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Mozart: String Quartets, Vol. 1 – The Prussian Quartets

Doric String Quartet

Chamber Music - Released July 1, 2021 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
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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The Harmonious Echo: Songs by Sir Arthur Sullivan

Ashley Riches

Classical - Released April 30, 2021 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
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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Dallapiccola: Il prigioniero

Anna Maria Chiuri

Opera - Released July 3, 2020 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
A major work of the 20th century, Il prigioniero (The Prisoner) by Luigi Dallapiccola dates back to the end of the war and its immediate aftermath (1944-48). It is set during the Spanish Inquisition with a libretto that was drawn from La Torture par l’Espérance (Torture by Hope), an extract from Contes Cruels (Cruel tales) by Villiers de l’Isle Adam, which the composer had discovered while strolling on the banks of the Seine in Paris. Featuring three dodecaphonic series named ‘Prayer’, ‘Hope’ and ‘Freedom’, this dense, short and concise opera also includes tonal echoes that later disappeared in his two other lyrical works. The hero believes he is finally free when he finds the door of his prison cell left open and can escape for one night to gaze at the stars in the sky. However, the illusion turns out to be short-lived as the Grand Inquisitor himself would soon be leading him to the stake, which is an awful allusion to the tragic reality of life in Europe and beyond during that dark era. First performed with Hermann Scherchen at the Mai Musical Florentine, the work quickly became popular in countries across the world from New York to Buenos Aires and is still just as successful today. In this new recording of a concert in Copenhagen in 2019, Gianandrea Noseda continues his exploration of 20th century Italian composers following on from albums dedicated to Castiglioni, Petrassi, Casella and several others. This short opera (which is less than three-quarters of an hour-long) is completed by three choral works based on texts written by Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger (the great-nephew of the sculptor from Florence) and Alcaeus of Mytilene, a Greek poet from late 7th century B.C. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Airat Ichmouratov: Orchestral Works

Orchestre de la Francophonie

Classical - Released May 29, 2020 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
This second Chandos album of orchestral works by Airat Ichmouratov features three works united by an ear for bold orchestral colour, a dramatic sense of form, and a firm dedication to tonality. The ‘Youth’ Overture was dedicated to the recording’s performers, the Orchestre de la Francophonie and its founder, Jean-Phillippe Tremblay, on the occasion of their fifteenth anniversary, and was premiered in July 2016. The ‘Maslenitsa’ Overture, premiered in 2013, portrays the week prior to Lent and represents an array of carnival-like festivities, including folk dances, disguises, troika rides, ice sculptures, and blini. First performed in 2017, the Symphony in A minor seeks to recreate the vitality of Longueuil, a city on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, from its beginnings as an outpost of New France (only the foundations of Fort Longueuil remain) to the present day. The symphony features Ichmouratov’s trademark descriptive eclecticism – especially in the second movement in which we hear children playing in parks, adults on the street engaged in boisterous debate, traffic noises, and the sound of a trumpet from a nightclub. All three works are world premiere recordings. © Chandos
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Schubert: Schwanengesang, D. 957 – Beethoven: An die ferne Geliebte, Op. 98

Roderick Williams

Classical - Released May 1, 2020 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
Although only twelve years separate the composition of Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte and Schubert’s Schwanengesang, the ethos and sound world of the two works are markedly different. Pairing them on the concert platform seemed an obvious choice on one hand, but I was reminded not to try to perform Beethoven in the way I perform Schubert. For one thing, the former still has the ring of the late classical, while the latter explores the darkness of the early romantic. For this reason, we decided to record the two works in slightly different soundscapes. In An die ferne Geliebte, the inventiveness of Beethoven is best expressed in the piano writing, while the vocal part is deliberately simple, strophic (the music is repeated for each stanza), and folk-like. ...the sixth song states that these songs are offered ‘ohne Kunstgepräng’. And so we have set the voice slightly more distantly in the balance, giving the piano due prominence; the effect is almost as if I were singing over Iain’s shoulder. Schwanengesang is recorded more traditionally: in these most extraordinary and progressive songs the vocal line is supported by the piano, in equal partnership. © Roderick Williams/Chandos
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Music of the Angels

