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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

(CD)

$15.25

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Britten: Peter Grimes

Britten: Peter Grimes

on Aldeburgh beach. Filmed at the Aldeburgh Festival, June 2013


Alan Oke (Peter Grimes), Giselle Allen (Ellen Orford), David Kempster (Captain Balstrode), Gaynor Keeble (Auntie), Alexandra Hutton (First Niece), Charmian Bedford (Second Niece), Robert Murray (Bob Boles), Henry Waddington (Swallow), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (Mrs Sedley), Christopher Gillett (Rev. Horace Adams), Charles Rice (Ned Keene), Stephen Richardson (Hobson)

Chorus of Opera North, Chorus of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama & Britten–Pears Orchestra, Steuart Bedford

Directed for the screen by Margaret Williams

Live production directed by Tim Albery

Filmed in June 2013 during three extraordinary performances that took place during the Aldeburgh Festival, Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh beach takes place in the heart of the town that inspired it and is the film interpretation of Britten’s Peter Grimes, the most successful opera of post-war Britain. Based on George Crabbe’s 1810 poem ‘The Borough’, Britten’s powerful and masterful evocation of the North Sea in all its moods has become inextricably linked with the Aldeburgh that was home to Crabbe in the late eighteenth century and Britten in the twentieth, and where both poem and opera were written.

Conceived and hosted by the Aldeburgh Festival, the performances of Peter Grimes were directed by Tim Albery who placed the audience on the beach watching the story of Peter Grimes unfold as dusk fades over the sea.

The cast and chorus, with Alan Oke in the eponymous role of Peter Grimes, Giselle Allan as Ellen Orford, and David Kempster as Captain Balstrode, sing live with amplification, while the Britten-Pears Orchestra under the baton of Britten expert Steuart Bedford is pre-recorded.

Sound Formats: PCM Stereo, dts-HD Master Audio 5.1

Picture Format: 16:9

Resolution: 1080i High Definition

Running Time: 145 mins & 20 mins (Bonus)

Blu-ray Disc: 25 GB (Single Layer)

FSK: 0

“In almost all respects the technical side of the operation is a near triumph. Having the singers perform live...to the accompaniment of a pre-recorded orchestra was a gamble but it has paid off with very decent sound...a unique and satisfying experience.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2014

“Oke's is the closest tenor I've heard to Peter Pears as Grimes - crystal-clear diction, a slightly nasal tone, but mesmeric in the 'Now the Great Bear' soliloquy...This is an excellent memento of a remarkable experience, but is also a production and a performance of the opera which will be widely appreciated by all.” International Record Review, February 2014

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Arthaus Musik - 108101

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Britten: Peter Grimes

Britten: Peter Grimes

[Grimes on the Beach]


Alan Oke (Peter Grimes), Giselle Allen (Ellen Orford), David Kempster (Captain Balstrode), Gaynor Keeble (Auntie), Alexandra Hutton (First Niece), Charmian Bedford (Second Niece), Robert Murray (Bob Boles), Henry Waddington (Swallow), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (Mrs Sedley), Christopher Gillett (Rev. Horace Adams), Charles Rice (Ned Keene), Stephen Richardson (Hobson)

Chorus of Opera North, Chorus of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama & Britten–Pears Orchestra, Steuart Bedford

Britten’s powerful and masterful evocation of the North Sea in all its moods has become inextricably linked, to audiences all over the world, with the Aldeburgh that was home to Crabbe in the 18th century and Britten in the 20th. Steuart Bedford leads a vast and accomplished group of performers on this new recording, created shortly before the company performed the work on the beach at Aldeburgh as part of the festival, further celebrating Britten's centenary year, 2013.

“A fine memento of a thrilling performance” Sunday Times, 18th August 2013

“There is something of Britten himself in Peter Grimes… premiered nearly 70 years ago – but Britten’s finest works are more relevant than ever, and continue to prove the magic and power of opera” Evening Standard, 27th August 2013

“It mixes professional forces assembled by Opera North with a student chorus and orchestra, both of whom make youthfully fresh and committed contributions which the composer would doubtless have appreciated...a performance with more guts and energy than high polish.” The Telegraph, 29th August 2013 ****

“Alan Oke offers a poetic, masterful reading of the title role. Giselle Allen's anguished Ellen Orford and a characterful ensemble of Borough folk make the drama immediate and transparent. If this were my only Grimes recording, I would be happy.” The Observer, 18th August 2013

“All is taut, tense and claustrophobic, the rich Snape acoustic adding to the pleasure. The orchestra playing is incisive, occasionally brash but thrillingly alive, and the all-important chorus, drawn from Opera North and the Guildhall School, is among the greatest on disc.” The Arts Desk, 14th September 2013

