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Classical - To be released October 22, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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The second volume of choral music by Richard Pantcheff in world-premiere recordings performed by the London Choral Sinfonia directed by Michael Waldron, with tenor Nick Pritchard, and Peter Mankarious on trumpet and flugelhorn. The composer has orchestrated a number of the pieces specifically for this recording. With an emphasis on Pantcheff’s larger-scale output, this second volume brings together a rich selection of works by this composer right across the spectrum of his oeuvre. It includes works for unaccompanied choir, choral/vocal pieces with string orchestra (including solo brass), and two works for orchestra and solo brass alone. Many of the choral works featured date from the periods in Pantcheff’s life when he held musical appointments at Christ the King, Frankfurt, (1993-1995), including the unaccompanied Evening Canticles and uplifting Laudem Dicite; and St. George’s, Johannesburg (2010-2019), including his Missa Brevis, the anthem Domine Exaudi and the meditative Prayer of St. Columba. © Orchid Classics
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Classical - Released October 15, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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Following the success of her Orchid Classics debut, "Variations sérieuses", Lilit Grigoryan returns with an album devoted to the hypnotically beautiful Música callada by Spanish composer Frederic Mompou, hailed during his lifetime as the successor to Debussy. Mompou’s Música callada (meaning "quiet" or "silent music") was published in four volumes between 1959 and 1967; his final burst of solo piano music and one of the greatest achievements in the Spanish piano repertoire. The concept of "silent music" comes from the Spanish mystic St. John of the Cross, whose writings inspired Mompou as he composed these pieces. The result is a collection of exquisite miniatures of varied colours and mesmerising depths, performed with sensitivity by Lilit Grigoryan. © Orchid Classics
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Classical - Released October 8, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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Following his acclaimed release of the Brahms and Schoenberg Violin Concertos, Jack Liebeck returns to Orchid Classics with Ysaÿe’s Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, as well as the lyrical Poème élégiaque for violin and piano, for which Liebeck is joined by Daniel Grimwood. Ysaÿe was hailed as the greatest violinist of his day until illness cut short his career as a soloist, prompting him to channel his energies into writing these sonatas dedicated to six of his most outstanding contemporaries, including George Enescu and Fritz Kreisler. Ysaÿe’s Six Sonatas were inspired by hearing Joseph Szigeti playing J.S. Bach’s Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001, and Bach’s influence is palpable throughout, alongside folk idioms that reflect the nationality of each dedicatee, and more characteristic 20th-century elements such as dissonance and quarter tones. This mixture is bound together by the dazzling virtuosity one would expect from a master of the instrument. Liebeck navigates these nuances with the combination of delicacy and bravura demanded by these stunning pieces. © Orchid Classics
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Chamber Music - Released September 24, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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When the pandemic struck early in 2020, violinist Elena Urioste and pianist-composer Tom Poster responded by channeling their creative energies into #UriPosteJukeBox, a portmanteau of their surnames and a nod to the retro feel of the jukebox with its eclectic selection of songs to be chosen by the listener. The original intention was to produce one video of the duo performing together for every day of the lockdown (which at the time was anticipated to be relatively brief). What followed was a project that took off in ways the pair had never dreamed of, capturing the imaginations and hearts of listeners across the globe, embracing requests that traversed many musical genres, featuring commissions by contemporary composers, and entertaining followers with increasingly elaborate costumes, props, additional instruments, and multi-tracking. In all, they made 88 videos – one for each key on a piano. The impact of the endeavor and the joy it brought in an extraordinarily challenging time were more formally recognized when the Jukebox won a Royal Philharmonic Society Inspiration Award. This album captures the spontaneous and varied feel of the original videos, drawing together some of the duo’s favorite pieces in a way that celebrates this joyous project and all those who contributed to it. © Orchid Classics