Philip Jones Brass Ensemble

Classical - Released March 27, 2020 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
Edward Gregson began composing from a very early age, and his extensive output covers a wide range of musical sound-worlds. Music for film, television, and theatre sits alongside choral pieces and works for full orchestra. Having played in a brass band as a teenager, he has shown a special affinity in his compositions for brass throughout his career – both for brass band and for symphonic brass, which we celebrate with this new album. His seminal Quintet for Brass, Three Dance Episodes, and Aria for Philip mark his connection to the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble. The album includes Fanfare for PL and Fanfare for a New Era, complementing his two largest-scale works for brass: the Symphony in two movements, and Music of the Angels. Virtuosic playing from London Brass under the direction of Rumon Gamba makes this an essential tribute to Gregson in his seventy-fifth year. © Chandos
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Bliss : Mary of Magdala, The Enchantress, Meditations

Sir Andrew Davis

Classical - Released November 1, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
Bliss composed The Enchantress in 1951, the year of his sixtieth birthday, for Kathleen Ferrier. The text is a free adaptation of the Second Idyll of Theocritus, made by Henry Reed, and well suited to Bliss’s love of classical Greek authors. Meditations on a Theme by John Blow, from 1955, was written for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), the first in a number of commissions from the John Feeney Trust. Inspired by John Blow’s Coronation Anthems, the work is a set of variations on a Sinfonia from that collection, each variation reflecting the text of a verse from Psalm XXIII. Described as a sacred cantata, Mary of Magdala was Bliss’s second Feeney Trust Commission, composed during 1962 and 1963. For a libretto, Bliss turned to Christopher Hassall, his collaborator on three previous works, including The Beatitudes. Bliss conducted the premiere at the Three Choirs Festival in 1963, and wrote in his programme note: ‘One of the loveliest stories in the New Testament is that in the 20th chapter of St John’s Gospel, telling of how Mary Magdalene, lingering at the sepulchre, was the first to see the risen Christ. She, supposing him to be the gardener.’ The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus give of their best under their former chief conductor Sir Andrew Davis, and the contributions from the soloists, Dame Sarah Connolly and James Platt, are outstanding. © Chandos
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Tchaikovsky Plus One, Vol. 2

Barry Douglas

Classical - Released November 1, 2019 | Chandos

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Tchaikovsky’s Grande Sonate, or ‘Grand Sonata’ (Bolshaya Sonata) in G major was dedicated to Karl Klindworth, a pupil of Liszt, and first performed at a private hearing, on 21 October 1879, by Nikolay Rubinstein, founder of the Moscow Conservatory. Composed in the autumn of 1896, the Six Moments musicaux of Rachmaninoff adopt musical forms from previous eras: the nocturne, song without words, barcarolle, virtuoso étude, and theme and variations. Written in haste in order to meet the commission deadline (the twenty-three-year-old Rachmaninoff was desperately short of funds), the set evidences his virtuosity, and is full of portent of the music to come. Barry Douglas writes: ‘This recording project with Chandos Records is a personal salute from me to great masterworks of the Russian repertoire. I am an Irish pianist who, nevertheless, feels a deep affinity with Russian culture, and felt it even before I had the good fortune to win the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1986. Our own Irish composer and virtuoso pianist John Field, who invented the Nocturne and taught a whole generation of Russian musicians, fermented the linkage between Ireland and Russia, and I feel very proud to help keep this synergy alive!’ © Chandos
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Antheil : Orchestral Works, Vol. 3

