Susan Bickley


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Janacek: Orchestral Works Vol. 3

Janacek: Orchestral Works Vol. 3


Glagolitic Mass

Sara Jakubiak (soprano), Susan Bickley (mezzo-soprano), Stuart Skelton (tenor), Gábor Bretz (bass) & Thomas Trotter (organ)

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Choir & Choir of Collegiûm Mûsicûm

Adagio for Orchestra

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

Zdravas Maria

Sara Jakubiak (soprano), David Stewart (violin), Karstein Askeland (organ)

Edvard Grieg Kor & Bergen Cathedral Choir

Otcenáš (Our Father) for four-part choir, tenor soloist, organ and harp

Stuart Skelton (tenor), Johannes Wik (harp), Karstein Askeland (organ)

Edvard Grieg Kor & Bergen Cathedral Choir

Not only does this collection of orchestral works by Janáček follow two highly praised volumes with such great soloists as Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and James Ehnes, but it also features one of the composer’s most monumental works – with the vividly admired organist Thomas Trotter – along with three contrasting shorter pieces.

The Glagolitic Mass is considered his finest non-operatic work. It was premiered a year after the Sinfonietta – recorded in Volume 1 [CHSA5142] – to critical acclaim. This impressive piece makes full use of the orchestra and chorus, with virtuosic solo parts for tenor and soprano, as well as organ. It is set within a frame of purely orchestral movements in which the Bergen Orchestra and its new Chief Conductor, Edward Gardner, demonstrate with authority their deep empathy with the repertoire.

The album is completed by three highly diverse characteristic works: the mournful Adagio, the Slavonic Otče náš and the deeply personal Zdrávas Maria.

“Gardner steers the clash of brass, strings, chorus and soloists with confidence, the instrumental outer movements ablaze with excitement, the whole well balanced but still dangerous and invigorating.” The Guardian, 6th March 2016 ****

Super Audio CD


Hybrid Multi-channel

Chandos Janacek: Orchestral Works - CHSA5165



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Arvo Pärt - Musica Selecta

Arvo Pärt - Musica Selecta

A Sequence By Manfred Eicher


Es Sang vor Langen Jahren for alto, violin & viola

Susan Bickley (mezzo-soprano), Gidon Kremer (violin), Vladimir Mendelssohn (viola)

Für Alina

Alexander Malter (piano)

Mein weg hat Gipfel und Wennentaler

Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Tönu Kaljuste

Ode VI, from Kanon pokajanen

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Tönu Kaljuste

Silouans Song

Tallin Chamber Orchestra, Tönu Kaljuste

Fratres for Violin & Piano

Gidon Kremer (violin), Keith Jarrett (piano)

Alleluja Tropus for choir and string orchestra

Vox Clamantis

Sinfonietta Rīga, Tönu Kaljuste


Saulius Sondeckis (violin/conductor)

Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra

Beatus Petronius

Latvian Radio Choir

Sinfonietta Rīga, Tönu Kaljuste

Pilgrims' Song

Swedish Radio Choir

Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tönu Kaljuste

Most Holy Mother of God

The Hilliard Ensemble

Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten

Staatsorchester Stuttgart, Dennis Russell Davies


Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

Tönu Kaljuste

Festina Lente

Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn, Dennis Russell Davies


Alexei Lubimov (piano)

SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra, Andrey Boreyko

Stabat Mater

Lynne Dawson (soprano), David James (counter-tenor), Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor), Gidon Kremer (violin), Vladimir Mendelssohn (viola), Thomas Demenga (cello)

Da pacem Domine

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Tönu Kaljuste

Composer Arvo Pärt and producer Manfred Eicher have maintained their creative partnership for more than 30 years. Eicher launched ECM New Series in 1984 as a platform for Pärt's music, bringing the Estonian composer to the world's attention with 'Tabula Rasa'. Since that epochal release, all first recordings of Pärt's major works have been made for ECM, with the composer's committed participation.

