8 July 2019

Howells: An English Mass, Cello Concerto & other works
Studio Master: KGS0032-D  Download only  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘This celebration of Herbert Howells (1892-1983) forms Stephen Cleobury’s final recordings from King’s College Cambridge where he has been director of music for thirty-seven years. Of particular interest are the rarely performed An English Mass and the Cello Concerto, although both are previously recorded … the rhapsodic first movement [of the Concerto] is given due respect to its spacious arch-like design and the central ‘Threnody’ is sculpted with warm expressivity, its elegiac ruminations fully explored. If this dark-hued lament reaches into the core of the composer’s heartache, then the colourful Finale with its Walton-like vigour is no-less tinged with melancholic lyricism … the recorded sound is excellent’ (Classical Source)» More

8 July 2019

MacMillan: One equal music & other choral works
Studio Master: SIGCD575  Download only  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘Throughout this recording, The Elysian Singers under Sam Laughton are excellent, rising to every challenge that James MacMillan poses and coming out shining. They set a very high standard in their earlier recording of his music, but here they surpass it. The acoustic is very good indeed and this helps the Elysian’s perfect diction come through clear and bright, while the beautiful sound of Alexandra Caldon’s violin is perfectly balanced so that it does not detract from the vocal line and is never itself overpowered. The brief introductions to the music in the booklet are very good; full texts are given in English and, where applicable, Latin. This is a very fine disc and a must for any follower of the music of James MacMillan’ (MusicWeb International)
8 July 2019

Parry: Piano Trio No 2 & Piano Quartet
Studio Master: CDA68276  NEW  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘I admired the Leonore Trio’s first Parry CD very much and this follow-up release is just as good. In saying that I’m referring both to the interest, accomplishment and value in the music itself and also to the excellent performances. Parry’s music could not be in better hands. The recordings themselves come from the same source as the first disc and the sound quality is excellent. As ever, Jeremy Dibble’s notes provide a thorough and reliable introduction to the music’ (MusicWeb International)» More
8 July 2019

Phibbs & Mozart: Clarinet Concertos
Studio Master: SIGCD578  Download only NEW  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘Phibbs (born 1974), writing especially for van de Wiel, has created a four-movement work of considerable appeal. A lyrical opening might be heard as dawn breaking, with some enchanted chords suggesting glints of sunrise, before a slinky dance emerges (as if Malcolm Arnold had visited America wearing a blue suit) … once again Warren-Green conducts with attention to detail (he is a former concertmaster of the Philharmonia Orchestra) and van de Wiel’s colleagues offer complete support to the unflagging clarinettist, Hatch again capturing the distinction of the music and this performance’ (Classical Source)» More

6 July 2019
The Telegraph, Ivan Hewett
Howells: An English Mass, Cello Concerto & other works
Studio Master: KGS0032-D  Download only  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘The secret to performing Howells’s music … is to catch its very English way of expressing deep feeling, which works by repression and hints rather than direct statement. Guy Johnston does this especially well in his performance of the Cello Concerto, which emerges as a substantial piece. And it’s not all repression; with the surprisingly joyful and energetic Finale he really seizes the moment’ (The Telegraph)» More

6 July 2019
BBC Record Review, Andrew McGregor
Janáček: The diary of one who disappeared & other works
Studio Master: CDA68282  NEW  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘Scottish tenor Nicky Spence brings thrilling ardour and emotional angst to Janáček’s passionate outpourings; Czech mezzo Václava Housková joins him as the gypsy girl; Julius Drake handles the piano writing wonderfully, by turns tender and poignant, urgent and explosive as Janáček takes us from the first flush of young love to self-hatred, doubt and a tortured destiny … the Diary burns with anguish, passion … I love it, which is why it's my Record of the Week’ (BBC Record Review)
2 July 2019

From the ground up – The chaconne
Studio Master: SIGCD574  Download only  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘Hugo Ticciati clearly delights in the elusive … so put on the kettle, give this disc a spin, and maybe in under an hour you'll also be booking flights to Kathmandu: whatever Ticciati's drinking, I want some too’ (Gramophone)
2 July 2019
Classica, France, Jérémie Bigorie
Liszt: Années de pèlerinage, troisième année & other late piano works
Studio Master: CDA68202  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

«De son Yamaha (« l'un des plus fins instruments que j'aie joué »), Cédric Tiberghien tire des sonorités d'une grande variété, sans chercher à rendre cette musique plus aimable qu'elle ne l'est—Sunt lacrymae rerum et les deux Cyprès baignent dans une humeur auprès de laquelle l'ébène serait couleur de rose … le large ambitus dynamique fait de Sursum corda une apothéose qui est aussi libération» (Classica, France)» More

1 July 2019
The Europadisc Review
Sibelius: Kullervo
Studio Master: CDA68248  NEW  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘This new recording from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under their chief conductor Thomas Dausgaard captures that thrilling combination of brooding Nordic evocation with expressive edginess like few others. Right from the outset the BBC Scottish strings manage to pitch their tone ideally between folk-like earthiness and concert-hall refinement, while mellow horns and plangent double reeds give the opening character portrait a noble intensity … Hyperion’s experienced recording team of Simon Eadon and Andrew Keener have done an outstanding job evoking the unique atmosphere of this landmark score in the space of the City Halls, Glasgow, and this disc now takes its place among the most urgently compelling accounts of Sibelius’s early masterpiece. Essential listening for those wanting to explore the composer beyond the conventional canon, and with presentation greatly enhanced by notes from Sibelius expert Daniel Grimley’ (The Europadisc Review)» More
1 July 2019
Musical Opinion, Robert Matthew-Walker
Sibelius: Kullervo
Studio Master: CDA68248  NEW  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘Unknown until after Sibelius’s death in 1957 (an astonishingly strong-minded self-imposed ban after the hugely successful premiere in 1892) we recognise Kullervo as a key to his development. First recorded 40 years ago, it appears occasionally on disc but one doubts if a finer account than this has appeared. Dausgaard is magnificent, holding the five-movement structure together superbly, inspiring orchestral and vocal forces to compelling musical expression. With excellent sonority, here is early Sibelius—fully authentic and already a genuine master. This is a thrilling and moving musical experience’ (Musical Opinion)

1 July 2019
Opera Today, USA, Anne Ozorio
Sibelius: Kullervo
Studio Master: CDA68248  NEW  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘Dausgaard and the BBC SSO demonstrate what a remarkable work Kullervo can be’ (Opera Today, USA)
1 July 2019

Tavener: The protecting veil & readings
Studio Master: SIGCD585  Download only  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘Even if you have other recordings of The Protecting Veil, I recommend this utterly beautiful and originally framed version unreservedly’ (Gramophone)
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