• Following the huge success of their recent album release ‘Timelapse’ (Jan 2021), Orchestra of the. Swan presents Vivaldi Sleep, a project that was initiated by the orchestra during the first national lockdown of 2020. Eleven artists from a broad range of genres – including klezmer, folk, electronica and jazz – were invited to add a solo part in response to the orchestra’s recording of the second movement of Autumn from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Guest artists recorded their solo parts at home and were given free rein to start prior to the orchestra’s recording and continue after it had finished if they wished. Manipulation of the source material was also allowed. Formed in 1995, Orchestra of the Swan is a British chamber orchestra which, under the artistic direction of David Le Page, is passionate about audience inclusivity and blurring the lines between genres through its adventurous and accessible programming. This album demonstrates this ethos exactly.
  • ‘Settecento’ is the style of art, music and architecture that emerged in Italy in the early 18th century, celebrated here by La Serenissima and Adrian Chandler with a collection of works from that era. The works are grouped by the areas of Italy where each composer worked, including the Kingdom of Naples (Scarlatti, Mancini), Republic of Venice (Dall’Abaco, Vandini, Tartini & Vivaldi) and the Papal States / Bologna (Brescianello). The ensemble La Serenissima is recognised as the UK’s leading exponent of the music of 18th-century Venice and connected composers. Uniquely, the group’s entire repertoire is edited from manuscript or contemporary sources. It has become synonymous with virtuosity, dynamism and accessibility, uncovering new repertoire and making it available to all through live performance, recordings and educational initiatives.
  • Following an acclaimed tribute album to Benny Goodman, the ‘King of Swing’, the Julian Bliss Septet returns with a new album that showcases the music of jazz legends, George and Ira Gershwin, and – by popular demand - some of Benny’s compositions and much-loved tunes. The Julian Bliss Septet was formed in 2010 and quickly became known for their trademark inspiring jazz-fuelled shows which have captivated audiences across the globe. Their dazzling virtuosity, extraordinary musicianship and charming humour shines through their programmes of swing, Latin, American and jazz music. The band has played at some of the most prestigious venues and festivals around the world, including the famous Ronnie Scott’s and Wigmore Hall in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Bermuda Jazz Festival and on multiple US tours to sold-out clubs and concert halls including Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center (New York).
  • Timelapse creates a space where sounds of the past and present collide to form a unique musical landscape. Although the pieces were written, in some cases, centuries apart and in culturally disparate eras, it is striking how much these contrasting works inhabit such similar emotional territory. Intriguing pairings of works by Rameau and Radiohead, Schubert and The Smiths, Adés and Grieg, Satie and Reich, compliment each other beautifully in the context of Timelapse. This recording by Orchestra of the Swan provides a place where notions of time and style have become irrelevant.
  • A frequent collaborator with both the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Jac van Steen, David Matthews’ new recording explores both the natural world and the symphonic idea, the second of which has, in his words, “obsessed me since I started composing at the age of 16”. As well the Sinfonia and Symphony No. 8, the programme includes Toward Sunrise; inspired by the sound of the sun (a rising fourth of C-F), as recorded by scientists at Sheffield University, and A Vision of the Sea; drawn from the sights and sounds of English Channel near the composers’ home in Deal, Kent. With a singular body of work spanning almost 60 years, David Matthews has established an international reputation as one of the leading symphonists of our time. Born in London in 1943, he began composing at the age of sixteen. He read Classics at the University of Nottingham – where he has more recently been made an Honorary Doctor of Music – and afterwards studied composition privately with Anthony Milner. He was also helped by the advice and encouragement of Nicholas Maw and spent three years as an assistant to Benjamin Britten in the late 1960s. In the 1970s a friendship with the Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe (leading to collaboration and numerous trips to Sydney) helped Matthews find his own distinctive voice.
  • Oliver Davis: Solace

    £8.00£12.00
    Recorded at the height of the international Covid lockdown, Oliver Davis’s sixth album for Signum is a feat of both technological as well as artistic achievement. Following from draws together artists from across the globe for a selection of moving works for a variety of forces – recording a violinist in Los Angeles, a piano duo in The Netherlands, a guitarist in Argentina and the Budapest Scoring Orchestra conducted by Péter Illényi in Budapest. Davis’s previous albums with Signum have reached the top 10 on both iTunes Classical and UK Specialist Classical Charts multiple times, receiving numerous five-star reviews and well over a million streams on Apple Music. British composer Oliver Davis has parlayed a long record as a composer of film and television scores into a successful career as a composer of orchestral music that in performance have attracted top-notch London orchestras and soloists. He has also been active as a composer of ballet – most recently premiering Lineage with choreographer Edwaard Liang at New York City Ballet’s prestigious Fall Fashion Gala.
  • Beethoven Piano Concertos

