NEWS: February 2015

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updated 25 February 2015



LATEST NEWS (to see last 15 months news items go to the archivepage)

For information on future releases click here

February 25: You can now be the first to obtain our three super new releases, which won't be in the shops or online dealers until April. Romantic flute music, Bach, and mountain dulcimer music: see the Latest Releases below or click link above.

February 24: On a positive note, we are very happy to announce the signing of another superb pianist. Natalia Andreeva, a Russian pianist working in Australia, will provide the next volume of our famed Russian Piano Music series, with a recording of the complete piano music (six Sonatas, and a set of 12 Preludes) by Galina Ustvolskaya. We expect to release this in the fall of this year - more news as it comes on the Future Releases page.

February 24: Barry Irving RIP
A great shock and sadness prevails as we learn that Barry Irving, founder and publisher of International Record Review, by far the best of the UK music mags, died yesterday (23 February) at the age of 69. A true gentleman and a good friend, Barry will be very badly missed.

February 16: JOHN McCABE Born April 21, 1939; Died February 13, 2015
Another of the UK's leading and most respected composers and pianists has passed. No doubt many tributes and obituaries will be published so we'll just say 'farewell John and thanks for your inspired art'. FInd a whole album of McCabe's piano music on MSVCD92071, two violin works on MSVCD92029 and his Fantasy on a Thene of Liszt, which was chosen as part of the Modern British Piano Music vol.1i (MSVCD92004)

February 9: The sampler for April is now available, check out the next set of releases in advance. The sampler is a Zip file containing a pdf booklet and a sample mp3 audio file from each album. Click here to download.

February 6: We just signed up two new recordings: American 20th century clarinet works of distinction played by Ian Mitchell, and an album of piano music by Polish composer Roman Statkowski (incredible, awesome, brilliant, post-Chopin Romantic..) performed by Barbara Karaskiewicz. See the Future CDs page!

February 4: Three new releases, available here now, in the shops (and online suppliers such as Amazon and ArkivMusic in early March). Super music for organ, a festival of British music for flute and piano including several Sonatas by major composers, and new lyrical songs and chamber music. See Latest Releases for details.

January 30: After a pause of a year or so the Russian Piano Music series will be growing soon, with a 2-CD set of music by Galina Ustvolskaya, whose very dense and dramatic music is finding a rapdily growing audience. The 2CD set includes all her piano works including six Sonatas and several Preludes. The performer, newly signed to Divine Art, is Russian pianist Natalia Andreeva, who has been working with Ustvolskaya's husband and family and can claim to be the most definitive interpreter of this powerful repertoire. Also new to the Divine Artists roster is Polish pianist Barbara Karasciewicz, who has a stunning album of music by Roman Statkowski. This music will appeal to all - it's relatively traditional, 'Romantic' and shows the composer as a very worthy successor to Chopin! Both of these new piano recordings should be released during 2015.

The third volume of 'Schubert Unauthorised Piano Duos' from Goldstone and Clemmow will appear in the summer: this includes two of Schubert's most loved works in new guise: The 'Death and the Maiden' quartet, arranged by Robert Franz, and a fabulous COMPLETE Symphony No. 8 (previously known as the 'Unfinished'). For lovers of early music, May sees the third and final volume of the Handel Harpsichord Suites recorded by Gilbert Rowland and the first instalment of the incredible Great Violins series. Possibly our largest project and most important for music and instrument historians.

We've also just signed up a new recording of contemporary American music for clarinet, and are talking to an Ameican choir about a remarkable choral disc..more details on the Future Releases page soon.

January 5: The great yet still underrated Scottish composer Erik Chisholm died 50 years ago in June, 1965 at the age of only 61. Called 'The Scottish Bartok" for his amazing use of traditional folk tunes and pibroch airs, he is highly appreciated by musicians but not so much (yet) by music fans. A great way to discover this composer is through our seven volumes of his piano music - wonderfully played by Murray McLachlan. Buy the whole set with a 25% discount! (Set MW6)

December 30: The next batch of new releases is ready: in the stores on 2 February, they can be bought here now.. see 'Latest Releases'

December 13: WEBSITE REDESIGN AND NEW CUSTOMER DISCOUNTS. We are gradually redesigning the website and as it's all being done inhouse, it will take a while - hopefully it will all remain operational but please tell us about any broken links or non-working pages.

For 2015 all subscribers to our newsletter (and new online customers) will be offered discounts on webstore purchases, of 20% off all orders over £25 (UK store) or $40 (US store). Just click on 'newsletter' in the menu panel to subscribe.

