National Album Day 2021

Celebrating Women in Music!

National Album Day returns on 16th October 2021, and this year's theme is 'Celebrating Women in Music!'

Enjoy 20% off your purchase* and discover new composers, new artists and new authors today!

Offer ends 14th November 2021 23:59 (GMT).

*Free Delivery included. Please note if your order contains a pre-order album, this album will be shipped separately to your other items and will be delivered on the release date stated.
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Image Alexis Alrich, Karl Jenkins, Ned Rorem: Concertos
This compilation of concertos for mallet instruments features triple GRAMMY Award-winning percussion virtuoso Dame Evelyn Glennie and City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong. Alexis Alrich’s Marimba Concerto, a rich amalgam of bold rhythms and exuberance, also explores Mexican and Asian-inspired music. Sir Karl Jenkins traces the 15th-century tune La Folia, furnishing it with refinement and strongly characterised intensity. Ned Rorem’s Mallet Concerto highlights the contrasting resonances of four different pitched mallets in music of drama and dynamism.

Image Benjamin Britten: Les Illuminations; Quatre Chanso
Following successful appearances at the Opéra-comique, in Paris, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Oper Frankfurt, Komische Oper Berlin, and Teatro alla Scala, in Milan, the Norwegian soprano Mari Eriksmoen is undoubtedly a rising star. On the concert stage she has made important recent appearances with the Orchestre de Paris, Berliner Philharmoniker, Oslo Philharmonic, and Münchner Philharmoniker, among others. Here she joins the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Edward Gardner for a powerful album of orchestral songs, coupling Britten’s Les Illuminations and Four French Songs with a selection of Canteloube’s inimitable Songs of the Auvergne. Eriksmoen spent a year studying in Paris, and proves an effective and natural singer in the French language. As she mentions in her programme note: ‘It is highly demanding to sing in French when it is not one’s native tongue, but I have always felt at home when singing in French and nurture an emot ional attachment to the French language.’

Image Chère Nuit: French Songs
The acclaimed British soprano Louise Alder returns for her second recital on Chandos, joined once again by star pianist Joseph Middleton. Enthusiastic praise was widespread for her Chandos début, Lines Written during a Sleepless Night: The Russian Connection, which earned significant accolades in the USA and continental Europe in addition to the UK. For this recording the pair explore a rich and varied selection of French songs from the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Louse Alder writes: ‘I have always held French song very dear to my heart and when we settled on this wildly varied programme, I quickly grew excited at the prospect of exploring the art form in virtually all its styles. From Ravel to Yvain, I hope we paint pictures of a French evening, of mystery, intrigue, discovery, seduction, love, and blissful night.’

Image Cecilia McDowall: Sacred Choral Music
McDowall’s keen sensitivity to text and her ?air for writing vocal lines that are grateful to sing are just two of the virtues which justify the success of her choral music. Her original and distinctive voice is well served by Stephen Layton and his Trinity College forces.

Image Jean Sibelius: Luonnotar; Tapiola; Spring Song
Follo wing their acclaimed recordings of Schoenberg with Sara Jakubiak and Britten’s Peter Grimes with Stuart Skelton, Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic turn their attention to the music of Sibelius. Written in 1913 for the diva Aino Ackté, the tone poem Luonnotar draws on text from the Finnish national epic poem, the Kalevala. Its virtuosic demands are ably met here by award-wining soprano Lise Davidsen, who also feature in the Suite from Pelléas and Mélisande, music re-worked by Sibelius from his incidental music written for the first performances of Maeterlinck’s play in Helsinki, in 1905, in Swedish. The tone poem Tapiola, from 1926, is Sibelius’ last great masterpiece and evokes the forests of his native Finland. The programme is completed by a pair of much earlier works, Rakastava (the Lover) and Vårsång (Spring Song). The album was recorded in Surround Sound and is available as a hybrid SACD.

Image Love songs
Angela Hewitt’s new album is clearly destined to become a favourite. Some of the best-known musical declarations of love across the centuries, heard in transcriptions by some of the great pianists (including Angela herself); this is simply exquisite and not to be missed.

