BBC Concert Orchestra


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Chaminade: Callirhoë - Ballet Symphonique & Concertstück for piano and orchestra

Chaminade: Callirhoë - Ballet Symphonique & Concertstück for piano and orchestra


Callirhoë - Ballet Symphonique

Concertstück for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 40

Victor Sangiorgio (piano)

The year 1888 was a remarkable one for French pianist-composer Cécile Chaminade. Her large-scale “ballet symphonique” Callirhoë was produced at Marseilles on 16 March, and a few weeks later, on 18 April, there followed the Concertstück for piano and orchestra, well received in Antwerp and soon across the world. Here they make a cherishable coupling, and Callirhoë is recorded in its complete form for the first time, proving to be a delightful and varied discovery. Chaminade is remembered for her many piano miniatures and mélodies, but soloist Victor Sangiorgio’s brilliant performance of the Concertstück for piano and orchestra, in which he effortlessly projects its flamboyant pianism, reminds us of what a romantic and affecting composer Chaminade could be when given an extended musical canvas.

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Dutton Epoch - CDLX7339


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Walton & Bliss: Violin Concertos

Walton & Bliss: Violin Concertos

Original version of Walton's Violin Concerto


Concerto for Violin and Orchestra


Violin Concerto

orginal version from 1939

The Walton and the Bliss Violin Concertos make a compelling programme, given added interest here by the revival of the original version of the Walton Concerto, unheard since the early 1940s. After the earliest performances, Walton rescored it without altering the solo part, and in this superb new recording featuring the eloquent violin of Lorraine McAslan, we can fully appreciate the composer’s first thoughts, which perhaps are more a reflection of the pre-Second World War musical world. The Bliss Concerto remains the most impressive British violin concerto not in the day-to-day repertoire, and Lorraine McAslan not only underlines its lyrical qualities but also plays the complete version, reinstating the minor cuts that are sometimes made.

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Love Story: Piano Themes From Cinema’s Golden Age

Love Story: Piano Themes From Cinema’s Golden Age


Warsaw Concerto



Cornish Rhapsody


Portrait of Isla

Bennett, R R:

Murder on the Orient Express: Overture


Legend of Lancelot

Davis, C:

Pride and Prejudice: theme




On Golden Pond: New Hampshire Hornpipe


The Mansell Concerto

Lucas, L:

Stage Fright Rhapsody from Stage Fright

Rota, N:

The Legend of the Glass Mountain


The Unforgettable Year 1919 - suite Op. 89a: The Storming Of Red Hill (Assault On Beautiful Gorky)

Williams, Charles:

Jealous Lover (The Apartment)

The Dream of Olwen

Valentina Lisitsa explores the glorious music of cinema’s unparalleled golden era.

Valentina looks back to the cinematic glory days of the big screen, performing the finest piano concerto music composed especially for film.

A genre originally influenced by Rachmaninov’s popular piano concertos, these pieces are arresting original scores for piano and orchestra composed for movies of the 1940s and 1950s including Dangerous Moonlight, Stagefright, and The Apartment.

The album also brings us up-to-date with captivating music from Murder on the Orient Express, On Golden Pond and Pride & Prejudice.

This is a feast of original works by well-known luminaries such as Nino Rota, Richard Addinsell, Carl Davies, Richard Rodney-Bennett and Dimitri Shostakovich, set alongside scores from Charles Williams, Hubert Bath, Robert Farnon and others.

These pieces feature in films by legends such as Alfred Hitchcock, Leslie Arliss and Mark Rydell, accompanied by the great actors of the time such as Lauren Bacall, Katherine Hepburn, Jane Fonda, Albert Finney, Jack Lemmon, Ingrid Bergman and many more.