In this special double album, issued on Pärt's 80th birthday, Eicher revisits episodes from their shared musical quest, evoking fresh associations from juxtapositions of pieces in his dramaturgical sequence, as listeners are invited to hear the music anew. Compositions heard here include the legendary ECM premiere recordings of Es sang vor langen Jahren, Für Alina, Mein Weg, Kanon Pokajanen, Silouans Song, Fratres, Alleluia-Tropus, Trisagion, Beatus Petronius, Wallfahrtslied/Pilgrims' Song, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, Magnificat, Festina Lente, Lamentate, Stabat Mater, Da Pacem Domine, and a previously unreleased version of Most Holy Mother of God.

As for the performers, documentation of Pärt on ECM started with the recording of Fratres with Gidon Kremer and Keith Jarrett joining forces for the only time and has expanded to embrace many musicians who have, in turn, become closely associated with Pärt's music. These have included the Hilliard Ensemble, the British vocal group whose pure approach to early music was to prove eminently adaptable to Pärt's timeless oeuvre.

"My contact with ECM is beyond categorization," Arvo Pärt has said. "It is a natural supplement to my composing. Manfred Eicher's instrument is sound, acoustics, the sounding space which can be heard only by him. He hears in a special way and his records are a result of this hearing. What I call a piece of art made by Manfred is actually a rich and sensitive complex of hearing, thinking, feeling, taste and artistic skill, a whole philosophy. It is also something very lively and in continuous formation. Our work together making new records is always a celebration."

“For this excellent two-CD compendium, the producer Manfred Eicher has selected pieces from the recordings he has made over the past 30 years. It’s a perfect introduction to Pärt’s work, ranging from global lesser-known and more recent pieces.” The Times, 25th September 2015 ****

ECM New Series - 4811905

(CD - 2 discs)


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Foulds: 3 Mantras, Dynamic Triptych, Mirage & Lyra Celtica

Foulds: 3 Mantras, Dynamic Triptych, Mirage & Lyra Celtica


Three Mantras (from Avatara), Op. 61B

Dynamic Triptych (Piano Concerto)

Mirage, Op. 21 (1910)

Lyra Celtica, Op. 50 (c. 1925)

Apotheosis, Op. 18 (1909)

Music-Pictures Group III, Op. 33

April-England, Op. 48 No. 1

Song of Ram Dass

Keltic Lament

“A missing link between Edwardian opulence and the avant-garde, Foulds wrote rampaging, adventurous, iridescent music, splendidly championed by Oramo and the CBSO.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2014 ****

“The nine works...display the full range of Foulds's talents, from the exotic and the ecstatic to the wild and poetic. Sometimes like late Strauss, at others more early Messiaen, in the end he is purely himself.” The Observer, 11th August 2013

Apex - 2564645113

(CD - 2 discs)


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From a city window: Songs by Hubert Parry

From a city window: Songs by Hubert Parry


Good Night

To Lucasta, on going to the wars (Lovelace) English Lyrics Set III No. 1

Sleep (Sturgis) English Lyrics Set VII No. 6

Where shall the Lover Rest

What part of dread eternity (Parry?) English Lyrics Set XI No. 2

Julia (Herrick) English Lyrics Set VII No. 5

From a city window

My Heart is like a Singing Bird

Looking backward

Proud Maisie (Scott) English Lyrics Set V No. 2

The Faithful Lover (APGraves) English Lyrics Set XI No. 5

Bright Star

Crabbed Age and Youth

Nightfall in winter (Mitchell) English Lyrics Set VIII No. 2


O never say that I was false of heart (Shakespeare) English Lyrics Set VII No. 4

Dirge in woods (Meredith) English Lyrics Set VIII No. 4

A Girl to her Glass

O Mistress Mine


Willow, willow

And yet I love her till I die (anonymous) English Lyrics Set VI No. 2

Lay a garland on my hearse (Beaumont & Fletcher) English Lyrics Set V No. 4

Armida's Garden

If thou would'st ease thine heart (Beddoes) English Lyrics Set III No. 2

A Welsh lullaby

Ailish Tynan (soprano), Susan Bickley (mezzo), William Dazeley (baritone) & Iain Burnside (piano)

