• Tamsin Waley-Cohen and Huw Watkins return with the start of a Beethoven Violin Sonata Cycle - here recording the 1st, 5th and 8th sonatas. Gramophone Magazine said “The heart gives a little leap at the prospect of...a duo as engaging and intelligent as Tamsin Waley-Cohen and Huw Watkins.” This cycle is sure to be one of the highlights of Signum’s year, as well as of Beethoven 250. Beethoven’s twelve violin sonatas add up to a comprehensive exploration of the possibilities and potential of writing for the two instruments on equal terms – possibilities that he was ideally placed to understand. The three sonatas on this recording are waypoints on a journey, crafted by a composer who was both violinist and pianist, and who never ceased exploring the practical possibilities of the instruments for which he wrote.   All downloads include booklets.
  • In Chains of Gold Vol. 2

    £8.00£14.00
    Leading performers of 17th-century music the Magdalena Consort, Fretwork and His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts combine forces under the artistic direction of William Hunt for their second release exploring the English Pre-Restoration Verse Anthem – Psalms and Royal Anthems, particularly those of William Byrd. More than any composer before him, William Byrd catered prolifically to a wide variety of musicians. Connoisseurs of Latin motets at home and abroad, troupes of boy actors with their viols and their unbroken voices, solo keyboard players, the choirs of the established English church, and the underground ensembles of Catholic households where mass was celebrated in secret— performers of all these kinds could look to Byrd for quantities, in some cases vast, of music of the highest excellence.   All downloads include booklets.
  • “In a word I feel myself the most unhappy and wretched creature in the world. Imagine a man whose health will never be right again, and who in sheer despair over this ever makes things worse and worse instead of better ...but I have tried my hand at several instrumental things ... in fact, I intend to pave the way towards a grand symphony in this manner.” These extracts from a letter of 1824 epitomise to me the paradox of Schubert, the manic-depressive composer. On the one hand his music has that world-weary element of profound grief – ‘the most wretched creature in the world’ – and on the other a life-affirming exuberance bordering on the manic that characterises the Wanderer-Fantasie and parts of the D major sonata D.850. Here, Llyr Williams plays a collection of Schubert solo piano works across a series of releases, once again showing why he is one of the most diverse and extraordinary pianists performing today.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Christopher Gunning returns with recordings of his Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto and Birdflight. Not composed until 2011, Gunning's Violin Concerto was composed after inspiration whilst the composer was out hiking in Wales. The violin is supposed to represent ducking and weaving, rather like the insects and animals found in the Welsh hills and valleys. However, despite this positive venture for the composer, the emotions of sadness and melancholy are never far from this music - feelings which never seem far from Gunning's music. The Cello Concerto is quite different. Although composed hard on the heels of the Violin Concerto, it is generally darker though equally expressive. The third piece, Birdflight, is for the orchestra alone; a kind of tone poem. At the opening and close there is some quiet night music with spacious strings. The birds take flight but encounter a problem; a hawk is on their tail. The birds manage to hide and there is a pause. Then, when danger has passed, they take off and once again enjoy the sheer pleasure of flying.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Born in Strasbourg, Elizabeth Sombart studied piano from the age of seven. She studied all over the world with various teachers, including Bruno-Leonardo Gelber, Peter Feuchtwanger, Hilde Langer-Rühl and Sergiu Celibidache. Elizabeth received the rank of Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite in 2006 and then was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2008, both in reference to her career in music. Elizabeth has a strong relationship with the RPO and will be continuing this Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle with them over the coming months. Beethoven is one of the single most influential figure in the history of Western music. Starting out with Mozart and Haydn as his spiritual mentors; he wrestled off the shackles of 18th century Classicism, forging uncompromising musical landscapes with a visionary intensity that left most musicians quivering in his wake. For centuries, music had lagged behind the other arts, but with Beethoven’s iron-clad will, it found itself at the cutting edge of social change.  
  • Gabriel Prokofiev’s famous first Concerto for Turntables reached a global audience when performed by Mr. Switch at the 2011 BBC Proms, under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski. It has since been performed 55 times worldwide, with the 5th movement being performed 20 times as part of the BBC’s Ten Piece’s project. The aim of the piece is demonstrate the main DJing techniques, with each movement showing off a specific one. Prokofiev’s Cello Concerto was composed in 2012 and is the third concerto he composed. It was the most conventional of his concertos, with the other two (at that point) being for Bass Drum and Turntables. Despite this, Prokofiev still manages to explore influences of electronic and dance music in the concerto, whilst also exploring the traditional lyrical side of the cello.   All downloads include booklets. 
  • Rupert Gough and The Choir of Royal Holloway release a new single with soprano Laura Wright, raising awareness of mental health and encouraging people to seek support and donate to mental health charities if they feel able to. The track, written by composer Thomas Hewitt Jones and lyricist Matt Harvey, speaks of the loneliness and despair felt by many around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. All of the musicians involved gave their services for free and hope that the song can be an anthem for kindness, bringing hope all around the world to those suffering with their mental health. Proceeds from the single will be donated to a number of UK-based mental health charities. The music video for Can You Hear Me? can be found HERE.
  • David Goode continues his new series of the complete organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach, played on the Metzler Söhne organ of Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge. This fourteenth volume includes ‘Clavier Ubung III: Prelude (“St Anne”), BWV 552a’ and the ‘Clavier Ubung III: Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr (Fughetta), BWV 677.’ This digital-only recording is available from all major download stores and streaming services in MP3, CD Quality and Studio Quality/24-bit audio, and includes an extensive note on the works by George Parsons. It is also available to buy as a disc on demand – made to order with a printed booklet and inlay.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Sturm und Drang Volume 1