John Storgårds

Classical - Released November 1, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
In this their third volume of orchestral works of Antheil, John Storgårds and the BBC Philharmonic present a collection of scores spanning the whole of Antheil’s compositional life. Written in the early 1920s, the First Symphony is full of Antheil’s enthusiasm for the mechanical, and takes strong leads from the prevailing sound of the jazz era as well as a nostalgic look back to its predecessor, ragtime. Antheil regarded this work as ‘a young symphony with the feeling of summertime in eastern America in it’. For it he drew heavily on his experiences of his home town of Trenton, and the nearby Delaware River. His ballet score Capital of the World dates from the mid-1950s, and was based on a short story by Hemmingway. The Golden Bird was originally conceived as a solo piano piece, and in his translation of the piece from piano to orchestra Antheil demonstrates an ability equal to Ravel’s to think simultaneously in two musical media. The concert overture McKonkey’s Ferry is based on a painting of George Washington and his continental army crossing the Delaware River at Christmas 1776 at McKonkey’s Ferry, near Trenton – an event that proved a turning point in the Revolutionary war. © Chandos
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Terterian : Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4

Kirill Karabits

Classical - Released November 1, 2019 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions Diapason découverte
In his homeland, Avet Terterian is regarded, alongside Aram Khachaturian, as the other giant of twentieth-century Armenian music, and as the founder of his nation’s progressive school of composers. Born in July 1929, Terterian began his musical education at the Baku Music College. Returning to his native country, he studied at the Komitas State Conservatory in Yerevan, latterly becoming a composition pupil of Edvard Mirzoian. His early works follow in the tradition of Khachaturian. From his opera The Ring of Fire (1967) onwards, he developed an advanced musical language embracing atonality, chance elements, and electronics. Another significant influence was the music of Giya Kancheli, and important, too, was the way in which he absorbed aspects of Armenian folk and ancient liturgical music into his personal voice. The backbone of Terterian’s achievement is enshrined in his eight symphonies. In summing them up he wrote: ‘We are all living on the threshold of a terrible apocalyptic judgement. It has always seemed to me that my symphonies are a cry of the soul for salvation and for the forgiveness of sins.’ © Chandos
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Smyth: Mass in D Major & Overture to "The Wreckers"

The BBC Symphony Orchestra

Classical - Released September 27, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
Ethel Smyth was one of England’s foremost Victorian composers, and a prominent suffragette. She was the first female composer to be honoured with a Damehood. She studied composition with Carl Reineke in Leipzig (alongside Dvořák, Grieg and Tchaikovsky) and then privately with Heinrich von Herzogenberg (who introduced her to Brahms and Clara Schumann). Her Mass in D is her only largescale religious work, although it was certainly composed for the concert hall rather than the church. Scored for 4 soloists, choir, and orchestra, the Mass in D sets the usual six parts of the mass, but is performed with the Gloria at the end, not second, at the instruction of the composer. Her opera The Wreckers, set in mid-eighteenth-century Cornwall, is considered by some critics to be the ‘most important English opera composed during the period between Purcell and Britten’. The Overture sets the scene wonderfully, as well as introducing the main thematic material to follow. Sakari Oramo and his BBC forces are joined by an outstanding quartet of soloists. © Chandos
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Bartók: Bluebeard's Castle, Op. 11, Sz. 48

Mácsai Pál

Opera - Released August 30, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
Following outstanding reviews for his interpretation of Duke Bluebeard around the world, notably at the Paris Opéra and then in Philadelphia and New York with Michelle DeYoung, John Relyea stars in this recording of Bartók’s psychological thriller. The two protagonists are joined by Edward Gardner and his Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Hungarian actor Pál Mácsai who delivers the Prologue, the work being sung in the original Hungarian. Bartók’s only opera, Bluebeard’s Castle was composed in 1911 and is based on a libretto by Béla Balázs (a room-mate of Kodály), which met Bartók’s desire for a subject that was modern, but drawn from traditional culture. © Chandos
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Voyage (Ravel, Brahms, Villa-Lobos, Paganini, Poulenc, Ibert, Donizetti, Fauré...)

