• 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

  • 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
  • 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.

    Here's a recording guaranteed to put a smile on your face! Enthusiastic and fun, yet with touching, tender moments and a clever awareness of the music's irony, the London Chamber Orchestra delivers a witty, exuberant collection - Classic FM Magazine

    Spry, clipped music-making, and a lovely French programme, capped by Roge's ebullient account of Poulenc's mercurial, flamboyant Piano Concerto - BBC Music Magazine

  • 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.
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