Craig Ogden


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Love's Philosophy

Love's Philosophy

Knowles, B:

Guitar Concerto 'Visiones de Andalucia'

Orchestra of Opera North, David Angus

Poco Rondo for solo guitar

Eight Songs from Poetry Serenade

James Gilchrist (tenor)

'A Fond Farewell' for guitar & orchestra

Orchestra of Opera North, David Angus

Craig Ogden (guitar)

Read our exclusive interview with Brian Knowles here.

Craig Ogden is one of the great guitarists of our time, and has been a regular fixture in the UK Classical Charts with his albums being among the best- selling classical releases of the year. He is a firm favourite with Classic FM listeners, and this new album will be eagerly awaited by them.

Belfast-born composer Brian Knowles’ concerto written for his guitarist son is infused with Spanish traditional music and atmosphere, and is beautifully written for guitar. Fans of Rodrigo’s famous concerto will immediately be attracted to this new concerto, which also contains a slow movement that has an ability to stay in the listener’s head long after the music has stopped! 'Poco Rondo' was written for Craig, and is a virtuosic solo work that displays his artistry superbly. The 'Eight Songs' for tenor and guitar are settings of Shakespeare, Shelley, Burns, de la Mare and Byron and are sung by James Gilchrist.

Brian Knowles studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music. In 1970 he formed the group ‘Saffron’. Brian subsequently became Musical Director of concerts worldwide for Roger Whittaker, many of his songs being performed and recorded by both Saffron and Whittaker. In 2002 Brian’s anthem ‘Jubilee Tribute’ was composed and performed especially for HRH The Queen at the Service of Remembrance and was broadcast worldwide from the Royal Albert Hall.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Rubicon - RCD1002


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Juan Diego Flórez: Italia

Juan Diego Flórez: Italia


La nova gelosia


La canzone dell'amore

Parlami d'amore Mariù

Craig Ogden (guitar)


O sole mio

Curtis, E:

Torna a Surriento

Non ti scordar di me


Vaghissima sembianza


Me voglio fa'na casa


Musica proibita


Chitarra Romana


Mattinata - 'L'aurora di bianco vestita'


Nel blu, dipinto di blu


Arrivederci Roma


Mi lagnerò tacendo

Soirées musicales: La Danza



L'alba separa dalla luce l'ombra

Juan Diego Flórez (tenor), Avi Avital (mandolin), Ksenija Sidorova (accordion)

Filarmonica Gioachino Rossini, Carlo Tenan

Juan Diego Flórez talks to Presto's Katherine Cooper about Italia! here.

Juan Diego Flórez, Decca’s “dashing tenor, the king of the bel canto repertory” (New York Times) now joins the illustrious list of tenors to record an album of ever-popular Neapolitan and Italian songs, including some in arrangements made for his idol and mentor Luciano Pavarotti.

All the classic favourites are here – from O Sole Mio to Arriverderci Roma, Mattinata and Non ti scordar di me – and to breathe fresh life into this well-known music many of the songs have been newly arranged to evoke the feel of an authentic Neapolitan café band. For these Juan Diego is joined by the star mandolin player Avi Avital and acclaimed accordionist Ksenija Sidorova. Best-selling guitarist Craig Ogden also joins Juan Diego for two songs.

To complete the full Italian flavour these recordings were made in the Italian seaside resort of Fano, just south of Pesaro where Juan Diego makes his summer home – as Pavarotti did before him. For the orchestral tracks the Pesaro-based Filarmonica Giacchino Rossini is conducted by the gifted young Italian Carlo Tenan.

This album perfectly complements Juan Diego’s first disc of popular songs ‘Sentimento Latino’ which sold in excess of 80,000 copies. The Peruvian and Latin American songs on that album have a strong connection with the older repertory of Neapolitan song. Both showcase Florez’s uniquely distinctive sound: ‘His elegant, focused tone rang out clean and clear, with his famous high register – the money-notes for a tenor of his distinction – not just firm but flamboyant.’ (The Guardian)

“The sun shines brightly out of Flórez’s open-hearted singing, capturing the carefree élan of Neapolitan songs...Mandolin, guitar and accordion add a piquant flavour to some bubbly orchestrations. The open-air ebullience is catching.” Financial Times, 25th September 2015 *****

