To be released by CRD Records on 7 July 2023.
Rameau Re-Imagined: Edward Higginbottom, Holly Teague, Felix Higginbottom - CRD Records, 7 July 2023
Edward Higginbottom is joined by rising star soprano, Holly Teague and percussionist Felix Higginbottom as he takes Rameau's most theatrical compositions into the organ loft and 'reimagines' their performance, meanwhile taking us on a journey through exotic landscapes and arresting scenes.
To be released by CRD Records on 7 July 2023.
Virginia Black returns to the keyboard and her lifelong love - Beethoven's piano sonatas - in her latest album from CRD Records, released on 7 April 2023.
The three sonatas programmed here - The Tempest, Pathétique and Opus 110 - afford us a window onto Beethoven's life and his increasing struggle with hearing loss. Meanwhile we experience Beethoven at his best: breaking the rules of the sonata form and transcending them.
CRD Records releases violinist Maya Magub's album Canons on 7 October 2022. The album comprises Telemann's Six Canonic Sonatas and Mozart's Canons and Puzzle Canons. Maya is joined on the album by violinists Ben Jacobson, Marianne Thorsen and Jonathan Morton, with Jonathan Moerschel, viola and Richard Harwood, 'cello (CRD 3542).
Electronic press kit available for reviewers.
Maya Magub writes about Canons:
'The Covid-19 pandemic impacted the arts in many diverse ways, not all detrimental. History has always seen the arts flourish in times of hardship, and this was no different, spawning some incredible innovations out of necessity. Soon after news of the virus’ spread came to light, the movie studios here in Los Angeles found a solution to the restraints of lockdowns and social distancing by helping players like me to set up temporary home studios. Miraculously, we were able to record full movie scores remotely, and I found myself learning basic engineering skills. Many late nights wrestling with unfamiliar technology were soon rewarded by the opportunity to listen back immediately to my – and only my – playing; an amazing journey of self-discovery as a player.
With this new skill-set that had become part of everyday life for many musicians, I was excited to realise that it was possible to play ‘together’ with other musicians, despite not sharing a physical space, by recording separately.
It suddenly occurred to me that the perfect fit for this ‘remote chamber music’ was the musical canon. As people all over the world were struggling, and failing, to play together in real time over the Internet, they found themselves plagued by echoes and delays. What could be more perfect than a musical form that itself seems to have evolved out of a long echo?! The musical canon needs an even greater time separation between identical lines, demanding that one voice must literally lead, and the next react to what has already been played. I realised that canons could be a great way to collaborate. And if I was not in the same room as another player, why not collaborate across continents as well as across my own city? This was an opportunity to play with some of my favourite players in the world!
In our new age of Zoom, this process became more like sending a ‘musical letter’ by mail, each of us recording as a leader and then waiting to follow and be inspired by another player in the next canon. The project evolved into a truly creative collaboration, with emails and internet calls across time zones about musical ideas as well as the technical process of recording. I remember discussing tempo preferences from my car, and emails about “alternating trills” at a particular cadence point... I even received a photo of a moose slipping on an icy road in Norway on the wintery day that Marianne returned her microphones to the hire company! Our patience for the much slower pace of recording was rewarded by the delight of ‘opening’ a new performance from another musician, and the luxury of time to fully absorb it and respond.
With the constraints of recording in separate spaces and very different acoustics came the opportunity to position microphones very closely. Without using too much of each performer’s live acoustic and through close microphone positioning, we were able to capture a very ‘real’ and immediate sound which communicates vividly and could later be put into the same virtual acoustic or musical ‘space’. And with that came extra silver linings: such as the ability to virtually ‘walk off stage’ (through fading out and speaker panning) during the unending ‘puzzle’ canons!
