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Classical - Released July 30, 2021 | Chandos

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Peter Donohoe CBE studied at Chetham’s School of Music and Leeds University before going on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music with Derek Wyndham and in Paris with Olivier Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod. He is acclaimed as one of the foremost pianists of our time, for his musicianship, stylistic versatility, and commanding technique. He first came across the works of Busoni in the early 1980s and, as he states in his booklet note, "Busoni’s contribution to the musical history of the twentieth century is inestimable, and I feel very much enriched by the several decades of my exposure to it". The programme he has chosen includes three of the pinnacles of Busoni’s virtuosic output: The Toccata, BV 287, the seven Elegien, and the Sonatina on Bizet’s Carmen, alongside the much earlier Bach transcription of which Peter Donohoe writes: "The Toccata, in particular, has always struck me as one of the most joyous pieces in the history of instrumental music, and Busoni’s transcription certainly brings out that joy". © Chandos
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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released July 30, 2021 | Chandos

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The Patriarch Tikhon Russian-American Music Institute strives to present Russian Orthodox choral music in its highest possible form, uniting deep spirituality, a profound love for the rich traditions of Orthodox Christian singing, and an uncompromising standard of musical professionalism rooted in the great traditions of Russian choral composers. The 725-year-old Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign is one of the most ancient icons of the Russian Orthodox Church. This holy relic is linked with many important events in Russian history: repelling the invasions of the Tatars, the liberation of the Russian nation from the Polish-Lithuanian incursion in 1612, and the victory over Napoleon during the Patriotic War of 1812. The 2019 PaTRAM Institute Recording Project was to record the sacred works of Alexander Gretchaninoff, but as the project was in development, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia, had granted his special permission and blessing to allow the 725-year-old wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign to travel with the PaTRAM Choir to the recording location in Saratov, Russia. The timing of the recording also coincided with the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God. In honour of this event, the repertoire was changed to a compendium of sacred masterpieces by various composers, glorifying the Most Holy Lady Theotokos. The album brings together singers from five countries, including an unprecedented nine octavists, to form the fifty-six-member international PaTRAM Institute Male Choir. © Chandos
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Classical - Released July 30, 2021 | Chandos

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Considered by some to be the "Cinderella" of his symphonies, the Sixth Symphony of Anton Bruckner was composed in 1879-1881. It may well demonstrate a reaction to the severe criticism of the first Viennese performance, in 1877, of his Third Symphony, which Eduard Hanslick described as "a vision of how Beethoven’s Ninth befriends Wagner’s Walküre and ends up being trampled under her horses’ hoofs". Much the shortest of his mature symphonies, the Sixth also reverts to a more classical form than its predecessors. This recording was made in 2012, during the first season of Juanjo Mena as Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, and just a month before their acclaimed performance of the work at the BBC Proms. Classical Source commented: "Mena didn’t miss a trick and the result for the whole symphony was a revelation, and you don’t get many of those. This was a thrilling, delightful performance". © Chandos
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Symphonic Music - Released July 2, 2021 | Chandos

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Following their acclaimed recordings of Schoenberg with Sara Jakubiak and Britten’s Peter Grimes with Stuart Skelton, Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic turn their attention to the music of Sibelius. Written in 1913 for the diva Aino Ackté, the tone poem Luonnotar draws on text from the Finnish national epic poem, the Kalevala. Its virtuosic demands are ably met here by award-wining soprano Lise Davidsen, who also feature in the Suite from Pelléas and Mélisande, music re-worked by Sibelius from his incidental music written for the first performances of Maeterlinck’s play in Helsinki, in 1905, in Swedish. The tone poem Tapiola, from 1926, is Sibelius’ last great masterpiece and evokes the forests of his native Finland. The programme is completed by a pair of much earlier works, Rakastava and Vårsång (Spring Song). © Chandos
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Chamber Music - Released July 2, 2021 | Chandos

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Towards the end of his life, short of money and heavily in debt, Mozart had the opportunity to visit King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia – a famous patron of the arts and a keen and above-average musician. Mozart performed for the King and left with some cash and a commission for a set of six string quartets, of which these are the only three he completed. They are ground-breaking in the way in which Mozart utilised the voicing of the instruments. King Friedrich was a viola da gamba player turned cellist, and these works feature extensive melodies for the cello, usually in a high register, thus emancipating the cello from the bass line and introducing a more evenly blended texture. Firmly established as one of the leading quartets of their generation, the Doric String Quartet enjoys a worldwide reputation and has performed at festivals and concert halls around the globe. Exclusive Chandos artists, the Quartet has drawn widespread critical acclaim for its recordings and won a number of prestigious awards. © Chandos
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Classical - Released July 2, 2021 | Chandos

