• Born in Strasbourg, Elizabeth Sombart studied piano from the age of seven. She studied all over the world with various teachers, including Bruno-Leonardo Gelber, Peter Feuchtwanger, Hilde Langer-Rühl and Sergiu Celibidache. Elizabeth received the rank of Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite in 2006 and then was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2008, both in reference to her career in music. Elizabeth has a strong relationship with the RPO and will be continuing this Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle with them over the coming months. Beethoven is one of the single most influential figure in the history of Western music. Starting out with Mozart and Haydn as his spiritual mentors; he wrestled off the shackles of 18th century Classicism, forging uncompromising musical landscapes with a visionary intensity that left most musicians quivering in his wake. For centuries, music had lagged behind the other arts, but with Beethoven’s iron-clad will, it found itself at the cutting edge of social change. This third instalment of this series features Beethoven’s mighty 5th piano concerto as well as his ever popular triple concerto, featuring Duncan Riddell on violin and Richard Harwood on cello.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Flare (Digital Only)

    £8.00£9.75
    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.
  • Swan Lake

    £8.00£14.00
    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.”   All downloads include booklets.
  • Beethoven & Barry Vol. 2

    £8.00£18.00
    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.   All downloads include booklets.
  • 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.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Borodin: Requiem

    £8.00£12.00
    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.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Sturm und Drang Vol. 2

    £8.00£14.00
    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.
  • Strauss / Copland

    £8.00£12.00
    The four works on this disc, all composed in the 1940s, embrace the lingering end of one musical tradition and the vigorous upsurge of another. Mellifluous, retrospective and playful, the Duet Concertino and Prelude to Capriccio were works of Richard Strauss’s Indian Summer – an old man’s refuge from the barbarism of war and its aftermath. What the public thought of them was incidental, even irrelevant. In the same decade, Aaron Copland and other younger American composers were reaching out, via radio, recordings and film, to a new mass audience. The European influence of Appalachian Spring and the Clarinet Concerto, though inescapable, was minimised in a populist, vernacular idiom that absorbed native folk music and jazz. Richard Stamp unites some of the finest instrumentalists from the UK and Europe in these performances – featuring celebrated orchestras the Academy of London and the Royal Northern Sinfonia with renowned Austrian soloists Ernst Ottensamer and Stepan Turnovsky. Stepan Turnovsky joined the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in 1978 and has kept the position of Solo Bassoonist there since 1985, performing with conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Karl Böhm, Carlos Kleiber amongst many others. The late Ernst Ottensamer was a former principal clarinettist at the Vienna Philharmonic and an avid performer of chamber music – founding numerous ensembles and collaborating with musicians such as Sir Simon Rattle, André Previn, Daniel Barenboim and Rudolf Buchbinder amongst others. In 2005 he found a clarinet trio with his sons Daniel and Andreas Ottensamer – themselves the Principal Clarinettists of the Vienna Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras. This present performance represents his last concerto recording.
  • Oliver Davis: Solace

