• 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
       
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Simon Desbruslais leads the performances on this disc of world premiere recordings from some of the UK’s leading composers. Seeking to expand the trumpet’s repertoire of concerto and orchestra works, Simon Desbruslais was inspired after performing Robert Saxton’s Psalm to help comission the three new works on this programme: Saxton’s Shakespeare Scenes, Deborah Pritchard’s Skyspace and John McCabe’s La Primavera. Four vibrant, attractive concertos – three written within the past three years – by three of Britain’s brightest and best, and performed with dazzling virtuosity and musicianship by Simon Desbruslais and the Orchestra of the Swan ... The concluding held note for the trumpet unaccompanied is just one sign of his consummate mastery. A hugely enjoyable disc, strongly recommendedGramophone Desbruslais's immaculate playing and faultless musicality serve all these works well. I do not think that his playing in these works could be bettered although I sincerely wish that these works were avidly seized upon by any adventurous trumpet playerMusicWeb International Four new British trumpet concertos, brilliant, seductive and engrossingPlanet Hugill
  • British violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen – described by the late Ruggiero Ricci following a masterclass as the “most exceptionally gifted young violinist I have ever encountered” – adds to her already prodigious reputation with a new disc of timeless works for strings by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Edward Elgar. Joined again the the Orchestra of the Swan under David Curtis, the centre piece of the programme is an enchanting performance of Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending. Her sense of line and capacity to make things happen are both beautiful and strikingly individual ... The Lark Ascending's opening solo searches out an extreme degree of musical space in a way that's at once daring and mesmerising - BBC Music Magazine Superlative performances of Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending ... Highly recommendedNorthern Echo This double homage to strings and English composers is engrossingly goodSinfini Music
  • 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
  • Lux et Veritas (Light and Truth) is the new album from Will Todd with the professional chamber choir Tenebrae. Todd’s music has a universal appeal and he has been hailed as “one of the UK’s most sought-after, versatile composers” (Tempo Magazine). For this collection of sumptuous new choral works Tenebrae are accompanied by the English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by the choir’s director Nigel Short. This new release follows Will Todd’s last choral album The Call of Wisdom, featuring music commissioned for HRH The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee service in St Paul’s Cathedral in 2012. Throughout, the excellent Tenebrae under Nigel Short's sensitive direction deliver the sequence of 14 short pieces with commitment and great beauty of tone - Choir & Organ One of this year's finest releases - Classic FM Don't miss this movingly accessible and genuinely sensitive choral collection - MusicWeb International Sumptuous, soothing and reflective music for all occasions - Northern Echo
  • Julian Bliss performs the Clarinet Concertos of Mozart and Nielsen – often thought of as the two greatest such works in the repertoire: twin examples of what can be achieved by composers who have been truly inspired to write for the clarinet, using its uniquely expressive qualities to produce enduring and comprehensively masterly compositions. Alongside these Julian Bliss presents two of his own clarinet arrangements of two Mozart arias, Der Liebe himmlisches Gefu?hl, K. 119  and Non che non sei capace, K. 419. The brilliant Julian Bliss continues to demonstrate his considerable talent ... A youthful addition to the many excellent versions of the Mozart already available, and a fine introduction to the Nielsen for those who are not familiar with itClassic FM Highly recommended - Northern Echo  Bliss integrates the bottom register smoothly, in a performance matching that of the Nielsen in flair, intimacy and spontaneity - BBC Music Magazine
  • Reservoirs

