Bringing out a new disc always involves a flurry of activity and excitement, as we scramble to get everything ready for a big public concert at which the artist will triumphantly unveil their new album.
The big public concerts are, of course, not happening this spring, and this has challenged artists everywhere to come up with creative workarounds that allow them to connect with their listeners. Pianists Julian Perkins and Emma Abbate have come up with a solution that is especially well-suited to the intimate genre of piano four hands: they are livestreaming regular concerts from their home.
In the days before personal sound systems, piano duets were a way to bring the grandeur of the symphony or the opera into one’s own living room. Nowadays, when we experience this genre at all, the experience is inverted: professionals bring the intimacy of the piano duet into the concert hall. Here is the same duo, performing one of Weber’s duets last spring at St John’s Smith Square in London:
Thanks to Julian and Emma’s generosity in inviting listeners into their own living room, we can experience for ourselves the vital role that home music-making once played in keeping music alive. They’ve even included a triumphant unveiling of their new CD:
We’re delighted to announce the release of a debut recording of the Brahms Cello Sonatas by cellist Kate Bennett Wadsworth and pianist Yi-heng Yang, using an original 1870 Streicher piano and based on the latest historical performance research into Brahms’ own playing style.
Kate notes, ‘what excites me about studying Brahms-era performing practice is that some of his most trusted colleagues lived long enough to make recordings, so it is possible to piece together written descriptions with actual sounds. Yi-heng and I were especially inspired by the recordings of Brahms’ younger female colleagues, many of whom scaled back their public performing careers after marriage and thus were able to preserve a style of playing untouched by the revolutions of the 20th century.’
To learn more about Kate and Yi-heng’s approach, visit The Brahms Lab on Facebook – or have a look at the new Bärenreiter edition of the Brahms Cello Sonatas, which Kate co-edited with Clive Brown and Neal Peres da Costa.
We’re thrilled to announce the release of Vol. 7 of Martin Roscoe’s cycle of Beethoven Piano Sonatas
The main part of this volume is devoted to the Op 31 Sonatas composed in 1802 at a time when Beethoven was probably in the darkest place of his whole life, early in his thirties with the realisation of his impending deafness. In October the same year, Beethoven wrote his famous Heiligenstadt Testament, a will in which he left everything to his two brothers and an outpouring of the despair he felt at the realisation that his deafness was only going to get worse.
Martin notes, “It’s astonishing that..Beethoven was able to be so prolific as he was at this time, and even more amazing that so many of his works are so full of spirit, energy and humour.” This volume also includes the D major No. 3, composed by Beethoven when was twelve – one of the most sophisticated and technically challenging of the three early WoO47.
‘Elegie’ takes the listener on a journey through Rachmaninoff’s life from his early years in Russia, studying in Moscow and composing from his beloved country estate Ivanoka, before escaping the Revolution in 1918 to live in self-imposed political exile in Europe and America. He was never to return but left his heart forever in Russia…
Keen explorers of new music, Trio Derazey spotlights the chamber works of award-winning Cecilia McDowall with this provocative programme in which in which McDowall draws inspiration from a variety of sources, ranging from a Beethoven String Quartet, poetry by Keats and Rainer Maria Rilke, Blackbird song and two Russian synaesthetes, Kandinsky and Scriabin.
This disc features ‘Cavatina at Midnight’ commissioned by the CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust and includes guests Sally Bartholomew (Bassoon), Mark Kesel (Trumpet), Matthew Scott (Clarinet). More information / Buy CD
Late Night Lute a relaxing programme of music featuring new commission ‘The Miller’s Tale’ by Stephen Goss and masterpieces by Philip Rosseter, John Dowland, Robert Johnson, Alessandro Piccinini, and Johannes Kapsberger. More information / Buy CD
Inspired by his late night concerts, Matthew Wadsworth’s ‘Late Night Lute’ is the second and greatly antcipated disc for Deux-Elles. The first, released in 2003 ’14 Silver Strings’ (DXL 1044) was named Gramophone Editor’s Choice.
This collection features ‘The Miller’s Tale’, composed for solo theorbo by Stephen Goss, commissioned for Wadsworth by guitarist John Williams, which received its world premiere at London’s Wigmore Hall in March 2017.
New Release – A new collection of works for violin and piano by Sara Trickey and Daniel Tong including the new work ‘Adonis,’ by David Matthews, inspired by Greek mythology and commissioned by the Presteigne Festival where it was first performed in 2007. This disc also includes Matthews’ Aria’ and ‘‘Romanza’ alongside Gabriel Fauré’s ‘Violin Sonata in A, Op. 13’ and ‘Romance in B flat.’
We are delighted to announce the release of Lucy Parham’s new CD ‘Rêverie – The life and loves of Claude Debussy’ this month. Featuring narration by actor Alex Jennings, Lucy’s musical portrait explores the writings and correspondence of the French composer. The programme first received its London premiere in the Wigmore Hall’s 2012 London Piano Series to great acclaim and features popular piano works, ‘L’isle joyeuse,’ ‘Clair de lune’ and ‘Golliwog’s Cakewalk’.
We are delighted to announce the release of a new disc combining words and music ‘Enoch Arden’ by one of Britain’s finest pianists Lucy Parham with narration by actor Henry Goodman.
Enoch Arden is a narrative poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson which tells of a young fisherman and an orphaned Enoch Arden, his chidhood sweetheart Annie Lee and Enoch’s best friend Philip Ray, the Miller’s son. Composed in two halves, Strauss weaves the music around the narrative and uses three individual “leitmotifs” to portray the three characters in this dramatic and moving story.
Lucy Parham applies her sensitivity and imagination not only to concertos and recitals, but also to portraits in words and music of such composers as Schumann, Chopin, Liszt and Debussy. She has played throughout the UK and around the globe and is a regular contributor to BBC Music Magazine, Pianist Magazine and the Guardian and appears frequently on BBC Radio 3 and 4, as the commentator on the Leeds International Piano Competition and as a jury member for the final of Young Musician of the Year.
We are delighted to announce the release of the much anticipated Volume 6 ‘Moonlight’ from Martin Roscoe’s complete Beethoven Sonata series.
Composed by a young Beethoven at the age of twelve, these early piano masterpieces perfectly illustrate the daringness and originality of the young composer.
Piano Sonata in C sharp minor, ‘Moonlight’ is the most famous work of Beethoven’s piano works. Martin Roscoe notes how ground-breaking it is with the composer’s choice of key – C sharp minor was hardly ever used by composers, and secondly the opening with an Adagio slow triplet movement to produce a hypnotic calm while the funereal dotted rhythm of the main theme evokes the feeling of tragedy. Producer Mike George adds that the F minor sonata is probably the most interesting and forward-thinking of Beethoven’s early sonatas.