    £8.00£14.00
    This is the first project in a seven-volume series exploring the ‘Sturm und Drang’ movement, which swept through all art forms in the between the early 1760s and 1780s. The purpose of this movement were to frighten and perturb through the use of wild and subjective emotional means of expression. This series of ‘Sturm und Drang’ recordings incorporates iconic compositions by Mozart, Gluck and, above all, Joseph Haydn, but it also includes largely forgotten or neglected works by less familiar names. The music featured on this disc was all composed in the 1760s. It includes ballet and opera as well as symphonies, but is drawn together by the hallmarks of the remarkably visceral and dynamic style of music that we now call ‘Sturm und Drang’.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Cantos Sagrados

    £8.00£14.00
    The National Youth Choir of Scotland is an outstanding choir for young people aged 16 to 25, directed by world-renowned conductor Christopher Bell. Membership is granted by yearly auditions to singers born, resident or studying in Scotland. In 2012 the choir was presented with the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Ensemble Award. Formed in 1891 as the Scottish Orchestra, the company became the Scottish National Orchestra in 1950, and was awarded Royal Patronage in 1977. The Orchestra’s artistic team is led by Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård, who was appointed RSNO Music Director in October 2018, having previously held the position of Principal Guest Conductor. NYCOS and RSNO join forces to create an eclectic mix of recordings, performing some timeless classics, as well as exploring some contemporary repertoire. The excellent stadards of both ensembles makes for an exciting listen in what is NYCOS’ first recording with Signum. Booklets included with all downloads. 
  • Janáček: Solo Piano

    £8.00£14.00
    Nearly all of the music for solo piano written by Leoš Janáček (1854–1928) dates from before the First World War and thus belongs to the period before the composer’s remarkable late creative surge, which was triggered by the hugely successful 1916 production in Prague of his third opera, Jenůfa (1894–1903; rev. 1907–8), and facilitated by his retirement from his teaching position at the Brno Organ School. Nevertheless, all three of Janáček’s major solo piano works – On an Overgrown Path (1900–1911), From the Street 1 October 1905 (1905-6) and In the Mists (1912–13) – contain music that is both profoundly individual and also integral to the now widespread view of the composer as one the most original musical voices of early twentieth- century music. Thomas Adès was born in London in 1971. He studied the piano with Paul Berkowitz at the Guildhall School, winning the Lutine Prize for piano, before continuing his studies at King’s and St John’s Colleges, Cambridge. Dr Adès has given solo piano recitals at Carnegie Hall, New York and the Wigmore Hall and the Barbican in London, and appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic. He has performed Schubert’s Winterreise extensively throughout Europe with Ian Bostridge and in 2018 recorded it at the Wigmore Hall. In 2018, following a recital of Janacek’s music at the Reduta Theatre in Brno, Janacek’s home town, he was awarded the Leoš Janáček prize. Booklets included with all downloads.  
  • “In a word I feel myself the most unhappy and wretched creature in the world. Imagine a man whose health will never be right again, and who in sheer despair over this ever makes things worse and worse instead of better ...but I have tried my hand at several instrumental things ... in fact, I intend to pave the way towards a grand symphony in this manner.” These extracts from a letter of 1824 epitomise to me the paradox of Schubert, the manic-depressive composer. On the one hand his music has that world-weary element of profound grief – ‘the most wretched creature in the world’ – and on the other a life-affirming exuberance bordering on the manic that characterises the Wanderer-Fantasie and parts of the D major sonata D.850. Here, Llyr Williams plays a collection of Schubert solo piano works across a series of releases, once again showing why he is one of the most diverse and extraordinary pianists performing today.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Ben Parry: The Hours