    £8.00£12.00
    Recorded at the height of the international Covid lockdown, Oliver Davis’s sixth album for Signum is a feat of both technological as well as artistic achievement. Following from draws together artists from across the globe for a selection of moving works for a variety of forces – recording a violinist in Los Angeles, a piano duo in The Netherlands, a guitarist in Argentina and the Budapest Scoring Orchestra conducted by Péter Illényi in Budapest. Davis’s previous albums with Signum have reached the top 10 on both iTunes Classical and UK Specialist Classical Charts multiple times, receiving numerous five-star reviews and well over a million streams on Apple Music. British composer Oliver Davis has parlayed a long record as a composer of film and television scores into a successful career as a composer of orchestral music that in performance have attracted top-notch London orchestras and soloists. He has also been active as a composer of ballet – most recently premiering Lineage with choreographer Edwaard Liang at New York City Ballet’s prestigious Fall Fashion Gala.
  • A frequent collaborator with both the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Jac van Steen, David Matthews’ new recording explores both the natural world and the symphonic idea, the second of which has, in his words, “obsessed me since I started composing at the age of 16”. As well the Sinfonia and Symphony No. 8, the programme includes Toward Sunrise; inspired by the sound of the sun (a rising fourth of C-F), as recorded by scientists at Sheffield University, and A Vision of the Sea; drawn from the sights and sounds of English Channel near the composers’ home in Deal, Kent. With a singular body of work spanning almost 60 years, David Matthews has established an international reputation as one of the leading symphonists of our time. Born in London in 1943, he began composing at the age of sixteen. He read Classics at the University of Nottingham – where he has more recently been made an Honorary Doctor of Music – and afterwards studied composition privately with Anthony Milner. He was also helped by the advice and encouragement of Nicholas Maw and spent three years as an assistant to Benjamin Britten in the late 1960s. In the 1970s a friendship with the Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe (leading to collaboration and numerous trips to Sydney) helped Matthews find his own distinctive voice.
  • Timelapse creates a space where sounds of the past and present collide to form a unique musical landscape. Although the pieces were written, in some cases, centuries apart and in culturally disparate eras, it is striking how much these contrasting works inhabit such similar emotional territory. Intriguing pairings of works by Rameau and Radiohead, Schubert and The Smiths, Adés and Grieg, Satie and Reich, compliment each other beautifully in the context of Timelapse. This recording by Orchestra of the Swan provides a place where notions of time and style have become irrelevant.
  • Following the celebrated releases of Gunning’s Symphonies Nos. 2, 10 & 12 in 2019 and his concertos for Violin and Cello with the piece ‘Birdflight’ in 2020, Signum presents the recording of Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7 as well as his piece ‘Night Voyage’, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Linked by the theme of journeying, Symphonies 6 & 7 explore Gunning’s fascination with a single movement form broken into several sub-sections. The piece ‘Night Voyage’ is a sea piece born on a rainy evening whilst the composer was standing on the edge of the Mersey river. Four-time BAFTA winning composer Christopher Gunning, has composed twelve symphonies as well as concertos for the piano, violin, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, and guitar. “Gunning’s [...] symphonies, numerous concertos and sundry orchestral pieces are as meticulously wrought as they are powerfully conceived.”  - Richard Whitehouse, Gramophone
  • ‘Settecento’ is the style of art, music and architecture that emerged in Italy in the early 18th century, celebrated here by La Serenissima and Adrian Chandler with a collection of works from that era. The works are grouped by the areas of Italy where each composer worked, including the Kingdom of Naples (Scarlatti, Mancini), Republic of Venice (Dall’Abaco, Vandini, Tartini & Vivaldi) and the Papal States / Bologna (Brescianello). The ensemble La Serenissima is recognised as the UK’s leading exponent of the music of 18th-century Venice and connected composers. Uniquely, the group’s entire repertoire is edited from manuscript or contemporary sources. It has become synonymous with virtuosity, dynamism and accessibility, uncovering new repertoire and making it available to all through live performance, recordings and educational initiatives.
  • Peter Cigleris performs with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in a programme of four ‘rediscovered’ clarinet concertante works of the first half of the 20th Century. Composed between 1930 and 1947, the works span a time of change in the musical landscape of Great Britain; Pre 1939/40 the two predominant styles within British music were those of Post-Romanticism and Nationalism, whereas Post 1945, with the influence of the BBC, Modernism became the dominant style. By chance it also happens that two prominent British clarinettists tie these four works together; Fredrick Thurston and Reginald Kell were both involved in performances of the works at various points during their careers. A renowned soloist and chamber musician, Peter Cigleris has performed with the CBSO, BBCCO, ENB, Philharmonic, Royal Ballet Sinfonia and Orchestra of the Swan, as well as for a time holding the principal seat with the Symphony Orchestra of India in performances under Charles Dutoit and Rafael Payare amongst others. He has worked with musicians such as Martin Cousins, John Lenehan, Mark Bebbington, Julian Lloyd Webber and the Tippett Quartet, performing for various music clubs and festivals around the UK including the Windsor and Wooburn Festival, English Music Festival, Carlisle International Music Festival, Groba Festival in Spain and the ICA ‘ClarinetFest’.
  • Following the huge success of their recent album release ‘Timelapse’ (Jan 2021), Orchestra of the. Swan presents Vivaldi Sleep, a project that was initiated by the orchestra during the first national lockdown of 2020. Eleven artists from a broad range of genres – including klezmer, folk, electronica and jazz – were invited to add a solo part in response to the orchestra’s recording of the second movement of Autumn from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Guest artists recorded their solo parts at home and were given free rein to start prior to the orchestra’s recording and continue after it had finished if they wished. Manipulation of the source material was also allowed. Formed in 1995, Orchestra of the Swan is a British chamber orchestra which, under the artistic direction of David Le Page, is passionate about audience inclusivity and blurring the lines between genres through its adventurous and accessible programming. This album demonstrates this ethos exactly.
  • Beethoven & Barry Vol. 3

    £8.00£18.00
    The final installment in the BEETHOVEN & BARRY recording series which, over three volumes, has traced all nine of Beethoven’s Symphonies coupled with music by the celebrated Irish composer Gerald Barry. “This set [Vol.1] cuts pristine interpretations of Beethoven’s early symphonies with Gerald Barry’s 21st- century zesty homage ... tightly knit performances ...” BBC Music Magazine
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