• Percy Grainger was one of the great “originals” of 20th century music. Australian-born, he studied with his mother while a boy and later went to Germany where his career as a virtuoso pianist began. As a composer he was largely self-taught and strongly influenced by the folk music of Great Britain and Ireland, Many of his “miniatures”-such titles as Country Gardens, Handel in the Strand and Molly on the Shore - established his composing credentials very early on. But Grainger was also an inveterate innovator and experimenter in music, and the kaleidoscopic aspects of his compositional creativity-evident in highly imaginative works often with unprecedented rhythms, harmonies and scoring-are fully represented in the programme heard on this recording. The music was digitally recorded with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in February 1989, at the acoustically excellent South Melbourne Town Hall. The album was originally released in Australia by ABC Classics and elsewhere by Koch International. Australian conductor Geoffrey Simon is resident in London and has appeared there with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players and English Chamber Orchestra.
  • In this live recording from the Royal Festival Hall the OAE shines its musical torch into the realms of some later repertoire, shedding new light on the music of Mahler. Conducted by Principal Artist Vladimir Jurowski, this CD includes Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer), written in the wake of an unhappy affair with a soprano, and the extraordinarily exciting and powerful Totenfeier, Mahler’s first foray into orchestral music, and later reworked into the opening movement of his second symphony.
    The OAE's period instruments emphasise its rawness, just as they point up the anguished detail of the accompaniments to the Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen, in which mezzo Sarah Connolly allows the words and Mahler's treatment of them to speak for themselves, without unnecessary gilding - The Guardian Vladimir Jurowski’s brisk and thrusting account with the period instrument players of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment makes a strong case for the composer’s original thoughts - The Irish Times
  • With its vivid poetry and technical ingenuity, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was ground breaking at the time of its release and to this day remains as influential and transfixing as ever. In this recording, violinist Kati Debretzeni directs the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in an energetic, historically informed performance. From the commanding heat of the Summer sun, to Winter’s foreboding darkness, the power of Vivaldi’s masterpiece is inescapable. The booklet includes a ‘Guided tour of the Four Seasons’, allowing listeners to follow the poetry that inspired Vivaldi as they hear the performances on the disc, including additional composer’s notes from Vivaldi’s own scores. This is a recording of the evergreen Four Seasons to remember and return to. The playing is sublime. Kati Debretzeni is a breath of fresh air at any time of the year. The chamber ensemble from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, led here by Alison Bury, includes a core of players that has been there from its formation who continue to play with the same joyful camaraderie and artistic precisionGramophone Debretzeni sets out to highlight the descriptive aspect of the music by finding many more colours and contrasts in the orchestral texture than are usually heard, and the period instruments give the familiar movements a new attack, making the work sound as fresh today as the day it was written - Classic FM

    This is probably one of the noteworthy period-instrument 'Seasons' recordingsEarly Music Review

     
  • The Godfather

    £8.00£14.00
    The musical world of eighteenth-century Europe was a small one. Despite the problems presented by contemporary standards of transport, it was quite normal for composers in one part of Europe to be entirely au fait with what was happening elsewhere. This is borne out by the closeness of three German composers: Telemann, godfather to C.P.E. Bach; Pisendel; and J.S. Bach, who admired both his compatriots and composed some astoundingly difficult music for the violinist Pisendel. This programme celebrates their music as well as the music of those who contributed to their musical heritage. Included alongside the German triumvirate are works by Vivaldi who physically helped with the composition of Pisendel’s A minor concerto movement, Fasch who was a great friend of Pisendel and Telemann, and Brescianello, an Italian who helped the dissemination of Italian instrumental music throughout the German-speaking lands and whose concertos were played in Dresden by Pisendel.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Christopher Gunning has composed twelve symphonies, as well as concertos for the piano, violin, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, and guitar; many of these have now been recorded. He has also composed many scores for films and television dramas, including Agatha Christie’s ‘Poirot’, La Vie en Rose, Middlemarch, Cold Lazarus, Rebecca, Under Suspicion, Firelight, The Big Battalions, Wild Africa, When the Whales Came and Porterhouse Blue. With a career spanning 50 years, he has won 4 BAFTA and 3 Ivor Novello Awards, and BASCA’s prestigious Gold Badge Award. Christopher studied composition with Edmund Rubbra and Sir Richard Rodney Bennett at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After a hugely successful career writing for the big and small screen he is now focussed on his classical work and releases.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Messiah…Refreshed!