“[Flórez] is best when he takes the foot off the throttle, relaxing into gentler moods of 'La canzone dell'amore', for example, where Craig Ogden's guitar-playing melds beautifully with the quivering urgency of Avi Avital's mandolin. A sunny album, though, which offers much to enjoy.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2015

Presto Discs of 2015


DG and Decca Sale

Decca - 4788408


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Craig Ogden: Summertime

Craig Ogden: Summertime

1. Cavatina

2. Gymnopedie No.1

3. Summertime

4. Romance

5. Gabriel’s Oboe from The Mission

6. Concierto de Aranjuez: Adagio

7. The Godfather – Love Theme

8. Granada

9. Cavalleria Rusticana - Intermezzo

10. Greensleeves

11. Asturias

12. Pelagia’s Song from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

13. Pavane

14. Inspector Morse - Theme

15. Rondo Alla Turca

16. Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Craig Ogden (guitar)

Following the phenomenal success of his Number 1 album ‘The Guitarist’, classical guitarist Craig Ogden releases his highly-anticipated second album on Classic FM, entitled ‘Summertime’ on 6th June.

Australian-born Craig Ogden is known as ‘The Classical Jack Johnson’ through his laid back, effortless and naturally skilled approach to playing guitar. Few guitarists have managed to produce the beautiful sound that Craig does so effortlessly, nor have his natural connection to audiences around the world.

‘Summertime’ has everything you need to help you unwind, relax and to get you the mood for summer. Evoking feelings of being on holiday, it’s the perfect soundtrack for the growing number of people enjoying the ‘stay-cation’ during the summer months. Providing serene summer listening that transports you to the sun-kissed coasts of Spain with pieces such as Granada, Asturias and Concierto de Aranjuez; to the romantic world of cinema with favourites such as Pelagia’s Song from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, The Godfather Theme and Morricone’s Gabriel’s Oboe from The Mission. The album also includes brand new versions of popular pieces such as Satie’s Gymnopedie No.1 and Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca.

“There's enough musical backbone in this album to raise it beyond a collection of fleeting seasonal classics, and Ogden's fine playing ensures you'll want to keep listening long after summer's end.” Classic FM Magazine, August 2011 ****




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Britten & Dowland - Lute Songs

Britten & Dowland - Lute Songs


Nocturnal after John Dowland, Op. 70

guitar solo by Craig Ogden


Unquiet thoughts

Say love if ever thou didst find

Sorrow, stay

Away with these self-loving lads

Fantasia No. 7 from A Varietie of Lute Lessons

Come away, come, sweet love

Sleep, wayward thoughts

Come heavy sleep

Flow my teares (Lacrimæ)

I must complain

If my complaints could passions move

Captain Digorie Pipers Galliard

What if I never speed?

To ask for all thy love

Now, O now, I needs must part

In darkness let me dwell

Mark Padmore (tenor) & Elizabeth Kenny (lute)

“Padmore provides context by singing Dowland's original song before Craig Ogden steals in, alert to the Nocturnal's every nuance, and with a palette of colours both caressing and disquieting. Completing the frame, 'Flow my Tears' is beautifully inflected, though finer still is 'In Darkness let me Dwell' where in the final bars Padmore's enrapt engagement seems to conjure up the very chill of death.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2008 ****

“Mark Padmore again shows why he is one of today's finest tenors. The quicker songs, like "Away with these self-loving lads", gain in clarity from a semi-declamatory approach, while the slower are eerily viol-like.” Gramophone Magazine, Janurary 2008

“A simply brilliant disc. I can’t praise it enough. A bronze Liz Kenny should be on the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square, in my opinion” Early Music Today

“Since Emma Kirkby’s first recording in the late-1970s, we have known what to expect from Dowland’s lute songs. Some fine discs have followed, but not until Mark Padmore and Elizabeth Kenny’s new release has there been one as radical in its potential impact on our understanding of the music. With tonal purity intact, voice and lute add subtle decoration, rhythmic fluidity, drama and rich poetic sensibility to these songs” The Independent on Sunday

“... extraordinary diction and whispering chamber-like intimacy … [Mark Padmore] joy in conveying the emotional core of each situation” Gramophone Magazine

