Reviews

‘….There was wit and swagger, too, in Britten’s quirky Temporal Variations. Chi-Chi Nwanoku’s extraordinarily agile double bass, alongside Christopher Glynn’s piano, illuminated an esoteric journey from the 18th century, through Dragonetti, right up to music theatre, in Joëlle Leandre’s Taxi! A real tonic.’
— Martin Dreyer, The York Press, Aug 1, 2013


‘Gripping her bow high above the frog, Nwanoku alternated between drawing out phrases and beating out propulsive rhythms, almost drumming on the strings. A highlight was a quintet by Domenico Dragonetti that upended the traditional string roles, with Nwanoku tearing up and down the fingerboard in intricate, dazzling passage work and the higher strings giving accompaniment.’
— James McQuillen, The Oregonian, Feb 16, 2013


‘It’s also worth singling out the superb Chi-Chi Nwanoku, a bass continuo with unusually characterful impact.’
— Neil Fisher, The Times


BBC PROM 8: Judas Maccabaeus, 19 July, 2012, Royal Albert Hall
‘The OAE was on top form with some marvellous solos – David Blackadder’s subtle trumpet obbligato to ‘With honour let desert be crown’d’ being a highlight, together with some remarkably flexible and sympathetic recitative accompaniments led by Lawrence Cummings at the harpsichord, joined by cellist Jonathan Manson and Chi-chi Nwanoku on double bass.’
—Classical Source


‘The players of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment are hardly a shy and retiring lot: their performances of Haydn, Mozart and Schubert, under the robust direction of Thomas Zehetmiar, had enough energy to raise the roof. One by one they stepped into the spotlight (Haydn wrote the piece to show off his Esterhazy orchestra): the lead violin and cellist in the second movement’s little pastoral, and cello, flute (with mobile-phone obbligato) and, finally and triumphantly, Chi-Chi Nwanoku’s double-bass, in the variations of the finale.
…Zehetmair, whose direction is every bit as inspiring and visionary as his own violin playing, revealed the Haydn and the Mozart within Schubert’s Fourth Symphony. Yet never was Schubert himself more powerfully present than in the oboe’s song, which surfaced through a slow movement of exquisitely controlled tones and tempo.’
— Hillary Finch, The Times


‘The Funeral March became a private utterance, with overheard upbeats from the splendid double-basses led by the ever-expressive Chi-Chi Nwanoku; and I think I found loveliest of all that moment in the Prometheus variations when the tune very briefly turns bucolic after a patch of turbulence.’
— David Nice


‘A most enjoyable disc’
-– BBC Music Magazine


‘Nwanoku’s playing is both athletic and eloquent in these appealing bass concertos. [She] plays her solo music with due vivacity and skill … as graceful as can be imagined on her instrument. Paul Goodwin’s neat and sympathetic accompaniments, his leisurely pacing and his judicious balance…make this disc even more appealing’
— Gramophone


‘An elegant performance. Beautifully played and phrased by Nwanoku, who reveals the lyrical potential of the solo bass’
— The Strad


‘Chi-chi Nwanoku is a delightful soloist. [Her] light-as-air sound and technical clarity are a continual source of pleasure’ .
— International Record Review