Podcast: Introducing the music of Florence Beatrice Price.

Born in 1887, Florence Beatrice Price went on to become one of the first prominent African-American composers. Following a move to Chicago in 1927, her career as a composer took off, not least following the award of several prizes intended to support black composers. This success brought her to the attention of the director of Read More …

Podcast: Liszt’s Transcendental Studies.

Franz Liszt was one of music history’s first superstars, whose stunning technique and charismatic stage presence facilitated his development of the solo piano concert format. This release puts his 12 Transcendental Studies centre stage, where they share the spotlight with award-winning pianist Boris Giltburg, an emerging superstar in his own right whose pianism clothes Liszt’s Read More …

Podcast: Romuald Twardowski. A masterly blend of tradition and modernity.

Romuald Twardowski was born in Lithuania in 1930. He pursued post-graduate studies in Poland before becoming a student of Nadia Boulanger in Paris. The works on this new release, for violin and orchestra, cover a fascinating spectrum of styles. From his Spanish Fantasy, to music written for young performers (not that you’d guess it from the Read More …

Podcast: Four centuries of music for guitar ensemble.

Guitar Gala Night comprises performances by the Amadeus Guitar Duo and the Duo Gruber & Maklar in a programme that’s a veritable variety show, combining original compositions with arrangements for one, two and four guitars. Ranging from the abstract to the descriptive, the earliest piece (1612) represents dance music by Michael Praetorius, while the most Read More …

Podcast: Rossini’s Sins of Old Age.

Raymond Bisha introduces us to the flip-side of Rossini the opera composer, who spent the last 40 years of his life in operatic retirement, instead composing some 200 vocal and solo piano pieces (his Sins of Old Age) whilst also indulging in the pleasantries of life as a gourmand and amateur chef. The final release Read More …

Podcast: Chamber music by Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895–1968). World premiere recordings.

The three newly published pieces on this recording were written in the decade following Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s flight to the United States in 1939 in the wake of the proclamation of anti-Jewish laws by Italy’s fascist regime. The programme includes his Concerto No. 3 for Violin and Piano (1939–40), written for no less a figure than Read More …

Podcast: Relishing the realism. Orchestral music by Alfred Bruneau.

Raymond Bisha introduces a programme of orchestral music by Alfred Bruneau (1857-1934), a composition student of Jules Massenet and one of the most important yet overlooked figures in turn-of-the-century French musical life. Bruneau’s desire for theatrical realism in his operas mirrored the literary aspirations of his friend Émile Zola. Conductor Darrell Ang and the Barcelona Read More …

Podcast: 3 orchestral works by Franz Schreker (1878-1934)

The last decade in the life of Austrian composer Frank Schreker (1878-1934) proved a tragic conclusion to his hitherto highly successful career as a teacher, conductor, administrator and composer. In the mid-1920s critics were bearing down on him for failing to step in line with developing compositional styles; by the 1930s his work had come Read More …

Podcast: Twelve prisms. One artist.

Raymond Bisha introduces composer-pianist-academic Tanya Ekanayaka through a new release of music for solo piano, composed and performed by herself. The twelve ‘prisms’ derive their stylistic inspiration from a variety of sources that include classical, contemporary, pop, rock, world and film music. The fusion of styles in each movement is rooted in the folk and Read More …

Podcast: The Lully effect. Going to the heart of the French Baroque orchestra.

Raymond Bisha introduces a new release of music by three Baroque titans: Lully, Telemann and Rameau. The latter two were hugely influenced by the music of Lully, who was powerfully positioned as the chief musician of King Louis XIV of France. Lully left a rich legacy of dramatic music scored for orchestra. It left an Read More …