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Gramophone Awards

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and Imogen Cooper are nominated for 'Artist of the Year'!

                                    Click here to vote

 

Congrats to our new CBE!

Sarah Connolly and Gerald Finley recorgnised in Queen's Birthday Honours.

Click here for more

 

Orchestral Choice

'Every detail is clear and well placed in these excellent recordings.'

BBC Music, July 2017

 

JiΕ™í BΔ›lohlávek (1946-2017)

The leading conductor passed away on June 1st, after a long-term illness. He leaves behind him a tremendous discography, including major recordings with the Czech Philharmonic and BBC Symphony Orchestras.  Click here for more.

 

Editor's Choice

'Technical perfection allied to insight'

Gramophone (June 2017)

 

Welcome to Federico Colli

Leeds Competition winner embarks on a Scarlatti series

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Editor's Choice

'A brilliant recording all around, and an important one'

Gramophone (June 2017)

 

Instrumental Choice

'This is altogether exceptional music making'

BBC Music (May. 2017)

 

Gordon Langford

We announce the death of our dear friend Gordon Langford on 18th April 2017. He was a composer,  (with thousands of fans in the Brass Band world) pianist and close friend and colleague of the founder of Chandos Records, Mr Brian Couzens. May he rest in peace.

 

Recording of the Month

'Immense and implacable power, astonishing'

BBC Music (Apr. 2017)

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Latest Reviews

“... Conductor Patrick Gallois and his Finnish band play this music with energy and even more important, without an air of condescension. They take it seriously and so turn out performances that are fun, unstuffy, but respectful of the composers’ intentions. This is a very enjoyable recreation of music from a lively time in American cultural and political history. An attractively warm yet detailed recording from Hankasalmi Church in Jyväskylä completes the package.”  ****

“... Conductor Patrick Gallois and his Finnish band play this music with energy and even more important, without an air of condescension. They take it seriously and so turn out performances that are fun, unstuffy, but respectful of the composers’ intentions. This is a very enjoyable recreation of music from a lively time in American cultural and political history. An attractively warm yet detailed recording from Hankasalmi Church in Jyväskylä completes the package.”  ****

Lee Passarella – AudiophileAudition.com – May 2011

“... Whatever the story behind the recordings, kudos to van Boer, conductor Patrick Gallois, and the adaptable musicians of the orchestra for rescuing these curiosities and bringing them to our attention. The execution is polished and enthusiastic. The engineering is top-drawer. No one will mistake anything other than the Mozart quotes for great music, but the overtures are amusing, and this release adds an important tile to the mosaic of American music.”

“... Whatever the story behind the recordings, kudos to van Boer, conductor Patrick Gallois, and the adaptable musicians of the orchestra for rescuing these curiosities and bringing them to our attention. The execution is polished and enthusiastic. The engineering is top-drawer. No one will mistake anything other than the Mozart quotes for great music, but the overtures are amusing, and this release adds an important tile to the mosaic of American music.”

Ronald E Grames – Fanfare – September 2011

“... Urgently recommended, but please explore further. Naxos has recorded a good deal of Foote’s chamber music, which was his real forte, and I cannot urge you too strongly to discover it.”

“... Urgently recommended, but please explore further. Naxos has recorded a good deal of Foote’s chamber music, which was his real forte, and I cannot urge you too strongly to discover it.”

Jerry Dubins – Fanfare – November 2009

“...These are effective and interesting pieces…”

“...These are effective and interesting pieces…”

Glyn Pursglove – MusicWeb-Internaional.com – September 2009

“American concertgoers—indeed, conductors—are largely unaware of American music before Ives, Gershwin and Copland. But composers including Horatio Parker, Amy Beach, Charles Martin Loeffler, Charles Tomlinson Griffes and John Alden Carpenter penned music that bears comparison with that of late 19th and early 20th-century Europeans. Most of these Americans were trained at least partly in Europe. But Arthur Foote (1853–1937), a Bostonian most of his life, was entirely homegrown. Still, his early tone poem Francesca da Rimini sounds like an attractive amalgam of Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms. The four Rubáiyát pieces suggest more up-to-date influences from Dvořák and Tchaikovsky; the Suite, for strings, could almost pass for Elgar. Dating from around the turn of the 20th century, these are beautifully crafted and unfailingly appealing pieces…this is a CD well worth hearing. “