    £12.00
    Orchestral Works by Guto Pryderi Puw  Gweithiau Cerddorfaol gan Guto Pryderi Puw The first release from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales’s inaugral Composer in Residence, Guto Pryderi Puw. A dual-language release in both Welsh and English, this release features a range of orchestral works inspired by stories and landscapes of Wales. The playing of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under the always enterprising Jac van Steen is everything that could be desiredMusicWeb International Running the gamut from dense harmonic clusters to folk tunes, the judicious placing of its events more than outweighs its overtly short-term evolution - all making for a bracing embodiment of its narrative and a vivid showpiece in its own rightGramophone
  • With its vivid poetry and technical ingenuity, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was ground breaking at the time of its release and to this day remains as influential and transfixing as ever. In this recording, violinist Kati Debretzeni directs the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in an energetic, historically informed performance. From the commanding heat of the Summer sun, to Winter’s foreboding darkness, the power of Vivaldi’s masterpiece is inescapable. The booklet includes a ‘Guided tour of the Four Seasons’, allowing listeners to follow the poetry that inspired Vivaldi as they hear the performances on the disc, including additional composer’s notes from Vivaldi’s own scores. This is a recording of the evergreen Four Seasons to remember and return to. The playing is sublime. Kati Debretzeni is a breath of fresh air at any time of the year. The chamber ensemble from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, led here by Alison Bury, includes a core of players that has been there from its formation who continue to play with the same joyful camaraderie and artistic precisionGramophone Debretzeni sets out to highlight the descriptive aspect of the music by finding many more colours and contrasts in the orchestral texture than are usually heard, and the period instruments give the familiar movements a new attack, making the work sound as fresh today as the day it was written - Classic FM

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

     
  • Rising star-soprano Elena Xanthoudakis is joined by the Royal Northern Sinfonia under Richard Bonynge in these exhilarating performances of some true Jewels of the Bel Canto aria tradition by Bellini, Verdi, Rossini and Donizetti.
  • Featuring Rebecca Bottone, Cora Burggraaf, Allan Clayton, Klara Ek, Martene Grimson, Jennifer Johnston, Susan Gritton, Anna Leese, Matthew Rose, Andrew Staples & Mark Stone Signum are proud to reissue Classical Opera’s debut CD, ‘The A-Z of Mozart Opera’, selected for Gramophone magazine’s annual Critic’s Choice in 2007. Based on the coincidence that Mozart’s first opera (Apollo et Hyacinthus) begins with ‘A’ and his last (Die Zauberflöte) with ‘Z’, this disc takes the listener on a chronological journey through Mozart’s operatic canon, featuring an aria or ensemble from fifteen of his operas. My personal pick for giving this year is the Classical Opera Company’s glorious The A-Z of Mozart Opera, which is fresh, diverse, insightful and illuminatingGramophone
    A lovely disc which manages to introduce both Mozart's genius and a range of lovely lyric voices, all in stylish performances which certainly make you want to hear morePlanet Hugill Page, to my mind one of the most talented of today's younger British conductors, immediately announced himself with this CD as a natural MozartianEarly Music Review  
  • 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
     
  • 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
  • Lorin Maazel and the Philharmonia Orchestra perform Mahler’s Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Symphonies. This is the second set in a series that will encompass Mahler’s Nine Symphonies, featuring live orchestral recordings from London’s Royal Festival Hall of Maazel and the Philharmonia’s much-lauded Mahler Cycle.

    This second volume, along with the first, is a treasured set on my shelves. I cannot wait for the final volume, Symphonies 7-9 - Classical Source The first movement, launched at a crisp, no-nonsense pace, offers numerous instances of warm, tender phrasing; clean textural contrasts and balances; and delicate, evocative solos - MusicWeb International
  • Lorin Maazel leads the Philharmonia Orchestra and a star-studded ensemble of performers in Mahler’s first three Symphonies. This is the first 5-CD Set in a series that will encompass Mahler’s Nine Symphonies, featuring live orchestral recordings from London’s Royal Festival Hall of Maazel and the Philharmonia’s much-lauded Mahler Cycle.

    Wonderfully stylish: that hesitant Viennese-style playing-around and a lovely warm string sound ...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 Record Review The most successful reading is Symphony No.1, in which the mystery of the hushed opening, the gutsy resonance of the second movement and the frenzied launch of the finale are comparable with some of the best versions - BBC Music Magazine I love these performances, truly and deeply, and just a little madly - Classical Ear
  • 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. Emmanuel Despax is a formidable talent, fleet of finger, elegant of phrase and a true keyboard colourist...a noteworthy achievement - Gramophone Despax displays fine power and urgency with some brilliant piano playing...brings just the right combination of charm, brilliance and depth to the playing - Planet Hugill    
  • 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
  • Under the direction of Margaret Faultless the OAE shine on these new recordings of Mozart’s horn Concertos, featuring sublime performances by Roger Montgomery on the natural (valveless) horn. As well as lesser-known gems of Mozart’s horn repertoire, at the centre of the collection comes the lyrical fourth horn Concerto (K.495), featuring thrilling fanfares and brilliant dialogue between the solo instrument and orchestra.

