• Simon Desbruslais returns to disc on Signum with an album that continues to expand the repertoire of the trumpet even further, with four new commissions for Trumpet, Piano and String Orchestra Toby Young’s The Art of Dancing is described by the composer as being ‘a modern homage to the baroque dance suite’, drawing inspiration from modern dance music styles including Acid House, Garage and Drum & Bass. Geoffrey Gordon’s Saint Blue is inspired by the visionary artist Wassily Kandinsky, creating a double concerto with a remarkable jazz-inspired cadenza between the trumpet, piano and double bass. Deborah Pritchard’s Seven Halts on the Somme responds to the series of oil paintings by artist Hughie O’Donoghue that mark seven stopping points for British troops during the Battle of the Somme – one of the most bloody conflicts of the First World War. Finally, Nimrod Borensteins’ Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and String Orchestra juxtaposes rhythms to create a multiplicity of different atmospheres in this highly effective and powerful work. For these premiere recordings Simon Desbruslais performs with pianist Clare Hammond, accompanied by the English String Orchestra under Kenneth Woods
  • Simon Desbruslais leads the performances on this disc of world premiere recordings from some of the UK’s leading composers.

    Seeking to expand the trumpet’s repertoire of concerto and orchestra works, Simon Desbruslais was inspired after performing Robert Saxton’s Psalm to help comission the three new works on this programme: Saxton’s Shakespeare Scenes, Deborah Pritchard’s Skyspace and John McCabe’s La Primavera.

  • Composing over 150 works for piano and voice over a period of 44 years, the songs of Francis Poulenc remain consistently popular to concert audiences the world over. Varying in their individual style and character in a way that defies generalization, Poulenc set music to a wide range of different French poetry – both ancient and modern, and from the serious to the surreal. The final disc in Signum’s series of The Complete Songs of Francis Poulenc features a cast of the finest singers of our generation, accompanied by Malcolm Martineau as well as additional instrumental soloists for Poulenc’s larger-ensemble settings of his songs.

    Featured works in this final volume include Rapsodie Negre, Le Bestiaire, Quatre poe?mes de Max Jacob, Vocalise, Quatre poemes d’Apollinaire, Banalite?s and Le Bal Masque?.

  • Welcome all Wonders: A Christmas Cantata is a large-scale work for choir, organ, and trumpet spanning 15 movements. It celebrates the Christmas story through an imaginative selection and juxtaposition of poetry and liturgical texts, and provides a multifaceted telling of the familiar narrative. The celebratory aspects of Christmas are tainted by darker themes that are inherent to the story but are easily overlooked, culminating in an enlightened and engaging work that explores the Christmas story in a profound manner.

    The Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford is among the finest and most active university choirs in the UK. Its wide-ranging repertory includes a rich array of Renaissance and Baroque music and contemporary works.

    WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING

  • “This curious conglomeration of concertos is a celebration of contrasts”. Thus begins Kah-Ming Ng's introduction to this collection of works from the 18th century. Although none of the composers featured may be familiar, each work has been picked for it's fine technical skill and illuminating sound, taking inspiration from the 18th century definition of 'curious'' as being 'rare, excellent and fine'. Includes works by Paradis, Reichenauer, Berlin, Pepusch, Hertel, Croft and Baldassari.

    Charivari Agréable have established themselves as one of the UKs leading early music ensembles – in 2010 they collaborated with The King's Singers on an album of Pachelbel's Vespers, currently their best-selling album on Signum, after it featured heavily on BBC Radio 3.
    “For those who know Pachelbel only through the Canon, this disc will be revelatory ... Each piece is beautifully served by the ensemble.”
    The Sunday Times