December 3: CONGRATULATIONS to Ed Hughes, who was the winner of the 2014 British Composer Award in the Liturgical category for his new work Chaconne for Jonathan Harvey. The award ceremony was recorded and will be available on BBC iplayer from Sunday. We are delighted for Ed whose two albums for Metier are both remarkable and brilliant, and need to find more buyers who love modern works of diversity and depth. Check them out and read reviews: 'Dark Formations' (Metier MSV 28530) which has chamber, piano and choral music and the superb one-act opera 'When the Flame Dies' (Metier MSV 77203 DVD)

November 21: We've had some fabulous reviews for recent releases: including a 10/10 from Classics Today for the set of Eric Craven's piano sonatas (msv 28544). We enjoyed a quick trip to Montreal last month for the official launch of the Armenian Music CD (dda 25075), which was a superb evening. We just heard that the CD program will be performed live to commemorate the centenary of the Armenian genocide, at Carnegie Hall on Friday, March 20, 2015... An important event - if you are near New York, save the date.

Our e-newsletter is published every 2 or 3 months, with details of new releases.  This will contain discount vouchers so to avoid the newsletter ending up in your spam folder, make sure that you clear mail from us and add our address to your "whitelist".  To subscribe to the newsletter, please click here

FUTURE RELEASES:   See below for details - we have some delights in store for you and see the Forthcoming Page.

For quick reference, you can now download our catalogues in pdf format or browse the listings.

LATEST RELEASES (click on catalogue number for more information and to order)

MARCH 2015 (available in stores April)
A fantastic new recording of well known baroque masterpieces (yes we specialize in rarities but if a new recording of popular music is so good we just have to produce it!): Four of J S Bach's sublime Keyboard Concertos played by Lucia Micallef with the European Union Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Brian Schembri (dda 25128). Two of the works also appeared on Peter Seivewright's CD (dda 25030), also very fine but the two interpretations are quite different: get both and see! More music for flute and piano, this time from the duo Cantilena (Odinn Baldvinsson and Patricia Romero), some 'staples' from the French Romantic school and two super and quite rare pieces.'Cantilena II' is on dda25126. The only series we manage which is not classical or jazz is the DanSing label of Dan Evans, renowned around the UK and USA as a leading player of the mountain dulcimer. His new CD has already attracted brilliant reviews and is available here (dsm 7) at special price.

FEBRUARY 2015 (available in stores March)
American composer Carson Cooman is also a celebrated concert organist and he brings something special to his compositions for the instrument. Following the 2014 release 'Litany' ("a benchmark recording" - Classical Music Sentinel) Erik Simmons once again is the performer at the Marcussen organ at Laurenskerk, Rotterdam in a program including Cooman's nine Preludes and Fugues and the Organ Symphony (dda25127). From England and a fine addition to our series of new lyrical music we have songs and chamber music by Nicholas Marshall. Anyone wanting something fresh but not modernist will love this (msv 28552). And a major set of music for flute and piano 'From the British Isles' by the renowned duo of Kenneth Smith and Paul Rhodes on a midprice 2CD set. Luxury packaging and a fine program makes this a potential collector's item. The duo's seventh Divine Art disc and exceptional in every respect (dda 21223).

JANUARY 2015 (available in stores February)
A BEETHOVEN WORLD PREMIERE: how cool is that? Maybe not all in Beethoven's own hand, maybe by a close colleague: what is certain is that Beethoven commissioned a chamber version of the Eroica Symphony to be published alongside the orchestral version. An unknown arranger produced a piano quartet, published in 1807 which has remained unrecorded until now. Magnificent, and also the climax to the Beethoven Explored Series (msvcd2008). (note: Ferdinand Ries produced another version 50 years later which has been recorded.. in our opinion his version is inferior! NEW MUSIC: Two superb discs from Metier: the first of chamber and piano works by David Gorton, including his Second Cello Sonata (msv28550) and another briilliant performance by Mary Dullea, this time of contemporary piano works by seven Irish composers (msv28549). We round off the month with a wonderful disc of solo harpsichord music by Francois Couperin and contemporary English composer Graham Lynch. There is not very much new harpsichord music around - especially not of quality - and Lynch is one of the few to achieve great things in this genre.