  • Outstanding British-violinist Tamsin-Waley Cohen – described by the late Ruggiero Ricci following a masterclass as "the most exceptionally gifted young violinist I have ever encountered" – performs a fittingly prodigious work by Felix Mendelssohn.
    The Violin Concerto in D minor was composed when Mendelssohn was just 13, and has remained popular with audiences the world over since its rediscovery in the middle of the 20th century by Yehudi Menuhin. The work is paired on this disc with Mendelssohn's Concerto for Violin & Piano, where Waley-Cohen is joined by British pianist Huw Watkins, all alongside the enthusiastic accompaniment of the Orchestra of the Swan under David Curtis. Connoisseur's Choice: Tamsin Waley-Cohen is going to do very well - a young artist to watch - Classic FM
  • 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
  • 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.
    It’s a very well-paced performance, and Susan Gritton, John Mark Ainsley and Christopher Maltman are excellent soloists, totally engaged with Britten’s combination of the Latin Mass for the Dead and Wilfred Owen’s war poetry. It’s an outstanding recording for the Winged Lion Label from Signum ClassicsBBC Radio 3 CD Review
  • Contrasting pieces by two masters of orchestral composition, these live performances capture the energy and movement of three much-loved balletic works; Ravel's intricate vignettes of childrens' stories in Mother Goose and 'choreographic poem' La valse, and Stravinsky's epoch-defining Rite of Spring. One of the oldest professional orchestras in Russia, the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra can trace its lineage back to 1882 and its formation by Tsar Alexander III. In a 25-year collaboration, Yuri Temirkanov has been the orchestra's principal conductor since 1988.
  • ‘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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Although he was counted amongst Mily Balakirev's 'Mighty Handful' (which dedicated itself to pursuing a more purely Russian art music, as opposed to the Austro-German musical dominance of the era), both works on this recording show how Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was able to draw influences from beyond Russia into his own unique compositional approach: the scenes from his opera The Invisible City of Kitezh take on a dramatic, Wagnerian influence, whilst Sheherazade is suffused with orientalism as it conjures images from the Thousand and One Nights.

    The St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra under Yuri Temirkanov bring their natural insight with this repertoire to the fore in these live performances, continuing their series of acclaimed releases with Signum.