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Chamber Music - Released September 17, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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The Solem Quartet is no stranger to the classical and contemporary music world. As winners of the Jerwood Arts Live Work Fund 2020, they are one of the UK's most significant artistic voices. In addition, the ensemble stands out for its musical diversity and openness due to its involvement in innovative projects as well as collaborations with artists from different genres. Now the four musicians from England release their long-awaited debut album, The Four Quarters on Orchid Classics: a musical, transcendent journey influenced by composers from the Baroque period to the present. Despite such a diverse selection of compositions, one piece stands out as spanning the entire album: Thomas Ades' masterpiece The Four Quarters. The four movements meander through the enormous range of recordings and appear between arrangements by Henry Purcell, Florence Price, Béla Bartók and Robert Schumann. Ades' composition is based on the cycle of the day as a central metaphor - a ramble from the early hours of the morning to the depths of the night. The juxtaposition of time and space, earth and sky is also reflected in the music. In the first movement, 'Nightfalls', the violins sound fine overtones in regular patterns, the viola and cello play the deep harmony far below and thus remain grounded. Another highlight of the album is certainly the interpretation of Aaron Parker's 'easqelä'. It is the fourth movement of the five-part work 'Tuoretu', which was composed specifically for the Solem Quartet. The name was invented freely and refers to the eternal expanses of eastern England as well as the fading colours of the sunset, which, just like the sounds, merge boundlessly into one another. The melancholic, haunting viola solo, underpinned by the dim fifth and fourth parallels of the other strings, reinforces the ever-present transcendence and once again draws out the fundamental elements of the album: closeness to nature, dreamscapes and timelessness. And even though it is the penultimate track on the record, the end of the musical dream journey is far from in sight...With The Four Quarters, the Solem Quartet releases a unique and highly inspiring album that sets its own timeless anchor between contemporary art and traditional sounds. © Lena Germann/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released September 10, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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Full of world-premiere recordings, "String Theory" is an album of works by Pierre Jalbert, an American composer described in The New Yorker as “an acknowledged chamber-music master”. Drawing on influences as diverse as medieval plainchant, the natural world and his French-Canadian heritage, Pierre Jalbert creates music that is “rhapsodic and skillfully written” (The New York Times). Here we hear three pieces for string orchestra, all performed by the dynamic Kinetic ensemble. String Theory was inspired by the concept of quantum gravity and uses an array of techniques including harmonics, rapid bowing and vibrating strings; Autumn Rhapsody muses on nature’s colorful autumnal display; and Elegy is a lyrical chorale. In Terra, for full orchestra and performed by the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, reflects on the earth’s developmental processes, slowly evolving or suddenly changing. Jalbert’s String Quartet No. 3 was commissioned by the Maia Quartet, which plays the work on this album; the piece unfolds in a series of evocative scenes. © Orchid Classics
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Chamber Music - Released September 10, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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Classical - Released August 20, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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Ukrainian pianist Igor Gryshyn performs the music of one of his greatest compatriots, pianist-composer Viktor Kosenko, alongside repertoire by a figure who inspired Kosenko’s output: Russian composer Alexander Scriabin. This album brings Kosenko’s music into the spotlight and reveals a composer deserving of wider attention. Kosenko’s Études, Op. 8 brim with a wealth of ideas, encompassing the chromatic fluidity and shifting colours that show Scriabin’s influence with other stylistic traits ranging from full-blooded Romanticism to jazz. Scriabin’s Four Preludes, Op. 22 date from early in his career and demonstrate his love of Chopin’s music as he takes elements of Chopin’s style to new extremes of expression. The Sonata No. 4 in F sharp major, Op. 30 was composed at a crossroads in Scriabin’s life, and reflects his increasingly vivid treatment of music as a vehicle for his ecstatic, intoxicating visions. © Orchid Classics
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Classical - Released July 23, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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Ukrainian violinist Iryna Gintova performs Telemann’s 12 Fantasias for Solo Violin, one of the pinnacles of the Baroque repertoire for the instrument. Telemann’s 12 Fantasias embrace an array of European styles fashionable at the time, including Italianate concerto-style movements inspired by Corelli, contrasted with pieces in the French style. Telemann was an able, self-taught violinist and relished showcasing the instrument’s varied colours and techniques in these works, including multiple stopping, implied counterpoint, improvisatory lines, and tussles between traditional Baroque intricacy with newer, lighter and more forward-looking virtuoso melodies. Iryna Gintova performs these wide-ranging works with the nuance and fluidity for which she is increasingly known in performances that have taken her to major venues, competitions and festivals around the world. © Orchid Classics
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Classical - Released July 9, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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Orchid Classics presents one of two releases showcasing winners of the Carl Nielsen Competition 2019 (see the parallel programme of clarinettist Blaž Šparovec). Praised by Bachtrack for the “subtle elegance” and “luminous joy” of her performances, French flautist Joséphine Olech trained with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Academy and is currently principal flute of the Rotterdam Philharmonic. For her first concerto recording with the Odense Symphony Orchestra and conductor Anna Skryleva, Joséphine Olech chose a trio of 20th-century works reflecting countries with which she feels a personal connection as an artist: Nielsen’s beautiful, witty Flute Concerto (1926); the scintillating Flute Concerto No. 1 (1902) by Dutch composer Theodor Verhey, and Jean Françaix’s dazzling Flute Concerto of 1966. © Orchid Classics
