• STRAVINSKY
    The Firebird
    The Rite of Spring
    Petrushka
    Scherzo Fantastique
    LIADOV
    Baba-Yaga
    The Enchanted Lake
    Kikimora
    POULENC
    Les Biches

    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 conclusion.”
    BBC 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 sonorities"
    The 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 immaculate."
    The Arts Desk

    The Firebird
    Scherzo Fantastique
    Petrushka
    Baba-Yaga
    The Enchanted Lake
    Kikimora
    The Rite of Spring
    Les Biches

     

     

     

  • 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.
  • 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 conclusion.”

    BBC Music Magazine 

     

  • Prokofiev

    £12.00

    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.

    This recording follows their January 2010 release of Verdi's Requiem and April 2010 release of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7 (Leningrad):

    “This is a full-blooded performance of Verdi's late work … Full marks for passion”  The Telegraph, January 2010

    “Temirkanov is good, noble and intense, gripping our attention with Shostakovich's sustained lines.” Musicweb-International, June 2010 

  • 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.

  • The Philharmonia Orchestra is widely recognised as the UK’s finest orchestra with an impressive recording legacy, with this being their fourth disc with Signum. Christoph Von Dohnányi has been principle conductor for the past 11 years and has recently been made Honorary Conductor for life.
     
    Till Eulenspiegels Lustige Streiche (Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks) is considered to be one of Strauss’s most witty, entertaining and successful tone poems.
     
    Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life) heralds the composer’s more mature period in this genre, and proved controversial at it's premiere for it's highly auto-biographical nature.
  • Marking their latest collaboration with their conductor laureate Vladimir Ashkenazy, the Philharmonia return to disc with a stellar live-performance of Rachmaninov’s volcanic Symphony No.1 in D Minor.
    Composed when Rachmaninov was just 22, the work has a famously tumultuous performance history. The work’s premiere in 1897 – conducted by Glazunov – was a disaster, generating vitriolic abuse from critics and reviewers of the day. Rachmaninov destroyed the score and refused the works publication during his lifetime; it was not heard again until its reconstruction from solo parts by Soviet Musicologists for a concert in 1945. This is the first release in a new series of Rachmaninov’s symphonies, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy in live performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra. ★★★★ Ashkenazy knows how to shape detail and soar in the big melodic moments. The Philharmonia sound is muscular and alert, from the opening woodwind solos to the mighty, stirring symphonic tutti of the finale - The Guardian ★★★★★ Ashkenazy’s splendidly accomplished and consistently invigorating new version must rank very highly indeed - Classical Ear ★★★★ Signum’s recording engineers have achieved a near miracle in somehow creating a much warmer ambience to the sound than you would normally expect from this venue.. wonderfully rich string sonorities from the Philharmonia who play their hearts out - BBC Music Magazine It’s difficult to think of any active musician more completely at home in this repertoire - Gramophone The playing of the Philharmonia is elegant in the more relaxed moments... the latter part of the finale is suitably thrillingThe Yorkshire Post
  • Marking their latest collaboration with their conductor laureate Vladimir Ashkenazy, the Philharmonia return to disc with a stellar live-performance of Rachmaninov’s ebullient Symphony No.2 in E Minor. This is the second release in a new series of Rachmaninov’s symphonies, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy in live performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra. The playing of the Philharmonia Orchestra, its assurance, unanimity and sheer beauty of sound, is outstanding - Music Web International From the first notes the music flows with intent and it is clear that we are in for a charged account of this fine work - iClassical
  • Marking their latest collaboration with their conductor laureate Vladimir Ashkenazy, the Philharmonia return to disc with a stellar live-performance of two late works by Rachmaninov – the Symphonic Dances and Symphony No. 3 in A Minor. This release is third and final in a new series of Rachmaninov’s symphonic works, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy in live performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra.

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

    The previous volumes of Symphony No. 1 (SIGCD484) and No. 2 (SIGCD530) were met with critical acclaim:

    Perhaps the most satisfying of all [Ashkenazy’s recordings of the Symphony]BBC Music Magazine

    Ashkenazy knows how to shape detail and soar in the big melodic moments. The Philharmonia sound is muscular and alert, from the opening woodwind solos to the mighty, stirring symphonic tutti of the finaleThe Observer

  • The LCO return to disc on Signum with a new programme of French orchestral works by Ravel, Fauré, Poulenc and Ibert. Their ‘LCO Live’ series captures the vibrant, exciting performances they give at their London home of St. John’s, Smith Square. Singled out as one of the capital’s (and the nation’s) leading ensembles, the LCO and their Music Director Christopher Warren-Green performed for the wedding service of TRHs The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge earlier this year.
     
    “The concerts of Warren-Green and the London Chamber Orchestra at St John’s, Smith Square aren’t often noticed in the press, but their large regular audience knows that they are some of the most exciting in London.”
    The Times
     
  • 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. 
     
    Praise for recent releases with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra:
    "The St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra under Yuri Temirkanov deliver the scores with panache" CD Choice, February 2013 – SIGCD320, Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherazade
     
  • Red Leaves

    £12.00

    Signum Classics are proud to announce The Brunel Ensemble's first disc on Signum Classics - Red Leaves.
    No ensemble other ensemble is as committed to the performance of such works from all decades of the twentieth century. Formed in 1992, the group gives thrilling performances under Christopher Austin’s inspired direction.
    John McCabe’s Red Leaves was commissioned by the European Community Chamber Orchestra and the 1991 Istanbul Festival. Composer Malcom Williamson studied with Elisabeth Lutyens (as did Robert Saxton) and he was Master of the Queen’s Music until his death in 2003. One of Lutyens’ first major success was a setting of Rimbaud, O Saisons, O Chateau encored at the first performance in 1947 - but noteable for having previously been turned down by the BBC as unsingable!
    The McCabe and Williamson pieces are linked by the common theme of nature, the latter being inspired by Australian landscape and history. It was commissioned for the 150th Anniversary of the State of Victoria.

    For his anniversary greeting of 1986 on the occasion of his colleague’s half century, Robert Saxton presented his Birthday Piece for Richard Rodney Bennett. In which he chose in time-honoured manner to extract from Bennett’s name the musical notes available as a thematic cipher, and to fashion them after his own manner into a bracing invention for strings.

    Red Leaves is a disc of modern works by British composers.

     

  • 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.

  • 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.