Decca - 4789454



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English Fantasy

English Fantasy

Music for clarinet and orchestra


Clarinet Concerto 'The Woolwich'

Hawes, P:

Clarinet Concerto


Victorian Kitchen Garden Suite


Concerto for Emma

Emma Johnson (clarinet)

BBC Concert Orchestra, Philip Ellis

This album is particularly close to my heart because it contains music written especially for me; the composers have paid me the great compliment of writing with my playing in mind, in some cases collaborating closely with me, in others simply prese nting me with a finished work, and in all cases creating a distinctive, English piece which makes a worthwhile addition to the repertoire for solo clarinet with orchestra.

These four composers have all also dared to write melodically whilst still managing to find new things to say. Does it take courage to write melodically? Well, yes, when you live in an age where art has to be forever stretching boundaries to be taken seriously. However English Fantasy contains music which I hope will entertain and move a contemporary audience whilst unapologetically rooting itself in the traditions of the past.

“An amiable disc exploring the light end of contemporary clarinet composition in works written especially for soloist Emma Johnson. This is music that doesn’t make too many demands on the listener, yet is well crafted” Gramophone Magazine, September 2016

Nimbus Alliance - NI6328



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Arthur Sullivan: Macbeth, The Tempest & Marmion Overture

Arthur Sullivan: Macbeth, The Tempest & Marmion Overture

Sullivan, A:


The Tempest - incidental music (excerpts)


Mary Bevan (soprano), Fflur Wyn (soprano), Simon Callow (speaker)

BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC Singers, John Andrews

This 2-CD set brings together for the first time Arthur Sullivan’s complete incidental music to Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest with his concert overture, Marmion. The Tempest was Sullivan’s graduation work from the Leipzig Conservatoire, and its rapturous reception in London in 1862 launched his career. The Macbeth music comes from the other end of Sullivan’s creative life. Commissioned by Henry Irving for his famous production at the Lyceum Theatre, it includes sublime melodic writing, ravishing orchestration (including the atmospheric use of two harps) and a dark dramatic energy. For both plays, Sullivan interwove music and text seamlessly – most impressively in the scenes between Macbeth and the Witches. Simon Callow’s wonderful performance of Shakespeare’s text makes it possible to appreciate how truly theatrical this music is. Marmion was composed after the epic poem by Walter Scott, which culminates in the Battle of Flodden Field. Until now, it has been heard only in a heavily abbreviated version. This recording restores the composer’s original narrative structure, with sparkling playing from the BBC Concert Orchestra.

This SACD is compatible with all CD players


“The BBC Concert Orchestra play with warmth and style, the BBC Singers go at it with spirit and Mary Bevan makes an enchanting Ariel. John Andrews does an excellent job of integrating the orchestra with Simon Callow’s spoken chunks of Shakespeare” Gramophone Magazine, October 2016

“the music is pure delight. Mary Bevan’s Ariel beguiles the ear.” Sunday Times, 24th July 2016

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Dutton Epoch - 2CDLX7331

(SACD - 2 discs)

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Miklós Rózsa: Cello Concerto & Sinfonia Concertante

Miklós Rózsa: Cello Concerto & Sinfonia Concertante


Concerto For Cello And Orchestra, Op. 32

Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Cello & Orchestra, Op. 29

Philippe Graffin (violin)

Alto - ALC1274



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Leigh, W: Jolly Roger

Leigh, W: Jolly Roger

or ‘the Admiral’s Daughter’

Neilson Taylor (Sir Roderick Venom), Alan Dudley (Sir William Rowlocks), Vernon Midgley (Jolly Roger), Leslie Fyson (Bold Ben Blister), Gordon Faith (The Bloody Pirate), Marietta Midgley (Amelia), Helen Landis (Miss Flora Pott), Patricia Whitmore (Prudence Wary)

The Ambrosian Singers & BBC Concert Orchestra, Ashley Lawrence

In 1942 The Musical Times reported a ‘grave loss’ referring to Walter Leigh’s tragically early death, killed in action whilst serving in a tank regiment near Tobruk, just before his thirty-seventh birthday. Though during his lifetime he was more than once compared to Sir Arthur Sullivan, from a contemporary standpoint an equally pertinent analogy could be drawn with a composer from a later generation, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett. Both men approached film music and ‘light music’ with the same seriousness of purpose and invested it with the same impeccable craftsmanship they brought to their concert pieces.

