NEWS: November 2015

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updated 24 November, 2015


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

For information on future releases click here

November 24: The critics panel of Fanfare magazine have published their 'Want Lists' - their five best CDs of the year. The Schubert Unauthorised Piano Duos, vol. 3, from Goldstone and Clemmow (dda25125) didn't quite make the cut but received Martin Anderson's 'most honorable mention'. Similarly, missing out only because of the 5-album limit on the lists, was Burkard Schliessmann's Bach recital (ddc25751) "Masterly and magnificently performed". We know how fierce competition is so congratulations to Anthony Goldstone, Caroline Clemmow and Burkard Schliessmann. But we did make the top five for critic Peter Burwasser who included 'Voix Voilées', the spectral piano recital by Marilyn Nonken (msv28524) who Burwasser describes rightly as 'ever-amazing'.

November 15: The two November releases are also now available on iTunes and all other major digital platforms. See the info pages for 25134 Mersenne's Clavichord and 24161 Liminal for the iTunes link.

November 1: Look out for news of many new releases from early music through the classical era to the modern day - more details to be posted here soon! Meanwhile our January releases can now be pre-ordered - delivery immediate in USA/Canada, by mid December elsewhere. Go to the online store or CD info page for DDC 25752 and DDA 21226.

You can also download the January sampler - info and sample tracks from the home page or here

October 18: Our Michael Finnissy series continues with an album of vocal music with clarinet and piano. Finnissy's individual voice naturally shines through in his treatment of texts, wonderfully executed by Clare Lesser (soprano), Carl Rosman (clarinet) and David Lesser (piano) - to be released around April 2016.

October 14: Congratulations to pianist Peter Seivewright on his appointment as Visiting Professor of Pianoforte at Ningbo University, Ningbo, China.

October 11: On October 27 (Tuesday) at 7:30 pm, the Compass Music and Arts Foundation, a non-profit which supports the educational and community work at Brandon's Compass Centre, will hold an evening to thank its members for their support and also to canvass for new members and sponsors. We are delighted to say that acclaimed violinist Madeleine Mitchell will be taking time off her US lecture tour to be with us and encourage further support, and give an informal talk on her Violin Songs project. There is no fee - members are urged to bring guests who might become Friends of the Foundation and help its valuable work.

September 26: LAUNCH CONCERT AT RCM: Our new CD of clavichord music (dda25134) is to be officially launched at a concert at the Royal College of London Museum of Music at 6 pm on December 11. Performer Terence Charlston will be joined by leading British clavichord maker Peter Bavington, who will talk about his reconstruction of the clavichord designed by Marin Mersenne in the 1630s The concert is free but tickets are required - click here for details

September 17: Now confirmed is a new 2CD set of Mozart piano sonatas performed by Diana Boyle. Her previous recordings (including two Bach discs for our Metier label) have been very highly praised and these performances do truly bring a new and exquisite quality to these masterpieces.

September 6: For fans of early music (we hope you are enjoying our several recent releases of 16th-18th century music!) a delight in store will be an album of works for viola da gamba played by Miriam Morris, the Australian early-music specialist and scholar, who also appeared in our CD "Handel's Recorder". The new double album will be a unique survey of early works in the form of Prelude and is scheduled to appear in the first month or two of 2016.

September 2: BE THE FIRST to obtain our two new releases which will not be in the shops and Amazon until early November. Order now for delivery in early October (immediately in USA). We have music by Carson Cooman including his awesome Fourth Symphony (DDV 24161) and a unqiue (truly) album of early keyboard music from early-music specialist Terence Charlston. (DDA 25134).
Other new projects now under way include a 2-CD set of piano sonatas by Mozart, and a disc of quite exquisite songs and chamber music by British composer Philip Wood - see the Future Releases page for a little more information.

August 22: For those within reach of mid Vermont, we are delighted to announce a concert by a top Divine Art musician at our Brandon location. On September 26, we welcome 'Monsieur 100,000 volts' pianist Andreas Boyde who will perform a recital incluidng Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and Mussorgky's Pictures at an Exhibition (and more) at Brandon Music Cafe. As usual for the Cafe series, pre concert dinners will also be available - but BOOK EARLY as seats are very limited!

August 6: Do check out our YouTube channel (divineartrecords) which has longer samples than we can offer on this site: please remember to 'like' any item that appeals.... extracts from the September and November releases are avaialble to browse.

August 6: New projects in hand (and will appear on the future releases page soon) include a stunning triple-SACD set of piano music by Chopin, performed by Burkard Schliessmann, and an album of modern Piano Trios by Irish composers, played by the Fidelio Trio. More details soon..