Building a Library

Top recommendation - Dowland Songs - January 2013

Early Music

Hyperion - CDA67648


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The English Song Series Volume 1 - Walton

The English Song Series Volume 1 - Walton


Anon in Love for tenor and guitar

Façade (excerpts)

A Song for the Lord Mayor's Table

Felicity Lott (soprano), Martyn Hill (tenor), Craig Ogden (guitar), Graham Johnson (piano)

Naxos Clearance - up to 70% off

Naxos English Song Series - 8557112


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Sir Michael Tippett - Songs

Sir Michael Tippett - Songs



The Heart's Assurance

Boyhood's End

Songs For Achilles

Songs For Ariel

Sweeter than roses

Purcell realisation

The fatal hour comes on apace

Purcell realisation

Mad Bess (From silent shades)

Purcell realisation

An Epithalamium (A Wedding Song)

Purcell realisation

If music be the food of love

Purcell realisations by Michael Tippett and Walter Bergman

Martyn Hill (tenor), Andrew Ball (piano), Craig Ogden (guitar)

'As the fullest representation at Tippett's solo vocal music in the catalogue this disc is a must, both for devotees of the composer and for collectors of English song' (BBC Music Magazine)

“The two longest works – the cantata Boyhood'sEnd and song cycle The Heart's Assurance – challenge the musicianship and sensitivity of both singer and pianist alike. Boyhood's End (1943), a setting of prose that's never prosaic, shows the ecstasy of Midsummer Marriage to be already within the system, and the profusion of notes has to be mastered so that the dance shall seem as delicate and natural as graceful improvisation.
In The Heart's Assurance (1951) the spirit's similar, although the technical accomplishment of all concerned, composer and performers, is heightened. For the singer, in addition to the quite fearsome difficulties of pitch and rhythm, there's also likely to be some problem of tessitura, particularly in the third of the songs, 'Compassion'.
For the pianist, concentration has to be divided between the virtuoso writing of his own part and responsiveness to the singer, his notes, words and expression. Martyn Hill and Andrew Ball are wonderfully at one in all this, and the balancing of voice and piano has been finely achieved. The Songs for Achilles, with guitar, also convey a real sense of ardent improvisation, and the voice rings out freely. The Songs for Ariel here work their natural magic. Tippett's affinities with Purcell are felt at one time or another in most of these compositions, starting with the opening of the programme, the setting of Shelley's Sleep. The disc was issued to mark the composer's 90th birthday, and serves as a touching and eloquent tribute.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Hyperion - CDA66749



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Walton - Chamber Music

Walton - Chamber Music


Valse from Façade

Passacaglia for solo cello

Violin Sonata

Piano Quartet

Anon in Love for tenor and guitar

John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Craig Ogden (guitar)

“This excellent Hyperion issue brings together a wide-ranging group of Walton's chamber works, from his earliest major work, the Piano Quartet, originally written when he was 16, to his last instrumental piece, the Passacaglia, which he composed for Rostropovich when he was nearly 80. As a substantial bonus there's the little song cycle for tenor and guitar, Anon in Love, as well as the two shorter pieces.
Helped by a spacious recording, the extra lightness and clarity brings an element of fantasy into such a movement as the Scherzo of the Piano Quartet and an extra tenderness into the lovely slow movement. Nowhere else does Walton so enthusiastically use modal thematic material, starting with the mysterious opening theme, which the Nash players take very reflectively at a speed much slower than the movement's main tempo, Allegramente. It's an astonishingly confident work for so young a composer, with adventurous writing for the strings that belies the fact that Walton was no string-player.
The Violin Sonata, a more elusive work, long underestimated, is given an equally persuasive performance, with Marianne Thorsen, accompanied by Ian Brown, freely expressive. John Mark Ainsley is totally undaunted by the taxing vocal writing of Anon in Love, originally designed for Peter Pears. And Craig Ogden is an ideal accompanist, totally idiomatic, adding sparkle to the vigorous songs in this offbeat collection.
Though Ian Brown gives a slightly sluggish account of Façade's 'Valse' – in the awkward piano transcription ascribed to Walton himself – cellist Paul Watkins crowns the disc with a fine reading of the solo Passacaglia.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“a powerful account of the Passacaglia for solo cello by Paul Watkins.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, July 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2002