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    The Goossens Messiah, recorded for the first and only time by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus under Sir Thomas Beecham, has stood as a landmark of the classical catalogue for sixty years. Goossens’ richly orchestrated version is set to reach a new audience thanks to Maestro Griffith and DCINY, New York City’s leading promoter of classical music. They gathered at Abbey Road Studios in London in July 2019, to record the work with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and a chorus comprising of sixty members of The Jonathan Griffith Singers, drawn from around the world and sixty members of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. The new recording has captured the score’s vibrant tone colours in thrilling high-definition sound. An acclaimed conductor, educator and lecturer, Dr. Jonathan Griffith has led performances across North America, Europe, and Asia. Griffith is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY), which has brought together, under Griffith’s artistic leadership, thousands of musicians and choral singers in concert at prestigious venues across the United States, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Disney Hall. The founder and Music Director of the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra, Griffith also oversees DCINY’s mentoring program for conductors. Founded in 1983 as a single choir of 100 of the best singers in the nation, the National Youth Choir is now the flagship ensemble of an Arts Council England National Portfolio youth music organisation and registered charity, the National Youth Choir of Great Britain (NYCGB), which runs five membership choirs, a nationwide outreach programme for schools and Music Hubs, and provides professional training for the next generation of choral singers, composers and leaders.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Gustavo Díaz-Jerez is one of the leading composers and pianists in Spain. His compositional output spans all genres, from solo works to opera. His works have been premiered by prestigious ensembles and orchestras. His orchestral work Ymarxa, commissioned by the XXVII Canary Islands Music Festival, was premiered by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Charles Dutoit. In 2018, his first opera was premiered, La casa imaginaria. This album represents the culmination of more than ten years of compositional work. A unique endeavour in the history of music in the Canary Islands, it comprises seven symphonic poems – almost two and a half hours of music – which evoke the landscapes and natural beauty of the Canaries. The cycle takes its name, Maghek (“the one who creates brightness”), from the sun-goddess of the Guanches, the aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands. Each piece is inspired by a specific locale on a different island; some resurrect forgotten stories. Naturalistic tonal painting (the sea, the wind, the rugged scenery) is a constant feature throughout the cycle.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Born in Strasbourg, Elizabeth Sombart studied piano from the age of seven. She studied all over the world with various teachers, including Bruno-Leonardo Gelber, Peter Feuchtwanger, Hilde Langer-Rühl and Sergiu Celibidache. Elizabeth recieved the rank of Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite in 2006 and then was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2008, both in reference to her career in music. Elizabeth has a strong relationship with the RPO and will be continuing this Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle with them over the coming months. Beethoven is one of the single most influential figure in the history of Western music. Starting out with Mozart and Haydn as his spiritual mentors; he wrestled off the shackles of 18th century Classicism, forging uncompromising musical landscapes with a visionary intensity that left most musicians quivering in his wake. For centuries, music had lagged behind the other arts, but with Beethoven’s iron-clad will, it found itself at the cutting edge of social change.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Sturm und Drang Volume 1

    £8.00£14.00
    This is the first project in a seven-volume series exploring the ‘Sturm und Drang’ movement, which swept through all art forms in the between the early 1760s and 1780s. The purpose of this movement were to frighten and perturb through the use of wild and subjective emotional means of expression. This series of ‘Sturm und Drang’ recordings incorporates iconic compositions by Mozart, Gluck and, above all, Joseph Haydn, but it also includes largely forgotten or neglected works by less familiar names. The music featured on this disc was all composed in the 1760s. It includes ballet and opera as well as symphonies, but is drawn together by the hallmarks of the remarkably visceral and dynamic style of music that we now call ‘Sturm und Drang’.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Gabriel Prokofiev’s famous first Concerto for Turntables reached a global audience when performed by Mr. Switch at the 2011 BBC Proms, under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski. It has since been performed 55 times worldwide, with the 5th movement being performed 20 times as part of the BBC’s Ten Piece’s project. The aim of the piece is demonstrate the main DJing techniques, with each movement showing off a specific one. Prokofiev’s Cello Concerto was composed in 2012 and is the third concerto he composed. It was the most conventional of his concertos, with the other two (at that point) being for Bass Drum and Turntables. Despite this, Prokofiev still manages to explore influences of electronic and dance music in the concerto, whilst also exploring the traditional lyrical side of the cello.   All downloads include booklets. 
  • Born in Strasbourg, Elizabeth Sombart studied piano from the age of seven. She studied all over the world with various teachers, including Bruno-Leonardo Gelber, Peter Feuchtwanger, Hilde Langer-Rühl and Sergiu Celibidache. Elizabeth received the rank of Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite in 2006 and then was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2008, both in reference to her career in music. Elizabeth has a strong relationship with the RPO and will be continuing this Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle with them over the coming months. Beethoven is one of the single most influential figure in the history of Western music. Starting out with Mozart and Haydn as his spiritual mentors; he wrestled off the shackles of 18th century Classicism, forging uncompromising musical landscapes with a visionary intensity that left most musicians quivering in his wake. For centuries, music had lagged behind the other arts, but with Beethoven’s iron-clad will, it found itself at the cutting edge of social change.  
  • Beethoven & Barry Vol. 1

