NEWS: December 2016

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updated 1 December 2016


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

For information on future releases click here

December 1: new projects involve chamber works by two British composers, Kevin Raftery and Rob Keeley. Auditioning the pre-master audio reveals exceptionally individual and interesting work from both. The 2017 schedule is starting to take shape and promises (or threatens) to be exceptionally busy..

November 15: Two tracks of contemporary Irish music have been chosen from the Metier catalog  to promote Irish culture. Culture Ireland (the government body which is responsible for the promotion of all Irish arts abroad) are putting together 4 showcase CDs for visiting delegates to Ireland and for distribution by ambassadors and delegates abroad. The project is being co-ordinated by ‘Music from Ireland' with the Contemporary Music Centre in Dublin.   The CDs will not be for sale. The recent and ongoing work at Metier/Divine Art Records  in promoting the wealth of music being written in Ireland is recognized by two tracks being chosen for this project:  ‘Eternity is Now' by Gráinne Mulvey,  performed by soprano Elizabeth Hilliard [from Metier MSV 28551 “Sea to the West”)  and ‘Kaleidoscope' – the second movement of John Buckley's Piano Trio, performed by the Fidelio Trio. (from Metier MSV 28556 “Dancing in Daylight”)

November 4: Work is well advanced on new releases right through to May next year - our January releases (6 in all) will be available in stores and for download on January 20 - CDs available here from around mid December. We are building a new website which will also offer direct downloads - more news soon. Meanwhile the January sampler can be found here.

November 1: Please note that due to changes in our hosting server configuration (which the ISP did not tell us about)... our email addresses are not currently active - our current email addresses can be accessed on the 'about us' page - if you have addresses saved in your email software please update.

October 27: apart from the fact that my gran would have been 119 today, the news concerns pianist and composer Fumiko Miyachi (See Future Releases page) whose album is in production. She has been awarded a "Women make Music" grant by PRS for Music Foundation to support the album release and a supporting concert tour. She has also been listed for the British Composer Awards - Brass Band/Wind Band category, for the composition Au79, which is on the forthcoming album.

October 22: A new recording is being made by pianist Andrew Wright. 'The Operatic Pianist, volume 2' presents transcriptions by several composers of opera themes and fantasies, most are first recordings. This will be a delightful sequel to Andrew's first Operatic Pianist CD (dda 25113) and wil be scheduled for release in late spring or early summer 2017.

October 16: Preliminary announcement of more new recordings to be released early to mid 2017: The accomplished virtuoso pianist Barbara Karaskiewicz whose CD of music by Roman Statkowski remains a constant player in our shop, has recorded an album of works by her countryman Karol Szymanowski. This excellent rendition will add to our imressive catalog of works by the Polish composer, including the recordings by Sinae Lee, Raymond Clarke, Alexander Kostritsa and Alicja Fiderkiewicz. Also new on the project list is a stunning album of music by David Lumsdaine and Nicola LeFanu. This is peformed by Gemini, an ensemble wtih which both compsoers (who are also husband and wife) with soprano Sarah Leaonard and pianist Aleksander Szram. For organ fans, we have a recording of the sublime Organ Symphony No. 5 by Andreas Willscher - to be released in March.

October 14: Digital buyers please note that as from December 1, our recordings will not be available for download through Classics Online. CoL will after that date supply Naxos-owned titles only, and all other labels are being excluded. We strongly recommend obtaining digital recordings through specialist sites such as, qobuz or primephonic, though the full catalog can be found at Amazon and iTunes, and for streaming at Apple, Spotify, Naxos Music Library and almost all other suppliers.

October 12: First buyers of the new Matthews single (see below) are full of praise - " a fantastic pound's worth" said one customer - and it is - normally an 11-minute track would retail for three times as much. We do have to apologise for any difficulties in placing orders last week - BOTH of our shopping cart platforms decided to break down on the same day that we released the single. Many hours were spent chasing the support teams at Miva and ShopSite!. All seems to be fully functional now. We have added PayPal Express Checkout to the UK store; this is very quick if you have a PayPal account, but can also be used to pay by any credit or debit card. Payment by Worldpay remains an option but that system no longer sends an automatic receipt.