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Classical - Released July 9, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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Orchid Classics presents one of two releases showcasing winners of the Carl Nielsen Competition 2019 (see also the programme of flautist Josephine Olech). Hailed as "One to Watch" by Gramophone magazine, Slovenian clarinettist Blaž Šparovec was praised by jury member Michael Collins as “the deserving winner … he showed immense qualities from the start and is able to communicate with the audience his joy of music-making. His technical skill and warm sound will make him stand out as a true individual”. With the Odense Symphony Orchestra, Blaž Šparovec performs four masterpieces: Debussy’s breathtaking Première rhapsodie, written as a competition piece for the Paris Conservatoire; Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto, often described as the greatest of the 20th century; Lutoslawski’s folk-like Dance Preludes; and Copland’s demanding, jazzy Clarinet Concerto, performed in its original state – unaltered by simplifications made by its dedicatee, Benny Goodman. © Orchid Classics
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Classical - Released June 18, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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Chelsea Guo is a musical polymath who brings her dual gifts as pianist and soprano to this, her debut album. Hailed as a Chopin specialist during her prizewinning performances at the 2020 Chopin Piano Competition, Guo performs solo piano works that show all facets of the composer’s style, including the Barcarolle in F-sharp minor, Op. 60 and the four Op. 33 Mazurkas, in which Chopin took existing folk styles to new heights with his nuanced, ground-breaking approach. Chelsea Guo’s unique talents are to the fore in the three songs on this album, in which she simultaneously sings and plays; the programme also includes Chopin’s complete 24 Preludes, Op. 28, an extraordinary set composed in every available key. © Orchid Classics
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Classical - Released June 4, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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American cellist John Henry Crawford was named "Young Artist of the Year" by the Classical Recording Foundation in 2019, and his debut album demonstrates exceptional insight and nuance in a varied and fascinating program, performed with pianist Victor Asuncion. Playing a rare 200-year-old cello smuggled out of Austria by his grandfather, Robert Popper, John Henry Crawford performs Sonatas by Brahms and Shostakovich alongside Ligeti’s Solo Sonata. Brahms insisted that the piano was the cello’s equal in his Cello Sonatas and the F major Sonata gives Victor Asuncion plenty of opportunities to shine. Ligeti’s Solo Sonata has had a turbulent journey from romantic gesture to Soviet censorship to staple of the repertoire, and Shostakovich’s D minor Sonata grew out of a troubled time in his life, but in both cases the cello is given an array of lyrical, passionate and technically demanding material, performed here with great flair. © Orchid Classics
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Classical - Released May 28, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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Known for her vivid portrayals and full, distinctive voice, Elizabeth Llewellyn has established herself internationally as a dramatic and vocal artist of distinction. She has chosen to offer listeners something new by devoting her debut album to the music of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, much of it never recorded before. To poetry by Christina Rossetti, Coleridge-Taylor’s Six Sorrow Songs and A Lament are almost all world-premiere recordings. The Southern Love Songs evoke styles including Latin music and flamenco, and the African Romances, never recorded until now, are to words by African-American writer Paul Laurence Dunbar. Big Lady Moon is to poetry by West African polymath Kathleen Mary Easmon, and the sensuous Three Songs of Sun and Shade are followed by more previously-unreleased songs: A king there lived in Thule, Canoe Song and You’ll Love Me Yet. The recital ends with Life and Death, in which Coleridge-Taylor anticipates styles that would become popular two decades after his death. This was a composer ahead of his time who, at last, is starting to receive the recognition he deserves. © Orchid Classics
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Classical - Released May 28, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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Spanish-American violinist Francisco Fullana has taken the Partita No. 3 in E Major by J.S. Bach and built around it a programme of interlinked yet contrasting works, resulting in an original and intricately constructed album. J.S. Bach’s output has had a far-reaching impact, casting the "Long Shadow" that gives this album its name. Fullana uses gut strings, a baroque bow and historically informed ornamentation for his performance of Bach’s E Major Partita, creating a pared-down, immediate interpretation. Ysaÿe was inspired to write his Op. 27 Sonatas after hearing Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas. Yet whereas Bach’s music demands restraint from the performer, Ysaÿe’s encourages virtuosity. There is darkness in this Sonata, too, and Fullana performs the work with electrifying energy. Fritz Kreisler’s Recitativo and Scherzo was dedicated to Ysaÿe, and Fullana feels a special kinship with Kreisler: he plays Kreisler’s first Guarneri violin, the 1735 "Mary Portman" Guarneri del Gesù. The recital culminates in Ysaÿe’s Sonata for Two Violins. Ysaÿe wrote the work to perform with Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, who gave her name to a violin competition that was most recently won by violinist Stella Chen, Fullana’s duo partner on this album. © Orchid Classics