Image Italian Opera Arias
The British soprano Linda Richardson has performed extensively across the UK and continental Europe under conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Edo de Waart, Sir Mark Elder, Daniele Rustioni, Libor Pešek, and Carlo Rizzi. Her extensive repertoire includes roles ranging from Monteverdi and Mozart to Janácek, Britten, and Wagner. Linda Richardson writes: ‘I have had the privilege of performing many of the great leading soprano roles in the operatic repertoire, but as my career progressed, I found a special love and affinity for the roles that stood as pillars in Italian opera. The beautiful melodic lines, dramatic language, and the overall musical craftsmanship of these Italian composers make their characters especially thrilling. I chose these particular arias because they show the huge variety of heroines that can be found in the greatest Italian operas. Although most of the arias are expressions of love and loss it is the individual emotional journey of each character which I find so compelling.’

Image Florence Beatrice Price: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4
Florence Price was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and studied at the New England Conservatory,
but it was in Chicago that her composing career accelerated. The concert in 1933 at which her
Symphony No. 1 in E minor was premiered was the first time a major American orchestra had performed
a piece written by an African American woman. Influenced by Dvorák and Coleridge-Taylor, she
drew on the wellspring of Negro spirituals and vernacular dances, full of lyricism and syncopation.
The Symphony No. 4 in D minor demonstrates her tight ensemble writing, her distinct sense of
orchestral color, her Ellingtonian ‘jungle style’ language and her penchant for the ‘juba’ dance.

Image Heaven and Earth: Vanished London Churches; Daphne
Judith Bingham is established as one of the foremost British composers writing for the organ. The powerfully atmospheric and evocative music in this recording richly demonstrates her gift for creating compelling works which draw inspiration from a broad range of historical, literary and artistic sources. The Åkerman & Lund organ of Västerås Cathedral is the perfect vehicle for this colourful programme, and both Heaven and Earth and Eternal Procession for two organs also feature the cathedral’s Fredriksborg choir organ. Tom Winpenny’s acclaimed recording of Bingham’s Jacob’s Ladder and other works for organ can be heard on Naxos 8.572687.

Image Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Violin Concertos KV 216 &
The virtuoso violinist Francesca Dego joins forces with the legendary conductor and period performance pioneer Sir Roger Norrington for this recording of Mozart’s Third and Fourth Violin Concertos – the first time either soloist or conductor has recorded the works. The outstanding musicians of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra provide the accompaniment, with reduced numbers of strings and antiphonal violin seating to replicate the size and seating of the Salzburg court orchestra which gave the first performances of these works. Norrington’s attention to detail and style is enthusiastically embraced by soloist and orchestra, resulting in a beautifully fresh and captivating interpretation of these well-known works. Dego completes the album with the Violin Sonata in E minor, Op. 1 No. 4, with her regular recital partner, Francesca Leonardi.

Image Those Amazing Musical Instruments
From the cello to the bassoon, the tuba to the timpani, Those Amazing Musical Instruments! takes you on an exciting musical tour! In a revised edition, including access to a brand new, exclusive website, this vibrant, colourful, comprehensive and unique book is a rich exploration of orchestral instruments. Learn about the character of each instrument, how it is constructed and played, which instruments go well together, and hear how they all sound! With featured guide, conductor Marin Alsop, you’ll even know your heckelphone from your sackbut and your tom-tom from your tam-tam – all by spending hours of fun with words, pictures and music tracks.

Image Songs for New Life and Love: Mahler | Ives | Grime
After appearing on a quartet of very different BIS releases, ranging from early baroque arias to orchestral songs by Alban Berg and Mahler’s ‘Resurrection Symphony’, the British soprano Ruby Hughes has devised a song recital, together with her regular Lieder partner Joseph Middleton.

Image Nicolò Paganini: 24 Caprices
The transcendental heroics of Paganini’s Caprices have presented the ultimate test for generations of violinists; Alina Ibragimova’s accounts of this most exclusive repertoire join a select few of the most celebrated.