“[Bedford] has the sea-swell of the work deep in his bones...[Oke's] is a strong, ballasted performance, less purely plangent than many, but deeply moving in its simple strength and keen imagination...There's much to relish throughout this hand-picked cast.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2013 *****

“This is an expertly paced performance, as one might expect with Steuart Bedford as conductor, building the tension incrementally...[Oke] is heard to best effect when Grimes is peering deep into his soul...Allen's urgent Ellen Orford is well in the picture, though she does not always sound ingratiating, and David Kempster is a stalwart Balstrode.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2013

“this release has strong presence. Steuart Bedford’s conducting is pacey and brings out the violence of the piece, and the Britten-Pears Orchestra rips into the score...Oke’s Grimes is a damaged soul from the start...Allen sounds a mature but intense Ellen, David Kempster a humane Balstrode.” Opera Now ****

BBC Music Magazine

Disc of the month - November 2013

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2014

Opera Award Winner

Up to 30% off Signum

Signum - SIGCD348

(CD - 2 discs)

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Walton: Troilus and Cressida

Walton: Troilus and Cressida

(complete opera, original version with the role of Cressida for soprano)


Clive Bayley (Calkas), James Thornton (Antenor), Arthur Davies (Troilus), Nigel Robson (Pandarus), Judith Howarth (Cressida), Yvonne Howard (Evadne), David Owen-Lewis (Horaste), Alan Opie (Diomede)

Opera North Chorus, English Northern Philharmonia, Richard Hickox

“Troilus and Cressida is here powerfully presented as an opera for the central repertory, traditional in its red-blooded treatment of a big classical subject. Few operas since Puccini's have such a rich store of instantly memorable tunes as this. Walton wrote the piece in the wake of the first great operatic success of his rival, Benjamin Britten. What more natural than for Walton, by this time no longer an enfantterrible of British music but an Establishment figure, to turn his back on operas devoted like Britten's to offbeat subjects and to go back to an older tradition using a classical love story, based on Chaucer (not Shakespeare). Though he was praised for this by critics in 1954, he was quickly attacked for being old-fashioned. Even in the tautened version of the score offered for the 1976 Covent Garden revival – with the role of the heroine adapted for the mezzo voice of Dame Janet Baker – the piece was described by one critic as a dodo. Yet as Richard Hickox suggests, fashion after 40 years matters little, and the success of the Opera North production in January 1995 indicated that at last the time had come for a big, warmly Romantic, sharply dramatic work to be appreciated on its own terms.
This recording was made under studio conditions during the run of the opera in Leeds. The discs confirm what the live performances suggested, that Walton's tautening of the score, coupled with a restoration of the original soprano register for Cressida, proved entirely successful.
Hickox conducts a performance that's magnetic from beginning to end. The scene is atmospherically set in Act 1 by the chorus, initially off-stage, but then with the incisive Opera North chorus snapping out thrilling cries of 'We are accurs'd!'.
The first soloist one hears is the High Priest, Calkas, Cressida's father, about to defect to the Greeks, and the role is superbly taken by the firm, dark-toned Clive Bayley. Troilus's entry and his declaration of love for Cressida bring Waltonian sensuousness and the first statements of the soaring Cressida theme. Arthur Davies isn't afraid of using his head voice for pianissimos, so contrasting the more dramatically with the big outbursts and his ringing top notes. This is a young-sounding hero, Italianate of tone. Similarly, Judith Howarth's Cressida is quite girlish, and she brings out the vulnerability of the character along with sweetness and warmth. After Calkas has defected to the Greeks, her cry of 'He has deserted us and Troy!' conveys genuine fear, with her will undermined.
All told, although some fine music has been cut, the tautened version is far more effective both musically and dramatically, with no longueurs.
The role of Diomede, Cressida's Greek suitor, can seem one-dimensional, but Alan Opie in one of his finest performances on record sharpens the focus, making him a genuine threat, with the element of nobility fully allowed. As Antenor, James Thornton sings strongly but is less steady than the others, while Yvonne Howard is superb in the mezzo role of Evadne, Cressida's treacherous servant and confidante. Not just the chorus but the orchestra of Opera North respond with fervour.
Naturally and idiomatically they observe the Waltonian rubato and the lifting of jazzily syncopated rhythms which Hickox as a dedicated Waltonian instils, echoing the composer's own example. As for the recorded sound, the bloom of the acoustic enhances the score, helped by the wide dynamic range.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Summer Opera Sale

