• 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    
  • Performances of Debussy's orchestral classics, performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of Geoffrey Simon.
  • Extra Time

    £8.00£14.00
    This recording by La Serenissima began life when the ensemble were recording for an earlier release. An issue with budget for a previous release meant these gems had to be left out. Since that release in 2015, La Serenissima have firmly established themselves as one of the leading performing ensembles of Italian Baroque. Following on from their highly acclaimed ‘The Godfather;’ released on Signum last year, this release shows the class act that they are, with these recordings making for one incredible album. La Serenissima was formed in 1994 for a performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s La Sena festeggiante and has now firmly established itself as one of the leading exponents of the music of eighteenth-century Venice and connected composers. The entire repertoire of La Serenissima is edited by director Adrian Chandler from manuscript or contemporary printed sources, a testament to its vision to enrich life by sharing its passion for Italian baroque music.   All downloads include booklets.
  • In recent years, Patrick Hawes has emerged as one of the country’s most popular and inspirational composers. Born in Lincolnhire, he studied music as an organ scholar at Durham University, and soon went on to make an impact in the world of choral music. ★★★★★ Patrick Hawes has carved out a niche as a contemporary composer who writes melodic, atmospheric and, frankly, beautiful music - Gramophone Hawes’s admirers will find much here to confirm their warm response to his music’s quiet strength and individuality... The excellent performances feature the tawny loveliness of Julian Lloyd Webber’s cello-playing, plus two fine solo singers - Classic FM Magazine
  • 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.
  • Flight