Lisa Friend

Chamber Music - Released August 30, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
Following her acclaimed recording of Mozart’s Flute Quartets with the Brodsky Quartet and her more recent disc of Fauré and Debussy, the flautist Lisa Friend continues her journey to explore another sound-world in this programme of works for flute and guitar(s). Spanning music from Brahms to Bellinati, the wide-ranging programme juxtaposes original compositions for these forces (Ibert’s Entr’acte, Piazzolla’s Histoire du Tango) with arrangements – some of instrumental works (Brahms, Poulenc, Shostakovich) and some of vocal pieces (Donizetti, Rachmaninoff). Works for flute and guitar quartet are interspersed with more intimate pieces, for flute and solo guitar, which adds further variety to the programme. No mere accompanists, Craig Ogden and the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet play a significant role throughout. The end result is a fascinating and rewarding programme of delightfully listenable music. © Chandos
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A Bohemian in London

Duo Dorado

Chamber Music - Released August 2, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
Gottfried Finger was a Moravian composer and virtuoso viol player. Born in Olomouc, in the modernday Czech Republic, and arriving in England in 1685, Finger worked for the court of James II before becoming a freelance composer. Hazel Brooks has spent a great deal of time researching the music for this recording, all of which may be found in the British Library manuscript Add. 31466, the single biggest source of violin sonatas by Finger. She writes: ‘Finger’s sonatas contain a quirky mix of styles. Bohemian features from his homeland, simpler Corellian traits, and the occasional nod to the English Purcellian school are fitted together like crazy paving. This is what gives them their unique charm. Many are made up of contrasting short sections rather than separate movements, sometimes linked by short passages for basso continuo alone, both features characteristic of the Biber school. Finger left a large number of sonatas for violin and basso continuo. We performed them all, immersing ourselves in the style, and this recording presents the finest selection from his output. Because he is known principally for his copious published recorder pieces, aimed at the amateur market, Finger has sometimes been dismissed as a composer of trivial, unadventurous music. I hope that this recording will help to change that mindset, so that Finger finally receives the recognition he deserves.’ © Chandos
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A Life in Music: Vintage Tommy Reilly

Tommy Reilly

Classical - Released August 2, 2019 | Chandos

Booklet
Born in Ontario in August 1919, Tommy Reilly studied violin from the age of eight, and began playing harmonica at the age of eleven. Though he had played in England in 1935 – 37 and continental Europe in 1937 – 39, it was not until his arrest (while studying violin at the Leipzig Conservatory) and subsequent internment 1939 – 45 in prisoner-of-war camps that he developed his virtuosity on the harmonica, basing his ideas of phrasing and interpretation on the playing of Jascha Heifetz. Returning to London in 1945, Reilly began parallel careers as a concert soloist and recitalist, a popular BBC radio and television performer, and a studio musician-composer. He performed with most of the major European orchestras and toured all over the world as a concert soloist. Inspiring the composition of more than thirty works by other composers, Reilly also transcribed a great deal of repertoire for the instrument, in addition to composing his own works. In 1967 he designed a concert harmonica, later manufactured by Hohner and marketed as the Silver Concerto Chromonica. In 1992, he became the first harmonica player to be made a Member of the Order of the British Empire. His other awards included the Gold Medal of the Deutscher Harmonika-Verband, and a Golden Badge from the British Association of Composers, Authors and Songwriters. Sir Neville Marriner and Igor Stravinsky were among those who admired his playing. © Chandos
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Gerard Schurmann: Film Music

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra

Classical - Released July 5, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
Born in 1924 in the then Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), Gerard Schurmann grew up in England, and after serving in the Royal Air Force during the war, combined his career as a concert pianist with a diplomatic role as Cultural Attaché at the Netherlands Embassy. On the recommendation of Alan Rawsthorne, Ealing Studios commissioned Schurmann for the score for the Jack Hawkins police drama The Long Arm (released as The Third Key in the US). More commissions followed, initially from the burgeoning British 1950s horror scene (represented here by Konga and Horrors of the Black Museum and then from mainstream cinema. The Ceremony, directed by and starring Laurence Harvey, was followed by Dr Syn, alias The Scarecrow and the WWII action movie Attack on the Iron Coast, starring Lloyd Bridges. Rumon Gamba completes this overview with scores from Claretta, a lavish portrayal of the final days of Mussolini and his mistress Claretta Petacci; and finally the 1997 film The Gambler in which Sir Michael Gambon vividly portrayed the great Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky. © Chandos
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Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin, Op. 25, D. 795