    The St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra under Yuri Temirkanov deliver the scores with panacheCD Choice The St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Yuri Temirkanov, presents sterling performances of excerpts from Rimsky-Korsakov's The Invisible City of Kitezh and SheherazadeNorthern Echo This Scheherazade is absolutely marvellous, one of the best available. If you think you have heard the score so often that it has become jaded, this is a recording to make you think againMusicWeb International
  • Hideko Udagawa returns to disc on Signum with a new album of Russian Romantic music from Aram Khachaturian and Sergei Lyapunov. The two composers represented here symbolize two entirely different eras in Russian music – Lyapunov from the end of the Romanov Empire and Khachaturian from the height of the Soviet Union – yet their works are perhaps more an expression of continuities, of perennial concerns for Russian composers, such as the need to integrate folkloric elements with the demands of sophisticated musical structures for concert performance, and adherence to the great Russian traditions of violin-playing that go back to the middle of the 19th century. The concerto's rather grand manner suits Udagawa's noble style and steely tone wonderfully well ... The unaccompanied Sonata-Monologue is riveting - The Guardian Hideko Udagawa fulfils her part with a voluminously blazing sound which fits the works marvellously. It doesn't get much better than this!Wiener Zeitung The neglect of this winning and dramatic piece by Armenia’s most distinguished composer is inexplicable, but perhaps the reading here of the Concerto-Rhapsody will redress the balance, such is the persuasiveness of the playing. The coupling, Liapunov’s violin concerto, while a lesser piece, is also realised with great attention to detail - Classical CD Review
  • The St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra are one of the classical world's most popular touring ensembles, bringing an inimitable style and character to their performances under the direction of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Yuri Temirkanov. This recording presents works from two very different composers, both united through their mastery of orchestral colouring and evocative imagery: Khachaturian's Spartacus and Gayane suites are infused with enchanting Armenian influences, and enjoyed a deserved popularity with Russian audiences that helped protect him from the worst of widespread artistic suppression during the era. Following these, one of the jewels of orchestral repertoire, Ravel's Dahpnis et Chloé was composed for Diaghilev's Ballet Russes dance company and has remained a popular work to this day. This is a live performance and, as a feisty E-flat clarinet ratchets up the 'Danse generale', the fantastic clarity of the inner part-writing - not least those whirling woodwinds - makes for cheer-raising excitement - Gramophone
  • At the time of its first performances in 1846, Elijah was hailed as one of the great oratorios alongside Handel’s Messiah. It tells the story of the prophet with imposing grandeur, inspirational orchestration and beautiful arias, recitatives and choruses. This mighty piece requires mighty orchestral and choir forces and Gabrieli singers are reinforced with talented young singers from the Gabrieli Young Singers’ Scheme and the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir. This recording sees over 440 musicians taking part, including 92 string players and over 300 singers.
    The musical milieu is still Victorian but, rather like the cleaned-up Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, it gleams anew and radiates light. ... a definite first choice - The Telegraph In all this is staggeringly good. Approaching the work in this way fills a gap which I didn’t even realise was there, but now I’ve heard it I think it will be first choice for a while to come. Thoroughly recommended - Presto Classical
  • Jonathan Dove wrote There Was a Child as a tribute to a friend’s son who died tragically young. Filled with both joyous celebration and heartfelt emotion, it’s a big, warm-hearted modern masterpiece in the spirit of Britten and vaughan Williams – following in an evergreen english tradition and featuring the combined forces of the CBSO and CBSO Chorus, Youth Chorus and Junior Chorus with soloists Joan Rodgers and Toby Spence.

    [Dove] has thus achieved the near-impossible: a work that commemorates an event which is surely every parent's darkest fear but which at the same time truly and positively fulfils the commissioner's brief, 'to celebrate' this young, short lifeInternational Record Review Joyous, vibrant, passionate ... There Was a Child is a major addition to the choral repertoireFinancial Times Dove's adroit choice of poetry, orchestrated with imagination and humour, provides an endearing story of a boy through to adolescence, and although there is pathos it is never mawkish - Choir & Organ
  • Patrick Hawes returns to disc on Signum with the premiere recording of his Lazarus Requiem, for Choir, Orchestra and Soloists. Blending the liturgical text of the Requiem Mass with the story of Lazarus from the New Testament, the composer creates a work in which “the mystery of life and death, the pain of grief and the hope of a risen life are held in taut symmetry”.

    The work begins with an orchestral Elegy for Lazarus. This depicts the dying man and sets the scene for the first tableau where we are informed “a certain man was ill”. Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, send for Jesus and the drama of the miracle unfolds.