“American concertgoers—indeed, conductors—are largely unaware of American music before Ives, Gershwin and Copland. But composers including Horatio Parker, Amy Beach, Charles Martin Loeffler, Charles Tomlinson Griffes and John Alden Carpenter penned music that bears comparison with that of late 19th and early 20th-century Europeans. Most of these Americans were trained at least partly in Europe. But Arthur Foote (1853–1937), a Bostonian most of his life, was entirely homegrown. Still, his early tone poem Francesca da Rimini sounds like an attractive amalgam of Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms. The four Rubáiyát pieces suggest more up-to-date influences from Dvořák and Tchaikovsky; the Suite, for strings, could almost pass for Elgar. Dating from around the turn of the 20th century, these are beautifully crafted and unfailingly appealing pieces…this is a CD well worth hearing. “

Scott Cantrell - The Dallas Morning News – August 2009

“... Although recorded at different times and in different venues, the playing on this disc is quite consistent and is yet another example of how well the Seattle Symphony does with American music. The woodwinds are strong throughout, especially in their all-important role in the Four Character Pieces. The strings are also very good in the Air and the Suite. The real yeoman work here is by Gerard Schwarz. He puts genuine love and attention into every one of these pieces and this disc will rank high amongst his American music recordings as well, even if his work in the Suite is a little uneven. Since the last recording of the Four Character Pieces was in the 1960s and that of Francesca about ten years later, there is no question of competition in this area, although the sound quality in Francesca and the Gavotte could be a little less coarse. This disk brings several essential American works back to modern recording standards and it is only to be hoped that we may someday have recordings of Foote’s other three orchestral works.”

“... Although recorded at different times and in different venues, the playing on this disc is quite consistent and is yet another example of how well the Seattle Symphony does with American music. The woodwinds are strong throughout, especially in their all-important role in the Four Character Pieces. The strings are also very good in the Air and the Suite. The real yeoman work here is by Gerard Schwarz. He puts genuine love and attention into every one of these pieces and this disc will rank high amongst his American music recordings as well, even if his work in the Suite is a little uneven. Since the last recording of the Four Character Pieces was in the 1960s and that of Francesca about ten years later, there is no question of competition in this area, although the sound quality in Francesca and the Gavotte could be a little less coarse. This disk brings several essential American works back to modern recording standards and it is only to be hoped that we may someday have recordings of Foote’s other three orchestral works.”

William Kreindler – MusicWeb-International.com – August 2009

Artistic Quality 8          Sound Quality 9

“... Arthur Foote’s music is pleasant, conservative, and often attractive. The best piece here is the 4 Character Pieces after the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, where gentle Eastern inflections and piquant splashes of color consistently captivate the ear…the performances are typically adept, as we have come to expect from Gerard Schwarz and his Seattle players, and the sonics are equally so. A pleasing bit of Americana…”

Artistic Quality 8          Sound Quality 9

“... Arthur Foote’s music is pleasant, conservative, and often attractive. The best piece here is the 4 Character Pieces after the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, where gentle Eastern inflections and piquant splashes of color consistently captivate the ear…the performances are typically adept, as we have come to expect from Gerard Schwarz and his Seattle players, and the sonics are equally so. A pleasing bit of Americana…”

David Hurwitz – ClassicsToday.com – June 2009

“...Quite apart from its very compelling intrinsic merits this disc has great value. It has no competition…this inexpensive Naxos CD is the only complete Foote anthology. It’s well worth tracking down if you have a taste for the music I have given as reference points.”

“...Quite apart from its very compelling intrinsic merits this disc has great value. It has no competition…this inexpensive Naxos CD is the only complete Foote anthology. It’s well worth tracking down if you have a taste for the music I have given as reference points.”

Rob Barnett – MusicWeb-Internaional.com – May 2009

"These are luscious, late romantic scores imbued with great beauty and often stirring melodic charm. The three overtures based on muses are all very colourful indeed with Thalia perhaps the classier in construction although the beautiful Melpomene is no less brilliant in textured orchestration. Schermerhorn's conducting is never short of atmospheric and involving, with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra evidently enjoying the music. At almost 80 minutes, this disc makes for an outstanding bargain and is really a must for lovers of late romantic music."