    £24.00£42.00
    The culmination of the fabulous Beethoven 250 series by French pianist Elizabeth Sombart, conductor Pierre Vallet and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; a boxset featuring spectacular performances of Beethoven’s piano concertos and his ‘Triple’ Concerto. Sombart and the RPO examine each concerto in sublime detail, demonstrating the various contrasts of each piece in an elegant and passionate fashion. Richard Harwood on cello and Duncan Riddell on violin enter the recordings with a bang for the final piece in the series, and immediatly connect with Sombart, Vallet and the RPO to produce an epic culmination to this great series.
  • Strauss / Copland

    £8.00£12.00
    The four works on this disc, all composed in the 1940s, embrace the lingering end of one musical tradition and the vigorous upsurge of another. Mellifluous, retrospective and playful, the Duet Concertino and Prelude to Capriccio were works of Richard Strauss’s Indian Summer – an old man’s refuge from the barbarism of war and its aftermath. What the public thought of them was incidental, even irrelevant. In the same decade, Aaron Copland and other younger American composers were reaching out, via radio, recordings and film, to a new mass audience. The European influence of Appalachian Spring and the Clarinet Concerto, though inescapable, was minimised in a populist, vernacular idiom that absorbed native folk music and jazz. Richard Stamp unites some of the finest instrumentalists from the UK and Europe in these performances – featuring celebrated orchestras the Academy of London and the Royal Northern Sinfonia with renowned Austrian soloists Ernst Ottensamer and Stepan Turnovsky. Stepan Turnovsky joined the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in 1978 and has kept the position of Solo Bassoonist there since 1985, performing with conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Karl Böhm, Carlos Kleiber amongst many others. The late Ernst Ottensamer was a former principal clarinettist at the Vienna Philharmonic and an avid performer of chamber music – founding numerous ensembles and collaborating with musicians such as Sir Simon Rattle, André Previn, Daniel Barenboim and Rudolf Buchbinder amongst others. In 2005 he found a clarinet trio with his sons Daniel and Andreas Ottensamer – themselves the Principal Clarinettists of the Vienna Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras. This present performance represents his last concerto recording.
  • The Colour of Intention

    £8.00£14.00
    Award-winning Vibraphonist Lewis Wright returns to Signum following the success of his recording ‘Duets’ in 2018, with a selection of new compositions this time performed with Matt Brewer (Double-Bass) and Marcus Gilmore (Drums). “The Colour of Intention refers to the creative process itself: that in order to express yourself honestly in music, you have to generate clear intentions developed from thoughts and emotions which then colour the work rather than explaining every aspect of it. In the moment of performance, the goal then becomes to put all these previous investigations out of mind and exist in the present. The colour of intention is describing everything except performance; the slower processes of development, reflection and refinement and how they’ll seep, often unpredictably, into everything that ends up being realised. Working with Matt (Brewer) and Marcus (Gilmore) adds the last and most engaging dimension. How they interpret the music, interact and bring their own highly developed languages to bare, creates something that’s both a reflection of my intentions and also infinitely more sophisticated than it’s possible for me to conceive of. I think in this sense, human connection is the greatest element of what it is we do as musicians.” - Lewis Wright
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Contrapunctus concludes its exploration of the music preserved in John Baldwin’s partbooks with a third album dedicated to this remarkable treasure house of English sacred music, the richest single source of Tudor polyphony to survive. This third recording opens a window on a striking aspect of the history of the English motet, and one that has been neglected: the penchant in England for setting Latin psalms as motets, the so-called ‘psalm motet’. These texts offered rich opportunity for vivid musical response, given their nature as personal and impassioned addresses to God, and led to Richard Sampson – Dean of the English Chapel Royal under Henry VIII – describing the psalms as ‘the sweetest songs’. The principal English composers born between the 1510s and the 1530s all contributed to this genre of motet, but to a significant extent this fascinating repertory has lain in obscurity and remains unfamiliar to modern audiences. More than half of the works on this album are premiere recordings, and they include such glorious motets as Robert White’s Domine, non est exaltatum, William Mundy’s Memor esto verbi tui, and John Sheppard’s Confitebor tibi Domine. Contrapunctus’s trademark combination of ground-breaking scholarship and performances that are ‘revelatory and even visionary’ (BBC Music Magazine) here brings to light and to life some of the finest musical survivals of the Tudor age.
  • 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”.
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