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For the third volume of his musical tribute to Russia, Barry Douglas has selected a range of love songs and dances by Tchaikovsky that span much of his composing life. From the early Romance, Op. 5 through to the two pieces from Op. 72, his last works for the piano, there is a uniform singing quality, each piece redolent with Tchaikovsky’s gift for melody. Although many of these are relatively short pieces, they are certainly more than "miniatures", conveying both breadth and depth of emotional substance. This volume’s "plus one" comes in the guise of Prokofiev and his virtuosic transcription of ten pieces from his best-known ballet, Romeo and Juliet. Vividly capturing the colour of scenes and characters with the relatively limited palette of the solo piano (compared to the full orchestra) is in itself an outstanding achievement, and Barry Douglas’s fearless interpretation dazzles from start to finish. © Chandos
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Chamber Music - Released May 28, 2021 | Chandos

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The set of 6 Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin is widely regarded as one of the summits of Bach’s output as a composer, and of the entire repertoire for the violin. With this new album the Brodsky Quartet give us the opportunity to hear some of this legendary music in an entirely new way, in these world-première recordings of Paul Cassidy’s arrangements for string quartet of the three solo sonatas. Writing about this project, Paul notes: "My daily practice invariably involves spending some time with Bach’s Sei Solo a Violino senza Basso accompagnato. I am a devout being and these are my bible. As in the case of all "holy" books, the six Solos open themselves to an infinite variety of interpretations, but whatever your approach, these miraculous pieces are endlessly cleansing and enriching for the body and soul, a balm for the spirit. Their challenging pages abound with multi-faceted characters whose succinct purity is a wonder to behold. They can move imperceptibly from being uplifting and euphoric one minute to heart-breaking and tragic the next". © Chandos
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Classical - Released May 28, 2021 | Chandos

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Following the success of their previous album, "English Music for Strings", John Wilson and his Sinfonia of London turn their attention to the music of Henri Dutilleux. His ballet Le Loup was composed as a commission for Roland Petit’s dance company and premièred in Paris in March 1953. Rarely recorded – this is the first recording by a non-French orchestra – the work unfolds in three tableaux and tells a convoluted tale of a bridegroom who jilts his bride (to run away with a gypsy) by persuading her that he has been changed into a wolf. Over time she discovers that the wolf is real, but her feelings turn from terror to love and when the alarmed villagers hunt the wolf, she defends him and dies at his side. The album is completed by three world première recordings of new orchestrations (by Kenneth Hesketh) of wind solos written for the Paris Conservatoire in the 1940s. Both the Sarabande et Cortège and Sonate pour hautbois are virtuosic tours de force for their soloists, as is the Sonatine pour flûte, which displays the lyricism, agility, and sparkling incisive qualities of the flute in what became Dutilleux’s most-performed work. © Chandos
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Chamber Music - Released May 28, 2021 | Chandos

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Hailed by "The Times" for its "exhilarating performances", the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective was dreamed up in 2017 by Tom Poster and Elena Urioste. The Collective operates with a flexible roster which features many of today’s most inspirational musicians, both instrumentalists and singers, and its creative programming is marked by an ardent commitment to celebrating diversity of all forms and a desire to unearth lesser-known gems of the repertoire. This ethos is clear in their repertoire selection for this their début recording. The Piano Quintet is one of Amy Beach’s better-known works, which the KCC collectively fell in love with during a residency at the Cheltenham festival. Composed in 1907, the work reflects the strong influence of the music of Brahms. Florence Price famously claimied to face "two handicaps – those of sex and race", and much of her music remained unpublished at the time of her death. Additionally, a significant quantity of her manuscripts had disappeared without trace. It was not until 2009 that a cache of them (including two lost symphonies) was discovered by property developers in the attic of an abandoned house in Illinois – including the score for the Piano Quintet in A minor that receives its world première recording here. Although characteristically conservative in its late-romantic idiom, the piece celebrates Price’s African-American heritage with echoes of spirituals and hymns, and the popular juba stomping dance rooted in the slave plantations of the Deep South. Between these two Piano Quintets sits Samuel Barber’s early Dover Beach, a setting of Matthew Arnold’s famous poem that has remained one of the best-known works in the voice-and-quartet repertoire. © Chandos
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Classical - Released April 30, 2021 | Chandos

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Described by BBC Music Magazine as "A worthy successor to Julian Bream", the Australian-born guitarist Craig Ogden is one of the most exciting artists of his generation. He studied guitar from the age of seven and in 2004 became the youngest instrumentalist to receive a Fellowship Award from the Royal Northern College of Music. He has performed concertos with many of the world’s leading orchestras and numerous composers have written works specially for him. Despite a diverse and extensive discography, Craig Ogden had never made an album based on his regular recital repertoire. This latest album consists of pieces he regularly plays in concert and includes a wide variety of music, spanning three centuries. Offering both transcriptions and original works, it is all music that he loves to play, and a programme that reflects the wonderful diversity within the repertoire of the modern classical guitar. © Chandos
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Classical - Released April 30, 2021 | Chandos