October 12: Two new recording projects have just been confirmed, so look out for more detail in due course. First, pianist Alfonso Soldano, whose pioneering disc of Bortkiewicz piano music is released this Friday, is recording an album of music by Castelnuovo-Tedesco. The Italian composer is know for only a very few works, but was quite prolific and this CD will introduce first recordings of several of his fine piano works. For the fan of art-song, a special treat will be an album of songs by the English composer Betty Roe. another composer who has not had the recognition she deserves, though very well esteemed in English song circles. Her songs range from serious to wacky and are very entertaining and well written. A host of top soloists including soprano Sarah Leonard.

October 4: NEW WORLD PREMIERE SINGLE RELEASE. In advance of a new album by leading violinist Madeleine Mitchell to be released next year, we are making an advance release of one track as a digital-only single - the world premiere recording of David Matthews' "Romanza". This will be available from our online store on October 7 and from all other dealers such as Amazon and iTunes from January 20.

September 26: AUDIO SAMPLES: Following a recent server update, links to the old server no longer work. These means that a number of audio sample links for older (pre-2009) recordings are not live. We are working to correct these as quickly as possible.

September 24: Now available at the Online stores, are our next exciting batch of releases, which you won't find in dealers until mid November. See the Latest Releases below

September 20: CHANGE OF ADDRESS (UK). As from 1 October our UK Registered Office will be located at our accountants - 176-178 Pontefract Road, Cudworth, Barnsley, S72 8BE. We also have a private address for use by our musicians (advised on request). The UK phone number is now 0203 239 9088, please note this comes to a skype voicemail in our USA office - calls will be charged as if made to London. As our 'real' office runs five hours behind the UK we can answer very few calls immediately - and ONLY calls with a message will be returned. Email is a better method of getting in touch unless you want to place a special order etc.

September 2: One of the star performers on recent album 'Miniaturised Concertos' is pianist/composer Fumiko Miyachi, a brilliant young musician with a sparking future ahead, making her recording debit alongside felow pianist/producer Kate Halsall. We've just signed Fumiko for another debut album, this time of her own works; both piano solo and with various accompaniments. We are also promised a new album from Kate in the near future, with new music for an old instrument (the viol) , which sounds fascinating.

August 30: (see future releases section below) Three fabulous new albums now available here (not available in stores or Amazon/iTunes until 14 October - including superb Romantic piano music, stunning modern vocal works, and a genuine Mozart world premiere! We welcome to the family of Divine Artists soprano Elizabeth Hillard, conductor Santiago Mantas and pianist Alfonso Soldano.

August 26: New projects just signed up include contemporary chamber music from American composer Joshua Fineberg (and whose spectral works were included on MSV 28524) under the name of 'Sonic Fictions' ; and an album of string quartets and other works by Liz Johnson, a British composer who will find much praise for these striking works.

August 3: Despite our prices and delivery times being better on the whole, the majority of customers seem to buy their CDs from Amazon. We are pleased to announce that we have now agreed to provide our catalogue for streaming through Amazon Prime, so subscribers will have access to almost 450 albums-not sure exactly when this goes live but probably around October. In addition we are starting work on a new website, which will have more efficient and user friendly layout and ordering, and will also permit purchase of download audio direct from us.

August 1: The new album 'From the Old World to the New World - music by Philip Henderson - will be available soon. It contains a host of different musical styles reflecting the true story behind this album. We have left our usual comfort zone and will be releasing one of the tracks, a beautiful vocal ballad called 'New York, Sing Me' as a pop single in November. New projects on the classical front include a double disc set of English song, chamber music from Lydia Kakabadse, whose recent choral CD is getting much praise, new music for piano performed by Fumiko Miyashi and much more.

July 14: New projects include a disc of music for piccolo, co-produced with Bavarian Radio and featuring the wonderfully talented Natalie Schwaabe, the second volume of Anthony Goldstone's "The Piano at the Ballet" -this time with an emphasis on "The French Connection" and antoehr welcome album from The Fidelio Trio, this time devoted to the music for piano trio by Rhona Clarke. Meanwhile the September 2016 sampler is available for download - find the link on the Home page - and those two CDs will be available for pre-release purchase in early August.

