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.
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.
Fugue State Records releases its solo organ album Parthenia Nova, performed by Simon Thomas Jacobs, for the first time digitally, in partnership with Ulysses Arts, on 1 July 2022.
The album is the first to be recorded on the new organ of London's St George's Church, Hanover Square, made by American firm Richards Fowkes and Co:
1. Veni Sancte Spiritus: Peter Philips (c.1560-1628)
2. Ricercar del nono tono: Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621)
3. Fantasia (from Parthenia): Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)
4 Preambulum primi toni: Matthias Weckmann (c.1616-74)
5. Chorale: “Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele” harmonised by J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
6-16. Partita: “Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele”: Georg Böhm (1661-1733)
17. Chorale: “Aus tiefer not”, harmonised by J.S. Bach
18-20. Three Essays on a Chorale*: Joel Martinson (b. 1960)
i. Prelude: Out of the Depths I cry to thee
ii. Intermezzo: Therefore my hope is in the Lord; It rests upon God’s faithful Word
iii. Fugue – Chorale: Though great our sins and sore our woes, God’s grace much more aboundeth
21. Nocturne*: David Sanger (1947-2010)
22-25. Sinfonietta*: Philip Moore (b. 1943)
i. Allegro deciso
ii. Allegro scherzando
iii. Adagio e espressivo, con rubato
iv. Molto Allegro
* World première recordings
Download and streaming links
ANNEKE SCOTT AND BENEDICT PREECE: J.S. BACH CHORALE PRELUDES FOR CORNO DA TIRARSI AND ORGAN RELEASING ON 11 DECEMBER 2020
Ulysses Arts is delighted to release a new recording of J.S.Bach's music re-imagined for corno da tirarsi and organ performed by Anneke Scott (corno da tirarsi) and Benedict Preece (organ).
The 2020 Pandemic saw Anneke Scott work her way through all of Bach’s chorales on her corno da tirarsi as part of a project she entitled “Corno Not Corona”. Out of this was sparked the idea of a collaboration with organist Benedict Preece in which the pair would re-configure a number of Bach Chorale Preludes incorporating the corno da tirarsi on the chorale melodies.
The recording is a testament to the many ways in which musicians have had to be resourceful and resilient in this most testing of years for the arts. The two musicians recorded their contributions in isolation, with Benedict performing the organ part using Hauptwerk, a state-of-the-art virtual instrument. Hauptwerk contains high quality samples of some of the finest organs in the world and each stop is relayed through the software to enable organists to play the chosen organ from any location. For this recording Benedict selected the Muller organ of St. Bavo Church, Haarlem.
Matching a “virtual” instrument is Anneke’s “hypothetical” corno da tirarsi (made by Egger in Switzerland). The corno da tirarsi has been a conundrum for many years. Bach wrote for the instrument but no instrument appears to survive. Normally Bach writes for the corno da tirarsi doubling soprano chorale melodies in his cantata, hence it feeling like an appropriate instrument to incorporate in his chorale preludes.
Featured on Spotify Classical New Releases and Apple Music Bach and the Baroque playlists
Total playing time 27 minutes; UPC 5054526239067
SIGFRID'S UNBEATEN TRACKS - DISCOVERING THE WORLD OF KARG-ELERT, PERFORMED BY GRAHAM BARBER - DIGITAL ALBUM LAUNCH ON 7 AUGUST 2020
Ulysses Arts, in partnership with Fugue State Films, launches the digital version of Sigfrid's Unbeaten Tracks - music for Kunstharmonium by Karg-Elert, played on the Link-Gaida Organ of the Paulskirche, Ulm, by Graham Barber - on Friday 7 August.