NOVEMBER 2014 (available in stores January)
We will be issuing a lot of baroque music over the next year and we start with Handel's Recorder (dda25124) which includes a rarity - the chamber arrangement of the Fireworks Music: performed along with four of Handel's great sonatas by leading Australian early music specialists.
Then we have a program of Bach keyboard works played by the remarkable German pianist Burkard Schliessmann, a distinctive and intriguing interpretative style reveals hidden aspects and expression in the music of Bach. Also special in that this is a five-channel surround sound SACD, but fully compatible with 'normal' CD players too. Luxury packaging and stunning sound.

OCTOBER 2014 (available in stores November)
Two new recordings: first a superb 'concept album' - called 'Three Generations of Mazurkas' it tracks the evolution, as a keyboard work, of the Polish folk dance from the very short and simple form as composed by Maria Szymanowska, through its development as a Romantic genre in the hands of first Chopin and then Szymanowski (dda 25123). Performed by Alexander Kostritsa, a young Russian pianist with a wonderful career ahead: a professional concert pianist and former Music Professor said: "I loved the Mazurka recording - I really like his playing".
Secondly: an album of impressionist orchestral music by David Ellis, also well known as a conductor and record producer (and leading light at the BBC for may years). This shows that the art of musical picture painting has not been lost. 'Concert Music' is on dda 25119.

For the fan of more well -trodden paths, we have re-issued three popular live concert recordings made for Dunelm by Polish pianist Alicja Fiderkiewicz, by 'public demand'. Schumann (ddv 24158); Frank, Chopin and Hindemith (ddv 24159) and Chopin/Szymanowski (ddv 24160) are all at midprice and excellent interpretations.

AUGUST 2014 (available in stores October)
This month we have three fabulous disc of more traditional (or traditionally-written) music: Our series of Carson Cooman recordings continues with an album of exquisite pastoral and lyrical music for string orchestra: "In Beauty Walking" on dda 25117. From Russian Romanticism, dramatic and exotic music from Rimsky-Korsakov (dda 25118) while a wonderful collection of late 17th- and early 18th- century harpsichord works, some well known and some rarities well worth hearing, on dda 25122

JULY 2014(available in stores September)
Three splendid new Metier titles: from the more traditional lyrical English school: 'Pandora's Last Gift' is a disc of chamber music by Christopher Wright by a handpicked group of leading instrumentalists from northern England (msv 28547); we are delighted to have more of the fascinating music of Eric Craven - three piano sonatas exceptionally well performed by Mary Dullea (msv 28544) and Mary returns with violinist Darragh Morgan in a disc of violin and piano music by Michael Finnissy (msv 28545)

MAY 2014 (available in stores July)
We return to the world of contemporary music at both extremes with a new disc of lyrical and post-romantic music (17 songs and a string quartet) from David Dubery: "Observations" MSV 28548. And in the world of sonic art and audio collage (and other extended techniques) a quite fascinating disc of new music for flute and electronics, which is performed by top Dutch flautist Jos Zwaanenburg - 'Grist' is on MSV 28542.

MARCH 2014 (available in stores May)
No challenging avant garde issues this month - plenty to come for the New Music connoisseurs soon. Clcik the catalog number for full detials, audio sample and to buy online. First we have a super disc of music for Cello and Piano from Armenia. Folk tune arrangments and formal works which are equal in quality and listening pleasure to many well loved works. Heather Tuach (cello) and Patil Harboyan (piano) on dda 25075. A wonderful disc of music for countertenors and recorders from the 17th to20th century, by composers as diverse as Handel and Michael Tippett, is not only a geat CD but is also a tribute to the man who re-introduced the countertenor voice to the 20th century. 'Remembering Alfred Deller' - dda 25114 Third is a fantastic disc of baroque gems rediscovered - the long awaited recording of the Accompanied Keyboard Sonatas by John Garth performed by Gary Cooper and mebers of the Avison Ensemble (dda 25115). This is a 2 CD set for the price of 1 CD and is the sequel to our best selling album - the Garth Cello Concertos.

FEBRUARY 2014(available in stores March)
Three very different discs: From the contemporary orchestral field, we have the premiere recording of two fine Violin Concertos by Maltese composer Karl Fiorini on msv 28533. New music but of an altogether traditional nature comes from American composer Carson Cooman, organist at Harvard College. This new disc of organ music is gorgeous, with varied works of tonal and Romantic nature and most in the pastoral style, beautifully crafted and played superbly by Erik Simmons - dda 25116. And thirdly a fabulous new CD of piano transcriptions of operatic music - Andrew Wright (who also wrote three of the transcriptions) is 'The Operatic Pianist' on dda 25113.