“Celis deserves the highest praise for his powerful advocacy of this passionate and appealing music, heard here in warmly-recorded sound” Classic FM Magazine
“Joop Celis confirms his stature at every point.” Gramophone Magazine
“Dutch pianist Joop Celis displays impeccable technique in Bowen’s demanding scores. He is clearly an excellent musician. Chandos offers clear, vibrant sound. A lot of dedicated work and effort has gone into this recording” American Record Guide
“The major offering here is York Bowen's Fifth Sonata, music on a heroic scale, heavily indebted to Rachmaninov's Second Sonata, music that had clearly got under Bowen's skin. Yet the cross-fertilisation of Russian and English idioms is richly personal and such superbly crafted writing is a constant reminder of a composer in love with the piano. Again, as old-timers will recall, Bowen was a master pianist in his own and other people's music. The central Andante broods with a wholly Russian sense of romantic darkness and despondency, and the finale's dazzling rhetoric includes a ghostly recall of the first movement's fanfares before ending in a blaze of virtuoso glory. Not everything speaks with this level of inspiration yet all this music is composed with an innate understanding of a sheerly pianistic magic.
Bowen's Fantasia is hugely ambitious and EveningCalm also outstays its welcome. But the First Intermezzo's Schumannesque charm is beguiling and so is the delightfully off-centre Siciliano e Toccatina. However, not a single piece on this excellently recorded disc could be in more sensitive or magisterial hands. Joop Celis confirms his stature at every point.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010