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Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music

Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music

and other works


Vaughan Williams:

Serenade to Music

Elizabeth Connell (soprano), Amanda Roocroft (soprano), John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Martyn Hill (tenor), Maldwyn Davies (tenor), Anne Dawson (soprano), Linda Kitchen (soprano), Alan Opie (baritone), Gwynne Howell (bass), Sir Thomas Allen (baritone), Sarah Walker (mezzo-soprano), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo-soprano) & John Connell (bass)

Five Mystical Songs

Sir Thomas Allen (baritone)

Fantasia on Christmas Carols

Sir Thomas Allen (baritone)

Flos Campi

Nobuko Imai (viola)


“Performances like these don’t come along very often; each one is an absolute winner, and with rich, atmospheric recording quality the satisfaction is of a very special quality” CD Review

“Strongly recommended!” Fanfare

“Profoundly moving” Gramophone Magazine

“Sometimes heard as a full choral work, the Serenade to Music takes on its greatest beauty in its original version for sixteen soloists. Matthew Best's soloists are certainly up to the task here, with some big names in the ranks and a sound that beautifully sits between choral and soloistic singing styles. Thomas Allen is a moving and believable soloist in the Five Mystical Songs; after just a few bars of the first number, Easter, I was convinced.” David Smith, Presto Classical, June 2014

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Hyperion 30th Anniversary - CDA30025

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Vaughan Williams - Choral Works

Vaughan Williams - Choral Works

from CDA66420, CDA66655, CDA66511 & CDA66569


Vaughan Williams:

Serenade to Music

Elizabeth Connell (soprano), Amanda Roocroft (soprano), John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Martyn Hill (tenor), Maldwyn Davies (tenor), Anne Dawson (soprano), Linda Kitchen (soprano), Alan Opie (baritone), Gwynne Howell (bass), Sir Thomas Allen (baritone), Sarah Walker (mezzo-soprano), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzosoprano) & John Connell (bass)

English Chamber Orchestra

Fantasia on Christmas Carols

Thomas Allen (baritone)

English Chamber Orchestra

Flos Campi

Nobuko Imai (viola)

English Chamber Orchestra

Five Mystical Songs

Sir Thomas Allen (baritone)

English Chamber Orchestra

Dona Nobis Pacem

A Cantata for soprano and baritone soli, chorus and orchestra

Judith Howarth (soprano) & Thomas Allen (baritone)

Corydon Orchestra

Four Hymns

for tenor, viola and strings

John Mark Ainsley (tenor) & Matthew Souter (viola)

Corydon Orchestra

O Clap Your Hands (Psalm 47)

Lord, Thou has been our refuge

Sir Thomas Allen (baritone)

The Pilgrim's Progress - A Bunyan Sequence

Text and music adapted by Christopher Palmer from the 1942 radio version of The Pilgrim's Progress.

Sir John Gielgud, Richard Pasco, Ursula Howells (speakers), Aidan Oliver (treble)

The City of London Sinfonia

A Song of Thanksgiving

Sir John Gielgud (speaker), Lynne Dawson (soprano) & John Scott (organ)

The London Oratory Junior Choir

Three Choral Hymns

Magnificat

Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo-soprano), Duke Dobing (flute) & Roger Judd (organ)

The Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains

Bryn Terfel (baritone), Alan Opie (baritone), Adrian Thompson (tenor), Jonathan Best (bass), John Mark Ainsley (tenor) & Linda Kitchen (soprano)

The Hundredth Psalm 'O be joyful in the Lord'

Toward the Unknown Region


Issued to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Vaughan Williams’s death, this collection is tantalizing: it starts with one of the best-selling discs in the the catalogue, the Serenade to Music, and includes such favourites as the Five Mystical Songs and The Hundreth Psalm. There are also two intriguing pairings: in Dona nobis pacem, RVW warns of the impending doom of WWII, in A song of thanksgiving we hear his moving response to its successful conclusion; in The shepherds of the delectable mountains we hear an early working of Bunyan’s literary masterpiece, later extensively reworked in the landmark 1942 BBC radio production of The Pilgrim’s Progress featuring Sir John Gielgud and reprised here, this time in condensed form.

