• Discover 50 of the most relaxing pieces of classical music, featuring recordings by The King's Singers, Fretwork, Alessio Bax and Tamsin Waley-Cohen. A new Signum compilation, this digital exclusive is available to buy and stream on iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify.
  • The Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s Christmas concerts are one of the highlights of this celebrated ensemble’s musical year. Joined by the RSNO Junior Chorus, this disc captures some highlights of these concerts with a selection of festive favourites both old and new. The mix is infectious and the performances full of fun and panache - The Daily Telegraph There are plenty of Christmas albums around, as you know, but this one is blessed with an extra dose of charm. Listening to it, I can almost smell the cranberry sauce - Classic FM Magazine
  • A sumptuous new recording of Gabrieli Consort & Players’ first, award-winning CD, A Venetian Coronation 1595. Nearly 25 years later, Paul McCreesh has reworked his imaginative reconstruction of a glorious late 16th century Coronation Mass at St Mark’s, Venice. This is an exciting new version of one of Gabrieli’s most influential and enduringly popular programmes, available for the very first time on Vinyl, and recently awarded a Gramophone Award for Best Early-Music recording 2013. Double, 180g Vinyl Release, plays at 33rpm Even if you own the classic Virgin disc, this new version is a must-buyThe Sunday Times Never less than enthrallingThe Independent McCreesh's new take on his classic recording is a triumph … Highly recommended to both first- and second-time buyers, and on track to inspire yet another generation - International Record Review
  • Winner of the 2002 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, 1998 Pulitzer Prize, and 2011 Nemmers Award, Aaron Jay Kernis is one of America’s most honoured composers. His music appears prominently on concert programs worldwide, and he has been commissioned by America’s preeminent performing organizations and artists, including the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco, Toronto, and Melbourne (AU) Symphonies. The Viola Concerto – composer for the soloist Paul Neubauer – was in its first instance inspired and informed by the viola music of Robert and Clara Schumann, but takes on a number of other influences. Taking the performers own interest in folk music as an influence too, the final movement A Song My Mother Taught Me is based on the well-known Yiddish song Tumbalalaika. Dreamsongs also follows folk influences, following inspiration from sources including aboriginal ‘dreamsongs’ and the West African djembe drum. A virtuosic work, it was developed in collaboration with the cellist Joshua Roman who features as soloist in this recording. Conductor Rebecca Miller leads the Royal Northern Sinfonia in the final work Concerto with Echoes, inspired by the Sixth Brandenburg Concerto, and in the composer’s own words “...comes from its very first measure — the opening passage with two spiralling solo violas, like identical twins following each other breathlessly through a hall of mirrors ... this concerto mirrors the Sixth by using only violas, celli and basses, while gradually adding reeds and horns into a loop back to the sound world of the First Brandenburg Concerto.”
  • A stunning soloist follows on from his 2012 Brahms release with a new concerto recording of piano concertos K.491 and K.595 by Mozart, performed with the Southbank Sinfonia under Simon Over. The Italian-born pianist Alessio Bax is a first-prize winner at the Leeds and Hamamatsu international piano competitions and a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient. Bax and the Southbank Sinfonia bring a new lease of life to these concertos, making the most of the clean lines as well as the cheekier moments hidden within the score … Youthful, beautiful music, peppered with Mozart's trademark tunes - Classic FM Leeds International Competition winner Alessio Bax here extends his repute as a performer of gossamer brilliance with a Mozart disc dear to his own heart - Audiophile Audition
  • ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, whose score is the first commissioned by The Royal Ballet for a full-length narrative dance work in 20 years, won over not only London audiences but those in Canada and the US, flocking to its premiere North American season with the National Ballet of Canada in June of 2011. The production was sold out well in advance of its close and ended as the company’s highest-grossing production of all time. This is real music – witty, unpretentious and clever, and the extracts chosen on this disc never outstay their welcome. Themes associated with specific characters are invariably memorable and intelligently developed. The suite’s opening is entrancing - The Arts Desk The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Christopher Austin’s baton delivers a flawless and energetic performance, drawing out every ingenious flourish and limning each individual sound in silver - Sinfini Music What Talbot has done to create the aural setting for the world down the rabbit-hole is extraordinary. His whimsical score twists and turns as capriciously as the place in which Alice has found herself. The orchestra produces a plethora of odd and magical sounds, tumbling rhythms that seem to trip over one another and at times, walls of big beautiful sound - Expedition Audio
  • An exciting start to a new orchestral collaboration for Signum Records, this disc is the first of a new series with the London Sinfonietta – one of the world’s elite contemporary music ensembles with a reputation built on the virtuosity of its performances and ambitious programming. This live recording brings together the UK premiere of Anaïs Nin, a new work for soprano and small ensemble, alongside his famed work De Staat.

    Anaïs Nin is a monodrama based on the diaries of the same famed author, as well as those of her lovers (Antonin Artaud, René Allendy, Henry Miller and her own Father). A sometimes disturbing tale of desire and passion, Andriessen felt that the music should “closely track the irony, despair and passion of this brilliant, many-sided woman”.