June 14: Fantastically good reviews continue to stream in for the recent releases - check them out on the home page or CD info pages: you can receive updates on all new reviews and news by friending us on Facebook and subscribing to our YouTube Channel. Meanwhile, new projects now confirmed include a fourth disc of organ music from the ever-inspired Carson Cooman, and many more in process.

June 4: We are looking forward to a very busy time with a record number of projects in the pipeline. Just confirmed are a disc of contemporary vocal music from Ireland, wind sonatas from Peter Hope (composer of one of the long running BBCTV News themes), and a disc of chamber music by Jim Parker - beautiful, wonderful truly 'light classical' music from the composer of the music for Midsomer Murders and many other TV and film productions.

May 28: The last week spent in Munich at the annual sales meetings with our worldwide distributors, and many new developments and opportunities.. and several new projects about to begin - including a fine collection of English music from pianist Elspeth Wyllie, the newest Divine Artist, and instrumentalists (as ever, see the New Releases page).

May 15: Our three July release are all now available to buy (CD only) here now - see details in the Latest Releases section below. Be the first to own these new recordings of music from the 19th to 21st centuries - nearly all first recordings. We are also honored to welcome to our family, Vyacheslav Artyomov, the greatest composer in Russia today, with two wonderful recordings of symphonies and other orchestral works including one CD conducted by the legendary Vladimir Ashkenazy. You can check these out in our Sampler.

May 4: New projects now confirmed (see Future Releases) include two excellent CDs by pianist Natalia Andreeva, one of Sonatas (Beethoven, Scriabin and Prokoviev) and one of Preludes and Fugues (Bach, Liszt, Shostakovich, Franck) each CD with a bonus work as well. Piano music also from Alfonso Soldano, who we welcome to our family of artists, with an awesome disc of music by Sergei Bortkiewicz. Not to be missed, this composer is a natural successor to the Big Romantic tradition of Tchaikovsky and 'parallel' to Rachmaninov. Our new project list is growing more quickly than ever, so we don't always have time to add a note here - bookmark the Future CDs page for updates or better still subscribe to our customer newsletter, which means you get not onlynews but discounts!

April 12: The May new release sampler and info doc is now available - download

April 10: As ever we like to offer our customer new releases before they appear in stores: now ready to ship are two excellent and very different albums: A new approach to compositions for two pianos (with other instruments) in Miniaturised Concertos (MSV 77205) and in more tradtional form but still brand new music, the exquisite sacred choral works of Lydia Kakabadse (DDA 25135)

April 1: Congratulations to the wonderful Fidelio Trio, which has been shortlisted for this year's Royal Philharmonic Society Ensemble Award!

March 17: Happy 70th birthday to Michael Finnissy!

March 16: You can now be among the first to own our two latest releases, of very different style: Now available (and not in stores until April/May) are the exquisite new 2-CD set containing eight of Mozart's 18 Piano Sonatas played by Diana Boyle (DDA 21227), and the 12th album in our Michael Finnissy series - this one ('Singular Voices') of vocal music featuring the amazing voice of Clare Lesser (MSV 28557)

March 16: Peter Maxwell Davies, longtime Master of the Queen's Musick and one of the most honored and respected composers of the last 50 years, has died, aged 81. Another great loss to the music world, we are sorry to note his passing but glad that his amazing contribution to music will be a permanent legacy.

March 16: The eagerly awaited double CD of Mozart piano sonatas, originally scheduled for release in April, has been put back to May, due simply to delay in delivery of the CDs from the production facility. Meanwhile we are delighted to confirm another batch of new projects, including an album of music by Kevin Raftery and a special disc of music for clarinet and small orchestra which is to benefit Parkinsons UK, a major charity in the field of degeneratuive disease research and cure. See the Future Release page for info on these and many more superb recordings 'in progress'

March 7: The January release 'Chronological Chopin' is being given 'wow' reviews everywhere. A new light on Chopin's piano works which has the critics excited... and also the leading German painter, Ferry Ahrlé, who has been inspired by the interpretations of pianist Burkard Schliessmann to create four paintings in his 'Painted Music' series. Visit his site at The new paintings are not yet shown there but presumably will be included there soon. You can preview them in miniature on the Schliessmann profile page.

