• Acknowledged as the UK's foremost musical pioneers, with an extraordinary recording legacy, the Philharmonia leads the field for its quality of playing. Together with its relationships with the most sought-after artists, most importantly its Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Philharmonia Orchestra is at the heart of British musical life. Esa-Pekka Salonen made his London conducting debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra in September 1983 and he has returned to conduct the Orchestra on a regular basis ever since. This is the third in our series of Philharmonia releases that feature Salonen as conductor following Schoenberg's Gurrelieder and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. In the two massive slow outer movements, he doesn’t wring out the final drops of emotion, but empathises with the love of life and the beauties of nature that paradoxically emerge from Mahler’s premonition of death - The Sunday Times His Boulezian ear for balance keeps all the textures phantasmagorically clear in the first and third movements … the final dying embers are a dream - BBC Music Magazine Its radical and forward-looking qualities emerge with the clarity and vision of a conductor… whose expertise in contemporary music elucidates texture and orchestral detail - International Record Review
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • A fascinating musical journey through the Italian arias of Mozart, from one of his earliest works Lucio Silla (composed when he was just 16) through to his final Italian opera La Clemenza di Tito. The English tenor Jeremy Ovenden has established himself as being among the best Mozart tenors of his generation (notably in the role of Don Ottavio) and has become a familiar figure on the stages of the world's opera houses and concert halls and at major festivals. He is joined for this, his first solo recording, by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and conductor Jonathan Cohen. ★★★★  Ovenden proves complete master of his chosen repertory … for its artistic use, and for the close partnership Ovenden achieves with the OAE under Jonathan Cohen, l have only admiration - BBC Music Magazine The fine tenor … sings with an engaging commitment to these joyous creations. A delightful selection - The Observer A most imaginative idea … his rhythm, diction and easy flexibility of voice are exemplary - The Sunday Times
  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Petrushka

    £12.00
    Petrushka follows 2009’s release of Stravinsky’s Firebird and is the second in a three-part series of works from Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes, performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Thierry Fischer. These recordings encapsulate the vivacity and passion of Stravinsky’s tale of three life-sized puppets, seemingly brought to life.

    The disc also features three works by fellow Russian and Ballet Russes composer Anatoly Liadov: dark and dramatic tone-poems on Slavic witches and demons in Babayaga and Kikimora, and a tranquil and fairytale-like portrait of the Russian countryside in The Enchanted Lake.

    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 reaches its exultant conclusionBBC Music Magazine

    Both composers benefit from Fischer's trademark refinement. His 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

  • 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.
  • Signum's third disc with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Yuri Temirkanov presents another great work of the Russian musical tradition. Prokofiev's ballet scores for Cinderella and Romeo & Juliet remain popular and often performed to this day, with their success at the time of composition leading to Prokofiev's creation of the orchestral suites performed on this disc. Temirkanov’s St Petersburg strings are unfazed by Prokofiev’s chromatic side shifts and his piercing woodwind players sound completely at ease … purchase with confidence, as playing and recording are superlativeThe Arts Desk

    An anthology to enjoyThe Daily Telegraph

    Performances are marked by decisive tempi, clean phrasing, and immaculate orchestral playing. There is an exuberance of spirit here and touches of legato even in the fastest passages that sometimes eludes his more famous colleague Valery GergievFanfare

  • 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