As English song came into full flower at the turn of the 20th century, Parry's substantial contribution to the genre became somewhat buried. Iain Burnside and his singers rediscover what has been forgotten by historical accident. Combining an innately English sensibility with a technical fastidiousness that owes much to the lieder of Brahms, Schumann and Wolf, every one of these songs demonstrates Parry's fundamental concern for sincerity and proper declamation of the words.

Hubert Parry is undergoing something of a revival, and these performances return his songs to the heart of his output, where the composer always felt they belonged.

Ailish Tynan was a Vilar Young Artist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, a BBC New Generation Artist and won the Rosenblatt Recital Prize at the 2003 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competion. Susan Bickley is firmly established as one of the most accomplished mezzo sopranos of her generation. In May 2011 she received the prestigious Singer Award at the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards, the highest recognition for live classical music in the UK. William Dazeley won the 1989 Kathleen Ferrier Prize. He has appeared with many of the world's important opera houses and worked with many leading conductors and orchestras. Iain Burnside is the well-known pianist and broadcaster, with a reputation forged on his commitment to the song repertoire and his collaborations with leading international singers.

“This release testifies to the rare talent of a composer still to be adequately recognised...There could surely be no finer champions of this art than the singers heard here.” Sunday Telegraph, 20th January 2013

“Among the 27 songs here, fastidiously set to texts from Shakespeare to Scott, are some well-known gems. But many more are revelations. Recorded in Parry’s boyhood home near Gloucester, Ailish Tynan, Susan Bickley and William Dazeley sing them with ardour and sensibility, and Iain Burnside’s piano accompaniments are full of subtle insight.” The Times, 26th January 2013 ***

“The emotional range of these songs, almost faultlessly conceived in terms of textual rhythm, reminds us of just how expert a song-writer and pioneer of the English art Parry was...Full of subtle vocal nuance, excellent diction and discerning accompaniment, the performances are exquisite.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2013

“Superb singing combines with Iain Burnside's eloquent handling of Parry's piano textures.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2013 *****

“The performances are excellent. All three singers do very well by Parry...As ever, Iain Burnside is an immaculate and excellent accompanist...Admirers of Parry will need no urging to add this disc to their collection but others who are interested in English song should investigate it too; I fancy they may be pleasantly surprised.” MusicWeb International, 28th January 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2013

Delphian - DCD34117



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Turnage: Anna Nicole

Turnage: Anna Nicole

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, 23 & 26 February 2011

Eva-Maria Westbroek (Anna Nicole), Alan Oke (Old Man Marshall), Gerald Finley (The Lawyer Stern), Susan Bickley (Virgie), Jeremy White (Daddy Hogan), Loré Lixenberg (Cousin Shelley), Peter Hoare (Larry King), Rebecca de Pont Davies (Aunt Kay), Dominic Rowntree (Older Daniel), Allison Cook (Blossom), Andrew Rees (Doctor), Grant Doyle (Billy) & Wynne Evans (Mayor); John Parricelli (guitar), John Paul Jones (bass guitarist), Peter Erskine (drummer)

Royal Opera Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Antonio Pappano (conductor) & Richard Jones (director)

In a tragic-comic take on the extremes of celebrity culture, composer Mark Anthony Turnage, librettist Richard Thomas and director Richard Jones add Anna Nicole Smith to opera’s gallery of bad, sad girls. A pneumatic Playboy model who married an octogenarian billionaire, she achieved grotesque fame before her destitute, drugriddled death. With its jazz-coloured score and Eva-Maria Westbroek’s starry performance, this is, as the New York Times said: “an engrossing outrageous, entertaining and, ultimately deeply moving opera”.