    " ... [Anaïs Nin’s] resonance is profound and disturbing. By pairing it in concert with an invigorating performance of Andriessen's early masterpiece, De Staat, whose concern with the individual body and the body politic bears strong parallels, the Sinfonietta showed the Dutch composer at his searching best."
    Guy Dammann, The Guardian (Review of the concert from which this recording was made)

  • Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is a masterwork of 19th Century literature; a parable on the struggle for personal freedom against the conventions of a hostile society, played out in a tragic love-story. With a libretto by the distinguished director Colin Graham after the novel by Leo Tolstoy, David Carlson's opera vividly captures the drama and message of the original work. This double-disc set is a world premiere recording of the opera, with commanding performances from members of the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra conducted by Stewart Robertson. There is a lot to admire in this dramatic, expressive scoreOpera Now Magazine
  • Signum are proud to present the debut recording from the Chineke! Orchestra, 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 orchestra is the brainchild of Chi-chi Nwanoku MBE, FRAM, who describes the project’s aim as being “... 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 first release in a new series, Chineke! orchestra perform two beguiling works – Sibelius’s Finlandia and Dvořák’s much loved Symphony No. 9 ‘From the New World’. Both pieces encompass different aspects of BME influences in Western Classical music: Sibelius’s Finlandia embodied a national sentiment in both the composer’s homeland of Finland as well as for other small nations seeking to free themselves from subjugation from other countries (becoming the national anthem of Biafra during the civil war of 1967-1970), and although underplayed by critics at the time, Dvorak’s work rings with melodies influenced by the folk music and spirituals sung to him by his African- American student and assistant, Harry Burleigh, and with rhythms and pentatonic sections inspired by the music of the Sioux Indians, all wrapped up in the format of a Western Classical symphony.
  • BARTOK

    £12.00
    Recorded as part of their critically praised ‘Infernal Dance’ season, the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen explore three contrasting works by Bela Bartok – the chamber piece Contrasts, and the orchestral works Dance Suite and The Miraculous Mandarin. Contrasts is one of Bela Bartok’s most imaginative forays into the world of chamber music. His only chamber work involving a woodwind instrument (for Piano, Clarinet and Violin), Contrasts originated in a commission from the American ‘King of Swing’, Benny Goodman. Composed to mark the 50th anniversary of Budapest in 1923, Bartok’s Dance Suite is a rhapsodic collection of folk inspired tunes that marked a sonorous change in direction from the composer’s more dissonant works up to that point. The ballet-pantomime The Miraculous Mandarin is raw, dangerous, exotic and elemental: using the rarely performed full ballet score it is frenzied music, percussive, sensuous and violent, telling a shocking story of desire and death. Ferocious savagery that Salonen uncorks...suggesting a lacerating whip - The Times I was drawn in by the cool ferocity and steadfast virtuosity of these performances - The Guardian
  • An unforgettable live-concert recording, selected from the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s season of works by Béla Bartók – 'Infernal Dance.' As soon as Salonen cues the score's reptilian first bars, just after the one-minute mark, you can sense both a tightening of tension and Salonen's natural grasp of Bartok's richly suggestive tone-poetryGramophone As dazzling as you always hope it will be... A truly atmospheric recording that makes it easy to believe you’re in the dark bowels of a castleBBC Radio 3 Record Review The conclusion of the opera is riveting, vocally and instrumentally, with the live performance giving a real edge to the drama ... for Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonic on top form this is fantasticPlanet Hugill This 2011 performance of Bartok's score is sure to become a classic  ... The hour passes like a single breathWords and Music
     
  • Beethoven’s euphoric Symphony No. 9, like his Symphony No. 5, is one of those pieces of classical music which transcends the barrier between musical genres – one of the few pieces of the classical canon in the popular consciousness. Few can fail to be uplifted and caught up in the joyous Ode to Joy finale. For this performance, recorded live at the Edinburgh International Festival in 1994, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment were joined by the renowned conductor and long-time collaborator, Sir Charles Mackerras, a partnership between him and the OAE that lasted almost a quarter of a century. ★★★★★ One of the most thrilling Beethoven interpretations I have ever heard. It bristles with revolutionary spirit … The OAE play like gods and demons - The Financial Times ★★★★★ The slow movement is full of spiritual balm. The outer movements are elemental in proper revolutionary style; the finale’s found British soloists are excellent. Highly recommended - The Mail on Sunday Fine choral singing by the New Company, and Mackerras's masterly control, make the finale as electrifying as only it can be - The Times
  • The London Chamber Orchestra, the UK’s oldest chamber orchestra, has nurtured the new and paid homage to the traditional since 1921. Since 1988 Principal Conductor and Music Director Christopher Warren-Green has brought together the inspirational musicians and repertoire for which LCO is renowned. The remarkable acoustic and intimate ambience of St. John’s, Smith Square, its London home, enable the LCO - the only chamber orchestra resident in London - to give vibrant performances and establish a close rapport with its audiences. The recordings on the LCO Live label, in partnership with Signum Classics, are the result of this happy marriage of orchestra and venue. Future releases include Mozart’s Symphony No. 1 and Beethoven’s ‘Ah Perfido!’
     
  • The Philharmonia Orchestra is widely recognised as the UK’s finest orchestra with an impressive recording legacy, with this being their sixth disc with Signum. Christoph Von Dohnányi has been principle conductor for the past 11 years and has recently been made Honorary Conductor for life. The disc features two crowning achievements of Beethoven’s aptly titled ‘Heroic’ compositional period of the early 19th Century; the Third Symphony (Eroica), and the Fifth Symphony, arguably the single most popular piece of classical music in the Western canon. The musical argument is pursued with unflagging vigour combined with a high degree of orchestral virtuosity - the excitement remains intense in this hugely satisfying account - International Record Review These are fine, intelligent and very well played live performances and both are very welcome additions to the catalogue - MusicWeb International
  • This is the first in a new series of releases from the world-renowned conductor Paul McCreesh and his Gabrieli Consort. Recorded in Poland as part of the Wratislava Cantans Festival (of which McCreesh is artistic director) this staggering performance of Berlioz's 'Grand Mass for the Dead' is produced by a force of over 400 performers - drawn from the Gabrieli Consort and Players, the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir and students from Chetham's School of Music. Future releases with McCreesh will include Mendelssohn's Elijah, Haydn's The Seasons, Britten's War Requiem and a re-recording of their famed disc 'A Venetian Coronation'.

