• The second volume in a ground-breaking seven-part series, The Mozartists and director Ian Page’s ‘Sturm und Drang’ recordings incorporate iconic compositions by Mozart, Gluck and, above all, Joseph Haydn, but it also includes largely forgotten or neglected works by less familiar names. All of the music featured on this second recording was composed between 1765 and 1770, with three turbulent minor-key symphonies alternating with sacred and operatic arias. The ‘Sturm und Drang’ movement swept through all art forms in between the early 1760s and 1780s, with the general objective to frighten and perturb through the use of wildly subjective and emotional means of expression, envoking ground-breaking extremes of passion and sentimentality.
  • Borodin: Requiem

    £12.00 Available September 18, 2020.
    Together with familiar music from Prince Igor, this CD features the world premiere recording of the unusual Requiem, (which is based on “Chopsticks”), and Glazunov’s orchestration of the charming Petite Suite. 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. The Philharmonia Orchestra is a British orchestra based in London. It was founded in 1945 by Walter Legge, a classical music record producer for EMI. Among the conductors who worked with the orchestra in its early years were Richard Strauss, Wilhelm Furtwängler and Arturo Toscanini; of the Philharmonia’s younger conductors, the most important to its development was Herbert von Karajan, who though never formally chief conductor was closely associated with the orchestra in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The Philharmonia became widely regarded as the finest of London’s five symphony orchestras in its first two decades.
  • This release by the London Chamber Orchestra marks the start of the build up to the orchestras 100th anniversary year. Featuring three sublime recordings of pieces for strings, this is a nod to the fact that the orchestra truly are one of the best in the country. When you go to an LCO concert, you do not just go to listen to a concert, you go to experience a performance. This live recording from Cadogan Hall, in June of 2019 is no exception. Christopher Warren-Green and the orchestra capture the quintessential ‘Englishness’ of Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis perfectly. They then explore the emotional Serenade for Strings of both Josef Suk and Antonín Dvořák, examining the similarities between the pieces.
  • The second volume of celebrated pianist, composer and conductor Thomas Adès and the Britten Sinfonia’s collaborative performances of the works of Beethoven and Gerald Barry. Beethoven’s 4th, 5th and 6th symphonies are interspersed with Barry’s ‘Viola Concerto’ (featuring Lawrence Power) and piece for orchestra and bass ‘The Conquest of Ireland’ (featuring Joshua Bloom). The pairing is ideal, for Gerald Barry’s compositional style was greatly influenced by Beethoven, giving a piece a title such as Beethoven would suggest an attempt at emulating his legacy nearly two centuries after his death. His music also shows his major influence from radio, moving from the sublime and the ridiculous with carefree abandon.
  • In the 2019/20 season Santtu-Matias Rouvali continued as Chief Conductor of Gothenburg Symphony and as Principal Conductor Designate of the Philharmonia Orchestra, where he succeeds Esa-Pekka Salonen as Principal Conductor in 2021/22. Alongside these posts he retains his longstanding position as Chief Conductor with Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, close to his home in Finland. His international profile continues to flourish. He debuted the season with the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw orchestras in wide-ranging repertoire. He conducted the New York premiere of Bryce Dessner’s Wires, and at the Concertgebouw he conducted the world premiere of Ariadne by Theo Verbey, as well as Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex. He has built a loyal following internationally after successful tour concerts last season with Gothenburg Symphony in Vienna, where he returned in December to conduct the Wiener Symphoniker and Nicola Benedetti. In 2019/20 he returned to several orchestras across Europe, including the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. A self-critical composer, Tchaikovsky once said “‘I listened to the Delibes ballet Sylvia... what charm, what elegance, what wealth of melody, rhythm, and harmony. I was ashamed, for if I had known of this music then, I would not have written Swan Lake.” It's ironic that Tchaikovsky's words apply also to Swan Lake itself; “what charm, what elegance, what wealth of melody, rhythm, and harmony.”
  • Described in The Guardian (2019) as one of today’s leading composers for voice, Joanna Marsh is a British composer who since 2007 has divided her time between Dubai and the UK. Her life in the Middle East has lead to many unique musical opportunities including writing an orchestral work to celebrate the building of the Burj Khalifa. Most recently she was commissioned by Dubai Opera to write an orchestral work for the first BBC Proms in Dubai in March 2017. This lead to her writing the 6 minute work Flare, for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, based on a short story called Oil Field, by Saudi writer Mohammed Hasan Alwan. Joanna has been Composer in Residence, at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge from 2015 through to 2020 and during that time has written a number of choral works for the college choir and the college organ. She is a Co-Founder of ChoirFest Middle East in Dubai, an annual celebration of the region’s choral music scene which is reached its eighth edition in March 2020. She is also Founder and Artistic Director of the Dubai Opera Festival Chorus a large body of singers that was set up for the BBC Proms in Dubai and continues to undertake concert performances of various types across the UAE.   Available as a disc on demand from Presto Classical.
  • 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.
  • 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.  
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Extra Time