"...It's a tremendous show...shocking it isn't; stunning it is!" The Independent

Contains very strong language and scenes of a sexual nature

Extra features:

Cast gallery

Illustrated synopsis

Behind the scenes feature including artist interviews

Running time 120 mins approx

Region Code All regions

Picture format 1080i High Definition / 16:9

Sound format 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Menu languages EN

Subtitles EN/FR/DE/ES

“a slick satire on the superficiality of American popular culture...Eva-Maria Westbroek gives a gutsy central performance” Financial Times, November 2011

“this is an opera that demands to be seen in its full wide-screen glory...On DVD, the opera is worryingly compelling. The more Turnage and his librettist, Richard Thomas, pile one cringe-making scene upon another, the harder it is to look away...the whole cast is excellent...all bolstered by a vivid musical performance under Pappano...As it stands, the opera is a salacious expose and not much more - a compelling one none the less” Gramophone Magazine, November 2011

“such pulsing energy and raucous humour in a brassy, vivid score that is perfectly matched to its trailer-trash subject...Nobody...could fail to admire Richard Jones’s flamboyantly inventive staging or Eva-Maria Westbroek’s brave and sassy performance in the title role of the rags-to-riches girl who married a billionaire and met a tragic end.” The Telegraph, 2nd December 2011

“The six camera operators get in close enough for us all to appreciate the visual brilliance of Richard Jones’s direction and Miriam Buether’s colourfully absurd sets. Better yet, the cameras offer extra chances for the Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek to warm and tenderise Anna Nicole’s rollercoaster life...The camera’s scrutiny also helps appreciation of Gerald Finley. Always an eloquent stage performer, he’s unsettlingly plausible as Stern” The Times, 12th August 2011 ***

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Opus Arte Royal Opera House Collection - OABD7088D



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Songs by Reynaldo Hahn

Songs by Reynaldo Hahn

This two-CD set is the most representative recording of Hahn's songs ever made. It includes the complete Etudes Latines and Rondels (both with choir) as well as many of his most familiar songs.

Hahn, R:


Dame Felicity Lott (soprano), Susan Bickley (mezzo soprano), Ian Bostridge (tenor), Stephen Varcoe (baritone)

The London Schubert Chorale, Stephen Layton

“The two cycles, Douze rondels and Etudes latines, are linked by a common fascination with the past.
The Douze rondels were composed to poems in a medieval metre, which allowed Hahn to try his hand at pastiche madrigals and courtly ballads.
The Etudes latines cast their gaze back still further in time to Classical antiquity. For Hahn, that era seemed to represent the ultimate in purity and sensuality rolled into one. This collection of 10 songs is a real discovery and rivals late Fauré, both in its refinement and mesmerising simplicity of utterance. Apart from a few moments when one would like a more substantial tone, Stephen Varcoe's light baritone suits Hahn very well and he's a refreshingly unaffected interpreter, who sings with grace and feeling. Susan Bickley is better at the larger canvas of a piece like Quand la nuit n'est pas étoilée than the more intimate songs but the most celebrated pair of all Hahn's mélodies goes to Dame Felicity Lott, whose sympathy for the French style could have no happier outlet. Both Si mes vers avaient desailes and L'heure exquise are included here, the latter if not an hour, then at least two and a half minutes that are truly exquisite. They are both beautifully sung and are undisturbed by the discomfort around the top of the stave that sometimes mars Lott's singing elsewhere. At the end, she offers four operetta solos as an encore. Graham Johnson's accompaniments are as sensitive as ever. The piano could have been placed a little closer, but the voices have been well captured.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“What treasures are here … The two discs provide an unmissable opportunity to explore a composer who is underrated and overlooked perhaps because he was too modest about himself. There are melodies here which Massenet, Debussy, Fauré and Ravel would have been proud to call their own. No one can fail to have their musical horizon broadened by these discs, which will assuredly come high among my Records of the Year, any year” Sunday Telegraph