March 1: This page is not updated often except for the new releases and major news, but follow us on facebook and twitter for regular news and posts, and visit our YouTube channel.

February 11: Five new recording projects have been accepted, with some wonderful music to look forward to - see details on the Future Releases page soon - from music for wind instruments by both W A Mozart and Peter Hope, chamber and vocal music from Roy Heaton Smith, and on the new-music side, a disc of vocal works by Schoenberg and Bodley and chamber/instrumental (and very avant-garde) music from James Weeks. Many more projects are in hand so watch this space..

January 27: For the early-bird, you can now obtain all of our February and March releases for immediate delivery - only on the Divine Art webstore. A really super batch of music and radio drama albums - see 'New Releases' for details.

January 4: If you order CDs direct from our UK or USA online store, you will get a discount voucher towards future purchases. The voucher is also included in our customer Newsletters,so subscribe now to get this and news of new releases. Click 'newsletter' in the menu box.

Composer Anniversary Specials: From time to time we will offer discounts to celebrate composer anniversaries. First off is Henri Dutilleux - who would be 100 in January. Find CDs with his Sonatine for Flute and Piano at 20% off- check the Composer Index. Discount price available from 1 January to 30 June!

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 the Future CDs 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)

SPECIAL DIGITAL SINGLE (available as mp3 download)
As a prelude to her forthcoming album we have rushed out the world premiere recording of Madeleine Mitchell's lovely performance of Romanza, Op. 119a, by David Matthews. With pianist Nigel Clayton, out now here. Only the high quality mp3 is available at present, the HD studio quality audio will folloqw and the track will also be available from iTunes, Amazon and all other major dealers in January.

NOVEMBER 2016 (available here now on CD)
A fantastic set of new releases - click the cat numbers for details - wonderfully light and joyous music for wind instruments from Peter Hope (DDA 25137); contemporary vocal music from Ireland (MSV 28558) and two gigantic symphonic masterpieces from Vyacheslav Artyomov (DDA 25143, DDA 25144).Also you can now download the star track New York, Sing Me (from DDA25141 From the Old World to the New World) as a digital single (DDS 29004).

Contemporary music can be, we know, challenging, difficult, and it's tricky at times to accept only truly individual and inspied work, not music which is poorly constructed and self indulgent.. Our Metier release this month is truly brilliant and out of this world, not only great music but a ravishing voice. Elizabeth Hilliard shines in 'Sea to the West' (MSV 28551). In more traditional style but still a rarity is the Romantic piano music of Sergei Bortkiewicz, for too long overshadowed by Rachmaninov. Wonderfully played by Alfonso Soldano, Italian pianist and musicologist.(DDA 25142). Last but not least, a genuine world premiere of a work by Mozart; at least, of the complete final version as written by the composer and avoiding major eerrors in the published score. The two great Wind Serenades are played by the European Union Chamber Orchestra conducted by Santiago Mantas (DDA 25136).

Two very different new albums this month - for the new music afficionados, a remarkable CD from composer James Weeks, ensemble and instrumental music ('Signs of Occupation' - MSV 28559) and on the other side of the musical spectrum, a fine CD from Philip Henderson, best known for his stage musicals and music for films. A concept album which includes music in lighter vein ranging from a string ensemble to Broadway ('From the Old World to the New World' - DDA 25141)

JULY 2016
Wonderful new music in traditional styles: A delightful double album of organ music by Carson Cooman, probably America's foremost young composer for the instrument (and a fantastic composer of orchestral and chamber music too.) 'Preludio' (DDA 21229) presents works inspired by and written in the style of the early baroque and renaissance periods, so will delight early music fans too. From Britain, we celebrate the life and work of composer Roy Heaton Smith, with a double set of chamber and vocal music: this is a very fine composer who did not attract during his lifetime the credit or fame he deserved. 'Opening the Door.. to the Music of Roy Heaton Smith is on DDA 21228. A very important recording is the second in our Great Violins series (ATH 23205), featuring the beloved 'Pearl' (a 1647 Niccolo Amati) of the legendary Norwegian violinist Ole Bull: a reconstruction of one of his famed Salon Concerts from the turn of the 20th century with music by Mozart, Grieg, and several others including Bull himself.

