Čičić's distinctive sound - sweet, slightly dry and exquisitely centred - is ideal for the taut beauty of Carbonelli's solo lines. Crucially, Čičić fleshes out the composer's ideas, filling rests and cadences with large dollops of his own making. His band helps him enormously, not least with their additions and sexy realisations. The future of the Illyria Consort is bright.
BBC Music Magazine *****
Given that the writing is not overtly flashy, Čičić’s easy, fluid perfection through their webs of double-stopped complexities merits mentioning…add tonal colour spamming the gamut from satisfyingly wiry to full and sweet, and it’s a full house of deliciousness, all of which is bolstered further by the varied palette of continuo colour on display from Čičić’s Illyria Consort colleagues…really, bravo to the whole.
It’s testament to Čičić’s artistry that you’re never aware of the difficulties being surmounted – fistfuls of the most awkwardly-written chords are dispatched with immaculate intonation and voicing, whilst the contrapuntal sections in the elaborate fugues have a clarity to rival the finest keyboard-player. I’d wager a tidy sum that I won’t be the only one to come away from this beautiful disc itching to hear more from both composer and performers.
Presto Classical Recording of the Year 2017
Cicic péttile, déclame, chante, orne et danse, prend du plaisir et le partage, tout en sachant lâcher la bride pour de grands moments méditatifs. En parfait osmose avec l'Illyria Consort, il offre les couleurs très personelles.
On tiens en Bojan Cicic un interprète de tout premier ordre: son phrasé coursif se coule sans difficulté parmi les festons et autres figures ornamentales dont regorge la partition. Pyrotechnique dans les finales, son violon déploie des accents lyriques d'une étonnante suavité pour un instrument ancient dans les mouvements lents... Réjouissant.
These performances are eloquent, engaging and really nicely ornamented. It’s one of my favourite discoveries this week.
BBC Radio 3 Record Review
Carbonelli's music is stately, taut and elegant in the hands of Bojan Čičić (a UK-based Croatian violinist) and his excellent Illyria Consort. They sound effortlessly stylish in these six chamber sonatas – Čičić makes even the high-wire showy stuff sing with a lyricism that is shapely, aerated and totally unforced.
The Guardian ****
Cicic and his ensemble every opportunity to shine … the playing [is] noteworthy. Splendid sound.
Classical Music *****
The music has a unique appeal – lively, restless, catchy and extremely well written. The long- forgotten Carbonelli is a major find by a boutique label, Delphian, a Scottish firm that rarely issues a dud disc.
Norman Lebrecht, Musical Toronto *****
On so many levels, this is a must-have CD. Fascinating music by a little-known composer, played with outstanding musical conviction by four excellent musicians.
Andrew Benson Wilson