• Despax has recently released a piano fantasy based on the themes of The Sound of Music, in celebration of the musical’s 60th anniversary. The piece pays tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beautiful and iconic melodies, adding a few jazz and classical influences: There is a long tradition in classical music of virtuoso instrumental transcriptions based on opera, from Carmen fantasies to various Liszt transcriptions, and I wanted to do the same with a musical. I have wonderful childhood memories watching The Sound of Music with my family, and I wanted to pay tribute to these beautiful melodies. This piece has influences ranging from jazz to classical composers like Ravel, Chopin, Liszt, Scriabin, Godowsky and Rachmaninov. There is even a small one bar quote from Debussy’s L’isle joyeuse, one of my favourite piano works hidden in there. At the start, I set out to write a small simple work using one theme, but it quickly became much more ambitious in scope. In the words of Ravel describing Scarbo, one of the most fearsome works of the piano repertoire: “perhaps I let myself get carried away”. - Emmanuel Despax
  • David Goode performs the complete organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach on the renowned Metzler Söhne organ of Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge, in a new a set spanning 16 CDs and over 17 hours and 40 minutes of music. Covering the multiplicty of genres and stylistic influences that typified Bach’s organ music, the set includes complete recordings of the Leipzig, Neumeister and Schübler Chorales, the Clavierübung III and Orgelbüchlein, the six Sonatas and many preludes, toccatas, fugues, fantasisas, chorales and partitas. The accompanying 136-page booklet includes background information on each work by organist George Parsons, along with an introduction to the set by David Goode. As well as a tracklisting the booklet includes indexes to the works by BWV number and alphabetical order. Reviews for the series: ★★★★★ BBC Music Magazine “This series is notable for the flair, clarity and spontaneity that Goode brings to this timeless music” Gramophone Magazine
  • On Thursday, August 20, Signum Classics will begin releasing the COVID-19 Sessions. Recorded on March 17, 19, and 20 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the COVID-19 sessions came together quickly as society began to shut down amidst the growing outbreak in the United States.  Recorded on March 17, 19, and 20 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the COVID-19 sessions came together quickly as society began to shut down amidst the growing outbreak in the United States.  “Cantus tour dates and home concerts were being canceled and it was clear there would be only a limited window in which to sing together before the world went on pause,” says Paul Scholtz, tenor.  “What would social distancing and prohibitions on large gatherings mean for vocal music, our communities, and the world at large?” continues Scholtz. “Cantus’ vision is to give voice to shared human experiences and what better way than to offer these performances amidst this great turmoil and uncertainty. We hope you can find yourself and your experience reflected somewhere in these sessions. The pieces you will hear span a great breadth of emotion, from joy to sorrow to wonder to pain. We hope you will find the performances themselves informed by the emotional states in which they were recorded — heightened at different times in different ways.” 
  • 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.
  • The King’s Singers release an EP consisting of six tracks recorded during the Coronavirus lockdown. Featuring classic arrangements of well-loved songs that are an integral part of their repertoire, these tracks were recorded remotely and showcase their versatility and talent at producing superlative music, particularly during these difficult moments in history. The King’s Singers also released videos of each of the tracks on this EP on social media during the lockdown period, racking up millions of views, allowing the group to continue performing, despite the cancellation of their tour for their recent Signum album, Finding Harmony.
  • Advent Live Vol. 2

    £8.00£12.00
    The sublime Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge return with the second voluume in their Advent series - celebrating the advent season from within the Christian tradition; a season celebrated since at least the sixth century. This splendid live recording, from within the Chapel of St. John’s College itself, features Christmas favourites, including Britten’s Deo Gracias from A Ceremony of Carols as well as gorgeous performances of lesser known works by modern composers including Jonathan Dove, Arvo Pärt and Paul Manz.
  • A Schubert Journey

    £24.00£36.00
    The complete collection of Llŷr Williams' Schubert series - previously released as individual volumes over the last year. These recordings were made following a recital series by Williams featuring the piano music of Schubert. This recording showcases the detailed examination given by Williams to these pieces, which is "warm, yet detailed" (Piano International). Welsh pianist Llŷr Williams is widely admired for his profound musical intelligence and the expressive and communicative nature of his interpretations. He has worked with orchestras including the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Hallé Orchestra, Sinfonia Cymru, I Pomeriggi Musicali, Meininger Hofkapelle, Berner Kammerorchester, and the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg. A regular performer in the Wigmore Hall’s main piano series, Williams has also appeared at the BBC Proms in London, Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in the USA, Piano aux Jacobins in Toulouse and the Edinburgh International Festival. He is a regular performer at the East Neuk Festival in Scotland and is currently Artist-in-Association at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Artist-in-Residence at the Cowbridge Festival in Wales.
  • Between the Clouds

    £8.00£14.00
    Internationally-acclaimed violinist Charlie Siem and pianist Itamar Golan release their debut album on Signum including works by Kreisler, Sarasate, Paganini, Elgar and Wieniawski, showcasing Siem’s versatility and virtuosity in an intimate Parisian-style ‘salon’ programme. Siem has appeared with many of the world’s finest orchestras and chamber ensembles, including: the Bergen Philharmonic, the Camerata Salzburg, the Czech National Symphony, the Israel Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Oslo Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He plays the 1735 Guarneri del Gesù violin, known as the “D’Egvill”.
  • Beowulf

