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Classical - Released September 6, 2019 | Chandos

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Best known as a composer of film music, Korngold was born in Brünn, Austria-Hungary (present-day Brno, Czech Republic) and – as both a pianist and composer – was a child prodigy. Mahler and Strauss were impressed by the young musician, and recommended he study with Zemlinsky rather than ‘waste his time’ attending music conservatory. Korngold emigrated with his family to the USA in 1934, where he went on to revolutionise the Hollywood soundtrack, composing scores for films such as The Sea Hawk, Captain Blood, and The Adventures of Robin Hood. Composed between 1947 and 1952, and dedicated to the memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his (only) Symphony is a heartfelt response to the conflict of WWII. The premiere, in 1954 in Vienna, was under-rehearsed and not a success, and the work remained neglected until Rudolf Kempe came across a set of score and parts in Munich and resurrected it. The Theme and Variations and Straussiana were both commissioned by the Association of American School Orchestras, but Korngold makes no concessions to youth in his writing. Straussiana also reflects his lifelong love of the music of Johann Strauss II. This is the first recording with John Wilson and his new orchestra, the Sinfonia of London. The hand-picked players represent the cream of London’s orchestral musicians, and create an outstanding quality of sound that is evident throughout this exceptional recording. © Chandos
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Classical - Released February 5, 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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Classical - Released August 7, 2020 | Chandos

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The three brilliant symphonic poems that Respighi composed (inspired by his adopted city of Rome) were recorded in 1991 by the Philharmonia Orchestra under the direction of Yan Pascal Tortelier as part of his brilliant series of recordings for Chandos. It is now John Wilson, the new figurehead of the British label, who dares to take them on, continuing his intense work at the head of the Sinfonia of London (which he has recently helped to reform), an exceptional orchestra well-known to music lovers who are passionate about the somewhat hidden recordings of the 1950s. The orchestra brought together the capital’s best musicians at the time. Recently, Wilson and his orchestra put forward a beautiful album of rare French works including, for example, Duruflé's Three Dances.This recording opens with latest of the poems, Feste Romane (Roman Festivals), which has a concentrated, sharp style even though it uses a larger orchestra than the other two, including a large percussion section as well as an organ, a four-handed piano and a mandolin. First performed by the New York Philharmonic on February 21, 1929, under the direction of Arturo Toscanini, this work represents the “maximum of orchestral sonority and colour” in the composer's own words. Surprisingly, the Feste Romane remains the part least known by the public. Its audacious orchestration is striking, showcasing Respighi's inventive and sometimes rebellious spirit. After his appointment in 1913 as a professor of composition at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Respighi became friends with Edita Walterowna Broglio (1886-1977), a photographer whose creative work would become the source of inspiration for Fontane di Roma (Fountains of Rome), a poem composed over two years which was completed in September, 1916. Fontane di Roma testifies to a major stylistic turning point in the composer’s career, coming after works that clearly show the influence of the Russians and the modern French composers. Fontane di Roma is intensely colourful, personal and of unforgettable sensuality. With this first large-scale and hugely successful Roman symphonic poem, Respighi tightened his grip on the renewal of Italian instrumental music.Completed in 1924, Pini di Roma (Pines of Rome), conducted by Toscanini for its first performance in New York on January 14, 1926, is the most famous part of the trilogy. Like the other two poems, Pini di Roma is divided into four parts, each of which evokes four iconic places in the Italian capital, such as the Janiculum Hill, Villa Borghese and of course the Via Appia, which inspired Respighi to compose a majestic and grandiose march, whose expressive power would go on to influence Hollywood composers. John Wilson brings us an effortlessly fluid version of the three poems which makes time fly! © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Classical - Released June 4, 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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Classical - Released October 3, 2011 | Avie Records

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Classical - Released January 5, 2018 | Chandos

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Aficionados unfamiliar with Copland’s Dance Symphony might well be surprised by the sometimes grim, even Gothic, nature of a piece with a title more logically suggesting a rather carefree spirit. The dark aura of the work is a residue of its origin as a ballet on a grotesque vampire theme, composed in 1922-25 but neither staged nor performed complete in concert during its composer’s lifetime. The initial stimulus for this one-act ballet was Murnau’s expressionist film Nosferatu, at the time when Copland was studying with Nadia Boulanger in France. The work boasts numerous dynamic rhythmic patterns which Copland readily confessed were influenced by Stravinsky and jazz. The programme goes on with Statements (1932-34), ‘a manly bouquet, fresh and sweet and sincere and frank and straightforward’ according to Virgil Thomson’s review published in the New York Herald Tribune. Statements falls into the distinctively modernist genre of pithy, dissonant miniatures, not unlike what Prokofiev might have written during that same period. Copland later would refer to Statements as his ‘hard-bitten’ pieces, their gritty soundscapes very different from his more popular works which engaged with melodious folk traditions. Copland continued his close friendship with Nadia Boulanger after his return to the United States from Paris in the autumn of 1924, and celebrated it with the composition of a Symphony for organ and orchestra, which she first performed in January 1925 in New York, with Walter Damrosch conducting the New York Symphony. After the conclusion of the piece, Damrosch infamously told the audience that if a composer could write a work such as this at the age of only twenty-three then ‘within five years he will be ready to commit murder’. Although he was pleased with the work, Copland soon came to realize that the lack of major venues housing organs meant that a version for orchestra alone would be assured of more performances. He subsequently reworked the entire piece, a process which mostly required straightforward substitutions of the organ material with additional parts for woodind, brass, and piano. The newly configured Symphony No. 1 was given its first performance by Ansermet and the Berlin Philharmonic in 1931, and it is this version that is here recorded by the BBC Philharmonic orchestra. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released June 1, 2009 | Halle Concerts Society