    Founded in 1982 by Artistic Director Paul McCreesh, Gabrieli Consort & Players are worldrenowned interpreters of great choral and instrumental repertoire, spanning from the renaissance to the present day. Their performances encompass virtuosic a cappella programmes, mould-breaking reconstructions of music for historical events, and major works from the oratorio tradition. They are regular visitors to the world's most prestigious concert halls and festivals and have built a large and distinguished discography.

     
     
     
  • Since September 2008 Esa-Pekka Salonen has been Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Philharmonia Orchestra. In his first season in this role he devised and led City of Dreams, a nine-month exploration of the music and culture of Vienna between 1900 and 1935. The project, which presented the music of Mahler, Schoenberg, Zemlinsky and Berg in its social and historical context, travelled to 18 cities across Europe, culminating in October 2009 with semi-staged performances of Berg's Wozzeck, with Simon Keenlyside in the title role. The Philharmonia plays beautifully for Esa-Pekka Salonen. [Their] woodwind section particularly distinguishes itself, with eloquent, forlorn exchanges between the oboe and cor anglais in the 'Scene aux Champs' ... a well-turned, thoughtful performance - International Record Review Don't ever be tempted to typecast Esa-Pekka Salonen as a hardline modernist ... he reveals himself as a powerful Berliozian tooClassic FM Magazine The Philharmonia gives its all in a performance that relishes the manic contrasts in Berlioz's groundbreaking score, as well as emphasising its symphonic sweep - BBC Music Magazine
  • This new disc from the Philharmonia completes the collection of Brahms symphonies conducted by Christoph Von Dohnányi. These live performances are about subtle shading and unexaggerated, probing thoughtfulness, bringing out the Classical rather than the Romantic side of Brahms - Classic FM Magazine A very sensitive interpreter… the slow movement [of the First Symphony] is very lyrical with some effective instrumental dovetailing and plenty of light and shade, and the finale generates an impressive sense of joyous release - Gramophone
    Both performances are well played by the Philharmonia from whom the conductor obtains a sound that is lean and muscular - MusicWeb International
  • Symphony No. 2 Its idyllic nature, sheer tunefulness and general sunny disposition earned Brahms an unmitigated triumph in its premiere performance in Vienna in 1877. Since then, it has been described as the sunny counterpart to the storm clouds of his First Symphony. Symphony No. 4 This work conveys Brahms’ imaginative writing combining sheer intelligence with unexpected comic turns. The Finale is still considered to be one of the most exhilarating movements in the entire orchestral repertoire. The Philharmonia Orchestra is widely recognised as the UK’s finest orchestra with an impressive recording legacy. Christoph Von Dohnányi has been principle conductor for the past 11 years and in the coming season will be made Honorary Conductor for life.
  • Recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall’s Southbank Centre, the Philharmonia Orchestra are led by Christoph von Dohnányi in these captivating live recordings of Brahms’ Four Symphonies. The Philharmonia Orchestra is widely recognised as the UK’s finest orchestra with an impressive recording legacy. Christoph von Dohnányi has been principle conductor of the Philharmonia since 1997 and was appointed Honorary Conductor for life in 2008. These live performances are about subtle shading and unexaggerated, probing thoughtfulness, bringing out the classical rather than the romantic side of Brahms - Classic FM magazine A very sensitive interpreter ... the slow movement [of the first symphony] is very lyrical, with some effective instrumental dovetailing and plenty of light and shade, and the finale generates an impressive sense of joyous release - Gramophone Throughout the set the Philharmonia plays excellently – the rapport with the conductor is evident… these Dohnányi readings are consistent and very rewarding - MusicWeb International
  • Britten’s powerful and masterful evocation of the North Sea in all its moods has to audiences all over the world become inextricably linked with the Aldeburgh that was home to George Crabbe (author of the ‘The Borough’ from which the story originates) in the eighteenth century and Britten in the twentieth.
    Steuart Bedford leads a vast and accomplished ensemble on this new live recording, created shortly before the group’s unique staging of the work on the beach at Aldeburgh as part of the town’s world-renowned festival. The mix here is imperceptible and the sound unobtrusive; engineer Mike Hatch deserves a credit twice the size and conductor Steuart Bedford pulls off an extraordinary feat of coherence and endurance. But it’s Oke who makes the case for Peter Grimes and steals the show. There used to be two great Grimes on record: Peter Pears and Jon Vickers. Now there are threeSinfini Music
  • Following their acclaimed recordings of Berlioz’s Grande Messe des Morts and Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Paul McCreesh has once again assembled the mass forces of Gabrieli Consort & Players and Wrocaw Phiharmonic Choir to record one of the iconic masterpieces of the twentieth-century oratorio repertoire.
     
    The work reflects Britten’s long-held and committed pacifist beliefs. Composed to mark the consecration of a new Cathedral in Coventry, Britten combines the Latin text of the Missa pro Defunctis with nine poems by the First World War poet Wilfred Owen, which vide a moving (and frequently uncomfortable) commentary on the liturgical text.
     
    This series has already garnered substantial critical claim and a number of prestigious awards, including a Gramophone Award, BBC Music Magazine Award and two Diapason d'Or awards.
     