    £8.00£14.00
    The story of Beowulf, although thousands of years old, is still loved by many all over the world. This recording of a new musical telling of the story, composed by Toby Young, blurs traditional sense of the genre of classical music by merging it with folk and popular music. This fusion is what makes Beowulf a fantastic story. The greatest versions of the story are not the simple good verses bad, but the ones which involve slight ambiguous points; ones which allow the reader/listener to mkae his/her mind up about what is exactly going on. The combination of Toby Young’s score and Jennifer Thorp’s libretto create this ambiguity perfectly.   All downloads include booklets.
  • 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.
  • The Sacred Veil

    £8.00£14.00
    The Sacred Veil - a project led by Eric Whitacre and Charles Anthony Silvestri - was created following the passing of Charles’ wife, Julia in 2005. It represents a journey towards the answer for many questions, including whether departed loved ones are truly gone, and how can we mourn those we have lost whilst still moving forward? In Charles’ own words, the project became “a significant part of my journey toward healing and wholeness after great loss.” Poet, author, composer, and speaker Charles Anthony Silvestri has worked with other artists from all over the world to create texts tailor-made for their commissions and specific artistic needs. He enjoys the challenge of solving these creative problems and has provided custom choral texts, opera libretti, program notes and other writing for composers including Eric Whitacre, Ola Gjeilo, Kim Arnesen, and Dan Forrest, and for ensembles ranging from high schools to the Houston Grand Opera, from the King’s Singers to the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, from Westminster Choir College to Westminster Abbey. Grammy® Award-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre is one of the world’s most performed living composers. His works have been programmed worldwide by millions of amateur and professional performers, while his ground-breaking Virtual Choirs have united singers from over 120 different countries. Eric, a graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School of Music, is presently Artist in Residence with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, following five years as Composer in Residence at the University of Cambridge, UK.As conductor of the Eric Whitacre Singers, he has released such chart-topping albums including Light and Gold and Water Night. In high demand as guest conductor, he has drawn capacity audiences to concerts with the Netherlands Radio Choir, London Symphony Orchestra, Flemish Radio Choir, and Minnesota Orchestra.   All downloads include booklets.
  • This is a musical trip from the mid-sixteenth century to around 1700, involving music in Late Renaissance style, carrying Spanish Catholicism across the Atlantic to supplant an indigenous culture. Once the invasion had taken root with the conquest of Tenochtitlán and its transformation to Mexico City, the country became the target of fervent friars and preachers. Franciscans were first in 1523, then Dominicans, all fired with Christian zeal to convert the native population. From the outset they used music to great effect. The accounts that survive show how successful they were in teaching singing and playing, training choirs to perform liturgical music. By the mid-century it was claimed that standards had reached that of Charles V’s chapel. Churches and cathedrals were established throughout the rapidly expanding New Spain. Conquest and Christianity imposed an almost exact replica of Old Spain. Liturgical books, prints of plainchant and polyphony were shipped in throughout the century. In this recording the singers present music by eight composers. Four of them never went to the New World; their music did. Three of them were born in Spain and were trained in music there; they held appointments in Spain and later emigrated to the new colonial cities. One more became the first composer-choirmaster to be born there of Spanish parents, thus criollo.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Michael Finnissy was born in Tulse Hill in 1946. He studied at the Royal College of Music with Bernard Stevens and Humphrey Seale, and in Italy with Roman Vlad. Much of his early work was first performed in France and the Netherlands, while he was working as a freelance repetiteur and pianist for dance-classes. He taught at the Royal Academy of Music, at the universities of Sussex and Southampton, and at the Katholiek Universiteit in Leuven. He has also given summer courses at Dartington, and been resident artist at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne (Australia). He has been featured composer at the Huddersfield Festival several times, at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and many other places across the world, most recently at SICPP in Boston USA. Here, The Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge perform Finnissy’s deep, rich and fulfilling music in what has been a four year process. It has taken Conductor and Director Andrew Nethsingha, four years to gradually become acquainted with the pieces on this recording. He says it “has been a deeply enriching experience which I want others to share”.   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.
  • 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.
  • A Ceremony of Carols

    £8.00£14.00
    The juxtaposition of old and new which lies at the heart of much Christmas music lends this recording by the mixed-voice Choir of The Queen’s College Oxford its theme. The repertoire ranges in period from Hildegard of Bingen to pieces composed during the last few years. The central work – Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols – vividly encapsulates the intersection of ancient and modern, setting medieval and Renaissance texts, and drawing on plainchant as musical inspiration, while – in its series of fresh, vivid, and sharply-etched miniatures – eschewing the sentimentality which had become attached to Christmas and its music. Three centuries earlier, such combinations of old and new were just as apparent in the vast Christmas output of Michael Praetorius, the principal Lutheran composer of his age. Through works ranging from dramatic double-choir settings to the simplest harmonisations of chorales, this recording explores Praetorius as transmitter of older Christmas texts and and melodies. The links between Praetorius’s time and ours are represented in the pairing of Praetorius’s Es ist ein Ros entsprungen and David Blackwell’s exquisite reimagining of the same carol, Lo how a rose e’er blooming. An Advent chant forms the basis of Judith Weir’s haunting Look down ye heavens from above which opens the recording, while Cecilia McDowall’s Now may we singen perfectly captures the exuberance of its medieval text and Jonathan Dove’s The Three Kings evokes the strangeness of Dorothy L. Sayers’s transformation of the story of the Magi.   All downloads include booklets
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