Nicholas Daniel

Oboe

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A Tribute to Janet

A Tribute to Janet


Britten:

Phantasy Quartet for Oboe & String Trio, Op. 2

Françaix:

Quartet for English Horn, Violin, Viola and Cello

Knussen:

Cantata

Mozart:

Oboe Quartet in F major, K370

Adagio for Cor Anglais and String Trio, K580a

completed by Nicholas Daniel


Nicholas Daniel (oboe)

Britten Oboe Quartet

The Britten Oboe Quartet here makes its recording debut with a programme of its core repertory. It naturally includes the great Mozart Quartet K.370 and Britten’s own Phantasy op.2, but also two pieces that have a special resonance for the distinguished oboist Nicholas Daniel, because they were commissioned and premiered by Janet Craxton (1929-81), his ‘beloved teacher’ and inspiration, and her London Oboe Quartet. Thus Oliver Knussen’s Cantata (1977) and the delightful Cor Anglais Quartet of Jean Françaix add further variety to a fascinating anthology that also features Nicholas Daniel’s own completion of Mozart’s elegiac fragment K580a.

“The quartet give a wonderfully relaxed and refined account of the Mozart and a strikingly mysterious one of the Britten...Between the two, Daniel inserts his own completion of a Mozart fragment...In this version, it becomes a perfect encore piece.” The Observer, 28th June 2017 ****

“delightful, varied and expertly played music” Financial Times, 29th June 2017 ****

“performances throughout are simply beyond reproach in their keenly communicative instinct, deft aplomb and infectious dedication. Throw in top-notch production-values, and you have an absolute winner of a release” Classical Ear, 30th June 2017 *****

“Making their recording debut, the quartet — with Daniel’s inimitably mellifluous oboe, and honouring his late teacher, Janet Craxton — present five works starting with Mozart’s sublime Oboe Quartet, crown of its genre.” Sunday Times, 9th July 2017

“Quartet is delivered with refreshing piquancy and spirited energy. Daniel’s nimble brilliance dominates, but never at the expense of the full chamber ensemble experience. The autumnal Adagio takes us into a more subdued world, opening with prophetic similarity to the later, better-known Ave Verum” The Scotsman, 24th July 2017 ****

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Elena Langer: Landscape With Three People

Elena Langer: Landscape With Three People


Langer, E:

Landscape With Three People

Snow

The Storm Cloud (Tucha)

Two Cat Songs

Ariadne

Stay O Sweet


Anna Dennis (soprano), William Towers (countertenor), Nicholas Daniel (oboe), Roman Mints (violin), Meghan Cassidy (viola), Kristine Blaumane (cello), Robert Howarth (harpsichord), Katya Apekisheva (piano)

A selection of chamber works by Elena Langer (b.1974, Moscow), notable for their playful counterpoint and delicate textures. The London-based composer delights in exploring the endless soundworlds of voices and instruments.

'Landscape With Three People' dates from 2013, with texts by poet Lee Harwood.

Elena moved to London to complete her degrees first at the Royal College of Music and then at the Royal Academy of Music. She has studied with Julian Anderson, Simon Bainbridge, Gerard McBurney and taken lessons with Sofia Gubaidulina (Centre Acanthes, France), Dmitri Smirnov, Jo Kondo and Jonathan Harvey. In 2002 and 2003 Elena was the first ever composer-in-residence at the Almeida Theatre, London.

She has received commissions and performances from organisations such as The Royal Opera House's ROH2, Zurich Opera, Carnegie Hall, The Britten and Strauss Festival in Aldeburgh, Park Lane Group, St. Petersburg's Music Spring, Chamber Music Series "XX/XXI" of the Bayerische Staatsoper (Germany). This recording project was generously funded by Blyth Valley Chamber Music, the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust and a large number of individuals. The new CD will be launched in parallel with the first public performances in Cardiff of the composer’s 'Figaro Gets A Divorce', a new opera for Welsh National Opera under David Pountney.