     
     
     
  • Continuing Signum’s series of live orchestral releases with the Philharmonia Orchestra, on this new disc Christoph von Dohnányi leads a performance of Bruckner’s Symphony No.4, Romantic. Bruckner stands out from other 19th-century symphonists; his large-scale works demonstrate a unique fusion of conservative and radical elements, notably influenced by composers such as Wagner and Beethoven. He appended not only the title 'Romantic' but even included a programme for the Fourth Symphony, sometime after composition. Though he later withdrew it, the scenario is a mediaeval Romantic ideal, where knights awaken to the sound of horns, rejoice and repair to prayer, before the inevitable hunt and ensuing festivities. Orchestral Disc of the Month: There's much worth celebrating on this excellent new recording of Bruckner's Fourth Symphony - Gramophone The performance is notable for some really sensitive chamber-music-like interaction between wind and strings and particularly subtle phrasing from the violas in the chorale melody - BBC Music Magazine A powerful live account of Bruckner's Fourth, played in the Robert Haas edition... a vast, thrilling drama of tension and relaxation, and triumph - The Times Dohnanyi makes the finale something of a tour de force - Classical Source
  • Recorded in 2014 at the begninning of a series marking his 85th birthday season, Christoph von Dohnányi leads the Philharmonia Orchestra in a rousing live performance of Bruckner’s monumental Ninth Symphony, which stands alongside the other epoch-defining Ninth symphonies of Beethoven and Mahler. [A] beautifully prepared account... Dohnanyi's new recording is distinguished by the clarity with which it presents Bruckner's score as well as the excellence of its soundGramophone Dohnanyi's is a considerable performance in its own right. The Philharmonia plays very well for a conductor who they clearly and rightly esteemMusicWeb International The recording is everything you'd wish from a Bruckner recording. You'll get the grand and the detail all in silky sound. Very highly recommended - Audiophilia A wonderfully passion-filled performance by the Philharmonia in Salzburg and an excellent CD edition of this occasion - North East Music Magazine The performance is as devastating an experience as it should be, and one of the most powerful that the whole literature of music can provideBBC Music Magazine Maazel's Seventh is very decent...the clangorous coda is fantastic - The Arts Desk A wonderfully passion-filled performance by the Philharmonia in Salzburg and an excellent CD edition of this occasion -NE:MM
  • Founded in 1973 by Trevor Pinnock, The English Concert has been a leading light in the performance of Baroque and Classical music for for over 40 years. Under their present Artistic Director Harry Bicket and with distinguished guest artists they continue to perform with the passion, sophistication and technical mastery established at their creation.

    Such is the commitment and passion that their players bring to every performance. Drawn not only from home-grown talent, The English Concert can boast a truly international cast of musicians. Soloists in their own right, and backed-up by scholarly knowledge of style and genre, the close-knit relationship between their musicians makes for a truly special blend of sound. This new recording features the talents of these soloists in performances of Concertii by Telemann, Marcello, Dall’Abaco, Tartini and Porpora.

    Performance: ★★★★ Recording: ★★★★★ Here's that increasing rarity: A Baroque disc with no conceptual axe to grind, no over-arching theme - save for giving the members of The English Concert a concerto moment in the sun - and seemingly out to do little more than delight (which it does so in spades) - BBC Music Magazine [Harry] directs from the harpsichord, bringing both vitality and cohesion to the performancesAndrew Benson-Wilson A nice way to spend 70 minutes of your timeGramophone
  • Avant garde. Eccentric. A maniac. Wild and adventurous. Off the wall. Extraordinary. No marketing hyperbole - this is how the players of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment describe Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach and his music. One of the many children of JS Bach, CPE Bach always lived in his father’s shadow, and now is an almost unknown figure at least beyond the classical cogniscenti. How can such an unknown be considered a gamechanger? A listen to his music reveals just why – it constantly shifts, wrongfooting the listener when they least expect it with wild changes of direction and colour – it is bright, effervescent, and is a fascinating link between the music of his father (and the Baroque era) and Joseph Haydn (and the Classical era). ★★★★ It is the sense of adventure that comes across vivaciously here in a fusion of stylistic taste, smooth and supple phrasing and an exuberant thrust - The Daily Telegraph Editor's Choice: Self-critical perspective is clearly not a problem for these artists ... the unfurling description of of a lover's kisses permit all kinds of glorious opportunities for the singers' seemingly telepathic understanding for chiaroscuro, impeccable tuning and innate grammatical sense - Gramophone The OAE under Rebecca Miller play with an accuracy and passion that's infectious: this is among the most exciting, adrenalin-filled period instrument recordings you'll hear - The Arts Desk Symphonies that embrace the strangeness and originality of the writing as well as the beauty of some of the middle movements and the feistiness of the finales. Made live, but they’ve emerged in excellent shape - BBC Radio 3 Record Review The orchestra's playing here is bright, effervescent and fascinating – truly positioning C.P.E. Bach as the missing link between his father and the music of Haydn - Classic FM These energetic, committed performances of five symphonies dating from between 1757 - when Haydn was first writing in the genre - and 1780 show the period band has lost none of its verve and enthusiasm for this strange, dramatic music from the dawn of the "classical" era - The Sunday Times
  • Dance

    £12.00
    Dance forms the final part of a trilogy of albums following the huge success of ‘Flight’ and ‘Seasons’. This project started as a concept album, using the title as the inspiration for the works. Though several of the works embrace the composer’s background collaborations in ballet, there are other works influenced by violinist Kerenza Peacock’s connection with folk music. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios the disc features Kerenza Peacock, pianist Huw Watkins and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Paul Bateman.
       