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

    £18.00
    For You is a new opera that brings together the music of composer and BBC Radio 3 presenter Michael Berkeley and Booker-prize winning author Ian McEwan. This gripping tale of love, lust and obsession centers on the composer and prodigious womanizer Charles Frieth (Alan Opie), and the tragic consequences that his selfish actions cause him and those around. Although essentially dark, there are moments of irony, wit, and humour throughout the opera. Soaring vocal lines, intricate ensemble pieces, and imaginative instrumental writing make this an electrifying work. Masterly performed by Music Theatre Wales, directed by Michael Rafferty.
    The music, conducted here by Michael Rafferty, is energetic, deftly coloured and carefully balanced, allowing the excellent voices, including Alan Opie’s Frieth, to make their due markThe Sunday Times It bristles with wit and lyricism, while giving other composers and librettists a lesson in how to drape operativ tradition in modern clothesThe Financial Times Berkeley’s score is lively, abrasive and strongly crafted … the performance (recorded live) is focused, with excellent orchestral playing and a strong central performance by Alan Opie -  The Daily Telegraph
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • Star British cellist Jamie Walton returns to disc on Signum with a programme Russian repertoire by composers Glazunov, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. Joined by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Okko Kamu, the disc includes the original version of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme. Jamie Walton's outstanding programme of Russian classics captures the music's soaring lyricism with impassioned eloquence and interpretative flair - The Strad Walton embraces Glazunov's tenderness with the warmth and suppleness of his tone...Walton interprets [the Prokofiev] with impressive, seamless sweeps and refined dynamic shading - The Daily Telegraph Seamless lyricism and glorious tone - Gramophone [Walton] delivers a particularly eloquent and virtuosic account of the work - BBC Music Magazine
  • Christina Rossetti’s 19th Century poem Goblin Market has long divided and bemused readers as to its meaning and intent. The story of two sisters and their encounters with the sinister Goblin men and their ‘forbidden’ fruit, has been variously interpreted as an allegory of proto-feminism, a critique on the rise of advertising in pre-capitalist England, and an exploration of feminine sexuality in relation to the Victorian world. This multitude of interpretations only adds to the poems mystique and imagery, captured here by the Pulitzer Prize winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis. Performed by London-based ensemble The New Professionals under Rebecca Miller, the work is a unique concoction of music, mime and masks that delves into the overripe and at times grotesque and shocking imagery of Christina Rossetti’s poem. Goblin Market explores both the Victorian repression coded into its text as well as its parallels with contemporary social issues. An inventive treatment of music theatre - The Guardian This should be heard … not a moment that's not ear-catching - International Record Review It is no exaggeration to say that Goblin Market is one of the great musical works of art for theatre of the 20th century - MusicWeb International Well-balanced sound as well as detailed annotations add to the attractions of this worthwhile release - Gramophone
  • Percy Grainger was one of the great “originals” of 20th century music. Australian-born, he studied with his mother while a boy and later went to Germany where his career as a virtuoso pianist began. As a composer he was largely self-taught and strongly influenced by the folk music of Great Britain and Ireland, Many of his “miniatures”-such titles as Country Gardens, Handel in the Strand and Molly on the Shore - established his composing credentials very early on. But Grainger was also an inveterate innovator and experimenter in music, and the kaleidoscopic aspects of his compositional creativity-evident in highly imaginative works often with unprecedented rhythms, harmonies and scoring-are fully represented in the programme heard on this recording. The music was digitally recorded with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in February 1989, at the acoustically excellent South Melbourne Town Hall. The album was originally released in Australia by ABC Classics and elsewhere by Koch International. Australian conductor Geoffrey Simon is resident in London and has appeared there with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players and English Chamber Orchestra.
  • 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
  • Signum Records are delighted to present the second recording on SignumClassics of the CBSO, under the direction of Mark Elder. In his youth Shostakovich devoted much time and energy to composing for the theatre and the cinema, writing for an astonishing variety of movies, political plays, satires, the music-hall and the ballet. The music for Nikolai Akimov’s outrageous and scandalous production of Hamlet was composed in the winter of 1931 – 1932. Akimov had decided that tragedy was irrelevant to the modern Soviet audience, and therefore presented the play as a satirical farce in which the play was turned up-side-down, by reversing all the usual assumptions about the plot and how it should be acted. The alterations to Shakespeare’s work are reflected in the titles of several of Shostakovich’s numbers. He was asked to provide music for scenes that Shakespeare only refers to but which Akimov insisted on representing on stage, for example the feast where "funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables". The overall character of Shostakovich’s music is often abrasive and satirical, and flippant just where we would expect the music to be more serious. There are also some funny moments, with particular sharp parodies of various well-known musico-theatrical clichés. In 1954 Kozintsev had also attempted to direct a staged version of Hamlet. For this occasion he decided to reuse music that Shostakovich had already written for him to use in a staged production of King Lear in 1941. All that Kozintsev asked Shostakovich to add for the 1954 Hamlet were a Gigue and a Finale, both of which are included on this recording as an appendix to the music for Akimov’s 1932 production. The music that Shostakovich wrote for Kozintsev’s 1941 King Lear production inhabits a strange and transitional world, halfway between the bright and brilliant sarcasm of the music for Akimov’s Hamlet of ten years earlier and the more soberly functional manner of his post-war theatrical music. Gone is most of the cheekiness, the fondness for the experimental and the grotesque. There is much in this often oppressively dark music that is characteristic of what was by now Shostakovich’s public symphonic manner. Perhaps the most powerful and unusual part of the score is the bizarre cycle of Fool’s songs, with which the Fool mocks the mistakes of his master, the King, in the course of the first three Acts. The music of these songs is as strange and quirky as the words they set. Taken as a whole, these ten songs make up a miniature cycle of sourly absurd, almost expressionistic outbursts for voice and orchestra.
  • The Gliere Harp Concerto has always been a favorite among harp enthusiasts; written in the 1930s, the work’s stylistic features are reminiscent of the Viennese classical style united with Russian romantic nationalism. This disc highlights the extraordinary talent of the Official Harpist to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, Claire Jones. She is joined by renowned flautist William Bennet OBE, and the English Chamber Orchestra to complete the release with Mozart’s Concerto for flute, harp and Orchestra and Debussy’s Danses pour Harpe Chromatique. Claire has performed for members of the Royal Family on more then 70 occasions and has recently performed a brand new Royal Commission by Patrick Hawes at Highgrove House with the Philharmonia Orchestra. ★ I hope Claire Jone’s excellent performance, with the English Chamber Orchestra under Paul Watkins, will bring its many merits to the attention of a wider audience - The Daily Mail ★★★★ [Jones] performs diligently and allows [her] instrument to gleam and twinkle sonically in front of the self-effacing ECO - Classic FM Magazine Jones plays with a warmth, charm and relaxed ease ideal for winter evening listening. Mozart apparently loathed both the flute and harp, but after hearing this performance you would never know itBBC Music Magazine A disc [that] splendidly celebrating the artistry of Claire Jones - Gramophone
  • The Gabrieli Consort continue their series of award-winning collaborations with the National Forum of Music, Wrocław, Poland with a new version of Haydn’s great oratorio The Seasons. Using a new performing edition by Paul McCreesh this recording is the first to feature the large orchestral forces that Haydn called for, including a string section of 60, 8 horns and a choir of 70. As well as the combined forces of the Gabrieli Consort & Players, Wrocław Baroque Orchestra and National Forum of Music Choir, the recording features solo performances from British singers Carolyn Sampson, Jeremy Ovenden and Andrew Foster-Williams. All booklet texts are printed in both English and Polish translations.
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