Hyperion French Song Edition - CDA67141/2

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Vivaldi - Sacred Music 4

Vivaldi - Sacred Music 4


Juditha Triumphans, RV644

devicta Holofernes barbarie RV644

Echo Award, Germany

Hugely enjoyable ... excellent soloists ...masterly recording
Classic CD

Early Music

Hyperion - Vivaldi Sacred Music - CDA67281/2

(CD - 2 discs)

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Brian Elias: Electra Mourns

Brian Elias: Electra Mourns

Elias, B:


Psappha, Nicholas Kok

Meet me in the Green Glen

Roderick Williams (baritone) & Susan Bickley (mezzo-soprano)

Once did I breathe another's breath

Roderick Williams (baritone) & Iain Burnside (piano)

Electra Mourns

Susan Bickley (mezzo-soprano) & Nicholas Daniel (cor anglais)

Britten Sinfonia, Clark Rundell

The title work on this new album by Brian Elias sets text from ‘Electra’, a 5th Century BC play by the Greek dramatist Sophocles.

It is sung in the original ancient Greek by mezzo-soprano Susan Bickley, accompanied by cor anglais and string orchestra, and recounts the tale of Electra and the vengeance that she and her brother Orestes take on their mother and stepfather following the murder of their father.

Continuing Elias's fascination with ancient Greece, Geranos is a dramatic and rhythmic ensemble piece inspired by a ritual 'crane dance' associated with Theseus, the mythical king of Athens.

In contrast, the two song cycles on this album are set to texts by English poets. Meet me in the Green Glen for unaccompanied solo voice is a setting of five John Clare poems, here performed by both Susan Bickley and Roderick Williams, and Once did I breathe another's breath for baritone and piano was commissioned for the 2013 Ludlow Weekend of English Song; the poems (some anonymous) were all written in the fi rst half of the seventeenth century.

Released or re-released in last 6 months




Scheduled for release on 21 April 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Boccherini & d’Astorga: Stabat mater

Boccherini & d’Astorga: Stabat mater


Stabat Mater


Stabat Mater (2nd version, 1800, for 3 soloists & string orchestra), Op. 61

Susan Gritton, Sarah Fox (soprano), Susan Bickley (mezzo-soprano), Paul Agnew (tenor), Peter Harvey (bass)

The King’s Consort, Robert King

Boccherini wrote very little vocal music; however he left two settings of the Stabat mater. He set it first in 1781 for solo soprano and strings and then in 1800 for two sopranos and tenor, and was clearly influenced by the hugely popular Pergolesi Stabat mater of 1736. There are many similarities in the notation and harmony—even the same key of F minor is used. The writing is of extraordinary individuality, seeming to come straight from the heart. Emanuele d’Astorga was one of the more colourful figures of early eighteenth-century music, his life the stuff of subject of legend as much as of fact. Over 150 chamber cantatas survive, but by far his most enduring work has proved to be this setting of the Stabat mater, his only known sacred composition. Throughout it we hear Astorga’s gift for writing warm melodies, typical of the Neapolitan style of the time, which movingly capture the melancholy of this most desolate of sacred texts.

“Outstanding performances” American Record Guide

“Heart-melting … full of grace and beauty” BBC Music Magazine

“Remarkable and beautiful settings” Gramophone Magazine

Early Music

Helios - CDH55287


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Britten: The Turn of the Screw

Britten: The Turn of the Screw

Glyndebourne production by Jonathan Kent

Toby Spence (Prologue/Peter Quint), Miah Persson (Governess), Susan Bickley (Mrs Grose), Giselle Allen (Miss Jessel), Thomas Parfitt (Miles), Joanna Songi (Flora)