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Symphonies - Released February 5, 2021 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
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

Lounge - Released February 14, 2021 | Genius Recordings

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Symphonies - Released May 1, 2020 | Chandos

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Symphonies - Released September 6, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
Best known as a composer of film music, Korngold was born in Brünn, Austria-Hungary (present-day Brno, Czech Republic) and – as both a pianist and composer – was a child prodigy. Mahler and Strauss were impressed by the young musician, and recommended he study with Zemlinsky rather than ‘waste his time’ attending music conservatory. Korngold emigrated with his family to the USA in 1934, where he went on to revolutionise the Hollywood soundtrack, composing scores for films such as The Sea Hawk, Captain Blood, and The Adventures of Robin Hood. Composed between 1947 and 1952, and dedicated to the memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his (only) Symphony is a heartfelt response to the conflict of WWII. The premiere, in 1954 in Vienna, was under-rehearsed and not a success, and the work remained neglected until Rudolf Kempe came across a set of score and parts in Munich and resurrected it. The Theme and Variations and Straussiana were both commissioned by the Association of American School Orchestras, but Korngold makes no concessions to youth in his writing. Straussiana also reflects his lifelong love of the music of Johann Strauss II. This is the first recording with John Wilson and his new orchestra, the Sinfonia of London. The hand-picked players represent the cream of London’s orchestral musicians, and create an outstanding quality of sound that is evident throughout this exceptional recording. © Chandos
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Symphonies - Released October 1, 2020 | Chandos

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Symphonies - Released February 7, 2020 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
John Wilson and Sinfonia of London release their second album, following widespread and universal critical acclaim for their first recording, of Korngold’s Symphony in F-sharp. This new recording explores the unique sound world of French orchestral music of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The programme juxtaposes well-known favourites, such as Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, Massenet’s Méditation from Thaïs, with pieces far more rarely heard, for example Duruflé’s Trois Danses and Saint-Saëns’s Le Rouet d’Omphale. Many of these works evoke the ‘exoticism’ of Spain or North Africa (as was the fashion in French music of this era), and all share the intricate, detailed orchestration that defines the ‘Impressionist’ style. John Wilson and Sinfonia of London capture the mood and spirit of these pieces with consummate skill and outstanding musicianship. Originally formed in 1955, Sinfonia of London was reestablished in 2018 by the British conductor John Wilson to devote itself, at least initially, to recording projects, of which this is the second album. © Chandos
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Classical - Released June 26, 2007 | Campion Cameo

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Symphonies - Released August 7, 2020 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
The three brilliant symphonic poems that Respighi composed (inspired by his adopted city of Rome) were recorded in 1991 by the Philharmonia Orchestra under the direction of Yan Pascal Tortelier as part of his brilliant series of recordings for Chandos. It is now John Wilson, the new figurehead of the British label, who dares to take them on, continuing his intense work at the head of the Sinfonia of London (which he has recently helped to reform), an exceptional orchestra well-known to music lovers who are passionate about the somewhat hidden recordings of the 1950s. The orchestra brought together the capital’s best musicians at the time. Recently, Wilson and his orchestra put forward a beautiful album of rare French works including, for example, Duruflé's Three Dances. This recording opens with latest of the poems, Feste Romane (Roman Festivals), which has a concentrated, sharp style even though it uses a larger orchestra than the other two, including a large percussion section as well as an organ, a four-handed piano and a mandolin. First performed by the New York Philharmonic on February 21, 1929, under the direction of Arturo Toscanini, this work represents the “maximum of orchestral sonority and colour” in the composer's own words. Surprisingly, the Feste Romane remains the part least known by the public. Its audacious orchestration is striking, showcasing Respighi's inventive and sometimes rebellious spirit. After his appointment in 1913 as a professor of composition at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Respighi became friends with Edita Walterowna Broglio (1886-1977), a photographer whose creative work would become the source of inspiration for Fontane di Roma (Fountains of Rome), a poem composed over two years which was completed in September, 1916. Fontane di Roma testifies to a major stylistic turning point in the composer’s career, coming after works that clearly show the influence of the Russians and the modern French composers. Fontane di Roma is intensely colourful, personal and of unforgettable sensuality. With this first large-scale and hugely successful Roman symphonic poem, Respighi tightened his grip on the renewal of Italian instrumental music. Completed in 1924, Pini di Roma (Pines of Rome), conducted by Toscanini for its first performance in New York on January 14, 1926, is the most famous part of the trilogy. Like the other two poems, Pini di Roma is divided into four parts, each of which evokes four iconic places in the Italian capital, such as the Janiculum Hill, Villa Borghese and of course the Via Appia, which inspired Respighi to compose a majestic and grandiose march, whose expressive power would go on to influence Hollywood composers. John Wilson brings us an effortlessly fluid version of the three poems which makes time fly! © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Pop - Released January 1, 1995 | CarltonSounds

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Classical - Released March 1, 2016 | Chandos

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Miscellaneous - Released November 30, 2015 | Synox Digital

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Symphonies - Released June 4, 2021 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
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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Alternative & Indie - Released April 8, 2020 | John Wilson LLC