APRIL 2016
A feast of new recordings - in very diverse styles! Contemporary music for voice by Michael Finnissy (MSV 28557) and for two pianos (various composers - MSV 77205); sacred choral music by Lydia Kakabadse (DDA 25135) and superb Mozart piano sonatas from Diana Boyle (DDA 21227)

Four fantastic recordings you can now obtain before everyone else! Check out these CDs by clicking the catalog numbers or download the sampler ZIP file!. Sonnets Airs and Dances by Philip Wood (dda 25131), Psallite (exquisite choral music), by Cor Cantiamo (dda 25133), Hohler Fels (new music for flute) by Karin de Fleyt (msv 28555) and Dancing in Daylight - piano trios by Irish composers (msv 28556).

Also for fans of vintage radio, the long awaited re-issue of our Theatre Royal series - nine 2-CD sets with 39 episodes of the classics series from 1952 - the only radio series in which Lord Olivier starred. Buy each volume or purchase the entire set at 25% off! Check it out here

A special showcase for award winning Swedish composer Jonathan Östlund with a 2CD set of chamber, vocal and instrumental music - band newm very accessible and great fun at times... 'Lunaris' is all about the magic of night - check it out (dda21226).
A very special new recording is Burkard Schliessmann's 'Chronological Chopin' - a triple SACD luxury set - a great gift, this will be a collector's edition - details here: ddc25752)

For early music fans, a treat - 16th and 17th century music (much if it very rarely heard) in a superb recital played on a new clavichord built to 17th century specificatons - possibly the only genuine French-style clavichord now in existence.. with leading early music specialist Terence Charlston (dda 25134) - and also modern but very accessible orchestral music from Carson Cooman (Symphony No. 4 and other works) in a mini-album at midprice (ddv 24161)

JUNE 2015
Groundbreaking, stunning visually as well as musically - the new percussion DVD from Mathias Reumert (MSVDX102): The Complete solo piano music of Galina Ustvolskaya performed by Natalia Andreeva is the latest super instalment of our Russian Piano Music series (DDA 25130); piano music of a more traditional Romantic kind, and wonderful it is, from the pen of Roman Statkowski, played by Polish pianist Barbara Karaskiewicz (DDA 25129) [If you like Chopin you will love Statkowski]; from Metier a very unusual and fascinating album of music for clarinet by American composers, played by Ian Mitchell with various collaborators (MSV 28553) and a splendid orchestral disc of music by Fortmann, Nelson and Lieuwen and Merlin Patterson's orchestration of Grainger's Lincolnshire Posy.. All world premieres, nothing shocking or avant garde but brillaint and very varied music! (MSV 28554)

MAY 2015 another Wow disc is the third volume of the Schubert Unauthorised Piano Duos from Goldstone and Clemmow: two major world premieres and the first recording of the now-completed Unifinished Symphony (dda 25125). From the 21st century we have challenging, exciting and vibrant string quartets from four British composers (New Sounds from Manchester, msv 28546) and much gentler, more traditionally scoredl Romantically-leaning piano and chamber music from Luke Whitlock.

APRIL 2015 (available in stores May)
Wow.. 2015 has seen a mass of baroque music from us.... more classical/romantic/contemporary material in the summer and autumn. We have this month two great albums, both 2CD sets at medium price - so great bargains too; first, the third (and final) instalment of Gilbert Rowland's Handel series, completing the entire set of Harpsichord Suites, on dda 21225. And we start a new series of historical and musical importance and possibly our biggest venture to date: Volume One of 'The Great Violins', a new series which will feature many of the world's most revered and valuable instruments, some of which have not been played for 100 years and have been allowed out of their museums especially for this project. Violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved plays the 24 solo Fantasies by Telemann on an Andrea Amati violin made in 1570...... for this series we have re-launched the Athene label. Supported by the Royal Academy of Music, London, the Library of Congress, Washington DC, and many other major institutions, the series continues with Bach on the renowned 'Joachim' Stradivari (1698). Meanwhile vol. 1 is on ath 23203

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.