  • DVORAK

    £12.00

     

     Dvorak’s Symphony No.8 is a symphony that marks Dvorak’s first proper venture into the profusion of ideas and effects that, after the Ninth Symphony, became his home ground as a composer.

    Symphony No.9, ‘From the New World’, received a rapturous reception at its Carnegie Hall premiere, a reception, which has been repeated thousands of times across the globe. Enjoy an extraordinary performance of two of Dvorak’s best known symphonies, beautifully performed by Japan’s leading symphony orchestra.

    The Sapporo Symphony Orchestra is based in the Sapporo Concert Hall “Kitara” which boasts some of the finest acoustics in the world. The orchestra is distinguished by its clear sound and dynamic powers of expression, and has received glowing accolades from around the world.

     

  • Jamie Walton is joined by the Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of their conductor laureate Vladimir Ashkenazy for this new concerto recording of concertos and orchestral works by Dvorák and Schumann. Jamie Walton has proved himself as a leading light in UK's musical life; as a performer in his widely praised concerto and sonata recordings, and as a festival director in his work as founder of the North York Moors Festival, which was shortlisted for an RPS Award in 2011. The two concertos on either side of this lovely miniature, ably supported by the Philharmonia, confirm Walton as an artist with secure intuition in terms of style and with a manner of performing that speaks with natural fluency, eloquence and strength of purpose - The Telegraph Inevitably, everyone will have their favourite performance of these two concertos, book-ending the 19th century cello concerto tradition. But Walton's elegant, refined tone and singing style will win him many converts and this is a recording which I will be playing again - Planet Hugill What has impressed me so much with regard to this account of the Dvorak is the oneness of conception between soloist and conductor. I am sure much preparation went into this performance: they are fully integrated, so we hear the work as a totality, not as a piece for virtuoso solo cello with orchestral accompaniment. This is, of its kind, a masterly performanceInternational Record Review
  • Sir Charles Mackerras leads the Philharmonia Orchestra in rousing live performances of Dvorak's 7th and 8th Symphonies. What I especially liked about the new disc is the naturalness of both readings, always unaffected yet with plenty of discernable character - Gramophone Dvorak’s greatest symphonies receive magisterial performances from the Philharmonia under Sir Charles Mackerras, whose baton seems to turn everything it controls into gold - The Sunday Telegraph These spirited, authoritative and, above all, highly enjoyable readings are a match for the finest in the field - MusicWeb International
  • The cello concertos of Elgar and Myaskovsky written in 1919 and 1944 respectively, engender few similarities these days but make an exciting coupling due not only to the disparate nature of the composers’ lives and situations, but also to the common ground they tread; both composers were in their early sixties when writing their main work for the instrument. A stunning performance by Jamie Walton, accompanied by the magnificent Philharmonia Orchestra. Jamie has enjoyed success as a rising international soloist and has given concerts in some of the most prestigious concert halls in the world. He appears regularly at the Wigmore Hall and Symphony Hall, Birmingham and has performed with leading orchestras such as the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra. ★★★★★ One of the finest recordings of the Elgar.  Jamie Walton has a formidable technique; his playing in the scherzo and the finale is beyond compare; and he captures the autumnal melancholy without loss of vitality.  His pianissimos in the finale coda are a wonder.  He has like-minded collaborators in the Philharmonia and Alexander Briger, who also support him in Myaskovsky's sombre concerto of 1945 - The Telegraph Magazine ★★★★★ Despite living in such disparate lands and situations, [Elgar and Myaskovsky] shared a similar spiritual-musical world. Walton, with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Alexander Briger, deserves credit for making the point so sympathetically - The Financial Times ★★★★ Both composers were wringing their hands over death, destruction and innocence lost. Since Myaskovsky finds more peace than Elgar, we end the disc with some gentle uplift - The Times This is probably the best performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto that I have heard. Walton cannot be beaten. I shall treasure this recording - The Elgar Society Journal
  • The Philharmonia Orchestra is widely recognised as the UK’s finest orchestra with an impressive recording legacy, this being their fifth disc with Signum. This disc combines the Philharmonia’s renowned sound with the leadership of Maestro Davis, who’s recording and performing career spans through all the great orchestras of the world. This disc features Elgar’s best known orchestral works; The Enigma Variations depict twelve of Elgar’s family and friends in fourteen variations built on the original Enigma theme, one of Elgar’s earliest and still most frequently played orchestral works, Serenade for Strings, and In the South, Elgar’s Concert Overture written for the Elgar festival in 1904. A reading clearly born of true affection for, and deep knowledge of this rich and ever-wonderful score… any Elgarian seeking these three pieces together will not remotely be disappointedInternational Record Review Three fine interpretations, that also has the excitement of public performance, by a conductor who loves this repertoire and knows it like the back of his handBBC Music Magazine A highly impressive recording - Classic FM Magazine
  • The Philharmonia Orchestra is widely recognised as the UK’s finest orchestra with an impressive recording legacy, this being their ninth release with Signum Records. This disc combines the Philharmonia’s renowned sound with the leadership of Maestro Davis, whose recording and performing career spans through all the great orchestras of the world.
  • Emmanuel Despax is a rising star on the UK and international piano scene, who has performed at the Wigmore and Cadogan Halls in London, the Salle Gaveau and Louvre Auditorium in Paris, and with orchestras including the CBSO.