    £8.00£18.00
    The highly anticipated recording of Thomas Adès and the Britten Sinfonia playing Beethoven and Barry; specifcally the Beethoven Symphony Cycle and a selection of Barry’s works. This CD features Beethoven’s first three symphonies, interspersed with Barry’s piece Beethoven and his Piano Concerto. Beethoven intended to stake his claim to be the rightful successor to the Viennese classical tradition with the first of his symphonies, premiered in 1800. He had already began to lose his hearing by this point, and when he composed his second symphony, he placed on the page his spirit of defiance and determination against his deafness. The third marks a significant turning point in his style, as well as in the framwork of how a symphony was expected to be composed. Gerald Barry grew up in rural Ireland. His music shows us how his upbringing had an effect on his compositional style - giving a piece a title such as Beethoven would suggest an attempt at emulating his legacy nearly two centuries after his death. Do not be fooled by this however; his music shows his major influence from radio, moving from the sublime and the ridiculous with carefree abandon.   All downloads include booklets. 
  • Christopher Gunning returns with recordings of his Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto and Birdflight. Not composed until 2011, Gunning's Violin Concerto was composed after inspiration whilst the composer was out hiking in Wales. The violin is supposed to represent ducking and weaving, rather like the insects and animals found in the Welsh hills and valleys. However, despite this positive venture for the composer, the emotions of sadness and melancholy are never far from this music - feelings which never seem far from Gunning's music. The Cello Concerto is quite different. Although composed hard on the heels of the Violin Concerto, it is generally darker though equally expressive. The third piece, Birdflight, is for the orchestra alone; a kind of tone poem. At the opening and close there is some quiet night music with spacious strings. The birds take flight but encounter a problem; a hawk is on their tail. The birds manage to hide and there is a pause. Then, when danger has passed, they take off and once again enjoy the sheer pleasure of flying.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Extra Time

    £8.00£14.00
    This recording by La Serenissima began life when the ensemble were recording for an earlier release. An issue with budget for a previous release meant these gems had to be left out. Since that release in 2015, La Serenissima have firmly established themselves as one of the leading performing ensembles of Italian Baroque. Following on from their highly acclaimed ‘The Godfather;’ released on Signum last year, this release shows the class act that they are, with these recordings making for one incredible album. La Serenissima was formed in 1994 for a performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s La Sena festeggiante and has now firmly established itself as one of the leading exponents of the music of eighteenth-century Venice and connected composers. The entire repertoire of La Serenissima is edited by director Adrian Chandler from manuscript or contemporary printed sources, a testament to its vision to enrich life by sharing its passion for Italian baroque music.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Australian conductor Geoffrey Simon is resident in London and has appeared there with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra and English Chamber Orchestra. Internationally, he has appeared with the Adelaide, Atlanta, Bournemouth, Canberra, City of Birmingham, Fort Worth, Melbourne, Milwaukee, Queensland, Sapporo, Shanghai, St Louis, Sydney, Tasmanian, Vermont and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, the Israel, Moscow, Munich and New Japan Philharmonic Orchestras, the American Symphony, the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and the Australian Opera. Written after Mussorgsky had met Russian artist and designer Viktor Hartmann, Pictures at an Exhibition is by far Mussorgsky’s most played work. The piece was written when Hartmann gave Mussorgsky two ‘pictures.’ Hartmann very suddenly died aged 39; following his death, a memorial exhibition was put on in St. Petersburg. Mussorgsky donated the two ‘pictures’ which Hartmann had given him before he died. Mussorgsky is said to have based the piece on his experiences at this exhibition, which was in memory of Hartmann. The concerto version is performed here by Tamas Ungar in an arrangement by Lawrence Leonard.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Born in Strasbourg, Elizabeth Sombart studied piano from the age of seven. She studied all over the world with various teachers, including Bruno-Leonardo Gelber, Peter Feuchtwanger, Hilde Langer-Rühl and Sergiu Celibidache. Elizabeth received the rank of Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite in 2006 and then was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2008, both in reference to her career in music. Elizabeth has a strong relationship with the RPO and will be continuing this Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle with them over the coming months. Beethoven is one of the single most influential figure in the history of Western music. Starting out with Mozart and Haydn as his spiritual mentors; he wrestled off the shackles of 18th century Classicism, forging uncompromising musical landscapes with a visionary intensity that left most musicians quivering in his wake. For centuries, music had lagged behind the other arts, but with Beethoven’s iron-clad will, it found itself at the cutting edge of social change. This third instalment of this series features Beethoven’s mighty 5th piano concerto as well as his ever popular triple concerto, featuring Duncan Riddell on violin and Richard Harwood on cello.   All downloads include booklets.
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