“The performances are splendid, graced by such soloists as Thomas Allen (Dona nobis pacem, Five Mystical Songs) and Bryn Terfel (The Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains)..The rapturous Serenade to Music has a cast of 16 singers fit to rival those of the original recording. Anne Dawson’s top note on the word “music” is spine-tingling.” Sunday Times, 1st June 2008 ****

“Performances like these don’t come along very often; each one is an absolute winner, and with rich, atmospheric recording quality the satisfaction is of a very special quality” CD Review

“Best has a fine sense of VW as a dramatic composer, bringing tremendous urgency to Dona Nobis Pacem and real passion to the Five Mystical Songs. Best's Serenade to Music is the original, not least in matching the star quality of the singers, but also in its magical atmosphere. He equally evokes VW's sensuous side, not only in Flos Campi but also in the Magnificat with its ecstatic writing for female voices.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2008 *****

“Matthew Best and the Corydon Singers have made something of a speciality of English choral music, and this four-CD box-set showcases their beautiful sound and consummate musicality. They're mostly smaller-scale works, though Dona Nobis Pacem features, and there are some less well-known items such as the Song of Thanksgiving - which in the Corydon Singers' capable hands are just as appealing as the established favourites.” David Smith, Presto Classical, June 2014

Presto Disc of the Week

14th July 2008

Building a Library

First Choice - July 2017

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Hyperion - CDS44321/4

(CD - 4 discs)

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The Hyperion Schubert Edition - Complete Songs Volume 22

The Hyperion Schubert Edition - Complete Songs Volume 22

An 1815 Schubertiad (II)


Schubert:

Trinklied D148 (Castelli)

Morgenlied, D266 (Stolberg)

An Sie D288 (Klopstock)

Das Mädchen aus der Fremde D252 (Schiller)

Der Abend D221 (Kosegarten)

Punschlied D277 (Schiller)

An die Sonne D272 (Tiedge)

Das Leben ist ein Traum D269 (Wannovius)

Die drei Sänger D329 (Bobrik)

completed by Reinhard Van Hoorickx

Die Erscheinung (Erinnerung) D229 (Kosegarten)

Das Abendroth D236 (Kosegarten)

Genügsamkeit D143 (Schober)

An Rosa (I) D315 (Kosegarten)

An Rosa (II) D316 (Kosegarten)

Das Bild D155 (anonymous)

Furcht der Geliebten ('An Cidli') D285 (Klopstock)

Skolie D306 (Deinhardstein)

Cora an die Sonne D263 (Baumberg)

Die Sterne, D313 (Kosegarten)

Lob des Tokayers D248 (Baumberg)

Vaterlandslied D287(Klopstock)

Gebet während der Schlacht D171 (Körner)

Hermann und Thusnelda D322 (Klopstock)

Selma und Selmar D286 (Klopstock)

Lorma D327 ('Ossian')

completed by Reinhard Van Hoorickx

Cronnan D282 ('Ossian')

Hymne an den Unendlichen, D232

Das Grab D330 (Salis-Seewis)


Lorna Anderson (soprano), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo soprano), Jamie Macdougall (tenor), Simon Keenlyside (baritone), Graham Johnson (piano), Patricia Rozario (soprano), Catherine Denley (alto), John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Michael George (bass)

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Hyperion Schubert Song Edition - CDJ33022

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Bruckner - The Three Masses

Bruckner - The Three Masses


Bruckner:

Te Deum in C major, WAB 45

Mass No. 1 in D minor

Aequalis No. 1 for three trombones

Libera me, for choir, three trombones & organ, WAB 22

Aequalis No. 2 for three trombones

Mass No. 2 in E minor

for choir and wind instruments

Mass No. 3 in F minor

Psalm 150, for Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra


Joan Rodgers (soprano), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (contralto), Keith Lewis (tenor), Alastair Miles (bass), James O'Donnell (organ), Colin Sheen, Roger Brenner, Phillip Brown (trombones), Olga Hegedus (cello), Thomas Martin (double bass), Juliet Booth (soprano), Jean Rigby (mezzo soprano), John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Gwynne Howell (bass)

Corydon Orchestra, Corydon Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Matthew Best

“The F minor Mass can certainly be regarded as being among the finest music Bruckner ever created.
The intensity of religious feeling is heightened rather than diminished by the sumptuous orchestral support, and the soaring melodies and opulent harmonies are somehow purified and enriched by the devotional character of these familiar texts. Matthew Best's performance, by understating the music's abundant richness, gives tremendous point to the inner conviction of Bruckner's faith. His orchestra, sounding as if it has been playing this music all its days, plays with commendable discretion, balancing admirably with a relatively small choral body. As with everything the Corydon Singers and Best turn their hands to, it's an impeccable performance, infused with real artistry and sensitive musicianship. Enhanced by the glorious solo voices from a high-powered team this is a CD of rare depth and conviction.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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Hyperion - CDS44071/3

(CD - 3 discs)

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Michael Head: Songs

Michael Head: Songs


Head, M:

Dear delight

Oh, for a March wind

Sweet chance

Tewkesbury Road

The Estuary

Limehouse Reach

Over the rim of the moon

October Valley

The Garden Seat

Fox Gloves

The Viper

Had I a golden pound

Lean out of the window

A Piper

A green cornfield

Love’s Lament

Star Candles

The Little Road to Bethlehem

Money O!