From 33 Portraits, Op.101
Quasi Concertino per Clarinetto solo - alla Weber (No. 12)
Impromptu interrompu - alla Chopin (No. 14)
Vorspiel zu einem Drama - alla Wagner (No. 18)
Frauengunst - alla Johann Strauss (No. 20)
Duetto d’amore - alla Verdi (No. 19)
Am Hardanger Fjord - alla Grieg (No. 25)
Sonata No. 2, Op. 46
(first recording for organ)
I. Enharmonic Fantasie and Double Fugue (B-A-C-H)
Andrew Benson-Wilson writes: ‘This is a remarkable recording project in so many ways. This is music that ... [is] impressive and deserves being heard on a full-sized pipe organ. And Graham Barber’s transcription is well-conceived, notably in his writing for the pedal line, missing entirely in the harmonium version. His amendments to the musical text are appropriate, and the performance is masterly, notably in his choice of registrations.’
Musicweb International acclaimed Graham Barker's release as 'all superb performances, technically stunning and gloriously fluid in their coloristic properties' (Marc Rochester).
Download Sigfrid's Unbeaten Tracks now, on iTunes and Amazon Music, with extensive digital book. Live streaming links are below and at www.facebook.com/events/227200648260128
Catalogue Number FSRCD016
Tonmeister: Christian Starke
Art-work revision for digital version: Hannah Whale / Fruition Creative Concepts
FUGUE STATE FILMS AND ULYSSES ARTS LAUNCH THE ENGLISH ORGAN VOLUME ONE WITH DANIEL MOULT ON APPLE MUSIC, ITUNES, SPOTIFY AND ALL MAJOR STREAMING SERVICES ON 26 JUNE
Ulysses Arts launched the first of six volumes of Fugue State Films' pioneering series of albums The English Organ on 26 June on Apple Music/ITunes, Spotify, Amazon Music and all major digital service providers. Performed by Daniel Moult, The English Organ is one of the largest recording projects ever made about the instrument, and has been hailed by Gramophone Magazine as ‘a dazzling showcase of both repertoire and instruments’ (Marc Rochester, June 2020).
Volume One explores music from William Byrd in the Sixteenth Century, through Purcell, Worgan, Stanley, Green, Boyce, Samuel Wesley and Mendelssohn, played on a spectacular range of English organs. Will Fraser, director of Fugue State Films, comments:
‘Daniel Moult recorded at least one major piece of repertoire on thirty-three instruments in five countries on three continents. Each instrument exemplifies the development of English organ building across five centuries. The range and quality of instruments is extraordinary, including great church and cathedral instruments, organs in concert halls, educational establishments and even private houses. Like any cultural or technological artefact, the organ represents its time and the people who built it. Organs were affected by historical events such as the Reformation, Civil War, industrialisation, Empire, democracy and popular. Alongside these recordings are three feature-length documentaries telling this story by Fugue State Films.
Volume Two was released on 3 July (Brahms, Stanford, Parry, Elgar, Bridge, Howells); Volume Three (Stainer, Whitlock, Grace, Hollins, Howells, Vaughan Williams, Britten, Brian Cooke, Kenneth Leighton, Stephen Hough, David Matthews and Ronald Corp) on 10 July. Volumes Four and Five, released on 17 and 24 July respectively, feature Purcell, J.S. Bach, Mendelssohn, S.S. Wesley, Smart and Elgar.
The final album, including Thalben-Ball's extraordinary Paganini Variations for pedals only, music by Whitlock, Gowers, Fricker, Leighton, Joubert, and contemporary works by David Matthews, Douglas Mason and Iain Farrington was released on 31 July 2020.
In parallel with the digital audio launch, The English Organ's companion documentary series was released on Fugue State Films' new Vimeo channel on 26 June: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/theenglishorgan.
Discover more about The English Organ at https://fuguestatefilms.co.uk/product/the-english-organ.
Daniel Moult is a concert organist, recording artist and film presenter, described by The Organ as ‘one of the finest organists of our time’. Renowned for his virtuosic, intelligent and engaging performances, his musicianship has been praised as ‘exhilarating’ (Gramophone), ‘dazzling’ (The Organ), and ‘formidable’ (Organists’ Review). Daniel is director of the organ department at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire; as a soloist, he has performed at major venues and festivals in the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia, including recitals and concertos with orchestra, and has broadcast frequently on BBC Television and Radio.