Image Il Cannone: Francesca Dego plays Paganini's Violin
Paganini’s violin, the legendary ‘il Cannone’, made by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù in 1743, is one of the most important musical instruments in the history of Western music. Paganini was the greatest virtuoso of his time, acclaimed throughout Europe and an inspiration to performers and composers alike. On his death, he bequeathed ‘il Cannone’ to his home city of Genoa, where it is permanently housed under high security in the Town Hall. It has been heard on record just a handful of times. Francesca Dego was given the honour of recording with it after the success of her first performance on the instrument, in October 2019, when she was invited to play Paganini’s First Violin Concerto at the Paganini Celebratory Concert at Teatro Carlo Felice, in Genoa. Francesca Dego comments: ‘I feel so privileged to be able to share the soul of ‘il Cannone’ in a new recording. I remember thinki ng long and hard about the ideal programme and carefully selecting a series of works paying homage to Paganini. The ‘Cannon’ has pretty much only ever been used to record music by Paganini, so the idea of its celebrated tone teaming up with composers who idolised the Italian virtuoso throughout history is really exciting to me!’

Image Vítezslava Kaprálová
Despite her tragically early death at the age of 25, Vítezslava Kaprálová left a portfolio of more than 50 works of the highest craftsmanship and inspiration. This selection of her orchestral music, recorded at the Kaprálová Festival in Michigan, includes the work that won her international esteem in 1938, the Military Sinfonietta. Abounding in youthful energy and brilliant colours, the Piano Concerto marries virtuosity with lyricism, while the orchestral songs are both atmospheric and striking.

Image La Muse Oubliée - Piano pieces by women composers
Pianist Antonio Oyarzabal takes us on a journey through the work of thirteen different female composers, most of them pianists. Their pieces have been a real source of motivation and inspiration for him. Here he pays tribute to the names and work of these women, unfairly and sadly neglected, in the shadow of compositions written by men. It is a musical journey that takes us on different paths: from Jacquet de la Guerre’s French Baroque style to the avant garde proposals of Ruth Crawford Seeger in the beginning of the XXth century; from Lili Boulanger’s languor to Germaine Tailleferre’s constant joviality; or from the more popular Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn to the almost completely unknown Mana Zucca or Lucija Garuta. All of this is expressed by the extraordinary sensitivity of a performer who, through long and intense research, has dived deep into the life and historical context of these thirteen unique artistic voices, in order to provide them with the relevance they deserve.

Image My First Piano Book
The piano is one of the world's most brilliant inventions. In this book, the Lion, Tortoise, Monkey, Seagull, Duck, Elephant, Snake, Horse, Frog, Penguin and Pig all come together to celebrate what the piano can do. And they will help you to play it, too! Following the international success of My First Classical Music Book, Genevieve Helsby and Jason Chapman return with My First Piano Book: an original and vibrant introduction for children to one of the world's greatest musical instruments. Bursting with life and humour, My First Piano Book flaunts the piano in all its glory to inspire a new audience. Each page is a treat to explore, as its animal characters show what they know (and what they don't!). It truly is both informative and great fun.

Image Idil Biret: Best of Turkish Piano Music
‘For well versed insiders of music, Idil Biret is since years a trusted and respected artist… The discipline of her powerful grasp and approach of the music has led, especially for works of the 20th Century, to a stylistic congruence between the written score and the interpretation, that is way outside of the usual norms of conventions which, in the case of Idil Biret, makes us all aware of an outstanding artistic potency of the highest standards of excellence.’ Die Welt

Image The Polish Violin Vol. 2
Jennifer Pike writes: ‘This recording project of Polish music is one that is particularly close to my heart. The idea for the series arose from an awareness of the sound world associated with Polish music, of the country’s long-held fascination with the violin, and of my own Polish heritage on my mother’s side.' As a successor to the first volume, released in 2019, this album continues to explore a breadth of repertoire that includes some rarely heard gems.

Image Enrique Granados: Goyescas Op. 11
Spanish music reached a peak early in the 20th century, with Enrique Granados’ Goyescas numbered amongst the crowning masterpieces of its day. Infused with the innovations of Debussy and Ravel, and inspired by the colours and emotional depth of Goya’s paintings and engravings, the Goyescas are like brilliant and psychologically elaborate improvisations filled with seductively ornamented harmonies. The cycle also conceals a narrative of love and death that Granados would later develop into an opera. Multi-award-winning pianist Viviana Lasaracina’s playing was admired for its ‘beautiful liquid tone’ and summed up as ‘breathtaking’ in the New York Concert Review. Viviana Lasaracina has received first place awards at important international piano competitions in Salt Lake City, Pretoria, Spain, Poznan, Germany, Finland and London (where she won second prize and the Best Performance of a Classical Work prize at the Open Piano competition in 2012). In March 2014 she debuted at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Lasaracina has an intense concert schedule, appearing as a soloist, with orchestra, and in chamber ensembles at important venues and major festivals in Italy and abroad. Some of her performances have been broadcast by Radio Vaticana, Rai Radio 3 and Rai5.