Songs of Venice (3)

My sword for the King

You cannot dream things lovelier


Ailish Tynan (soprano), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo-soprano), Roderick Williams (baritone) & Christopher Glynn (piano)

Who is Michael Head? His name may be largely forgotten but the music here forms part of the rich seam of English song in the manner of Quilter, Gurney and Warlock. Born in 1900, he worked modestly as a singer, pianist, teacher, broadcaster and adjudicator, writing his first song (The ships of Arcady) aged 19, studying at the Royal Academy of Music, where he became a professor of piano aged 27, remaining there for the rest of his career.

At the centre of his composing life were songs, which he used to perform as a kind of one-man band, accompanying himself at the piano. Out of more than 100, here’s a choice selection: setting poets such as Walter de la Mare, John Masefield and Christina Rossetti, many of them focus on the pleasures of England—its flora and fauna, its changing seasons and lyrical landscapes.

They’re sung by three of the brightest stars in today’s vocal firmament, Ailish Tynan (making her Hyperion debut), Catherine Wyn-Rogers and Roderick Williams, accompanied by Christopher Glynn, who adds Head to his previous recordings of Reger and Brahms.

“[Wyn-Rogers] is laudable in the very sad, well-named Love's Lament...The two lustiest songs, 'Money, O!' and 'My sword for the King' are allotted to Roderick Williams, who brings bold vocalism to both...Christopher Glynn brings out the different colours in accordance with each song, from crashing chords to gurgling gruppetti, sparking little scales to vigorous outpourings or soft sweetness.” International Record Review, January 2012

“Head makes sure England’s fields are forever green, even when the mood is tinged with sadness: not for him the slightest inelegance. The apportioning of songs to soprano, mezzo and baritone gives the recital an easy pace. Williams’ flawless diction makes his the pick of the bunch.” Financial Times, 14th January 2012 ****

“as the meticulous performances by these singers...demonstrate, Head was acutely sensitive to words. There are settings of Masefield and Yeats, Hardy, Joyce and Christina Rossetti here, and in every song each phrase is perfectly balanced, its meaning directly communicated, its accompaniment supremely tactful.” The Guardian, 12th January 2012 ***

“the enterprise of Hyperion knows no bounds. Here is a disc devoted to songs by Michael Head, who is not likely to be known to many...Singers and pianists perform with conviction and style. If you can, start with 'Limehouse Reach', which has the charm and simplicity of Vaughan Williams's 'Linden Lea', and take it from there.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2012

“Head created the most inventive and sympathetic writing for voice and piano, in asymmetrical, free-flowing, artful settings of poets such as Walter de la Mare, John Masefield and Christina Rossetti. His music heightens their acute observations of the natural world, expressing their appetite for the present, fleeting moment...A revelation.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2012 ****

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Hyperion - CDA67899

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Bruckner - Mass in D minor & Te Deum

Bruckner - Mass in D minor & Te Deum


Bruckner:

Te Deum in C major, WAB 45

Mass No. 1 in D Minor


Joan Rodgers (soprano), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (alto), Keith Lewis (tenor), Alastair Miles (bass) & James O' Donnell (organ)

Corydon Singers & Corydon Orchestra, Matthew Best

“Highest honours must go to the outstanding 140-voice chorus who sing with earth-shattering conviction, utmost clarity of diction and enviable precision of ensemble and intonation … the combined strengths of this Hyperion version guarantee prime recommendation” BBC Music Magazine

“New standards of excellence … stunning” Gramophone Magazine

“A glowing culmination to another outstanding Hyperion project” The Independent

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Helios - CDH55356

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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)