    His debut concerto recording, with the Orpheus Sinfonia under Thomas Carroll, features the premiere recording of Stephen Goss’s Piano Concerto, inspired by the designs of Thomas Heatherwick (the work’s premiere performance was the first classical concert in which audiences were invited to bring their ipads and tablets, to watch an interactive display designed to accompany the music). The work is accompanied by two similarly expressive and characterful works, Saint-Saëns’ ever-popular Piano Concerto No.2 and Franck’s Variations symphoniques.

    “Welsh composer Stephen Goss draws on a variety of sources for his eminently listenable music. Despite the eclectic nature of his influences, which range from Beethoven’s late piano music to the films of former Python Terry Gilliam, Goss’s musical language comes across as brilliantly integrated.” International Record Review

  • In recent years, Patrick Hawes has emerged as one of the country’s most popular and inspirational composers. Born in Lincolnhire, he studied music as an organ scholar at Durham University, and soon went on to make an impact in the world of choral music. ★★★★★ Patrick Hawes has carved out a niche as a contemporary composer who writes melodic, atmospheric and, frankly, beautiful music - Gramophone Hawes’s admirers will find much here to confirm their warm response to his music’s quiet strength and individuality... The excellent performances feature the tawny loveliness of Julian Lloyd Webber’s cello-playing, plus two fine solo singers - Classic FM Magazine
  • Flight

    £12.00
    Flight is the stunning new album of works from British composer Oliver Davis (b.1972), composed for and in collaboration with violinist Kerenza Peacock. Flight captures the spirit of movement and energy present in many of Davis’s compositions, which have led to frequent collaborations with groups such as the Royal Ballet and a great number of TV commissions. On disc these works are performed by Kerenza alongside the London Symphony Orchestra under conductor Paul Bateman. [These] exuberant works are performed with charisma and sensitivity by Kerenza Peacock and the LSO - BBC Music Magazine The music is full over movement and energy. It's spirited, lively, and at times reminiscent of the music of Michael Nyman. Kerenza Peacock plays with great panache and verve - Classic FM No quibbles as to Peacock's commitment or panache, while Paul Bateman gets a disciplined response from the London Symphony Orchestra - Gramophone
  • For You

    £18.00
    For You is a new opera that brings together the music of composer and BBC Radio 3 presenter Michael Berkeley and Booker-prize winning author Ian McEwan. This gripping tale of love, lust and obsession centers on the composer and prodigious womanizer Charles Frieth (Alan Opie), and the tragic consequences that his selfish actions cause him and those around. Although essentially dark, there are moments of irony, wit, and humour throughout the opera. Soaring vocal lines, intricate ensemble pieces, and imaginative instrumental writing make this an electrifying work. Masterly performed by Music Theatre Wales, directed by Michael Rafferty.
    The music, conducted here by Michael Rafferty, is energetic, deftly coloured and carefully balanced, allowing the excellent voices, including Alan Opie’s Frieth, to make their due markThe Sunday Times It bristles with wit and lyricism, while giving other composers and librettists a lesson in how to drape operativ tradition in modern clothesThe Financial Times Berkeley’s score is lively, abrasive and strongly crafted … the performance (recorded live) is focused, with excellent orchestral playing and a strong central performance by Alan Opie -  The Daily Telegraph
  • Star British cellist Jamie Walton returns to disc on Signum with a programme Russian repertoire by composers Glazunov, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. Joined by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Okko Kamu, the disc includes the original version of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme. Jamie Walton's outstanding programme of Russian classics captures the music's soaring lyricism with impassioned eloquence and interpretative flair - The Strad Walton embraces Glazunov's tenderness with the warmth and suppleness of his tone...Walton interprets [the Prokofiev] with impressive, seamless sweeps and refined dynamic shading - The Daily Telegraph Seamless lyricism and glorious tone - Gramophone [Walton] delivers a particularly eloquent and virtuosic account of the work - BBC Music Magazine
  • Christina Rossetti’s 19th Century poem Goblin Market has long divided and bemused readers as to its meaning and intent. The story of two sisters and their encounters with the sinister Goblin men and their ‘forbidden’ fruit, has been variously interpreted as an allegory of proto-feminism, a critique on the rise of advertising in pre-capitalist England, and an exploration of feminine sexuality in relation to the Victorian world. This multitude of interpretations only adds to the poems mystique and imagery, captured here by the Pulitzer Prize winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis.

    Performed by London-based ensemble The New Professionals under Rebecca Miller, the work is a unique concoction of music, mime and masks that delves into the overripe and at times grotesque and shocking imagery of Christina Rossetti’s poem. Goblin Market explores both the Victorian repression coded into its text as well as its parallels with contemporary social issues.

    Aaron Jay Kernis is a remarkable composer...in his Goblin Market...you hear an irresistible variety of invention from the 13-piece ensemble...The music seems perfect...its combination of original invention with a broadly earlier style similarly brings the ear back and forth across the generation...this is an inventive treatment of music theatre.
    David Fallows, The Guardian

  • Around the time The King’s Singers was starting up, one of the most productive periods of song- writing in history was coming to a close in America, starting with composers such as Gershwin, Kern, Berlin and Porter in the early 1920s, and continuing through to the early 1960s.

