New CD Information from Divine Art Records (November 2012)
I outline below the details of three new CD titles on the Divine Art/Métier labels, due for UK release on 12th November 2012. The full press information for each release is attached as a PDF file. Additionally, they will all be available simultaneously as downloads from all the usual outlets.
DDA25107 “Russian Piano Music Volume 10 – Mieczyslaw Weinberg” – performed by Murray McLachlan
Mieczysław Weinberg was born in Warsaw in 1919, the son of a composer and violinist at a Jewish theatre. When he was only ten he began his musical career there as a pianist and music director; two years later he started piano studies at the Warsaw Conservatory. After the German invasion of Poland in 1939 he was forced to flee the country and he went to the USSR, initially to Minsk
In 1943 Weinberg sent the score of his newly completed First Symphony to Shostakovich, asking for an opinion of the work. Shostakovich arranged for him to receive an official invitation to Moscow – of especial value in the war years – and thus their close friendship was born. From the end of August 1943 until his death in 1996, Weinberg lived in Moscow, working as a freelance composer. From time to time he also made highly regarded appearances as a pianist.
Weinberg was an extremely productive composer with an output ranging from a Requiem to circus music. He had a (perhaps not entirely fashionable) inclination towards large-scale, epic music; in this respect Mahler and Prokofiev were important role models. His musical style was extremely varied, however, and his richly-coloured palette ranges from folk elements to dodecaphonic techniques.
Like most Soviet composers, Weinberg wrote collections of short, lightweight pieces for piano (many featured on Volume 9) but it is generally regarded that the sonatas are the mainstays of his piano œuvre.
This is Volume 10 in the highly regarded series exploring Russian Solo Piano Music, and this disc features the talents of Murray McLachlan.
DDA25110 David Jennings Piano Music – performed by James Willshire
This disc gathers together all Jennings piano music composed between 1985 and 2010 and offers his complete works for the instrument to date. This is truly wonderful music and deserving of the widest possible audience – highly accessible but at the same time extremely difficult to play.
The earliest pieces on this disc have their origins in Jennings’ childhood. Hearing his mother, Margaret Jennings (a fine pianist), perform pieces by composers such as Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Grieg and Sinding on the family upright piano made a great impression on him and influenced his earliest attempts at composition. Hand in hand with these influences was a growing passion for English music of the early to mid Twentieth Century. His knowledge of more recent musical trends was restricted at this stage (the late 1980s) until he went to study at Durham University in 1990.
David Jennings was born in Sheffield in 1972. He started to compose music at the age of twelve. He read Music at Durham University with the distinguished composer John Casken and went on to Manchester University to study composition at postgraduate level, again with John Casken.
His works are in a variety of musical genres from piano miniatures to large orchestral pieces. They have been successfully performed by professionals of the highest calibre, such as members of the Northern Sinfonia.
James Willshire appears as concerto soloist, solo recitalist and chamber musician throughout the UK and abroad. A regular performer of contemporary music, James has recently released his debut recording of the complete piano works by the Scottish composer Rory Boyle to critical acclaim, receiving a 5 star review from the Scotsman.
MSV28524 “Voix Voilèes – Spectral Piano Music” – Performed by Marilyn Nonken Dullea
Spectralism, a compositional movement or “attitude” that emerged in the 1970s, offered breathtaking new perspectives not only on the compositional process but also on the processes of performers and listeners. This disc features compositions by Joshua Fineberg and Hughes Dufort.
Marilyn Nonken is one of the most celebrated champions of the modern repertoire of her generation, known for performances that explore transcendent virtuosity and extremes of musical expression. Upon her 1993 New York debut, she was heralded as “a determined protector of important music” (New York Times), and she has been recognized as “one of the greatest interpreters of new music” (American Record Guide).
As usual, just let me know which samples you would like and I’ll mail on a first come, first served basis. Interviews can be arranged with key artists quite easily and quickly if you are interested. I look forward to hearing from you shortly. Review copies are available now. US/Canada journalists should request samples via the Divine Art office in Vermont – email@example.com