Live from The Edinburgh Festival 2006

“A decisive interpretation, reinforced by a near-flawless and totally committed performance, and driven by an energy and vitality that conductors half the age of the venerable octogenarian Mackerras could only dream of emulating.The confidence and challenge intrinsic to the great symphony bounded off the page, flowed through conductor and orchestra and filled the auditorium, whose near-capacity audience was gripped. That grip remained fast for the duration: through the pulsing virility of the first movement and an amazing account of the second where Sir Charles and the SCO at once maintained a swift momentum while creating an illusion of unhurried expansiveness, crept through a stealthily-introduced scherzo and, in a wonderfully controlled flow of tension and release, exploded into a finale whose effect was as cathartic as it was climactic. This Beethoven Five was a seamlessly integrated interpretation and performance which refreshed the best known of all symphonies. That’s why it was special. This performance was suffused with the shock of the new” The Herald (Glasgow)

GGramophone Awards 2008

Finalist - Orchestral

Building a Library

First Choice - March 2014

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Hyperion - CDS44301/5

(CD - 5 discs)

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The Hyperion Schubert Edition - Complete Songs Volume 32

The Hyperion Schubert Edition - Complete Songs Volume 32

An 1816 Schubertiad


Schubert:

Der Geistertanz D494 (Matthisson)

Des Mädchens Klage D389 (Schiller)

Licht und Liebe D352 (Collin)

Beitrag zur fünfzigjährigen Jubelfeier des Herrn von Salieri D407 (Schubert)

Four songs

Zum Punsche D492 (Mayrhofer)

Ritter Toggenburg D397 (Schiller)

Vedi quanto adoro (Didone abbandonata) D510A (Metastasio)

Naturgenuss D422 (Matthisson)

An die Sonne D439 (Uz)

Entzückung D413 (Matthisson)

Das grosse Halleluja D442 (Klopstock)

Grablied auf einen Soldaten (Schubart) D454

Schlachtgesang D443 (Klopstock)

Das war ich, D174 (Korner)

Die verfehlte Stunde D409 (A W von Schlegel)

Zufriedenheit D501 (Claudius)

Der Entfernten D331 (Salis-Seewis)

Der Wanderer, D493

Gott im Ungewitter, D985

Gott der Weltschöpfer D986 (Uz)


Lynne Dawson, Christine Schäfer (sopranos), Ann Murray (mezzo soprano), John Mark Ainsley, Daniel Norman, Christoph Prégardien, Michael Schade, Toby Spence (tenors), Christopher Maltman, Stephen Varcoe (baritones), Patricia Rozario Soprano, Catherine Wyn-Rogers Mezzo (soprano), Paul Agnew, Jamie Macdougall, Philip Langridge (tenors), Simon Keenlyside, Maarten Koningsberger, Stephan Loges (baritones), Neal Davies, Michael George (basses)

The London Schubert Chorale, Stephen Layton

'As ever, illuminating words complement revelatory music-making' (BBC Music Magazine)

“Like the previous Schubertiads in the Edition, this disc mixes solo songs and partsongs, famil- iar and unfamiliar. The only really famous work here is Der Wanderer, that archetypal expression of romantic alienation whose popularity in Schubert's lifetime was eclipsed only by that of Erlkönig. Some of the partsongs – Zum Punsche, Naturgenuss and Schlachtgesang – cultivate a vein of Biedermeier heartiness that wears a bit thin today. Nor will Schubert's consciously archaic tribute to his teacher Salieri have you itching for the repeat button – though, like several other numbers, it shows the 19-year-old composer rivalling Mozart in his gift for musical mimicry. To compensate, though, there are partsongs like the sensual Der Entfernten, with its delicious languid chromaticisms, and the colourful setting of Gott im Ungewitter. The slight but charming setting of Das war ich is appealingly done by the light-voiced Daniel Norman, and Ann Murray brings her usual charisma and dramatic conviction to the pathetic Italian scena Didone Abbandonata.
Christine Schäfer is equally charismatic in the unjustly neglected Die verfehlte Stunde (recorded here for the first time), catching perfectly the song's mingled yearning and ecstasy and negotiating the mercilessly high tessitura with ease. Other happy discoveries include Schubert's virtually unknown third setting of Des Mädchens Klage, with its soaring lines, a melancholy tale of courtly love, sung by Christoph Prégardien with as much drama and variety as the music allows, and the surging Entzückung ('music for an infant Lohengrin,' as Graham Johnson puts it), for which Toby Spence has both the flexibility and the necessary touch of metal in the tone. Doubts were fleetingly raised by Lynne Dawson's slight tremulousness in Des Mädchens Klage, and by Christopher Maltman's prominent vibrato at forte and above in an otherwise involving performance of Der Wanderer.
But, these cavils apart, no complaints about the singing or the vivid accompaniments.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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Hyperion Schubert Song Edition - CDJ33032

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