"These are luscious, late romantic scores imbued with great beauty and often stirring melodic charm. The three overtures based on muses are all very colourful indeed with Thalia perhaps the classier in construction although the beautiful Melpomene is no less brilliant in textured orchestration. Schermerhorn's conducting is never short of atmospheric and involving, with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra evidently enjoying the music. At almost 80 minutes, this disc makes for an outstanding bargain and is really a must for lovers of late romantic music."

Geral Fenech – ClasicalNet

"... With excellent playing, this is an extremely recommendable bargain."

"... With excellent playing, this is an extremely recommendable bargain."

Anthony Burton – BBC Music magazine – October 2002

"...If you still think of Nashville only as the home of the Grand Old Opry, you are woefully behind the times. This is a splendid orchestra - indeed, I might even despair of setting it alongside my home team the Detroit Symphony under Jarvi. The string playing is excellent, the winds and brass second to none, and Mr. Schermerhorn, who has led the orchestra for nearly 20 years, clearly has great affection for the spirit and sentiment of American music. The engineering is beyond reproach, and at the Naxos price there is simply no excuse to miss out."

"...If you still think of Nashville only as the home of the Grand Old Opry, you are woefully behind the times. This is a splendid orchestra - indeed, I might even despair of setting it alongside my home team the Detroit Symphony under Jarvi. The string playing is excellent, the winds and brass second to none, and Mr. Schermerhorn, who has led the orchestra for nearly 20 years, clearly has great affection for the spirit and sentiment of American music. The engineering is beyond reproach, and at the Naxos price there is simply no excuse to miss out."

Gimbel – American Record Guide – December 2002

“Although an American composer, George Chadwick still relates to the world of Brahms and Dvořák, if with an attractive transatlantic flavour in the manner of the New World Symphony. But these tone-poems and (symphonic) overtures, although they have engaging invention, do not always fully sustain their length. The three overtures are each names after one of the muses. Thalia (the muse of comedy) highlights Chadwick’s particular skill at writing wittily and lightheartedly; the more substantial Melpomene (the muse of tragedy) was one of the composer’s most often performed works during his lifetime, its opening almost Tristanesque, while Euterpe (the muse of music), is enjoyably colourful. The Angel of Death rather melodramatically depicts a dying sculptor’s attempt to finish his masterpiece before succumbing to death. But the longest work here is the tone-poem Aphrodite, which last just under 30 minutes. With its depictions of ‘Moonlight on the Sea’, ‘Storms’, ‘Lovers’, ‘Children Playing’ and ‘The Approach of a Great Army’, it suggests the sights the statue of the goddess might witness overlooking the sea. The Nashville Orchestra seems thoroughly inside the music and the recording is very good…” ***

“Although an American composer, George Chadwick still relates to the world of Brahms and Dvořák, if with an attractive transatlantic flavour in the manner of the New World Symphony. But these tone-poems and (symphonic) overtures, although they have engaging invention, do not always fully sustain their length. The three overtures are each names after one of the muses. Thalia (the muse of comedy) highlights Chadwick’s particular skill at writing wittily and lightheartedly; the more substantial Melpomene (the muse of tragedy) was one of the composer’s most often performed works during his lifetime, its opening almost Tristanesque, while Euterpe (the muse of music), is enjoyably colourful. The Angel of Death rather melodramatically depicts a dying sculptor’s attempt to finish his masterpiece before succumbing to death. But the longest work here is the tone-poem Aphrodite, which last just under 30 minutes. With its depictions of ‘Moonlight on the Sea’, ‘Storms’, ‘Lovers’, ‘Children Playing’ and ‘The Approach of a Great Army’, it suggests the sights the statue of the goddess might witness overlooking the sea. The Nashville Orchestra seems thoroughly inside the music and the recording is very good…” ***

The Penguin Guide – January 2009

Artistic Quality 10          Sound Quality 9

“Geoffrey Burleson deserves credit not just for digging up the unfamiliar pieces, but for bringing all of this music to such vivid life. In the Sonata, he gives Harris’ declamatory writing in the outer movements grandeur without hardening his tone, and he has more than enough digital dexterity for the same work’s scherzo, or the Toccata’s virtuoso passagework. Excellent sonics make this release the clear reference version for this repertoire, and earn it an easy recommendation.”