    £8.00£14.00 Available July 31, 2020.
    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.
  • 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. 
  • Messiah…Refreshed!

    £8.00£18.00
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Another Debussy recording by Simon here with the Philharmonia, performing some impressionist classics, some originally composed for orchestra, others newly arranged prior to this recording.
  • Africa

    £12.00
    A recording by the LPO and Geoffrey Simon, performing music by Saint-Saëns which is closely associated with Africa.
  • Fantastic recordings of Saint-Saëns' orchestral classics, including his Requiem and his Organ Symphony.
  • Performances of Debussy's orchestral classics, performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of Geoffrey Simon.
  • 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.
  • Following its successful full length opera, Artaxerxes, Classical Opera return with the first in an epic series of Mozart operas Apollo et Hyacinthus. Named in The Guardian as one of ‘The Best Classical albums of 2012’. Classical Opera has mounted two staged productions of Mozart’s Apollo et Hyacinthus (1998 and 2006), with both receiving wide critical acclaim; The Independent stated, “Classical Opera’s polished debut in Apollo et Hyacinthus proved a pearl beyond price. Here was a work of staggering beauty riddled with sweet noises like Caliban’s enchanted isle.”
  • Arcadia

    £12.00
    Oliver Davis graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 1994 and has since composed numerous concertos, ballet scores, albums, soundtracks and television scores working with many of the major London orchestras. The Infinite Ocean was composed for choreographer Edwaard Liang and was commissioned by San Francisco Ballet for the Unbound festival, 2018. Liang requested the work to be in six sections and to feature a solo violin. The aim of Arcadia was to create a piece which evoked an idyllic serene place. Gemini was specifically composed for violinist Kerenza Peacock and was designed to explore the contrasting styles of her playing. The Suite for piano and orchestra was written for Huw Watkins on piano and heavily involves thematic development throughout. Inferno began life as a short orchestral sketch, which gradually evolved into a full, single-movement piece. Lastly, The Elements was commissioned by The Hanke Brothers, who specifically wanted a piece describing the four elements. The ensemble containing piano, viola, recorder and tuba, produces a unique timbre, and the piece explores the possible various aspects of this timbre.
  • In his new Saxophone Concerto, Gabriel Prokofiev explores a side of classical music usually seen as forbidden by modern contemporary composers: melody. This aspect was incorporated at the request of the soloist, Branford Marsalis, allowing Prokofiev to revisit characteristics of the classical tradition not usually heard in contemporary music, giving the saxophone an open canvas. Prokofiev’s Bass Drum Concerto shows the versatility of the instrument, despite only being used in a very basic fashion in classical music as a whole. Prokofiev experiments with how the bass drum is struck, where it is struck, and what it is struck with throughout the piece, producing a variety of sounds, colours and textures. 
  • Mark van de Wiel joins the Philharmonia Orchestra under Christopher Warren-Green in the premiere recording of Joseph Phibbs’ Clarinet Concerto, praised by The Sunday Times following its UK debut as a work “that will surely be performed all over the world ”. Following a long friendship between composer and soloist, Phibbs and van de Wiel collaborated to create this stunning and virtuosic new work for the clarinet and orchestra, which features a thrilling cadenza at the end of the first movement. It is paired with a scintillating live concert-recording of Mozart’s timeless Concerto for Basset Clarinet in A Major, K. 622, performed with the London Chamber Orchestra.