Chandos - CHAN9370

(CD - 2 discs)

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Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov (highlights)

Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov (highlights)

Sung in English (translation by David Lloyd-Jones)


John Tomlinson (Boris), Stuart Kale (Prince Shuisky), Clive Bayley (Varlaam), Joan Rodgers (Xenia), Susan Parry (Feodor), Yvonne Howard (Old Nurse), Matthew Best (Pimen)

Opera North Chorus, English Northern Philharmonia, Paul Daniel

“John Tomlinson has made the part of Boris his own, and this generous, 75-minute selection of excerpts from Boris Godunov is highly recommendable, even when compared with current Russian versions of Mussorgsky's masterpiece.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Summer Opera Sale

Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3007

(CD)

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Walton: Troilus and Cressida

Walton: Troilus and Cressida


Judith Howarth (soprano), Yvonne Howard (mezzo-soprano), Arthur Davies (tenor), Nigel Robson (tenor), Brian Cookson (tenor), Peter Bodenham (tenor), Keith Mills (tenor), Alan Opie (baritone) James Thornton (baritone), Clive Bayley (bass), Bruce Budd (bass), Stephen Dowson (bass) & David Owen-Lewis (bass)

Chorus of Opera North & English Northern Philharmonia, Richard Hickox

Released as a part of the Richard Hickox Legacy series, this essential recording of Walton’s Troilus and Cressida is widely recognised as the finest available.

Edward Greenfield wrote in Gramophone that ‘even among Chandos’ many bold achievements over the years, this magnificent set of Troilus and Cressida stands out... [Hickox’s] expressive warmth is matched by his understanding of Walton’s fiery side, with magnificent performances form the entire cast’.

Troilus and Cressida, William Walton’s first opera was commissioned by the BBC in 1947 although only after seven years, in 1954, did the premiere take place, in Covent Garden. For a revival in 1976, Walton removed about thirty minutes of music and adapted the soprano part of Cressida to bring it within the range of the mezzo-soprano Dame Janet Baker. The version recorded here follows Walton’s more concise score whilst returning the part of Cressida to its original soprano register.

Based on Chaucer’s classic love-tale Troilus and Criseyde, the opera represents Walton’s desire to engage with traditional operatic themes. Walton wanted to write a romantic, ‘Pucciniesque’ opera and the rich scoring and many memorable melodies certainly invite comparison.

Walton dedicated Troilus and Cressida to his wife, Lady Susana Walton, who contributes a personal note in the booklet.

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Chandos 241 - The Hickox Legacy - CHAN241-50

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Britten: Peter Grimes

Britten: Peter Grimes

on Aldeburgh beach. Filmed at the Aldeburgh Festival, June 2013


Alan Oke (Peter Grimes), Giselle Allen (Ellen Orford), David Kempster (Captain Balstrode), Gaynor Keeble (Auntie), Alexandra Hutton (First Niece), Charmian Bedford (Second Niece), Robert Murray (Bob Boles), Henry Waddington (Swallow), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (Mrs Sedley), Christopher Gillett (Rev. Horace Adams), Charles Rice (Ned Keene), Stephen Richardson (Hobson)

Chorus of Opera North, Chorus of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama & Britten–Pears Orchestra, Steuart Bedford

Directed for the screen by Margaret Williams

Live production directed by Tim Albery

Filmed in June 2013 during three extraordinary performances that took place during the Aldeburgh Festival, Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh beach takes place in the heart of the town that inspired it and is the film interpretation of Britten’s Peter Grimes, the most successful opera of post-war Britain. Based on George Crabbe’s 1810 poem ‘The Borough’, Britten’s powerful and masterful evocation of the North Sea in all its moods has become inextricably linked with the Aldeburgh that was home to Crabbe in the late eighteenth century and Britten in the twentieth, and where both poem and opera were written.

Conceived and hosted by the Aldeburgh Festival, the performances of Peter Grimes were directed by Tim Albery who placed the audience on the beach watching the story of Peter Grimes unfold as dusk fades over the sea.