Image Ida Haendel plays violin concertos (The SWR Record
Ida Haendel was a phenomenon. The grande dame of the violin continued to serve as a jury member at acclaimed competitions and to teach masterclasses well into old age, always retaining her mental freshness and the physical capability to tour with spirit and verve. No other violinist has ever enjoyed such a long, successful stage career. Seventy years after her debut, Ida Haendel was still enthralling audiences with her inimitable combination of impassioned virtuosity and discipline. The recordings of the concertos by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Khatchaturian, Dvorák and Bartók, which she played pre-1967 under the baton of Hans Müller-Kray, then chief conductor of the SWR (SDR at the time) are among the most valuable treasures in today’s Southwest German Radio archive.

Image Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Chamber Music
"SOMM Recordings throws new, invigorating light on the Chamber Music of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, performed by the Eusebius Quartet and pianist Alasdair Beatson. Hailed by musicologist Nicolas Slonimsky as 'the very last breath of the romantic spirit of Vienna', Korngold’s stellar beginnings in Europe’s concert halls and opera houses were later overshadowed by his success in America where his soaring symphonic signature forged the template for the Hollywood soundtrack. Praised as 'excellent' by The Sunday Times, the Eusebius Quartet was formed in 2016 and is making its debut on SOMM Recordings. Alasdair Beatson’s previous SOMM releases include his enthusiastically reviewed recording debut, coupling Schumann, Grieg, Brahms and Berg (SOMMCD 086), and a Mendelssohn recital (SOMMCD 104) hailed by Classic FM for its 'highly sensitive playing of rare insight'."

Image Per Nørgård; Poul Ruders: Works for Solo Cello
Cellist Wilhelmina Smith’s second album on Ondine continues exploring contemporary Nordic repertoire for solo cello. In her new album Smith has focus on Danish contemporary composers, Per Nørgård (b. 1932) and Poul Ruders (b. 1949). Both Nørgård and Ruders are known for their large-scale orchestral works. Nørgård, in particular, is known for his eight symphonies and has been hailed by many as one of the greatest living symphonists. It is therefore intriguing to look closer to his two very early lyrical solo cello sonatas, early masterpieces written just before completing his 1st Symphony. In 1980, the composer revised his second sonata by adding an extensive second movement, almost an entirely new sonata, to the existing work. Nørgård’s 3rd sonata “What – Is the Word!” from 1999 is a short “Sonata breve” that takes its title from a quote by Irish playwriter Samuel Beckett. Another major Danish composer of our times, Poul Ruders (b. 1949), has also written 5 symphonies alongside several concertos and three operas. Ruders wrote his 10-movement Bravourstudien in 1976, just at the brink of a major stylistic change. This work is a set of variations on a Medieval folk tune “L’homme armé”. In this work, however, the original theme is heard at the very end of the work.

Image Frederic Mompou: Música Callada
Following the success of her Orchid Classics debut, Variations sérieuses, Lilit Grigoryan returns with an album devoted to the hypnotically beautiful Música callada by Spanish composer Frederic Mompou, hailed during his lifetime as the successor to Debussy. Mompou’s Música callada (meaning ‘Quiet’ or ‘Silent Music’) was published in four volumes between 1959 and 1967; his final burst of solo piano music and one of the greatest achievements in the Spanish piano repertoire. The concept of ‘silent music’ comes from the Spanish mystic, St John of the Cross, whose writings inspired Mompou as he composed these pieces. The result is a collection of exquisite miniatures of varied colours and mesmerising depths, performed with nuance and sensitivity by Lilit Grigoryan. 'An assertive and beyond-her-years performance from the Armenian pianist.' BBC Music Magazine on Variations sérieuses on Orchid Classics.

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