The final bonus was being able to mix in Dolby Atmos/Spatial Audio. We were suddenly able to make a huge feature out of our necessity to record separately, and it brought the project together in a remarkable way. With different voices seeming to appear from many different directions, there was now a whole extra dimension to the project that we had not envisioned at the start, and one that makes so much sense of the music; it’s hard to imagine a more fitting marriage of musical form and technical innovation. It was the most extraordinary and delightful experience to listen to Neil Stemp’s spatial mix for the first time and to be able to untangle each individual line so beautifully within the broader, more vertical structure. We had a lot of fun experimenting with virtual positioning of the many different voices in the multi-part canons and seeing how this affected the listener’s perception of the music.'
29 July: Telemann, Sonata No. 3 in D Major, TWV 40:120: I. Spirituoso
CRD Records releases Benjamin Sheen's solo organ album In London Town: British Music from The Dobson Organ of St Thomas' Church Fifth Avenue , on 2 September 2022, including works by Elgar, Walton, Ireland, Whitlock, Judith Bingham and Andrew Carter (CRD3541).
In advance of the album launch, three singles will be released, starting with Elgar's Imperial March, arranged by George Martin, on 1 July 2022, and Carter's Lacrimae, in memory of John Scott, on 12 August.
Walton, March for ‘A History of the English-Speaking Peoples’ (arr. Tom Winpenny)
Ireland, A Downland Suite: II. Elegy. Lento espressivo (arr. Alec Rowley)
Elgar, Cockaigne Overture, Op. 40 ‘In London Town’ (arr. Graham Sheen): first recording
Judith Bingham, St. Bride assisted by Angels
Percy Whitlock, Fantasie Choral No. 1 in D-flat major
Simon Preston, Alleluyas
Tallis, Hymn: Veni Redemptor Gentium
Howells, Six Pieces for Organ: III. Master Tallis’ Testament
Percy Whitlock, Organ Sonata in C Minor: Scherzetto
Andrew Carter, Lacrimae (written in memory of John Scott, 2015): first recording
Elgar, Imperial March, Op. 32 (arr. George Martin)
'The repertoire is impressive, Benjamin Sheen’s playing is outstanding, and the recording captures the colours of the organ. This is a fantastic exploration of some popular pieces in arrangement and some less well-known original works.' John France,MusicWeb International
Benjamin Sheen, Sub-Organist at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and Organ Tutor at Oxford University ,has established himself as a leading concert and liturgical organists on both sides of the Atlantic.
Described as a “brilliant organist” by The New York Times, he is the 2013 winner of the Pierre S. du Pont First Prize in the inaugural Longwood Gardens Organ Competition, and that same year received Second Prize and the Jon Laukvik prize at the St. Albans International Organ Competition. He holds degrees from Oxford and New York's Juilliard School, is a prizewinning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, and the 2011 recipient of the Worshipful Company of Musicians’ Silver Medal.
As a concert organist, Benjamin Sheen has performed throughout Europe, the USA, Canada, Singapore, and South Africa. In 2019, he made his concerto debut with the Auckland Philharmonia
Orchestra alongside solo recitals in Christchurch and Wellington as well as throughout Australia. He has performed with notable orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of London Sinfonia in the UK, and made guest appearances playing and directing with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York City. He has made several appearances on BBC radio and television and New York’s classical radio station WQXR in a complete performance of J.S. Bach’s Clavier-Übung III.
He has been a featured artist as both a conductor and organist in numerous conferences, including the 2015 Association of Anglican Musicians Conference and the 2018 American Guild of Organists Convention in Kansas City. Before returning home to Oxford, he spent eight years at the famed Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue in New York City as Associate Organist and was an integral part of the overall design and completion of the new Dobson organ. Following the untimely death of John Scott in 2015, he served as Acting Director of Music for the year. In January 2020, he returned to Britain to take up the position of Sub-Organist at his alma mater, Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, where he combines a busy schedule of teaching and performing. He has appeared on several recordings from Saint Thomas Church under the direction of both John Scott and Jeremy Filsell, and has recently completed an album of Christmas music with the choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. This album marks his debut solo album, featuring music from Great Britain.