With a cast headed by George Robey, known to audiences as ‘the Prime Minister of Mirth’, the comic opera in three acts, Jolly Roger or ‘The Admiral’s Daughter’ opened at the Opera House, Manchester on 13 February 1933. Running for over six months, it transferred to the Savoy Theatre, London on 1 March 1933 and moved from there to the Lyceum Theatre on 5 June 1933, accruing a total of 199 performances. Jolly Roger enjoyed a critical success from the outset. The Morning Post referred to the ‘delicious grace’ of Leigh’s music, whilst another contemporary review demonstrates that Leigh was highly prized in his own lifetime for his gifts as a melodist: ‘Here, at last, is an English composer who can write light music with style and finish. Yes, a second Sullivan is not too high praise’. It is likely that the plaudit Leigh himself would have prized most highly came from Constant Lambert, who commented, ‘I know of no music that is more enjoyable both intrinsically and satirically than the music of The Pride of the Regiment and the recently produced Jolly Roger. One has the rare and enjoyable sensation of both having one’s cake and eating it’. The BBC radio broadcast presented here was first aired on Radio 3 on 21 December 1972. Heard again, more than forty years later, its seagulls, splashes of water and pirate accents make it something of a period piece in its own right. Nonetheless, it is the deftness and allure of Leigh’s music that makes the strongest impression.

Lyrita Itter Broadcast Collection - REAM2116

(CD - 2 discs)


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Elgar: The Spirit of England, Carillon & With Proud Thanksgiving

Elgar: The Spirit of England, Carillon & With Proud Thanksgiving


The Spirit of England, Op. 80

Judith Howarth (soprano)

London Symphony Chorus & Philharmonia Orchestra, John Wilson

Carillon, Op. 75

Simon Callow (speaker)

BBC Concert Orchestra, Ben Palmer

Arthur - Complete Incidental Music

edited by Ben Palmer (First Recording)

Orchestra of St. Paul’s, Ben Palmer

With Proud Thanksgiving

Orchestra of St. Paul’s, Ben Palmer

‘For the Fallen has always seemed to me to have in its opening bars a personal tenderness and grief, in the grotesque march, an agony of distortion, and in the final sequences a ring of genuine splendour’. These words, written by Benjamin Britten, emphasise the importance of this new release by SOMM. The Spirit of England and With Proud Thanksgiving make a poignant backdrop to our commemoration of the anniversary of World War I. In addition, the complete incidental music to Binyon's play Arthur from 1923 is recorded for the first time. Simon Callow's recitation of Carillon in Binyon’s setting from 1942 provides a perfect post-script -- a moving piece in which the poet longs for peace in a later war. Laurence Binyon (1869 – 1943) is known today for one famous verse from ‘For the Fallen’* the complete poem being the most substantial part of Elgar’s The Spirit of England the other two poems being ‘The Fourth of August’ and ‘To Women’. In 1920 Elgar arranged For the Fallen as With Proud Thanksgiving for Choir and Military Band. It was intended that this should be sung at the unveiling of the cenotaph on 11 November. In the event it was not used. This recording is of Elgar’s orchestration. For Binyon’s verse play ‘Arthur’ from 1923, Elgar wrote music for the fourteen members of the pit band of the Old Vic. The play tells of King Arthur’s last days and is the first recording of the complete music for the play in Elgar’s original orchestration that has been edited by the conductor Ben Palmer.