  • Above the opening notes of The Protecting Veil, John Tavener wrote Transcendent With Awesome Majesty, communicating the scale of this universal, timeless, structurally perfect and emotionally powerful work. In the composer’s words, “the cello represents The Mother of God and never stops singing.” Indeed, the cello sings without stopping for the entire 46 minutes of the piece, requiring huge mental and physical stamina. Matthew Barley leads Sinfonietta Rīga in this exploration of Tavener’s musical works and inspirations, interspersing performances with readings of WB Yeats and Frithjof Schuon by renowned actors Julie Christieand Olwyn Fouéré. The influence Tavener drew from Indian music in The Protecting Veil is also explored further in Barley’s performance with tabla player Sukhvinder ‘Pinky’ Singh in The Song of Separation and Waiting by Pandit Sultan Khan. Matthew Barley is known internationally as a cellist, improviser, arranger, music animateur, and as Artistic Director of Between The Notes. His musical world is focused on projects that connect people in different ways, blurring the boundaries that never really existed between genres and people.
  • Originating as a sexy dance in South America, the ‘chacona’ crossed the Atlantic and established itself in Spain as an irresistible temptation. In 1615, it was banned from Spanish theatres for being ‘lascivious, dishonest, offensive to pious ears’, but the attractions of the chaconne held sway. From the Ground Up traces its allure from early Spanish chaconnes, through the worlds of Purcell and Piccinini, to Bach’s magisterial example for solo violin. Reanimating the ‘lascivious’, Purcell’s ground basses furnish a harmonic groove for readings from Shakespeare by British actor Samuel West, accompanied by New York rapper Baba Israel.
  • The four coronations of the twentieth century were enormous and extravagant. Replete with festive pageantry, these ceremonies were joyful celebrations of British music, employing tremendous forces. Choirs from across London and beyond were marshalled to provide a chorus of over 400 voices; a full-size symphony orchestra was squeezed into Westminster Abbey, whilst bands of fanfare trumpeters led the pomp and celebration. In the imposing surroundings of Ely Cathedral, Paul McCreesh and Gabrieli bring the history, ceremony and liturgy of these extraordinary events to life. With his renowned creative flair, McCreesh’s painstaking research provides the springboard for their latest ground-breaking recreation project. The result is a joyful celebration of five centuries of choral music, performed with the same vast forces as were heard at the coronation services. Alongside an orchestra of rare early-twentieth century instruments, an extended Gabrieli Consort is amplified by the energetic sound and fresh faces of several hundred young singers from Gabrieli’s choral training programme Gabrieli Roar. The music is interspersed by the coronation liturgy, with Simon Russell Beale speaking the part of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Performance ★★ Recording★★★★★ McCreesh at his considerable best - BBC Music Magazine ★ Paul McCreesh has magnificently recreated this unique coronation rite... truly heart-warming - Choir & Organ ★ An astonishing recording - The Times ★ McCreesh has conceived and executed a magnificent project - Classical Source ★ Palpable enthusiasm and engagement - Planet Hugill One can imagine the virtuosity required by every contributor, at every turn, to make this a reality, let alone a dazzling triumph - Gramophone A most recommendable treat - MusicWeb International This is something very special - Cross Rhythms
  • 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
  • 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.