Roderick Williams

Classical - Released July 5, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
In this, the first of a series of three recordings of Schubert’s great song cycles for Chandos, Roderick Williams and Iain Burnside bring their formidable talents to bear on one of the pinnacles of classical lieder. In November 2015, Roderick Williams decided to immerse himself in an intensive three-year period of studying and performing the three song cycles by Schubert, following an invitation from the Wigmore Hall. The process has involved not just performances in concert around the globe, but open rehearsals, master-classes, workshops, and radio broadcasts. Roderick Williams has documented all of these experiences in great detail in his fascinating "Schubert Cycle Project" blog. He writes: ‘Somewhere along the way I came to a decision; that my eventual performances at the Wigmore would not be the ultimate goal of my study; rather, the study itself, the act of preparation would be my focus. It is possible that other singers might find the process interesting, even if only to share some of the grind that is most often done alone; it is also possible that others might be intrigued, especially audiences, perhaps even (fellow) students.’ © Chandos
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Schubert: Works for Solo Piano, Vol. 4

Barry Douglas

Classical - Released May 31, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
Barry Douglas’s critically acclaimed series of Schubert’s piano works reaches its fourth instalment. For this recording, Douglas has chosen to present three piano sonatas from the middle of Schubert’s short life: No. 5 (D. 537) and No. 11 (D. 575), both composed in 1817, complemented with the Sonata No. 15 (D. 664), composed just two years later. The three sonatas all spring from a period when Schubert was experimenting with tonality, both in the sense of less usual keys (D. 575 is in B major) and in terms of the relative keys of the movements, and of sections within movements. Irrespective of this experimentation, Schubert’s incredible talent for melody and lyricism shines through each of the works, and is masterfully heightened in Douglas’s interpretations. Like the previous three volumes in the series, the recording was made on a Steinway Model D in the Curtis Auditorium at the CIT Cork School of Music. © Chandos
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Il cembalo transalpino

Sophie Yates

Classical - Released May 3, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
All the music in this programme comes from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and most of it was collected by its founder, Richard, Seventh Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion (1745 – 1816). A polymath, lover of music, amateur composer and harpsichordist, musically active from about 1760 until his death, Fitzwilliam created a legacy of exceptional importance to English musical culture. The recording features the Boni harpsichord from the Fitzwilliam Collection, originally made by Giovanni Battista Boni who worked in Cortona in Tuscany. In some ways it is conventional for its time, having a slab sawn cypress soundboard and light cypress case, but its original set-up was a highly unusual one, with three sets of strings at the same (8 foot) pitch. During the last restoration, by Trevor Beckerleg in 1975, the third register, which had been out of use, was re-instated and this gives the player more resources than does the usual Italian harpsichord: both the front and back rows of jacks pluck the same set of strings but in different places, which gives them a distinctly different timbre, and the various combinations of the three registers provide the player with five distinct sounds to choose from. © Chandos
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Grieg, Lang & Others: Choral Works

Paul Robinson

Choral Music (Choirs) - Released May 3, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
The Norwegian vocal ensemble Edvard Grieg Kor is the resident a cappella ensemble at Troldhaugen, the home of Edvard Grieg. Displaying versatility across all musical genres, it performs regularly with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and also forms the core of the Chorus of Bergen Nasjonale Opera. Numerous works and arrangements have been written specially for the choir by leading composers such as Jonathan Rathbone and david lang, both of whom are represented on this the choir’s solo debut recording. Grieg’s Fire Salmer ("Four Psalms"), after Norwegian folk tunes (Grieg’s final opus), and the shorter Ave Maris Stella (performed here in the a cappella arrangement made by the composer) are two rare examples of a religious subject in Grieg’s output. Choral arrangements of works by fellow Norwegian composers Ole Bull and Agathe Backer Grøndahl, and a sensational arrangement of Grieg’s Holberg Suite, complete the programme. © Chandos

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