“[Landscape with Three People] nimble and light, sensual without forcing the point, folksy but not quite fey; whimsical, in the deconstructed manner of Berio or Nono. The two voices lilt together [and]…the performance is excellent — especially from Dennis, whose voice is beautifully grainy but still laced with metal. The album also contains older Langer songs including the haunting Russian lament Tucha and a feverish 17-minute monologue called Ariadne.” The Guardian, January 2016 ****

“This is the first disc solely dedicated to the music of Elena Langer and it offers and exquisitely performed showcase of her vocal-chamber works…here the human voice is also centre-stage in music of crystalline, bright purity…the refined voices of Anna Dennis and William Towers intertwine with moving lyricism…Dennis inhabits every corner of the lamenting, lovesick Ariadne in her thorny, freewheeling monologue” BBC Music Magazine, April 2016

“[Langer] is a natural dramatist to her fingertips; everything she touches it just tingles with storytelling … it’s got a lovely texture because of those baroque resources … I feel the spirit of Britten is there… I really love the quality of the voices here, it’s beautifully performed” CD Review, 05/03/2016

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Vaughan Williams: On Wenlock Edge & Ten Blake Songs

Vaughan Williams: On Wenlock Edge & Ten Blake Songs


Dove:

The End

Nicholas Daniel (cor anglais)

Britten Sinfonia (members), Jacqueline Shave

Vaughan Williams:

On Wenlock Edge

Britten Sinfonia (members), Huw Watkins (piano)

Ten Blake Songs

Nicholas Daniel (oboe)

Warlock:

The Curlew

Nicholas Daniel (cor anglais)

Britten Sinfonia (members), Jacqueline Shave


Mark Padmore (tenor)

Fresh from his triumph in the Glyndebourne 'Billy Budd', star tenor Mark Padmore is joined by members of Britten Sinfonia in 3 quintessentially British song-cycles: Ralph Vaughan Williams’ 'On Wenlock Edge', with pianist Huw Watkins; 'Ten Blake Songs' with oboist Nicholas Daniel; and Peter Warlock’s best-known work, 'The Curlew'. 'The End' by Jonathan Dove (a co-commission by Britten Sinfonia and Wigmore Hall) receives its world première recording here.

British composer Jonathan Dove (b. 1959) made the following remarks on the genesis of his new work, 'The End' (2012), with support from the 'Tenner for a Tenor' campaign.

"When I heard Mark Strand read his poem ‘The End’ to a small gathering of artists in Italy a few years ago, I was moved – and also felt immediately that it was a poem that could be sung. I hoped that one day I might have the chance to set it to music. I did not know exactly what the music would sound like, but I imagined a solo voice with several instruments.

Britten Sinfonia gave me the opportunity to make this wish come true, by inviting me to write something for Mark Padmore to sing, with instrumentation to match Warlock’s 'The Curlew'. String quartet with two solo wind instruments seemed the perfect combination to suggest the gentle rocking motion of the ship slipping into darkness, and perhaps hear birds suspended in flight."

“This is a reflective, beautifully delivered recital of English song much concerned with death, its nature well suited to this tenor’s mellifluously lyrical, emotionally intense music-making.” Sunday Times, 29th September 2013

“This is an extremely fine disc. Mark Padmore’s singing is technically beyond reproach and his eloquence is telling in all four works on the programme. At every turn he finds superb partners in the members of Britten Sinfonia...this new release is one of the finest discs of English song to have come my way in a long time.” MusicWeb International, 1st November 2013

“Dove's musical nightscape shifts slowly and slightly...The same vocal simplicity and white timbre that chafes so tellingly at the smugness of Blake's Innocence poems (aided there by exquisite solo oboe) also works well here for Padmore, never blurring the clarity of the composer's melodic architecture.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2013

“Edge, rather than lyrical elegance, is Mark Padmore's expressive strength, combined with his superb diction...I've never heard [the Blake Songs] come across so convincingly...Lavish praise too for the wonderful playing of the Britten Sinfonia...I shall be coming back to this.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2013 ****

“Many of Blake’s finest, most condensed verse utterances are here, Innocence and Experience nestling side by side: darkness is ever-present, as we move for instance from the Sunflower- and then to the comforting ‘Divine Image’. Ten Blake Songs is a bleak masterpiece and Padmore and Daniel are exceptional… This fine release earns plaudits on every front” International Record Review, November 2013

GGramophone Awards 2014

Finalist - Solo Vocal

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

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Thea Musgrave: Chamber works for oboe

Thea Musgrave: Chamber works for oboe


Musgrave:

Night Windows

Impromptus Nos. 1 & 2

Cantilena

Niobe

Trio

Take Two Oboes

Threnody


Nicholas Daniel (oboe), James Turnbull (oboe), Emer McDonough (flute), Joy Farrall (clarinet) & Huw Watkins (piano)

Rich and powerful musical language and a strong sense of drama have made Scottish-American composer Thea Musgrave (b.1928) one of the most respected and exciting contemporary voices. This CD features chamber works for oboe composed between 1960-2009, including her most recent works written specially for Nicholas Daniel, 'Cantilena', 'Night Windows', 'Take Two Oboes' and an arrangement of 'Threnody' for cor anglais.