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Described as "easily the classiest brass ensemble in Britain" by BBC Music Magazine, Onyx Brass continues to be the leading light in establishing the brass quintet as a medium for serious chamber music, presenting it in the entertaining and articulate style that has become the group’s trademark. For this, its third recording for Chandos, Onyx Brass presents a programme steeped in the German romantic tradition. Arrangements for small ensemble of works by Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Rubinstein, and Franz demonstrate the musicality and virtuosity of the group, as well as a wide expressive and textural range. The programme opens and closes with three large-scale works by Richard Strauss, in which the Quintet is joined by a host of brass players and the conductor John Wilson. Festmusik der Stadt Wien for brass and timpani, written for the city of Vienna, is the only original composition: all the others are arrangements made by members of the group. This is an exciting album for brass music enthusiasts and fans of chamber music alike. © Chandos
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Classical - Released April 30, 2021 | Chandos

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Although most widely remembered for his operettas in partnership with W. S. Gilbert, Sir Arthur Sullivan was the most famous of all British composers of the nineteenth century. He was revered as a composer of oratorios, and was urged by Queen Victoria to compose a grand opera. The result, Ivanhoe, achieved 155 consecutive performances (in an opera house especially built for it). Achieving equal success in his lifetime, his substantial legacy of Songs fell into neglect in the twentieth century, but as this album demonstrates Sullivan’s endlessly fertile melodic gifts withstand comparison with those of any other song composer. David Owen Norris and his quartet of outstanding young British singers deliver this fascinating programme with terrific style and panache. © Chandos
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Classical - Released April 2, 2021 | Chandos

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The acclaimed British soprano Louise Alder returns for her second recital on Chandos, joined once again by star pianist Joseph Middleton. Enthusiastic praise was widespread for her Chandos début, "Lines Written during a Sleepless Night: The Russian Connection", which earned significant accolades in the USA and continental Europe in addition to the UK. For this recording the pair explore a rich and varied selection of French songs from the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Louse Alder writes: "I have always held French song very dear to my heart and when we settled on this wildly varied programme, I quickly grew excited at the prospect of exploring the art form in virtually all its styles. From Ravel to Yvain, I hope we paint pictures of a French evening, of mystery, intrigue, discovery, seduction, love, and blissful night". © Chandos
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Chamber Music - Released April 2, 2021 | Chandos

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Under the leadership of its Artistic Director, Adam Walker, the Orsino Ensemble is a chamber group of flexible formation with five outstanding wind players at its core. Each is a leader in his or her field, the group’s members committed to showcasing the depth and versatility of the wind chamber repertoire. They expand and reduce the Ensemble’s format as needed across their different programmes. This flexible approach is clearly demonstrated on this their début recording for Chandos, programming works for solo instrument through to the full wind quintet and piano needed for Albert Roussel’s Divertissement. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries bore witness to significant advances in the design and manufacture of wind instruments, much of the development driven by French makers. At the same time, the rapidly expanding Paris Conservatoire supported not only performance study, but also a vast output of original compositions by their teaching staff for the student body. The varied programme on this album captures the spirit of the age – a Belle Époque indeed! © Chandos
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Chamber Music - Released April 2, 2021 | Chandos

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French Works for Flute is the Chandos début of Adam Walker, ably accompanied by James Baillieu. The pair is joined by the violist Timothy Ridout in Duruflé’s Prélude, récitatif et variations. At the forefront of a new generation of wind soloists, Adam Walker was appointed principal flute of the London Symphony Orchestra in 2009 at the age of twenty-one. Built around three major works (Widor’s Suite, Jean-Pierre Rampal’s edition of Franck’s Violin Sonata, and Duruflé’s flute trio), the programme proves an excellent showcase for Walker’s prodigious talent – effortless virtuosity, ethereal sound, and above all outstanding musical expression. © Chandos
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Classical - Released February 26, 2021 | Chandos

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For this album, Neeme Järvi and his Estonian National Symphony Orchestra present a delightful programme of lesser-known stage music from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Overtures by Thomas, Auber and Boieldieu were all composed for works staged at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, and are wonderful examples of the period. The Scène du bal and Vieille Chanson from Le Roi s’amuse were written by Delibes in 1882 as incidental music for Victor Hugo’s play, first performed in 1832 but banned after the first performance because it was deemed to be an attack on the reigning monarch, Louis Philippe. The play, which went on to form the basis of the libretto for Verdi’s Rigoletto, was eventually revived with some success, with Delibes’s score an important factor. Massenet’s one-act ballet Espada dates from 1908, and is the most recent – and most substantial – work on the album. Set in Spain, the work clearly owes more than one idea to Bizet’s Carmen (The Card Game and March of the Toreadors for example), but musically and orchestrally it is pure Massenet. © Chandos
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Classical - Released February 26, 2021 | Chandos