    £8.00£14.00
    This recording made by the Royal Holloway Choir celebrates the music of Ben Parry. His compositions and arrangements include the popular Faber Carol Book and a burgeoning catalogue of choral music for Peters Edition and Oxford University Press. He has enjoyed commissions from, among others, St John’s College, Cambridge, The Cathedral Choral Society of Washington DC, VOCES8, the BBC Singers, Chelmsford, Ely, Norwich and Worcester cathedrals, and his music has been heard at the BBC Proms and on the TV and radio. In this recording, he sets the words of poems by Garth Bardsley, who says about Ben’s work “all of my poems stand alone but given the Parry treatment, I know that they take flight.” The Choir of Royal Holloway is considered to be one of the finest mixed-voice collegiate choirs in Britain. Their recordings on the Hyperion label have attracted top reviews from all major music publications. The choir gives 50-plus concerts a year with a particular specialism in collaborating with living composers. The choir has collaborated, performed and recorded with many prestigious ensembles, including The King’s Singers, BBC Singers, London Mozart Players, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Onyx Brass, Fretwork, and the Britten Sinfonia.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Love Lives Beyond the Tomb

    £8.00£14.00
    Ian Venables studied composition with Richard Arnell at Trinity College of Music, London and later with John Joubert, Andrew Downes and John Mayer at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. His works encompass many genres and he has added significantly to the canon of English art song. Described as ‘Britain’s greatest living composer of art song’ (Musical Opinion) and ‘a song composer as fine as Finzi and Gurney’ (BBC Music Magazine), Ian Venables has written over 80 works in this genre, including nine song-cycles. As the title suggests, the works on this disc are predominantly reflective in mood although this does not preclude the use of faster-moving music whenever the poetry requires it. Its subject matter celebrates the timelessness of love through the poetry of James Joyce, John Drinkwater, Edward Thomas, John Clare, Robert Nichols and the modern poet Jennifer Andrews; the celebration and commemoration of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, in Sir Andrew Motion’s remarkable narrative poem Remember This and the collective remembrance of those who died in the First World War: the poetry of Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg, Siegfried Sassoon, Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy and the less well-known Francis St. Vincent Morris providing the impetus for one of Ian Venables’ most dramatic and profoundly moving cycles.   All downloads include booklets.
  • The highly anticipated recording of Thomas Adès and the Britten Sinfonia playing Beethoven and Barry; specifcally the Beethoven Symphony Cycle and a selection of Barry’s works. This CD features Beethoven’s first three symphonies, interspersed with Barry’s piece Beethoven and his Piano Concerto. Beethoven intended to stake his claim to be the rightful successor to the Viennese classical tradition with the first of his symphonies, premiered in 1800. He had already began to lose his hearing by this point, and when he composed his second symphony, he placed on the page his spirit of defiance and determination against his deafness. The third marks a significant turning point in his style, as well as in the framwork of how a symphony was expected to be composed. Gerald Barry grew up in rural Ireland. His music shows us how his upbringing had an effect on his compositional style - giving a piece a title such as Beethoven would suggest an attempt at emulating his legacy nearly two centuries after his death. Do not be fooled by this however; his music shows his major influence from radio, moving from the sublime and the ridiculous with carefree abandon.   All downloads include booklets. 
  • Purcell’s The Fairy Queen is based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a play not frequently performed in the late 17th century, nor very well regarded (“the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life” - Samuel Pepys’ diary, 1662). Despite this, the play would go on to work well within an opera, as the characters of Pyramus and Thisbe could conjure up singing and dancing accomplices. Purcell’s masterful composition, Gabrieli’s first-class performance, and McCreesh’s superb interpretation demonstrate why their recordings are seen as some of the best in classical music today. Gabrieli are world-renowned interpreters of great vocal and instrumental repertoire, from the Renaissance to the present day. Founded by Paul McCreesh in 1982, Gabrieli have both outgrown and remained true to their original identity: whilst the ensemble’s repertoire has expanded beyond any expectation, McCreesh’s ever-questioning spirit, expressive musicianship and a healthy degree of iconoclasm remain constant and are reflected in the ensemble’s dynamic performances. Gabrieli’s repertoire includes major works of the oratorio tradition, virtuosic a cappella programmes and mould-breaking reconstructions of music for historical events. Above all, Gabrieli aims to create thought-provoking performances which stand out from the crowd.   All downloads include booklets.