Nicholas Daniel’s long and distinguished career began when, at the age of 18, he won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition and went on to win further competitions in Europe. At his debut at the BBC Proms in 1992 the Sunday Times described him as one of the greatest exponents of the oboe in the world. Today one of the UK's most distinguished soloists as well as a successful conductor, he has become an important ambassador for music and musicians in many different fields. He was awarded the The Queen’s Medal for Music in 2011.

“Nicholas Daniel is in tremendous form and Huw Watkins is a sensitive and deeply committed accompanist. The other members of the team on this disc are also superb.” MusicWeb International, April 2013

“the pacing and control of materials is always most assured and makes for a contemporary recital that is both varied and approachable.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2013

“With its sure-footed gestural pacing, Thea Musgrave’s elegantly taut music is thoroughly absorbing and Nicholas Daniel’s seemingly effortless musicality is always a pleasure to encounter.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2013 *****

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David Matthews: Concertos

David Matthews: Concertos


Matthews, D:

Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 31

Philippe Graffin (violin)

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra;

Oboe Concerto, Op. 57

Nicholas Daniel (oboe)

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra;

Violin Concerto No. 2, Op. 74

Philippe Graffin (violin)

Orchestra Nova

After Sunrise, Op. 82 - Moderato con moto

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra;


After the warm and positive reception by critics and listeners alike of the Dutton Epoch recordings of David Matthews’ Symphonies, the Dutton Epoch Matthews series reaches its fourth volume with his two Violin Concertos played by Philippe Graffin, who returns to Dutton Epoch after his success with Delius in 2009 (CDLX 7226). Philippe is coupled with Matthews’ Oboe Concerto, Op.57 in which the eloquent soloist with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is Nicholas Daniel. The programme is completed by David Matthews’ evocative tone poem After Sunrise, Op.82.

World premiere recordings: recorded at St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, 3rd March 2010 & Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, 27th-28th July 2010

“The extensive Vivacissimo finale [of the First Violin Concerto]...provides the most breathtaking bravura on the disc, superbly negotiated by Philippe Graffin, whose beauty of tone in the slower, gentler sections is also a thing to marvel at. Nicholas Daniel is no less eloquent in the Oboe Concerto...George Vass directs deftly and effectively throughout.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2011 *****

“The Oboe Concerto...allow[s] Nicholas Daniel to desmonstrate his full range of beguiling tonal inflections. The violin concertos have the advantage of polished solo playing from Philippe Graffin and lucid orchestral support under the sympathetic eyes and ears of Georg Vass.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2011

“Nicholas Daniel and Philippe Graffin were the dedicatees of these latter concertos, so it comes as no surprise to find them at one with their respective works, while Graffin's identity with the First Violin Concerto ought to win this piece new friends. George Vass, himself no stranger to the Matthews idiom, secures stylish and sensitive playing.” International Record Review, March 2011

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Bliss - Chamber Music Volume 2

Bliss - Chamber Music Volume 2


Bliss:

Oboe Quintet, Op. 21

Piano Quartet, Op. 18

Viola Sonata Op. 91


Nicholas Daniel (oboe), Martin Outram (viola), Peter Donohoe (piano)

Maggini Quartet

“The Piano Quartet displays their glowing warmth of tone and carefully scaled dynamics… what’s not to like here?” Fanfare

“The Maggini Quartet and Peter Donohoe give a commanding performance of the Piano Quartet, locating an underlying toughness of argument and urgency of expression in both outer movements to make one regret all the more forcefully the budding composer's decision to withdraw the piece following his demobilisation in 1919.
Otherwise unrepresented in the domestic catalogue, the Viola Sonata was written in 1933 for Lionel Tertis. If Bliss's inspiration lacks the distinctive melodic profile and organic mastery of, say, Walton's Viola Concerto of four years previously, the work as a whole is still worth getting to know. The Maggini's violist, Martin Outram, makes commendably light of the solo part's at times hair-raising demands and Donohoe offers exemplary support.
But the jewel in this anthology is the Oboe Quintet that Bliss composed in 1927 for Leon Goossens. Elegance and resourcefulness are the watchwords in the first two movements, whose bitter-sweet lyricism forms an effective contrast with the exuberant festivities of the finale.
Nicholas Daniel and the Maggini give a spry, ideally proportioned reading. Production-values throughout are of a high order. Very warmly recommended.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Naxos - 8555931