July 27: Busy with the November releases which include a fantastic new Symphony from Carson Cooman and a fascinating program of early music played on a unique and previously unrecorded instrument, the Mersenne Clavichord..

July 1: Already we enter the second half of 2015..! It seems scary that we are already busy with work on our last releases of the year and even those for next spring. Check out the Future releases page!

June 13: Because we anticipate very high demand, all of our September releases have been made available on this site - order now for delivery in early August, a month before the discs hit the stores! See Latest Releases. You can also download our July and September new release Samplers (click on the month to access).

June 8: German composer Robert Franz produced some wonderful Lieder (a few can be found on ATH 23202) though he was overshadowed by his contemporaries Brahms and Schumann. June 28th is the 200th anniversary of his birth, and we have marked this by issuing the first ever recording of his amazing piano-duet transcription of Schubert's 'Death and the Maiden' string quartet. It's included on the new release 'Schubert Unauthorised Piano Duos, vol. 3' (DDA 25125) which also includes the first recording of the new complete performing edition of the Symphony No. 8.

June 1: In September we will release a stunningly brilliant DVD featuring Danish percussionist Mathias Reumert. Due to potential demand we are now offering a pre-release order - order now (HERE) for delivery in early August and be among the first to have this superb video.

May 21: We are very pleased to announce a new project to record some delightful French music for piano duo, with the fine duo Piano à Deux (Robert and Linda Ang Stoodley). The album will be called 'France Revisited' and will include music by Debussy, Onslow and Poulenc. The actual recording sessions begin shortly and more news of the likely release date will follow.

May 12: Rather tardy, but we just heard that violinist Colin Sauer died on 9 January. As fine soloist, he was best known for his leadership of the Dartington Quartet and his stint as Deputy Leader of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. See more info about his super-rare recording here

May 1: See Latest Releases for our latest albums, offically released on 1 July (1 June in UK) but all can be ordered here now for early delivery.

April 29: Percussionist Mathias Reumert, whose fabulous dvd 'Solo' will be released in the summer, is the recipient of the 2015 Danish Music Critics Prize.

April 27: Each CD info page now has direct CD 'buy' links for both our UK and US online stores and also a 'Buy it at iTunes' link. Use the latter, open your iTunes store and go direct to the album. But buy the physical CD, we need to make space on the warehouse shelves!

April 24: Pianist Stephen Beville has written a heartfelt tribute to his former teacher Peter Katin: see the Katin profile page

April 2: Adding to a long list of superlative reviews, the recent world premiere recording of the Chamber Eroica (msvcd2008) is a MusicWeb Recording of the Month.

April 1: WELCOME TO SPRING (though we have more snow forecast for the rest of the week...... ). The two latest releases are now available for immediate delivery if ordered now (stores will have them in the first week of May). See 'Latest Releases' for information - a fabulous treat for all baroque fans.

March 30: Incredibly, yet another great name in British music leaves us as Ronald Stevenson, one of the giants in British music, has died on 28 March at his home in Scotland, He was 87. A tribute will be posted on Facebook in due course.

March 24: Yet another great figure of music has died. Legendary pianist Peter Katin, who made his Wigmore Hall debut in 1948 and performed regularly until 2004, passed away on March 19 at the age of 84. His prowess in Chopin, Brahms and Schubert made him a household name in the 1950s and we were honored to have worked with Peter over the last ten years. See his profile page for his recordings both on modern and square pianos.

March 23: We have merged the British and American websites, though each online store remains separate: this means customers still have the option to have purchased items shipped from either USA or UK, as is most convenient and cost -effective. During such a project, internal page links can be lost: we apologise for any that exist and welcome feedback on how the site is performing.

March 19: The British lyrical music scene, producing works of approachable and relatively traditional style of wide appeal, goes from strength to strength and we are pleased to announce a new album featuring songs and chamber music by Philip Wood. More details soon.

March 12: We just today heard that yet another wonderful composer has died. John Ramsden Williamson was one of the numerous fine British composers who just never got his due recognition, despite a distinctive style and rigorous technique. His piano music is very individual yet still 'mainstream' in the post-Romantic sense; his songs, often on texts by Housman and other great poets of the early 20th century, gems of their kind. We were privileged to work with JRW on four recordings, and also published two of his short pieces through Brandon Music Publishing. John passed on 13 February at the age of 84.

March 11: The May sampler is now available to download (Zip file with audio samples and booklet)- 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 Theme 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 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)

NOVEMBER 2015 (available in stores January 2016 - buy here now!)
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.

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.