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Following his acclaimed recording of Beethoven’s Concertos with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet returns to his exploration of Haydn’s Sonatas, described by the magazine Gramophone as "a major modern recording landmark in the Haydn discography". As in previous instalments, Bavouzet has programmed sonatas from Haydn’s early, middle, and late periods, giving added interest to the recital. Sonatas No. 10 and No. 2, dating from the 1750s and ’60s respectively, share the key of C major, but differ in form. The short No. 2 was almost certainly written for pupils whilst Haydn was working as a teacher. No. 10 is more ambitious and extensive. Sonatas No. 41 and No. 44 date from the early 1770s and show some influence from C.P.E. Bach and the "Sturm und Drang" movement. More virtuosic than the earlier sonatas, in these the trademark humour of Haydn is also more evident. Sonatas No. 52 and No. 53 were composed a decade later and are conspicuously more demanding, technically and musically. As in the case of the previous volumes, this album was recorded at Potton Hall in Suffolk, on a Yamaha CFX Concert Grand Piano. © Chandos
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Chamber Music - Released February 26, 2021 | Chandos

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Paganini’s violin, the legendary "il Cannone", made by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù in 1743, is one of the most important musical instruments in the history of Western music. Paganini was the greatest virtuoso of his time, acclaimed throughout Europe and an inspiration to performers and composers alike. On his death, he bequeathed "il Cannone" to his home city of Genoa, where it is permanently housed under high security in the Town Hall. It has been heard on record just a handful of times. Francesca Dego was given the honour of recording with it after the success of her first performance on the instrument, in October 2019, when she was invited to play Paganini’s First Violin Concerto at the Paganini Celebratory Concert at Teatro Carlo Felice, in Genoa. Francesca Dego comments: "Spending a few enchanted days recording with this priceless treasure was unforgettable. I was overwhelmed when I was first handed the instrument that had caressed the ears of Schumann, Schubert, Goethe, Rossini, Bellini, Berlioz, Chopin, Heine, and so many more. I remember standing in that very room as a young girl, hypnotised, staring at history behind glass, fingers tingling at the thought of touching it. And suddenly there I was, holding Paganini’s violin. I feel so privileged to be able to share the soul of "il Cannone" in a new recording. I remember thinking long and hard about the ideal programme and carefully selecting a series of works paying homage to Paganini. The "Cannon" has pretty much only ever been used to record music by Paganini, so the idea of its celebrated tone teaming up with composers who idolised the Italian virtuoso throughout history is really exciting to me!" © Chandos
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Classical - Released February 26, 2021 | Chandos

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"A Musical Zoo" with Ashley Riches and Joseph Middleton is a veritable tour de force, featuring compositions spanning nearly 160 years, from Schubert’s The Trout to Shostakovich’s Once there lived a cockroach, and four languages (German, French, Russian, and English). A strong representation of the German Lieder tradition (Schubert, Schumann, Wolf, Brahms, and Richard Strauss) is balanced by the French mélodie (Fauré, Ravel) and English lyricism (Ireland, Howells). The humans seem to have an endless fascination with the animal kingdom, and animals have proved an inspiration for artists, composers and writers alike. This recital demonstrates what a rich seam this has proved for a diverse range of composers. Ashley Riches comments: "The text [of a song] may outline to us what we see. But the flutterings of Schubert’s Birds, the flicking antennae of Shostakovich’s Cockroach, the rush of notes with which Ravel’s Peacock spreads its tail – these are movements and energies accessible to music alone". © Chandos
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Classical - Released January 29, 2021 | Chandos

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During the 1930s, Bliss, Britten, and Berkeley all contributed major works to the repertoire for string orchestra, following in the footsteps of Elgar and Vaughan Williams. They are joined on this album by Frank Bridge whose Lament was composed during the First World War. Bliss composed Music for Strings after he had completed the film score for Korda’s Things to Come, driven by his desire to compose a piece of ‘pure music’, expressing his own ideas rather than those of others. Commissioned in May 1937 by Boyd Neel for the Salzburg Festival that summer, Britten’s Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge was composed at great speed, and helped to establish the young composer’s international reputation. Dedicated to his teacher, Frank Bridge, the theme is taken from the second of Bridge’s Three Idylls for string quartet. Lennox Berkeley composed his Serenade for Strings at Snape Maltings, where he was living with Britten in 1938 and 1939. By the time of its completion the nation was at war and the music seems to reflect the composer’s anxious mood as the world faced an uncertain future. The front cover features a painting by Edward Wadsworth of Bliss’s house, Pen Pits, built for him in 1935. © Chandos

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