    In this new 2-CD studio recording – featuring brand new a cappella arrangements by jazz composer and arranger Alexander L’Estrange, and swing-orchestra performances with the South Jutland Symphony Orchestra – The King’s Singers bring their own unique performance style to this wonderful music. The King’s Singers bring their unique style to some of the most beloved hits from the golden era of songwritingThe Lady
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    Signum Records are delighted to present the second recording on SignumClassics of the CBSO, under the direction of Mark Elder.In his youth Shostakovich devoted much time and energy to composing for the theatre and the cinema, writing for an astonishing variety of movies, political plays, satires, the music-hall and the ballet.
    The music for Nikolai Akimov’s outrageous and scandalous production of Hamlet was composed in the winter of 1931 – 1932. Akimov had decided that tragedy was irrelevant to the modern Soviet audience, and therefore presented the play as a satirical farce in which the play was turned up-side-down, by reversing all the usual assumptions about the plot and how it should be acted. The alterations to Shakespeare’s work are reflected in the titles of several of Shostakovich’s numbers. He was asked to provide music for scenes that Shakespeare only refers to but which Akimov insisted on representing on stage, for example the feast where "funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables". The overall character of Shostakovich’s music is often abrasive and satirical, and flippant just where we would expect the music to be more serious. There are also some funny moments, with particular sharp parodies of various well-known musico-theatrical clichés.
    In 1954 Kozintsev had also attempted to direct a staged version of Hamlet. For this occasion he decided to reuse music that Shostakovich had already written for him to use in a staged production of King Lear in 1941. All that Kozintsev asked Shostakovich to add for the 1954 Hamlet were a Gigue and a Finale, both of which are included on this recording as an appendix to the music for Akimov’s 1932 production.
    The music that Shostakovich wrote for Kozintsev’s 1941 King Lear production inhabits a strange and transitional world, halfway between the bright and brilliant sarcasm of the music for Akimov’s Hamlet of ten years earlier and the more soberly functional manner of his post-war theatrical music. Gone is most of the cheekiness, the fondness for the experimental and the grotesque. There is much in this often oppressively dark music that is characteristic of what was by now Shostakovich’s public symphonic manner.
    Perhaps the most powerful and unusual part of the score is the bizarre cycle of Fool’s songs, with which the Fool mocks the mistakes of his master, the King, in the course of the first three Acts. The music of these songs is as strange and quirky as the words they set. Taken as a whole, these ten songs make up a miniature cycle of sourly absurd, almost expressionistic outbursts for voice and orchestra.

     

     

     

  • The Gliere Harp Concerto has always been a favorite among harp enthusiasts; written in the 1930s, the work’s stylistic features are reminiscent of the Viennese classical style united with Russian romantic nationalism. This disc highlights the extraordinary talent of the Official Harpist to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, Claire Jones. She is joined by renowned flautist William Bennet OBE, and the English Chamber Orchestra to complete the release with Mozart’s Concerto for flute, harp and Orchestra and Debussy’s Danses pour Harpe Chromatique. Claire has performed for members of the Royal Family on more then 70 occasions and has recently performed a brand new Royal Commission by Patrick Hawes at Highgrove House with the Philharmonia Orchestra. ★ I hope Claire Jone’s excellent performance, with the English Chamber Orchestra under Paul Watkins, will bring its many merits to the attention of a wider audience - The Daily Mail ★★★★ [Jones] performs diligently and allows [her] instrument to gleam and twinkle sonically in front of the self-effacing ECO - Classic FM Magazine Jones plays with a warmth, charm and relaxed ease ideal for winter evening listening. Mozart apparently loathed both the flute and harp, but after hearing this performance you would never know itBBC Music Magazine A disc [that] splendidly celebrating the artistry of Claire Jones - Gramophone
  • The Gabrieli Consort continue their series of award-winning collaborations with the National Forum of Music, Wrocław, Poland with a new version of Haydn’s great oratorio The Seasons. Using a new performing edition by Paul McCreesh this recording is the first to feature the large orchestral forces that Haydn called for, including a string section of 60, 8 horns and a choir of 70. As well as the combined forces of the Gabrieli Consort & Players, Wrocław Baroque Orchestra and National Forum of Music Choir, the recording features solo performances from British singers Carolyn Sampson, Jeremy Ovenden and Andrew Foster-Williams. All booklet texts are printed in both English and Polish translations.
  • The London Chamber Orchestra, the UK’s oldest chamber orchestra, has nurtured the new and paid homage to the traditional since 1921. Since 1988 Principal Conductor and Music Director Christopher Warren-Green has brought together the inspirational musicians and repertoire for which LCO is renowned. The remarkable acoustic and intimate ambience of St. John’s, Smith Square, its London home, enable the LCO - the only chamber orchestra resident in London - to give vibrant performances and establish a close rapport with its audiences. The recordings on the LCO Live label, in partnership with Signum Classics, are the result of this happy marriage of orchestra and venue. Future releases include Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, Mozart’s Symphony No. 1 and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4.

    The concerts of Warren-Green and the London Chamber Orchestra at St John’s, Smith Square aren’t often noticed in the press, but their large regular audience knows that they are some of the most exciting in London - The Times

    Tan’s engaging way with Mozart’s Concerto No. 12 intersects nicely with the orchestra’s freshly minted accompaniment. Rosemary Furniss’s direction of Haydn’s ‘La Reine’ Symphony captures the music’s grandeur as well as its grace. And the subversive originality and rhythmic drive of Beethoven’s wackiest symphony come roaring happily across - Classic FM Magazine

  • Rebecca Miller leads the Royal Northern Sinfonia in
    performances of three Haydn Smphonies:
     
    Symphony No.52 in C minor
    Symphony No.53 in D major, L’Imperiale Symphony No.59 in A major, The Fire Symphony
     
    This new release follows Miller’s acclaimed recording of the works of CPE Bach with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment:
    “Self-critical perspective is clearly not a problem for these artists ... the unfurling description of of a lover’s kisses permit all kinds of glorious opportunities for the singers’ seemingly telepathic understanding for chiaroscuro, impeccable tuning and innate grammatical sense”

