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Classical - To be released October 1, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Classical - To be released October 1, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Classical - To be released October 1, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Classical - To be released October 1, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released September 3, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Lyadov’s handful of orchestral works have become concert favourites, but his choral music is as good as unknown. It falls into three main categories: religious chants, folksong arrangements and original compositions. All three confirm Lyadov’s status as a kind of Fabergé of music: they blend exquisite craftsmanship and delicate beauty. © Toccata Classics
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Chamber Music - Released September 3, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Ronald Center (1913-1973) is sometimes described as "the Scottish Bartók", and his music does indeed capture some of the stark, wild energy of the Scottish landscape in a style of Bartókian asperity. These three string quartets show him, in his northeast corner of Scotland, to have been fully conversant with the quartets being written around the same time by Barber, Britten and Shostakovich, but their direct manner, terse expression, wiry humour and roots in Scottish folk-music ensure that Center is his own man. © Toccata Classics
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Classical - Released September 3, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Adolf Jensen (1837-1879) is one of the major figures of German Romanticism, the composer of a large corpus of songs and piano music. Jensen’s musical language fuses the heritage of Schumann, Chopin and Liszt into an individual style distinguished by its melodic and lyrical appeal, and yet he has been almost entirely forgotten. This second in a series of recordings of his music hopes to restore his name to circulation. © Toccata Classics
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Classical - Released September 3, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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The German composer Felix Woyrsch was born in 1860 in Troppau (then the capital of Austrian Silesia and now, as Opava, in the Czech Republic) but became prominent in the musical life of Altona, now part of Hamburg, as organist, choirmaster and teacher; he died there in 1944. Woyrsch’s late-Romantic organ music, with distant roots in Bach’s counterpoint, inhabits a harmonic world somewhere between Brahms and Reger, its dark colours reflecting the upheavals in the times through which he lived. © Toccata Classics
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Classical - Released August 6, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Respighi’s orchestral works are some of the most popular in the mainstream repertoire. His output of piano music, by contrast, is as good as unknown, and this Toccata Classics series will be the first-ever to present it all: original works and transcriptions alike, for solo piano, piano four hands and two pianos. The prentice works on this second volume of solo works reveal a Respighi with roots in the high-Romantic past of Schumann, Chopin and Brahms, but they also show the first signs of his later interest in the Italian pre-Baroque. © Toccata Classics
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Classical - Released August 6, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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The piano music of the Estonian composer Heino Eller (1887–1970), a total of 206 works, is not only the largest part of his output: it is also the largest body of works in Estonian classical music. But most of these pieces are unknown, even though the best of them are original contributions to the piano repertoire of the twentieth century, with Eller’s sensitive lyricism underpinned by gentle humour and an occasional epic tone. This seventh volume brings music from half a century, from 1912 to 1961 – mostly miniatures but each of them full of atmosphere and personality. © Toccata Classics
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Classical - Released August 6, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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This second volume of orchestral music by the Swiss composer Richard Flury (1896–1967) brings works from across his career. A suite drawn from an early Festspiel – a community pageant – opens with a march of Elgarian swagger and continues with a mix of charm and substance. Flury was a gifted violinist, and his Third Violin Concerto, written at the height of the Second World War, is virtuosic and lyrical in equal measure, its unashamed Romanticism perhaps an escape from troubled times. The four late Caprices for Violin and Orchestra form a concertante serenade in all but name; and one of his very last pieces was a dark and moving tribute to a musician friend, the slow movement of a suite he did not live to finish. © Toccata Classics
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Chamber Music - Released August 6, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Painters sometimes talk about the intensity of the light they encounter in Australia. Peter Dart, born in Sydney in 1953, brings something of that brightness to his compositions, which are further animated by buoyant rhythms and a lively sense of humour, even mischief. They are, at the same time, anchored in a secure command of counterpoint, and given a timeless quality by his fondness for modal harmony. Most important of all, the technical mastery that gives these works their surefooted appeal is suffused with straightforward human warmth. © Toccata Classics
