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Classical - To be released September 3, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Chamber Music - To be released August 6, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Classical - To be released August 6, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Classical - To be released August 6, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Classical - To be released August 6, 2021 | 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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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
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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 May 7, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Moritz Moszkowski (1854-1925) wrote a considerable quantity of piano music, but it is generally remembered today only for a single piece, Étincelles, which Horowitz enjoyed playing. The early works on this first instalment in Ian Hobson’s survey of Moszkowski’s complete music for solo piano reveal a debt to Mendelssohn and Schumann, but the craftsmanship already justifies a later remark of Paderewski’s: "After Chopin, Moszkowski best understands how to write for the piano, and his writing embraces the whole gamut of piano technique". © Toccata Classics
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Classical - Released May 7, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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The personal generosity that made the Scottish composer Ronald Stevenson (1928–2015) such a warm and vibrant character extended also to his writing-desk: around a quarter of his enormous output is given over to transcriptions, mostly for piano, of music by other composers. Here he pays homage to three earlier colleagues whose music he particularly esteemed: Purcell, Delius and van Dieren. Stevenson described his version of Van Dieren’s String Quartet No. 5 (1931) as "transcribed as a piano sonata (which B. v. D. never composed)" – and thus it became the piano sonata which Stevenson himself never composed. The album ends with Stevenson’s brief but achingly beautiful harmonisation of Purcell’s The Queen’s Dolour – as exquisite an example of the transcriber’s art as anyone could wish. &copty; Toccata Classics
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Classical - Released May 7, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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The music of William Wordsworth (1908-1988) - a great-great-grandson of the poet’s brother Christopher - lies downstream from that of Vaughan Williams and Sibelius; like that of his contemporary Edmund Rubbra, Wordsworth’s music unfolds spontaneously, as a natural process. This third volume of his orchestral works brings two major scores in their first studio recordings. Wordsworth’s Cello Concerto is a work of symphonic proportions, blending angular rough-and-tumble with a sober lyricism in a style that sits somewhere between Shostakovich and Bloch. The Fifth Symphony has an even grander sense of scale, its radiant first movement and the introduction to the confident finale unfolding as calmly and unhurriedly as a change of season; the martial tone of the gruff scherzo, by contrast, is laced through by an impish sense of humour. © Toccata Classics
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Classical - Released May 7, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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The phrase "unashamed Romantic" might not have been coined for the French composer Corentin Boissier, born in the Paris suburbs in 1995, but it certainly fits him well. As the titles of his Glamour Concerto and Philip Marlowe Concerto suggest, he revels in the full-textured sound of 1940s and ’50s Hollywood, the golden age of Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto, Rota’s Legend of the Glass Mountain and other such high-calorie classics. The Second Piano Sonata, "Appassionata", is no less Neo-Romantic, but has flecks of Russian colour, locating it downstream from Rachmaninov. © Toccata Classics
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Classical - Released April 2, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Joseph Woelfl (1773–1812), a friend of the Mozart family from childhood, was one of the best-known musicians of his day: he was regarded as a rival of Beethoven in Vienna and a worthy successor to Haydn in the musical life of London. His late-Classical piano music sits between Mozart, Haydn and Clementi and looks forward to Schubert and Mendelssohn. This first-ever project to examine it in any detail hopes to rescue Woelfl’s once starry reputation from the folds of history. The three sonatas which open this second volume are dedicated ‘à Mr L. Van Beethoven’. © Toccata Classics
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Classical - Released April 2, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Pál Hermann, born in Budapest in 1902, was not only one of the leading cellists of his generation: he was also an important composer, one of the major figures in Hungarian music in the generation after his teachers Bartók and Kodály. But since only two of his works were published before his early death, in 1944, at the hands of the Nazis, and many more of them were lost, he has not had the esteem that he deserves. This series will present all his surviving compositions, most of them in first recordings. The major work on this first album, Hermann’s Cello Concerto of 1925 in a reconstruction by the Italian composer Fabio Conti (born 1967), sits somewhere between Bartók and Korngold and bids fair to become a staple of the cello repertoire. © Toccata Classics
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Classical - Released April 2, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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The man who as W. D. Munn published papers on that branch of mathematics known as semigroup theory had another side to his personality: Douglas Munn (1929–2008), professor of mathematics at the University of Stirling, was also a fine pianist and a gifted composer. His piano music has its origins in Chopin, Brahms and Bartók but is clearly also inflected by Scottish folksong – much of it has a sense of the hills and the open spaces – and is written by someone with an intimate knowledge of the instrument. The Latvian pianist Arta Arnicane knew Douglas Munn and this album is the fulfilment of an unspoken promise to record his piano music. © Toccata Classics