Daniel’s previous films include Virtuoso! Music for Organ, a film featuring some of the Twentieth Century’s most demanding organ repertoire, and The Elusive English Organ, a journey through English music from Byrd to Wesley. Recordings including the first solo performances at the newly-restored organ of Arundel Cathedral, and Handel's organ concertos with the London Early Opera Orchestra for Signum Classics' Handel at Vauxhall, and for Regent and Sony BMG.
Born in Manchester, Daniel studied at Oxford University, where he received his Fellowship diploma with three of its top prizes, and Amsterdam Conservatorium. Previous posts have included Visiting Organ Tutor at Chetham’s School of Music, Royal College of Music Junior Department, Organist & Assistant Director of Music at Coventry Cathedral and Artistic Director of The London Organ Day. A sought-after teacher, he leads master-classes, workshops and courses around the world. He is a Trustee of the Royal College of Organists, for whom he also examines. Other activities include several published editions, including the Easy Bach Album and Easy Handel Album for Bärenreiter, for whom he is now working on two new anthologies, and the Complete Church Organist, Volumes 1 and 2, with RSCM Publications. His articles on performance practice and performance-related topics have appeared in various music journals. He has also acted as producer for commercial recordings.
Label: Fugue State Films, in association with Ulysses Arts
Catalogue ID: FSRCD017 (No.1), FSRCD018 (No.2), FSRCD019 (No.3), FSRCD020 (No.4), FSRCD021 (No.5), FSRCD022 (No.6)
Ulysses Arts is delighted to launch Highlands & Sea by Laura Catrani and Claudio Astronio. The album is an adventurous and innovative exploration of Baroque, Twentieth Century and Contemporary music for soprano, harpsichord and organ. It weaves Monteverdi, Purcell, Vivaldi, Stradella, Royer and Handel with John Cage, Philip Glass, Olli Mustonen and Arvo Pärt, with Italian composers Masimo Botter, Alessandro Solbiati and Emanuele Casale.
Highlands & Sea was born out of an enounter between two musicians of diametrically opposite artistic origins. Laura Catrani works primarily in contemporary music, including numerous first performances of pieces written specifically for her by living composers. Claudio Astronio performs on the harpsichord and organ, and conducts Baroque repertoire in theatres and concert halls around the world.
The title Highlands & Sea was inspired first by Arvo Pärt's 'My Heart in the Highlands', with which the album culminates. The twelve works before explore a range of emotional and musical extremes in radically contrasting music. Each work exemplifies its own genre and whether Baroque or contemporary, they all offer equally powerful metaphors of musical expression. Laura Catrani and Claudio Astronio described the process of chosing the music: 'We started to search for repertoire that proposed opposites in nature, either as a theme, text or image: the sky and the depths of the Earth, snowy peaks and stormy seas, the warmth of sunny beaches and the coldness of mountains, creating a sequence of contrasting worlds in which the listener does not perceive any limits between the two opposing repertoires we present, but can reveal their deeper affinities.'
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Claudio Astronio is a harpsichordist, organist and conductor, music director of ensemble Harmonices Mundi, and the Theresia Baroque Youth Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Antiqua Early Music Festival in Bolzano, and a Feruccio Busoni International Piano Competition artistic board member. He performs a the most prestigious festivals in Europe, North America and Japan, working with such musicians as Emma Kirkby, Max van Egmond, Dan Laurin, Gemma Bertagnolli, Susanne Ryden, Yuri Bashmet and Gustav Leonhardt.
Considered by critics to set the highest standard of vocal and dramatic interpretation in Twentieth Century and Contemporary Music, equally skilled as a singer and actress, Laura Catrani graduated in singing and vocal music from Milan's Guiseppe Verdi Conservatory, and in acting from the Paolo Grassi School of Dramatic Arts. She has sung numerous performances of modern and contemporary composers including Azio Corghi, Alessandro Solbiati, Silvia Colassanti, Nicola Moro, Matteo Franceschini. Alongside modern music, she has also sung traditional opera roles, especially in Mozart, Eighteenth Century and Baroque works. She has recorded for the Naxos and Stradevarius labels.
The UA Blog
New recordings, press releases, media resources, music industry comment and more from Ulysses Arts.