Tenebrae join the Aurora Orchestra with mezzo soprano Dame Sarah Connolly and narrator Simon Callow for ‘A Walk with Ivor Gurney’, an album of choral music celebrating the works of Ivor Gurney whose promising career as a composer was interrupted by World War I. Alongside four pieces of Gurney’s own music are works by his contemporaries, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Herbert Howells. The recording features a new piece by Judith Bingham commissioned by Tenebrae in 2013 for the choir with Dame Sarah Connolly.
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One of the UK’s most lauded composers, Roxanna Panufnik celebrates her 50th birthday with a new release of her previously unrecorded choral music, performed by leading British choir Ex Cathedra under Jeffrey Skidmore. Known for her interest in world music, the programme includes performances from Indian arts organisation Milapfest on Unending Love, as well as the a recording of Child of Heaven: Dawn Chorus III – a new commission from Ex Cathedra that sets a Hymn to Dawn from the Rig Veda.
Roxanna has written a wide range of pieces including opera, ballet, music theatre, choral works, chamber compositions and music for film and television which are regularly performed all over the world. This disc follows the 2017 release of 99 Words (SIGCD519), combining works by Panufnik and Sir John Tavener:
“... 99 Words to my Darling Children is the musical keystone to the programme, a work that pairs Tavener’s own text with Panufnik’s music – a homage that borrows Tavener’s instrumentation and even elements of his style while also remaining true to Panufnik’s own idiom. The result – a lullaby that cradles its sung text with infinite tenderness – is exquisite, and beautifully handled by Voce’s amateur singers.” Gramophone
Continuing their complete Mozart opera recording cycle, The Mozartists’ latest release shines a light on two early opera works by Mozart. Grabmusik was reported to be the product of a test set by the prince of Salzburg, who: “... not crediting that such masterly compositions were really those of a child, shut him up for a week, during which he was not permitted to see any one, and was left only with music paper, and the words of an oratorio ... During this short time he composed a very capital oratorio, which was most highly approved of upon being performed.” Performed for Holy Week the title can be translated as ‘Cantata on Christ’s Grave’ (literally ‘Grave Music’), and the anonymous text takes the form of a dialogue between a tormented soul, who is desperately lamenting the tragedy of Christ’s death, and an angel. Bastien und Bastienne is the only one of Mozart’s operas to have been written for performance in a private house rather than a theatre. Commissioned at some point in mid-1768 by the renowned and controversial German physician Franz Anton Mesmer, it tells the tale of two young shepherds, Bastien and Bastienne, being reconciled in love by the fortune teller and magician Colas after Bastien has briefly been lured away by the attractions of a noble lady from the city. This new recording uses Mozart’s original 1768 setting of the libretto by F. W. Weiskern & J. H. F. Müller, the provenance of which was only established in the 1980s.
Julian Bliss joins the Carducci String Quartet in performances of two seminal works – Weber’s Clarinet Quintet in B flat Major, Op. 34 and Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K.581.
This is the second collaboration on disc between Bliss and the Carducci String Quartet, following the 2016 release of David Bruce’s Gumboots and Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet (SIGCD448):
“Here’s a double delight. First, an engaging new work which deserves a place in the chamber repertory; second, a passionate account of Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet which can hold its head high against starrier competition…Bliss is in his element…for forthright Brahms and a toe-tapping new work, this is strongly recommended.” Gramophone
Marking their latest collaboration with their conductor laureate Vladimir Ashkenazy, the Philharmonia return to disc with a stellar live-performance of two late works by Rachmaninov – the Symphonic Dances and Symphony No. 3 in A Minor. This release is third and final in a new series of Rachmaninov’s symphonic works, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy in live performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
The previous volumes of Symphony No. 1 (SIGCD484) and No. 2 (SIGCD530) were met with critical acclaim:
“Perhaps the most satisfying of all [Ashkenazy’s recordings of the Symphony]…” BBC Music Magazine
“Ashkenazy knows how to shape detail and soar in the big melodic moments. The Philharmonia sound is muscular and alert, from the opening woodwind solos to the mighty, stirring symphonic tutti of the finale.” The Observer
The Calidore Quartet present their first disc on Signum Records – a collection of quartets by Janáček, Prokofiev, Golijov and Mendelssohn.
The pieces were the products of four compelling personal narratives: an escape from the NAZI eastern offensive in WWII, a life caught in the crosshairs of a surge of violence in the Middle East, the sudden death of one’s closest friend and the struggle of being trapped in a loveless marriage. Felix Mendelssohn and Leoš Janáček turned to their art to find an outlet for their personal grief while Sergei Prokofiev and Osvaldo Golijov used their compositions to make sense of a world that was turned upside down by violent conflict.
Because of and despite these origins the works are imbued with emotional potency, and the quartet hope that that these works can provide “a message of hope because they illuminate the human potential to create beauty even in the darkest of circumstances.”Featured & interviewed in The American magazine
The Chineke! Orchestra return to disc on Signum in a new live orchestral recording from the Royal Festival Hall, London.
Drawn from exceptional musicians from across the continent, the orchestra is part of the Chineke! Foundation – a non-profit organisation that provides career opportunities to young Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) classical musicians in the UK and Europe. Their motto is ‘Championing Change and Celebrating Diversity in Classical Music’.
The Chineke! Orchestra is the brainchild of Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, FRAM, who says: ‘My aim is to create a space where BME musicians can walk on stage and know that they belong, in every sense of the word. If even one BME child feels that their colour is getting in the way of their musical ambitions, then I hope to inspire them, give them a platform, and show them that music, of whatever kind, is for all people.’
In this live concert recording under conductor Roderick Cox they perform Sibelius’s 2nd Symphony and Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.3, featuring multi-award-winning pianist Gerard Aimontche.
Joseph Nolan marks his 10th release on Signum Classics with a recording on the remarkable 1738 Christian Muller organ of St Bavo in the Dutch city of Haarlem. Housed in one of the most spectacular organ cases in the world, the instrument's renowned clarity of tone makes it perfectly suited to Reubke's Sonata on the 94th Psalm, which forms the heart Nolan's programme alongside works by Bach, Buxtehude and Mendelssohn.
British-Australian organist and choral conductor Dr Joseph Nolan has been hailed by ABC Classic FM as ‘an extraordinary musician’, by BBC Radio 3 Record Review as ‘Magnificent’ and by Gramophone as ‘perceptive and intensely musical’. A nominee for Artist of the Year, Limelight Magazine also awarded Joseph its coveted ‘Recording of the Month’ for his ninth disc for Signum Records from St Etienne du Mont, Paris (SIGCD470), the church and organ of Maurice Duruflé – the first time in the history of the magazine that an organ disc has been awarded this distinction.