    Gramophone, Editor’s Choice, May 2015  

  • Signum Records are delighted to welcome the CBSO, under the direction of Mark Elder, to the Signum label. For Shostakovich the six years which span this recording (1931 – 1937) were a period of almost incredibly change and upheaval. It was at this time that the young man faced his first serious political difficulties which culminated in the terrors of 1936. In 1930, the composer met the celebrated vaudeville and pioneer jazz-performer Leonid Utiosov, an astonishing talent who introduced Shostakovich to the world of the theatre. Hypothetically Murdered was written in 1931 to open the Music Hall’s new season. After its initial run, the show was not revived and at some point, probably during the siege of Leningrad, the full-score, parts and libretto disappeared, leaving only a folder with around 40 pages of detailed piano sketches with instrumental indications. The Orchestral Suite Op. 31a, given its world premiere recording on this disc, consists of all the complete surviving orchestral numbers from the folder of sketches, reorchestrated from the composers scribbled notes, and in the style of his surviving theatre music from the period. Nearly six years after Hypotheically Murdered, Shostakovich finished his Four Romances on Poems by Pushkin Op. 46. By this time the composer, and his messages, have profoundly changed. These Romances are music of mature seriousness, and dark with sorrow set against the literary work of the greatest and most humane of all Russian writers. After finishing the Romances, Shostakovich went on to create the Fifth Symphony, using motifs and fragments from the first poem – Rebirth. Thus he was able to hide the words of Pushkin’s passionate poem, a declaration to the power of art to survive barbarism and oppression, beneath the musical argument of his symphonic finale. The fascinating and rarely performed Five Fragments, written in a single sitting in July 1935, are one of Shostakovich’s last experimental works. They prepare the ground for the composition of the massive Fourth Symphony, just as the Romances do for the Fifth. The popular Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 1 was written early in 1934. This delightful highly ironic music is a continuation of the spirit of laughter and adventure that had earlier led Shostakovich to work with the great Utiosov on Hypothetically Murdered. As with most ‘Soviet Jazz’ of the period there is not much jazz here, more of a feeling of operetta and cabaret music and also of Jewish songs. Despite such jollity there is always an undertone of depth and darkness, of real sadness and foreboding underlying the sentimentality and parody.
  •  World renowned Welsh composer, John Metcalf presents his new work, In Time of Daffodils. A song cycle, originally set for voice & piano, Metcalf has extended his own work into an orchestral masterpiece, setting the words of much loved poets to the six concluding songs of the cycle.

    Metcalf drew on material from 12 years of creative work to produce the three works which appear on his latest release. Metcalf emphasises the connections in the way the movements were conceived; originating as a whole or in part as works with piano. Metcalf embraced the pan-diatonic or ‘white note’ style when composingParadise Haunts and Three Mobiles encompassing a sense of minimalism in each, yet the movements are both distinctive; Three Mobiles has a larger rhythmic complexity than the more sublime former.

    The BBC National Orchestra perform beautifully with Thomas Bowes and Gerard McChrystal interweaving with leading lines on violin and saxophone. The final movement, In Time of Daffodils is a collection of beautiful songs performed by Jeremy Huw Williams, (baritone). The songs are based on texts from 7 poems by poets including William Wordsworth and Amy Lowell, based around the central theme – and emblem of Wales – the daffodil.

    In Time of Daffodils

    Including the settings of: 
    Wordsworth, Keats, Lowell, Housman & Herrick.

    Also featuring two other Metcalf works:

    Paradise Haunts...
    Three Mobiles

     


     
  • J.S. Bach’s ‘Passions’ have been said to employ the word with more than one meaning – as well as telling the story of Christ’s sacrifice, they are simultaneously a celebration of human feeling in the joy and suffering of man’s pilgrimage on earth. The expert early music chamber orchestra Yorkshire Baroque Soloists bring all of these feelings to life in a dramatic and resonant performance of Bach’s Passio Secundum Johannem (St John Passion). Joined for this recording by the excellent Charles Daniels, Stephen Varcoe and Stephan Loges, the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists have been a leading light in the world of Early Music performance since their formation in 1973. As dramatically coherent and satisfying as I’ve heard for a while… this is a St John which carries open-hearted conviction and character before it - Gramophone Charles Daniel’s level-headed Evangelist anchors the narrative thrust with suave sagacity - BBC Music Magazine A coherent, articulate and engaging performance that balances well the work’s twin identities as narrative and contemplation - MusicWeb International
  • "The B minor". That phrase alone resonates with gravity in the hearts and minds of those who love as no other the music of J.S. Bach. This disc sees the Rodolfus Choir at their best, as renowned Bach interpreters, having played his works across the UK to great acclaim. Following a live broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and performance at Holy Trinity Guildford at the end of 2009, this disc, recorded in the chapel of Charterhouse School continues their evergrowing catalogue of extraordinary recordings. Performance ★★★★ Recording ★★★★ The soloists are a fine team. In 'Domine Deus', Sophie Bevan and Ben Johnson match perfectly in imitation... Highly recommended- BBC Music Magazine There is uncanny vocal empathy between Sophie Bevan and Clint van der Linde, which, in 'Et in unum Dominum', results in the most extraordinary complementing of vocal lines... both stimulating and refreshing - International Record Review If some forty young singers can produce a recorded account of the B Minor Mass of this quality then the future for British choral music is bright indeed - MusicWeb International
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