In North America, Benjamin Sheen is represented exclusively by Philip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC.
CRD RECORDS RELEASES CONSOLATIONS - REFLECTIVE MUSIC FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO FROM MAYA MAGUB AND HSIN-I HUANG - 3 JUNE 2022
CRD Records releases Consolations, reflective music for violin and piano by Handel, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Massenet, Rachmaninov and others, featuring a new transcription of Liszt's Consolations, performed by Maya Magub and Hsin-I Huang, on 3 June 2022. This is Maya Magub's third album with CRD.
The album completes Liszt's six Consolations with new transcriptions by Maya Magub to complement the famous 'Lento Placido' arranged by Nathan Milstein. With extraordinary key and mood contrasts, each piece now sits within the whole, as Liszt intended. Milstein’s transcription, in the middle of the set, is now framed as in Liszt's original, to greater emotional impact. These works move from profound simplicity to virtuosic turbulence and wistful charm.
Complementing the set of 'Consolations', Magub and Huang bring together other well-known reflective musical gems to offer consolation of some form. Many of their choices were inspired by audience favourites from performances for UK-based charity Everyone Matters, which funds life-enriching concerts in care homes and hospices. When combined, the emotional weight of these pieces is even greater. The performers, too, drew great consolation from their programme and the ability to communicate with an audience despite the creative restrictions of pandemic lockdowns.
Magub and Huang recorded the album separately in lockdown, with much creative dialogue and experimentation between them. New possibilities afforded by the necessity of recording separately encouraged musical freedom and risk-taking, as well as the opportunity to create the immediacy of a small, intimate concert through close microphone placement. Out of this process emerges a true collaboration and an album which Magub and Huang hope will bring consolation to many people.
Schumann, Abendlied, Op. 85 No. 12
Massenet, Méditation: Thaïs
Rachmaninov, Vocalise, Op. 34 No. 14
Liszt Consolations No.1-6, S.172/R.12
J.S. Bach (arr. Gounod), Ave Maria
Rimsky-Korsakov (arr. Kreisler), Chant Hindou: Sadko
Paradis (arr. Duskhin), Sicilienne
Handel, Largo: Xerxes
Mendelssohn, On Wings of Song, Op. 34 No. 2
Mendelssohn, Song without Words, Op. 19 No. 1
Schumann, Träumerei, Op. 15 No. 7
Chopin, Raindrop Prelude, Op. 28 No. 15
UK and rest of the world except North America: Ulysses Arts, London
North America: Classical Music Communications, New York City
EPK and private Soundcloud link are available for press use.
Laurie Niles, Violinist
Stephen Francis Vasta, Stereophile
David Olds, The Whole Note
Rick Anderson, CD Hot List
Jean-Yves Duperron, Classical Music Sentinel
CLICK HERE for more live streaming links.
Previous Press for Maya Magub's Recordings with CRD Records
Telemann, Fantasies for Solo Violin
'Impressive feats of technical bravado. ... A disc of hugely communicative violin playing', International Record Review
'It makes listening to this performance a really joyous experience', Caroline Gill, Gramophone
'With Magub's endless inventiveness driving each movement, they shine here for what they really are: free-standing, varied concentrations of beautiful melody and sonority', BBC Music Magazine
'Demonstrates technical assurance, elegance and well-considered use of vibrato, extempore ornamentation, rubato and other expressive devices.' Early Music Today
'These polished, stylish performances bring Telemann’s music to life in an unforced, natural way.' The Strad
Michael Haydn and Mozart, Six Duos for Violin and Viola (with Judith Busbridge)
'Their accounts of Mozart’s works combine energy, insight, warmth and affection; they are characterised by a lively reciprocity ... CRD’s recorded sound, presentation and production are exemplary.' The Strad
'Spirited and compelling music-making to savor', Michael Jameson, International Record Review
Liszt, Consolations No. 5 - pre-released single on 22 April 2022
Consolations on Apple Music Playlists
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