dutch Academy and its Sydney-born director, Simon Murphy. Zelter’s Viola Concerto in E Flat – with Murphy as soloist – makes for a terrific opening. … It’s a fun concept, emphasising the cosmopolitan nature of Classical composers’ influences, engagements and travels. The music – much of it little known outside specialist circles – is terrific. … an imaginatively conceived and beautifully executed project” Limelight (AU)