“Colin Davis's revival of A Child of Our Time at the Barbican last December, ranked, unquestionably, among his most formidable achievements. That its transfer to LSO Live is less than ideal is due to the actual recording, which persistently emphasises clarity at the expense of weight...Davis conducts like one possessed, and the playing is exemplary, though the LSO Chorus, matchlessly intense in this work, sometimes sounds distant. The recording also does the soloists few favours - but if you're not moved to tears by Indra Thomas in the spirituals and Steve Davislim singing I Have No Money for My Bread, I suspect you of lacking soul and conscience. Awesome, but also very flawed.” The Guardian, 11th July 2008 ****
“Davis’s latest recording, taken from two live performances with the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, has its own flaws, and the team of soloists is uneven, with the rich-voiced, impassioned bass, Matthew Rose, by far the most convincing. The tenor, Steve Davislim, is also good, but the two women, Indra Thomas and Mihoko Fujimura, lack the right sort of intensity. The orchestral playing is superb, the choral singing gutsy and confident.” Sunday Times, 13th July 2008 ***
“From just about every point of view this is an improvement on Colin Davis's recent Dresden Staatskapelle A Child of Our Time… The soloists are more roundly convincing… and yet they still aren't quite distinctive enough to stand up against the magnificent team on Davis's 1975 version (now on Decca).” BBC Music Magazine, August 2008 ***
“There are emotional depths here which turn this recording into something very special.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2008
“Four years after his Dresden version of A Childof Our Time, recorded live in the Semperoper (Profil, 3/08), Sir Colin Davis returned to the work in the very different environment of London's Barbican Hall. On this occasion the Classic Sound engineers and editors have managed a good blend of the intimate and the intense. Now and again a soloist may seem unduly reticent – perhaps a vocal problem on the day rather than a matter of recorded balance. But is there another recording that surpasses this one in the expressive power with which choral singing and orchestral playing combine to reinforce the timeless message of this most history-conscious work, rooted as it is in events just prior to the years of its composition (1939-41)? The formidable discipline and sensitivity of the London Symphony Chorus are immediately clear in the well defined dynamic contrasts of Part 1's first movement. While an imposing weight of sonority, as in the Spiritual 'Go Down Moses', can be guaranteed, there is a rare lightness of articulation in the passage beginning 'We are as seed before the wind', which returns in 'Nobody knows the trouble I see'.
Of the soloists, soprano Indra Thomas struggles with foggy vibrato while still managing to float some beautifully unstrained high notes in the final ensemble. Mihoko Fujimura, Steve Davislim and Matthew Rose are all excellent, and it's especially good to have a tenor who sounds young enough to embody the character of Herschel Grynszpan convincingly. Of course, some collectors will not be persuaded that Sir Colin could ever match, let alone outdo, his first, 1975 Philips recording of the work. Nevertheless, the enduring significance of the piece for him is palpable right through to the superbly shaped account of the final Spiritual, 'Deep River'. There are emotional depths here which turn this recording into something very special.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010