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Chamber Music - Released July 2, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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The Russian composer Yevgeny Zemtsov (1940–2016) may be as well known for the dynasty of musicians – most of them violists – that he fathered than he is for his own music. This first album ever to be devoted to his compositions features works from the beginning and end of his career: a with some early violin works, influenced by Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev, a Bartókian string quartet, three spirited and spiky piano miniatures, an oblique piano elegy and five late, enigmatic, almost ritualistic settings of Japanese haikus. Late in life, too, he discovered a fascination with tango, and the album also features his elegant arrangements for string quartet of two Piazzolla favourites. © Toccata Classics
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Classical - Released July 2, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Emile Naoumoff, born in Sofia in 1962, was a child prodigy as pianist and composer in his native Bulgaria but was soon taken under the wing of Nadia Boulanger in Paris – "the gift of my old age", she said. Naoumoff himself has tended to record the music of other composers, and so this recital of his piano music has been recorded by Gregory Martin, who has worked with him in various capacities. It presents music from across Naoumoff’s career – from that gifted childhood to a piece inspired by the sight of Notre-Dame Cathedral in flames in 2019 – absorbing influences from Slavic folk-dance to Gabriel Fauré, whose "grand-student" he is. © Toccata Classics
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Chamber Music - Released July 2, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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This twelfth release in the Toccata Classics exploration of the music of Ferenc Farkas (1905–2000) once again puts his chamber music with flute in the spotlight – here with an oboe chaser. As with previous albums in this series, the music highlights the characteristics that make Farkas’ music so appealing: catchy tunes, transparent textures, buoyant rhythms, a fondness for Baroque forms and a taste for the folk-music of his native Hungary that marks him out as a true successor to Bartók and Kodály. The works in this recording are almost all reworkings – by Farkas or the two soloists here – of music first written for different forces and now taking on a new lease of life. © Toccata Classics
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Classical - Released July 2, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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It might seem that modern classical music rarely expresses happiness – but Aviv, a piano concerto by Joel Feigin (born in New York in 1951), suggests the warmth and optimism of the coming of spring. The angular, even anguished, essay for strings Surging Seas, by contrast, was inspired by the devastation wrought by the tsunamis of 2004 and 2011. The Two Songs from Twelfth Night have their origins in the tradition of American orchestral song established by Samuel Barber. And in the diptych Mosaic, also for strings, a first "panel" of heartfelt lyricism is succeeded by an outburst of buoyant energy. © Toccata Classics
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Chamber Music - Released June 4, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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The music of Théodore Dubois (1837–1924) has rather been overshadowed by that of other French composers of the same period, not least Fauré and Saint-Saëns. But Dubois does not deserve his relative neglect: not only was he a superlative craftsman, but he could also unfold a fetching melody and had a strong sense of musical narrative. This recital of chamber works for oboe and strings is noteworthy for a further quality, one often underestimated: much of the music is, quite simply, charming. © Toccata Classics
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Classical - Released June 4, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Josef Schelb (1894–1977) is one of the better-kept secrets of German music. His output was substantial: he lost most of his early music in a bombing raid in 1942 but, as if to make up for lost time, wrote some 150 more works after that, in the tonally liberated, quasi-Expressionist contrapuntal tradition of Hindemith and Hartmann; Bartók was an important influence, too. These three concertos show him at his most engaging: the contrapuntal craftsmanship that drives the music forward is deployed with a light and nimble touch, and passages of touching delicacy contrast with others where a lively sense of humour comes bubbling up to the surface. © Toccata Classics
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Classical - Released June 4, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Norwegian folksong and dance constitute the very DNA of the music of Carl Gustav Sparre Olsen (1903–1984), on both a large and a small scale – from Draumkvedet, the 1936 oratorio that was his first major success, to the tiny miniatures that form most of his piano music, recorded here in its entirety for the first time. The apparent simplicity of much of this material belies the unassuming sophistication of its construction: many of these pieces, some barely a minute long, seem – to adapt William Blake – to contain the world in a grain of sand. © Toccata Classics
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Classical - Released June 4, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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The organ works of Axel Ruoff, born in Stuttgart in 1957, constitute one of the most important contributions to the literature for the instrument by any composer since Messiaen. Stylistically, his music unites the French cathedral tradition of composers like Langlais, Dupré and Guillou with the concern with counterpoint and logic heard in Reger and later German figures. Like Messiaen, Ruoff often finds stimulus in religious sources; unlike him, it is biblical narrative that inspires many of Ruoff’s works, and he uses the unparalleled resources of the modern symphonic organ in his responses to some of the most dramatic scenes in both Testaments, writing music of freewheeling energy and uncompromising power. © Toccata Classics