Hyperion - CDA67340



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Craig Ogden and Friends

Craig Ogden and Friends



Bach, J S:

Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV1067: Badinerie

Boulanger, L:



Concerto Magna Carta: Adagio


I Giorni

Harvey, R:

Guitar Concerto Antico: III. Cantilena

Jones, Trevor:

Notting Hill Sarabande

Lennon & McCartney:




Incantation No. 2

Machado, C:


Martin, G H:

American Sketches (3): Old Boston




Vocalise-étude en forme de habanera


Londonderry Air


Palegia's Song

York, A:

Introduction to sunburst

Craig Ogden (guitar), Dave Bainbridge (mandolin), Eugene Field (oboe), Chian Lim (viola), Simone Rebello (marimbas), Niamh Molloy (cello), Natalie Clein (cello), Patricia Calnan (violin), Gareth Davies (flute), Dominic Worsley (double bass), Andrew Storey (violin), Sali-Wyn Ryan (violin), Ji Liu (piano), Mark Wood (horn), Abigail Fenna (viola), Milos Milivojevic (accordion)

Classic FM - CFMD39



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Gradi - The Music of John Manduell

Gradi - The Music of John Manduell


Trois Chansons de la Renaissance

String Trio


String Quartet

Variations on a Trio Tune

Into the Ark

Claire Bradshaw (mezzo-soprano), Henry Herford (baritone), Craig Ogden (guitar), John Turner (recorder), Renna Kellaway (piano)

The New Ensemble & Nossek String Quartet, Clark Rundell

‘Gradi’, features some of the finest UK-based musicians, such as Craig Ogden, Henry Herford, Claire Bradshaw, the New Ensemble directed by Clark Rundell and the Nossek String Quartet, performing works by the composer Sir John Manduell.

Sir John Manduell was born in 1928 in Johannesburg. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music with William Alwyn and Lennox Berkeley. He joined the BBC as a producer in 1956 and was head of music for the All Day music programme, which is now Radio 3, until 1971. He was created CBE in 1982 and Knight Bachelor in 1989. He was Principal of the RNCM from 1971-1996. Since then he has been able to devote his time to composition and has been Director of various music festivals and responsible for the commissioning of over 250 new works from a wide variety of composers.

Prima Facie - PFCD027



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50 Classical Yoga Tracks (By Classic FM)

50 Classical Yoga Tracks (By Classic FM)

Various Artists, Kaori Muraji (guitar), Matthew Sharp (cello), Edin Karamazov (guitar), Leonhard Schmidinger (percussion), Martin Grubinger (percussion), Martin Grubinger sen. (percussion), Rainer Furthner (percussion), Wolfgang Auinger (percussion), Ismael Barrios (percussion), Pater Godehard Joppich, Sir James Galway (flute), Ji Liu (piano), Catrin Finch (harp), Julian Lloyd Webber (cello), Rhondda Gillespie (piano), Julia Fischer (violin), Albrecht Mayer (oboe d amore), Janine Jansen (violin), Michael Noone (director), Claire Jones (harp), Barbara Bonney (soprano), Andreas Scholl (counter-tenor), Christophe Rousset (director), Itamar Golan (piano), I Fagiolini, Nigel Kennedy (violin), Craig Ogden, Pepe Romero (guitar), Christine Pendrill (cor anglais), Helen Tunstall (harp), Yuja Wang (piano), Zoltán Kocsis (piano), Edin Karamazov (lute), Radu Lupu (piano), David Garrett, Pascal Rogé (piano), Joshua Bell (violin)

London Symphony Orchestra, Voces8, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Benedictine Monks of the Abbey Münsterschwarzach, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Orchestre Philharmonique De Monte Carlo, Mahler Chamber O, Antal Doráti, Benjamin Britten, Klauspeter Seibel, Sir Neville Marriner, Marc Minkowski, Yakov Kreizberg, Mathias Mönius, Daniel Harding, Stuart Morley, Robert Hollingworth, Richard Bonynge, Trevor Pinnock, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Edward Higginbottom, Karl

Classic FM - 4822178

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