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Classical - Released May 14, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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Spanish-American violinist Francisco Fullana has taken the Partita No. 3 in E Major by Johann Sebastian Bach and built around it a programme of interlinked yet contrasting works, resulting in an original and intricately constructed album. Johann Sebastian Bach’s output has had a far-reaching impact, casting the "Long Shadow" that gives this album its name. Fullana uses gut strings, a baroque bow and historically informed ornamentation for his performance of Bach’s E major Partita, creating a pared-down, immediate interpretation. Ysaÿe was inspired to write his Op. 27 Sonatas after hearing Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas. Yet whereas Bach’s music demands restraint from the performer, Ysaÿe’s encourages virtuosity. There is darkness in this Sonata, too, and Fullana performs the work with electrifying energy. Fritz Kreisler’s Recitativo and Scherzo was dedicated to Ysaÿe, and Fullana feels a special kinship with Kreisler: he plays Kreisler’s first Guarneri violin, the 1735 "Mary Portman" Guarneri del Gesù. The recital culminates in Ysaÿe’s Sonata for Two Violins. Ysaÿe wrote the work to perform with Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, who gave her name to a violin competition that was most recently won by violinist Stella Chen, Fullana’s duo partner on this album. © Orchid Classics
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Classical - Released May 7, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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Russia’s rich tradition of art song began with early 19th-century salon pieces: lyrical "romances" that evolved to embrace grander themes yet never lost their intimacy. This selection explores some fascinating but less-trodden paths through this repertoire, inspired by the theme of distant lands and encompassing the enduring themes of travel, romantic landscapes, love and loss, life and death. In this recital, Borodin meets Taneyev, a Moscow composition professor from the next generation; Shostakovich stands alongside another major symphonist, his Moscow colleague Myaskovsky, and Shostakovich’s student Boris Tchaikovsky, a prodigy widely known for his film music, passes the baton to Elena Firsova, a post-Soviet émigré to England and a distinctive lyrical voice of today. Inspired by the songs of Taneyev, Myaskovksy and Firsova, countertenor Hamish McLaren embarked on distant travels of his own, journeying to Russia where he found two previously unreleased film songs by Shostakovich, heard here in their world-premiere recordings. © Orchid Classics
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Classical - Released April 16, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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Classical - Released April 2, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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Soprano Olena Tokar and pianist Igor Gryshyn present an exquisite recital of songs by Alma Mahler-Werfel, Clara Schumann, Pauline Viardot-García and Vítezslava Kaprálová. Alma Mahler-Werfel wrote over 50 songs relatively early in her life, and the selection performed on this album reveals her talent for expressive word-setting in a rich, atmospheric style. Clara Schumann was recognized as a child prodigy for her abilities both as a pianist and as a composer, and her songs, including the Op. 12 songs heard here, were co-published alongside those of her husband, Robert. Pauline Viardot-García was a polymath whose three-octave singing range inspired many composers. She wrote over 100 songs of her own in an array of styles; those chosen for this recital demonstrate the quality and variety of her output. Vítezslava Kaprálová produced a remarkable amount of music, much of it published during her short life, including songs that exude a perfumed impressionism. Olena Tokar has a growing reputation for her stunning performances in opera, in the concert hall and in recitals, while Igor Gryshyn shows similar versatility in his roles as a concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. © Orchid Classics
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Tango - Released March 19, 2021 | Orchid Classics

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"Tango in the Night" celebrates the centenary year of Daniel Binelli’s mentor Astor Piazzolla, with an album that spans more than a century of music, tracing tango from its origins in Latin America to its position as an international artform. It opens with Ángel Villoldo’s rousing El Choclo, which took Argentina by storm in 1903, and includes such landmarks as Piazzolla’s jazz-influenced Libertango and Fracanapa, La Cumparsita by Uruguayan pianist and composer Matos Rodríguez, and Daniel Binelli’s haunting title track, written in 2008 and used recently in the soundtrack to Gabriel Bologna’s comedy Tango Shalom. Other album highlights include the yearning Tanguera by Mariano Mores, Piazzolla’s Oblivión, with Leanne Nicholls as oboe soloist, and Binelli’s Tango de los Cuadros, composed in 1998 in homage to another hero of tango, Osvaldo Pugliese. © Orchid Classics