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Alwyn: Oboe Concerto & Three Concerti Grossi

Alwyn: Oboe Concerto & Three Concerti Grossi


Alwyn:

Concerto for Oboe, String Orchestra and Harp

Concerto Grosso No. 1 in B flat major for small Orch.

Concerto Grosso No. 2 in G major for String Orchestra

Concerto Grosso No. 3 for Woodwind, Brass & Strings


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A Tribute to Janet

A Tribute to Janet

Digital Version with bonus track


Britten:

Phantasy Quartet for Oboe & String Trio, Op. 2

Françaix:

Quartet for English Horn, Violin, Viola and Cello

Knussen:

Cantata

Mozart:

Oboe Quartet in F major, K370

Adagio for Cor Anglais and String Trio, K580a

Schumann:

Mondnacht (No. 5 from Liederkreis, Op. 39)

(arr. for oboe & string trio C. Matthews)


Nicholas Daniel (oboe)

Britten Oboe Quartet

“The quartet give a wonderfully relaxed and refined account of the Mozart and a strikingly mysterious one of the Britten...Between the two, Daniel inserts his own completion of a Mozart fragment...In this version, it becomes a perfect encore piece.” The Observer, 28th June 2017 ****

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Brian Elias: Electra Mourns

Brian Elias: Electra Mourns


Elias, B:

Geranos

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.

“This recording [of Geranos] alternates baritone and mezzo, with Roderick Williams bringing an elegant lyricism to the opening song and Susan Bickley a touching vulnerability to 'Love's Pains'...Bickley and Nicholas Daniel are assured in their contributions [to Electra Mourns], with Clark Rundell drawing requisite intensity from the Britten Sinfonia.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2017

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Mark Simpson: Night Music

Mark Simpson: Night Music


Simpson, M:

Night Music

Ariel

Barkham Fantasy

Echoes and Embers

Lov(escape) for clarinet and piano

Un Regalo

Windflower

Nur Musik


Leonard Elschenbroich (cello), Alexei Grynyuk (piano), Richard Uttley (piano), Mark Simpson (clarinet), Ian Buckle (piano), Víkingur Ólafsson (piano), Nicholas Daniel (oboe), Guy Johnston (cello), Jonathan Small (oboe)

Mercury Quartet

Read James's exclusive interview with Mark Simpson here.

This recording of chamber music pieces by 27-year-old composer Mark Simpson features works spanning ten years. All are performed by the musicians and ensembles for whom they were originally written.

Mark Simpson's works are most often inspired by dark tones and atmospheres of loss, dreams, hauntings, intimacy and passion and, as with Night Music and Echoes and Embers, often embrace ambiguities of emotion and attitude with extremes of quietude and agitation, of fragility and power. His pieces are also his own musical response to poetry (Sylvia Plath’s Ariel, Ted Hughes’s Tales from Ovid for Windflower) or the mysteries and resonances of place (Barkham Fantasy whose genesis harks back to an eerie farmhouse on Dartmoor, and Nur Musik written during a stay in Berlin).

Mark's earliest work on this album, Un Regalo (2004), was written to celebrate the 300th birthday of Guy Johnston's cello and he wrote Love(escape) (2006) for his semi-final recital for the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition.

“Simpson has an awful lot of music inside him, and plenteous discipline when it comes to writing it down…his use of space and silence is notable, as are his gift for melody…his ability to ratchet up drama and his refreshing lack of inhibition in reaching for orthodoxies of style or tonality…this is high quality music” Gramophone Magazine, August 2016

“What hits home immediately in this magnificent collection is the music’s individuality and strength…Simpson’s blazing confidence, his full understanding of instrumental capabilities, and love of pushing them to the edge…the recordings, from numerous venues, well-capture the music’s lustre and the performers’ full-throttle skills” BBC Music Magazine, September 2016 ****

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