    An attractive, sincere and thoughtful piece. This very good first recording should bring it to the attention of a wider audience - MusicWeb International What the Lazarus Requiem does do - and to striking effect - is bring into sharp relief Hawes's unerring gift for evocative orchestral texture and beautiful melodic lineChoir & Organ
  • 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. Anyone in search of a transformative listening experience, Berlioz agnostics among them, should make this release a priority purchaseClassic FM Magazine The contrapuntal intricacy of Berlioz's choral writing is done with precision and firm accents, the haunted atmosphere of the 'Quid sum miser' interpreted with restrained, eloquently inflected choral singing and poignant instrumental interjectionsGramophone Berlioz’s 1837 Grande Messe has rarely sounded so thrilling or transparentThe Independent on Sunday
  • Sometimes known as ‘The Tragic’ – a title suggested but then withdrawn by the composer – Mahler’s Sixth Symphony embodies much of the inner turmoil and superstition of its composer. Conceived at perhaps one of the happiest periods of Mahler’s life, it seems to foreshadow the personal tragedies that would later befall him – with his wife Alma writing that “The music and what it foretold touched us deeply.” The brass are heroic and dauntingly present throughout – from the tuba that executes a fiendish trill in the finale to the clarion trumpets fan faring the doom-marches - BBC Music Magazine This is a terrific Mahler 6… Where Gergiev achieves a generalised superficial excitement, Salonen’s closer consideration is more rewarding and repays more generously repeated listening - MusicWeb International [Salonen’s] performance is purposeful and revealing - Classic FM Magazine
  • 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."

    De Staat remains one of Andriessen's supreme achievements, an epic rechannelling of Stravinskyan rhythmic energy into his own raw-edged minimalismThe Guardian Don’t get too bogged down in trying to comprehend Andriessen’s long-winded attempts to explain what the piece is about – just enjoy the noise. It’s fantasticThe Arts Desk
  • Serge Diaghilev’s choice of composers for his Ballet Russes productions (often acknowledged as one of the 20th century’s most influential ballet companies) has led to the creation of some of the most engaging and exhilarating music in the classical world. This new 3 CD set of live orchestral recordings by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales – made in their home venue of BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff – captures Stravinsky’s three great ballet scores (The Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite of Spring) as well as works by fellow Ballet Russes composers Poulenc (Les Biches) and Liadov (Baba-Yaga, The Enchanted Lake and Kikimora).

    This fresh sounding live recording from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Thierry Fischer, the first made in the BBC Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff, certainly has a sense of occasion about it, with the audience erupting as the finale chorale [Firebird] reaches its exultant conclusionBBC Music Magazine

    [Thierry Fischer’s] Petrushka, notably beautiful, is graciously touching rather than violent or eruptive, the clean-textured, superbly detailed playing from the BBC National Orchestra Wales reminds us just how startlingly original Stravinsky's sonoritiesThe Guardian

    You should buy this for the generous, unusual coupling with Francis Poulenc’s rowdy, witty 1924 ballet Les biches …. As with the Rite, the performance is immaculateThe Arts Desk

  • In this live recording from the Royal Festival Hall the OAE shines its musical torch into the realms of some later repertoire, shedding new light on the music of Mahler. Conducted by Principal Artist Vladimir Jurowski, this CD includes Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer), written in the wake of an unhappy affair with a soprano, and the extraordinarily exciting and powerful Totenfeier, Mahler’s first foray into orchestral music, and later reworked into the opening movement of his second symphony.
    The OAE's period instruments emphasise its rawness, just as they point up the anguished detail of the accompaniments to the Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen, in which mezzo Sarah Connolly allows the words and Mahler's treatment of them to speak for themselves, without unnecessary gilding - The Guardian Vladimir Jurowski’s brisk and thrusting account with the period instrument players of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment makes a strong case for the composer’s original thoughts - The Irish Times
  • Parapraxis

    £12.00
    A seductive and fascinating disc for fans of contemporary music, this collection of works for Bassoon with choir and orchestra feature works by British composer Stephen Frost and Norwegian composer Kjell Mørk Karlsen. The disc’s title work Parapraxis, for solo bassoon and choir, melds together a mix of sacred latin text and secular English poetry, pushing and playing with the illusory ‘boundary’ that seems to exist between the two. The other two works – Frost’s Bassoon Concerto and Karlsen’s Serenata – are beguiling and stimulating pieces that show off the talents of Norwegian bassoonist Sigyn Birkeland and the Belarusian State Chamber Orchestra. In demand as a soloist, Sigyn Birkeland has been Principal Bassoon in the Norwegian Radio Orchestra since 1992. She continues to champion the instrument by commissioning, performing and recording new works for the instrument in a variety of unique ensembles and settings.
  • 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 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
  • 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
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