    The playing of both works... is most pleasing, the colours vivid, the excitement palatable, while Aimontche's sweeping reading of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 3 astutely combines the intimate and epic, his tone never forced - The Sunday Times An excellent follow-up to their first recording for Signum Classics - BBC Radio 3 Record Review
  • 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.

    Performance ★★★★ Recording ★★★★★ - BBC Music Magazine A very fine issue indeed. It is something of a privilege to hear this great veteran still having so much to say about music so close to him - MusicWeb International

    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 finaleThe Observer

  • Signum Records are proud to present the debut orchestral recording from Grace Davidson, one of the UK’s leading British sopranos specialising in Baroque music. She is joined by some of Europe’s leading Baroque musicians from the Academy of Ancient Music to perform a selection of works by Handel and Vivaldi, with performaces led by violinist Bojan Čičić under artistic director Joseph Crouch.

    Grace won the Early Music Prize while studying singing at London’s Royal Academy of Music. Since then, she has worked with the leading Baroque ensembles of our day, singing under the batons of Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Paul McCreesh, Philippe Herreweghe and Harry Christophers. Her discography includes a decade of CDs with The Sixteen, many of which feature her as soloist – Handel’s Jeptha (as Angel), Dixit Dominus, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, Pianto della Madonna, and the Lutheran Masses of Bach.

    Davidson is outstanding for her seraphic purity and evenness of tone - Gramophone The voice is radiantly fresh and clean - The Times Grace Davidson…voice seems to have been especially created to sing baroque musicCross Rhythms Each performance carves out an atmosphere of thoughtful, reflective poise capturing the settings' interior spirit  - Classical Source
  • O/Modernt, Swedish for ‘Un/Modern’, is the concept devised by violinist Hugo Ticciati that explores vital connections between artistic and intellectual creations, old and new. At the heart of White Light is a dialectic between contemplation and ecstatic joy: a journey that leads within and without. The ensō (Japanese for ‘circle’) drawn by Antony Gormley on the front cover invites us into the prismatic now of listening. ensō: a continuous brushstroke that expresses a moment in time when the mind is released, leaving the body free to listen and create. Looking inwards, we embrace that which we find outside ourselves before finally returning to inner peace and silence. The sound worlds of Arvo Pärt, John Tavener, Pēteris Vasks, The Beatles, and the rhythms and melodies of India are woven together through improvisation to invite a two-way sense of reflection and surprise. The music roams from the weird to the wonderfulCross Rhythms Here it is the combination of material that matters, and I found the programme both seductive and thought provokingPlanet Hugill
  • Marking their latest collaboration with their conductor laureate Vladimir Ashkenazy, the Philharmonia return to disc with a stellar live-performance of Rachmaninov’s ebullient Symphony No.2 in E Minor. This is the second release in a new series of Rachmaninov’s symphonies, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy in live performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra. The playing of the Philharmonia Orchestra, its assurance, unanimity and sheer beauty of sound, is outstanding - Music Web International From the first notes the music flows with intent and it is clear that we are in for a charged account of this fine work - iClassical
  • British composer Oliver Davis’s works have been described as being ‘beautiful’ (The Times) and having ‘pulsating rhythmic energy’ (Classic FM), and has been heard the world over through his frequent collaborations with ballet companies, from Edwaard Liang’s 13th Heaven which premiered in Singapore to Secrets, choreographed by Erico Montes and premiered by e Royal Ballet. In this new recording Liberty, Davis explores works for violin, soprano, strings and orchestra, working with a host of world-leading performers including violinist Kerenza Peacock, soprano Grace Davidson and cellist Katherine Jenkinson, all alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Paul Bateman. Previous albums from Davis have been critically praised, entering in the top 10 in the UK specialist classical charts and becoming disc of the week on Classic FM and the Mail on Sunday and featuring in several ‘Best albums of the year’ listings. A host of world-leading performers - Northern Echo
  • 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.”
  • Marking their latest collaboration with their conductor laureate Vladimir Ashkenazy, the Philharmonia return to disc with a stellar live-performance of Rachmaninov’s volcanic Symphony No.1 in D Minor. Composed when Rachmaninov was just 22, the work has a famously tumultuous performance history. The work’s premiere in 1897 – conducted by Glazunov – was a disaster, generating vitriolic abuse from critics and reviewers of the day. Rachmaninov destroyed the score and refused the works publication during his lifetime; it was not heard again until its reconstruction from solo parts by Soviet Musicologists for a concert in 1945. This is the first release in a new series of Rachmaninov’s symphonies, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy in live performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra. ★★★★ 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 Guardian ★★★★★ Ashkenazy’s splendidly accomplished and consistently invigorating new version must rank very highly indeed - Classical Ear ★★★★ Signum’s recording engineers have achieved a near miracle in somehow creating a much warmer ambience to the sound than you would normally expect from this venue.. wonderfully rich string sonorities from the Philharmonia who play their hearts out - BBC Music Magazine It’s difficult to think of any active musician more completely at home in this repertoire - Gramophone The playing of the Philharmonia is elegant in the more relaxed moments... the latter part of the finale is suitably thrillingThe Yorkshire Post
  • 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. Music Web International A remarkable testament to a remarkable orchestra. Norther Echo This live recording of the works at the Royal Festival Hall, under the baton of Kevin John Edusai, oozes dynamism with fine playing in the quieter passages. The Kansas City Star pick
  • 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.
  • Led by Lorin Maazel, the Philharmonia Orchestra are captured at their very best in these live performances of Mahler’s Nine Symphonies. Recorded in concert at London’s Royal Festival Hall, the symphonies include performances by soloists and ensembles including Sarah Connolly, Michelle DeYoung, Philharmonia Voices and the BBC Symphony Chorus. Praise for these performances has been near universal. This 15-CD box set includes a 96-page booklet of biographies, programme notes and full texts for each symphony, as well as Lorin Maazel’s introduction to the collection. You get that audience perspective as if you were sitting in the hall, and its got all the energy and focus of a live or concert recording - BBC Radio 3 Maazel could sustain this score in a way that seemed to transcend reality ... a tremendously moving experience - Classical Source An extraordinary reading of the Ninth ... a performance touched by greatness - MusicWeb International
  • NIELSEN