Artistic Quality 10          Sound Quality 9

“Geoffrey Burleson deserves credit not just for digging up the unfamiliar pieces, but for bringing all of this music to such vivid life. In the Sonata, he gives Harris’ declamatory writing in the outer movements grandeur without hardening his tone, and he has more than enough digital dexterity for the same work’s scherzo, or the Toccata’s virtuoso passagework. Excellent sonics make this release the clear reference version for this repertoire, and earn it an easy recommendation.”

David Hurwitz – ClassisToday.com – December 2014

“It is hard to believe that Roy Harris wrote 13 symphonies as well as numerous programmatic works, chamber pieces, and the nearly hour’s worth of piano music on this pioneering CD. I remember Leonard Bernstein championing some of his symphonies, but he is largely obscure to the general public, a “composer’s composer” at best. Yet as these sonatas, folkloric pastiches, variations, and dance pieces illustrate, Harris is both a great original and a highly enjoyable composer. Yes, the big pieces like the 1928 Sonata are full of massive polytonal chords and disjunct patterns, but the effect is one of majestic expansiveness and austere ecstasy. There is nothing remotely alienating or self-indulgently “modern” here: this music reaches out and grabs your imagination. Some of the Americana—‘Streets of Laredo’, ‘Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair’—is instantly recognizable, though Harris subjects these tunes to chordal variations that make them his own, much as Bach did with Lutheran hymns or Schubert with drinking songs. For me the most impressive works (inspired mostly by his wife, the pianist Johana Harris), are the more abstract ones, the sonata and suites. Without relying on American markers such as folk songs they convey an unmistakable American openness and expansiveness. Geoffrey Burleson plays them all with imposing sonority or simple charm, as required.”

“It is hard to believe that Roy Harris wrote 13 symphonies as well as numerous programmatic works, chamber pieces, and the nearly hour’s worth of piano music on this pioneering CD. I remember Leonard Bernstein championing some of his symphonies, but he is largely obscure to the general public, a “composer’s composer” at best. Yet as these sonatas, folkloric pastiches, variations, and dance pieces illustrate, Harris is both a great original and a highly enjoyable composer. Yes, the big pieces like the 1928 Sonata are full of massive polytonal chords and disjunct patterns, but the effect is one of majestic expansiveness and austere ecstasy. There is nothing remotely alienating or self-indulgently “modern” here: this music reaches out and grabs your imagination. Some of the Americana—‘Streets of Laredo’, ‘Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair’—is instantly recognizable, though Harris subjects these tunes to chordal variations that make them his own, much as Bach did with Lutheran hymns or Schubert with drinking songs. For me the most impressive works (inspired mostly by his wife, the pianist Johana Harris), are the more abstract ones, the sonata and suites. Without relying on American markers such as folk songs they convey an unmistakable American openness and expansiveness. Geoffrey Burleson plays them all with imposing sonority or simple charm, as required.”

Jack Sullivan – American Record Guide – March 2011

“...Whilst most of these works have been recorded before, it’s good to have them collected together on one disk, and although none of them can claim pretensions to be a lost masterpiece, they are more than mere chippings off the block of genius. The performances have an air of authority about them and the recording is clean and clear. The notes, if not exhaustive, are helpful. Essential for anyone investigating the Symphonies which Naxos is in the process of recording and there are works here which pianists should be investigating when seeking something piquant for their recitals.”

“...Whilst most of these works have been recorded before, it’s good to have them collected together on one disk, and although none of them can claim pretensions to be a lost masterpiece, they are more than mere chippings off the block of genius. The performances have an air of authority about them and the recording is clean and clear. The notes, if not exhaustive, are helpful. Essential for anyone investigating the Symphonies which Naxos is in the process of recording and there are works here which pianists should be investigating when seeking something piquant for their recitals.”

Bob Briggs – MusicWeb-International.com – January 2011

 “... Burleson plays everything cleanly and enthusiastically. Recommended for any fan of American music.”

 “... Burleson plays everything cleanly and enthusiastically. Recommended for any fan of American music.”

mes manheim – AllMusic.com – November 2010

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