“Throughout the programme Wilson proves himself to be a very successful and sensitive Elgarian. In the bombastic sections he is willing to give the orchestra their head but more impressively the poetic Sospiri and delightful miniatures Carissima and Rosemary receive touchingly beautiful performances. Wilson's skill is to make them tender and poetic not cloyingly sentimental.” MusicWeb International, 7th November 2014

Somm - SOMM255



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Walter Braunfels Vol. 1

Walter Braunfels Vol. 1

World premiere recordings, recorded at Watford Colosseum, 15-17 April 2013


Piano Concerto, Op. 21

Victor Sangiorgio (piano)

Ariels Gesang, Op. 18 (after Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’)

Schottische Phantasie for Viola & Orchestra, Op. 47

Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola)

German composer Walter Braunfels built a considerable reputation before the 1930s as composer, pianist and teacher. Since his death in 1954 his operas have been heard again, and Dutton Epoch now presents world premiere recordings of two remarkable concertos, for piano and viola. These are considerable discoveries: the Piano Concerto, Op.21, first performed in 1911, is notable for its sweeping cantilenas, vivid expression and orchestral colour. Victor Sangiorgio is authoritative in the demanding solo part. Over twenty years later came the Schottische Phantasie for Viola & Orchestra, Op.47, a large-scale viola concerto eloquently played by Sarah-Jane Bradley. The programme is completed by the Shakespeare-inspired miniature tone poem Ariels Gesang, Op.18.

“Braunfels's style is big, Brahmsian and agreeable. The Concerto (1910) is fresh and lively, but the Schottische Phantasie (1932-33) is generally brooding.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2014 ****

“The present coupling...will delight readers attracted by expertly crafted late-Romantic fare, without dispelling the suspicion that Braunfels might have been a more interesting composer had he been prepared to admit a modicum of 'degeneracy'.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2014

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Joseph Calleja: Amore

Joseph Calleja: Amore


La Serenata


O sole mio


Core 'ngrato

Curtis, E:

Non ti scordar di me




Vaghissima sembianza


Musica proibita


Mattinata - 'L'aurora di bianco vestita'


La Vie en Rose


You Raise Me Up

Morricone, E:

La Califa: theme


En Aranjuez con tu amor


Con Te Partirò


La Taberna del Puerto – ‘No puede ser’


None but the lonely heart, Op. 6 No. 6



Velázquez, C:

Besame Mucho

Joseph sings his most popular programme yet, and one inspired by romance; a captivating programme of beautiful Italian and Mediterranean song with a contemporary twist.

The Maltese tenor evokes the golden era of Mediterranean song connecting with the great legacy of songs performed and recorded by, among others, Gigli, Schipa and the legendary Enrico Caruso.

Calleja's "Golden Voice" takes us through repertoire such as La Serenata and Barcarolle, to cinema classics by Morricone, Time To Say Goodbye / Con ti Partiro (made famous by Andrea Bocelli), and di Capua's perennial O Sole Mio to round off a captivating programme of compositions known and loved by millions worldwide.

The album features three duets with Nicola Benedetti including Mattinata, which they performed together at the UK Last Night of the Proms 2012.

Calleja's sublime artistry combined with sumptuous new orchestral arrangements enhance the beguiling attraction of Amore. This emotive, engaging album - featuring songs in six languages - is sure to speak to a massive audience, with sensational melodies and Joseph's charismatic, heartfelt singing.

Joseph plays the role of Enrico Caruso in the forthcoming major film The Immigrant starring Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cottilard, due for release in the US November 2013 (ROW tbc)

At just 35 years of age, Joseph Calleja is one of the most sought-after young tenors on both sides of the Atlantic. Winner of Gramophone's Artist of the Year in 2012, his voice regularly inspires comparisons to "legendary singers from earlier eras: Jussi Björling, Beniamino Gigli, even Enrico Caruso" Associated Press.

"You can hear the golden Mediterranean sunshine in his voice" NPR

"a voice that hits you in a way that bypasses the brain and goes straight to the hairs on the back of your neck" The Times

"a firm, even and true tenor with that heroic Italianate ingredient that draws comparisons with Pavarotti" The Guardian

“Not every track is a winner, and Calleja has yet to develop a Pavarotti-like embrace of this repertoire. But to most of these songs...the Maltese tenor brings a beguiling elegance, supported by some fabulous orchestrations.” Financial Times, 7th September 2013 ****

Decca - 4785340



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