The cast and chorus, with Alan Oke in the eponymous role of Peter Grimes, Giselle Allan as Ellen Orford, and David Kempster as Captain Balstrode, sing live with amplification, while the Britten-Pears Orchestra under the baton of Britten expert Steuart Bedford is pre-recorded.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1

Picture Format: 16:9

DVD Format: DVD 9 / NTSC

Running Time: 145 mins & 20 mins (Bonus)

Subtitles: GB (Original Language), DE, FR, ES, IT, JP

FSK: 0

“Oke's is the closest tenor I've heard to Peter Pears as Grimes - crystal-clear diction, a slightly nasal tone, but mesmeric in the 'Now the Great Bear' soliloquy...This is an excellent memento of a remarkable experience, but is also a production and a performance of the opera which will be widely appreciated by all.” International Record Review, February 2014

“In almost all respects the technical side of the operation is a near triumph. Having the singers perform live...to the accompaniment of a pre-recorded orchestra was a gamble but it has paid off with very decent sound...a unique and satisfying experience.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2014

GGramophone Awards 2014

Shortlisted - Opera

DVD Video

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Format: NTSC

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Arthaus Musik - 102179

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Gerhard: La Dueña (The Duenna)

Gerhard: La Dueña (The Duenna)


Ann Taylor (mezzo), Richard van Allan (bass-baritone), Neill Archer (tenor), Susannah Glanville (soprano), Eric Roberts (baritone), Bruce Budd (baritone), David Owen-Lewis (narrator), Paul Wade (tenor), Stephen Briggs (tenor), Adrian Clarke (bass), Claire Powell (mezzo-soprano), Jeremy Peaker (narrator), Deborah Pearce (narrator), Denise Mulholland (soprano)

Opera North Chorus, English Northern Philharmonia, Antoni Ros-Marba

Chandos - CHAN9520-21

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The Art of Bryn Terfel

The Art of Bryn Terfel


Bryn Terfel, Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone), Karl-August Naegler (recording producer), Karl-August Naegler (editor), Reinhard Lagemann (recording engineer), Ulrich Vette (balance engineer), Hans-Rudolf Müller (recording engineer), Malcolm Martineau (piano), John Fisher (producer), Sid McLauchlan (editor), Sid McLauchlan (recording producer), Jürgen Bulgrin (recording engineer), Pal Christian Moe (executive producer), Wolfgang Mitlehner (editor), Wolfgang Mitlehner (balance engineer), Wolfgang Mitlehner (recording producer), Jonathan Stokes (balance engineer), Jimmy Lock (balance engineer), Evans Mirageas (executive producer), Paul Moseley (executive producer), Chris Hazell (recording producer), Sid McLauchlan (producer), Arne Lundmark, Swedish Radio Choir (chorus), Balcarras Crafoord (baritone), Stephan Flock (recording engineer), Jürgen Bulgrin (asst. recording engineer), Ute Fesquet (executive producer), Oliver Curdt (editor), Nigel Boon (producer), Sid McLauchlan (associate producer), Martin Atkinson (balance engineer), Martin Fitzpatrick, Rainer Maillard (editor), Andrew Wedman (balance engineer), Nigel Boon (executive producer), Cecilia Bartoli (mezzo-soprano), Neil Hutchinson (balance engineer), Evans Mirageas (producer), Mark Buecker (editor), Sid McLauchlan (executive producer), Chris Hazell (producer), Klaus Behrens (recording engineer), Gernot Von Schultzendorff (balance engineer), Chris Barrett (asst. recording engineer), Jake Jackson (asst. recording engineer), Piotr Furmanczyk (recording engineer), Mark Wilkinson (associate producer), Stephan Flock (balance engineer), Stephan Flock (editor), David Hill, Simon Halsey, Lennart Dehn (recording producer), Jobst Eberhardt (recording engineer), John Fisher (executive producer), Wolf-Dieter Karwatky (recording engineer), Neil Martin (pipe), Jake Jackson (recording engineer), Sir Thomas Allen (baritone), Erik Smith (producer), Eve Edwards (producer), Valerie Gross (executive producer), John Fisher (harpsichord), Arend Prohmann (recording producer), Roger Wright (executive producer), Gregor Zielinsky (balance engineer)

English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, The Risca Choir, The Black Mountain Choir, The Risca Choir, The Black Mountain Choir, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Chorus Of Opera North, English Northern Philharmonia, Chorus Of Opera , John Eliot Gardiner, Gareth Jones, Paul Daniel, Myung Whun Chung, Sir Charles Mackerras, Barry Wordsworth, Sir Neville Marriner, James Levine

DG - 4808122

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The Sound of Bryn Terfel (By Classic FM)

The Sound of Bryn Terfel (By Classic FM)


Bryn Terfel, Bryn Terfel (Bass-Baritone), Meinir Heulyn (Harp), Katherine Thomas (Harp), Malcolm Martineau (Piano), Martin Fitzpatrick ()

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, English Northern Philharmonia, Chorus Of Opera North, James Levine, Barry Wordsworth, Gareth Jones, Paul Daniel

Classic FM - The Sound of… - 4808001

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