    £12.00
    Under their guest conductor Paavo Järvi, the Philharmonia Orchestra perform three characteristically fiery works by the Danish composer Carl Nielsen; the Flute and Clarinet Concertos, and the Aladdin Suite.
    The concerto solo parts are performed by two of the orchestra’s principal players – flautist Samuel Coles and clarinettist Mark van de Wiel.
  • 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
  • Alexandra Dariescu makes her concerto recording debut on Signum with Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Darrell Ang, pairing this with Mikhail Pletnev’s concert suite of arrangements from The Nutcracker.
    Alexandra Dariescu has garnered an impressive repution for her outstanding solo recordings and concert performances, and was recently named as one of 30 pianists under 30 destined for a spectacular career in the International Piano Magazine.
  • 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.
       
  • Recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall in October 2015, this new release continues the Philharmonia Orchestra’s celebrated series of live recordings on Signum, led in this performance by their Honorary Conductor for Life Christoph von Dohnányi.
    Recorded as part of the orchestra’s 70th anniversary season, this performance captures the grandure and intensirt of Schubert’s final and greatest symphony.
  • Rebecca Miller leads the Royal Northern Sinfonia in performances of three Haydn Symphonies. This new release follows Miller’s acclaimed recording of the works of CPE Bach with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. There is much to praise here - Early Music Review The grandeur of the work seems to suit Miller's imaginative approach, with some especially effective phrasing... These admirable performances make a worthwhile addition to the catalogue of the often-neglected middle-period symphonies - Gramophone The grandeur of the work seems to suit Miller's imaginative approach, with some especially effective phrasingGramophone