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Jakub Hrusa

It is indeed ‘a curious story’, as the Prologue says. A remote English country house, an old and faithful housekeeper, two young orphan children and an eager new governess sent down from London to look after them. But all is not quite as it seems in the sheltered world of Bly. Spirits from the past increasingly encroach upon the realm of the living. And one question keeps worming its way into the governess’s mind: what exactly did happen between the children, their former governess and the deceased manservant, Peter Quint? Britten’s brilliantly scored, insidiously compelling adaptation of Henry James’s novella takes its themes of childish innocence and adult corruption, then twists and turns them to disturbing and ultimately devastating effect. Jonathan Kent’s eerily unsettling staging has been recorded at the Glyndebourne Festival conducted by Glyndebourne on Tour’s Music Director, Jakub Hrusa.

“Here is Britten’s supremely crafted operatic masterpiece — not a dud moment or false move — in a shatteringly powerful performance of such musical and theatrical distinction that I scarcely know where to begin apportioning praise. Perhaps the conductor: I already knew the quality of Jonathan Kent’s production from its first outing in 2006, and the cast looked pretty hot on paper too. But what I hadn’t suspected was that the young Czech conductor Jakub Hrusa would offer such a thrillingly visceral, angry and churned-up reading of the score. Galvanising the LPO to playing of scalding brilliance, Hrusa carefully ratcheted up the tension in the early scenes and brought the drama to the boil with an almost daemonic intensity. This wasn’t a nice creepy bedtime story, but something reaching dangerously into the darker reaches of human nature.” Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

“one of the company’s best Britten performances. Jonathan Kent’s production, vividly conducted by Jakob Hrusa, turns the Victorian ghost story into something more modern but equally “innocent” – a 1950s psychological thriller, with strong performances [from Persson and Spence]” Financial Times, 30th November 2012

“The Turn of the Screw has been lucky on DVD - but forget those performances. This Glyndebourne production is streets ahead...At its dark heart lies Jakub Hrusa's quite astonishing conducting...A cast of first-rate singers infuse their roles with unnerving life...Altogether, one of the finest opera performances on DVD. Buy it.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2013 *****

“the casting is ideal...Hrusa's conducting, completely unlike Britten's more romantic approach, looks throughout to emphasise the tone-row (and atonal) elements that stalk this score like the story's ghosts. It's a real contribution to our musical knowledge of the score.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2013

“the singing is probably the finest on any DVD version of the work … Miah Persson is flawless … Her diction, pitch and sense of line are impeccable … [Spence's] melismatic singing is clean and effortless … wonderful children … Jakub Hrusa leads the London Philharmonic in an instinctual, perversely accented, gut-wrenching reading and the 15-or-so instrumentalists are superb … Both picture and sound are excellent … musically close to perfection” International Record Review, March 2013

“the video direction of François Roussillon fully exploits the intimacy of the DVD medium, of this opera and of Jonathan Kent’s stage direction...This superlatively sung, played, acted and directed production sets a gold standard for future staged versions...The opera comes with 22 minutes of extras. These illuminate why this Glyndebourne 2011 version is so distinctive, how it developed and the nature of the journey for the performers” MusicWeb International, March 2013

“Jonathan Kent’s recent Glyndebourne production (filmed here in 2011) is a tour de force, with astonishingly vivid conducting by Jakub Hrusa; the action is shifted forward from the nineteenth century of the James original to the 1950s, a move which is illuminating and never obtrusive. Miah Persson's Hitchcockian heroine fits perfectly into the updated setting, Toby Spence is a seductive and unusually sympathetic Quint, and both children are excellent.” Maurice Millward, Presto Classical, March 2014

“Kent’s production provides clarity of action with depth of psychology in its 1950s setting. Miah Persson’s Governess is radiantly voiced and her traversal of the character’s development is outstanding...Hrůša’s conducting of the London Philharmonic is finely textured and exquisitely realised.” Opera Now *****

Building a Library

First Choice (DVD/Blu-ray) - November 2013

BBC Music Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray Choice - January 2013

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

fRA - FRA007

(DVD Video)


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