New CD/Download Information from Divine Art & Metier Records for March 2014 (*)
I outline below the details of three new CD titles from the Divine Art label group (including the Métier imprint), due for UK release on 3rd March 2014.The full press information is attached as PDF files (one for each). Additional to CD release, they will be available simultaneously as a download from all the usual outlets. Please also note that Divine Art/Metier is distributed in the UK via Select and via the Naxos Distribution Network in most territories around the world.
US/Canada journalists should request review samples via the Divine Art office in Vermont – firstname.lastname@example.org
DDA25113 Andrew Wright “The Operatic Pianist”
This disc focuses on the art of transcription and paraphrase. In the mid-19th century such works held a much more prominent place in musical life than nowadays, when they have largely been consigned to the realms of historical footnotes. In the developing era of the travelling virtuoso, and predating the gramophone, these pieces served two principal functions. Firstly, they enabled familiar (typically operatic) themes of the day to be heard without the necessity of visiting the opera house itself, and secondly, they provided the pianist with attractive material for public performance.
By far the most significant contributors to this area of the repertoire were Franz Liszt (1811-1886) and Sigismund Thalberg (1812-1871). Between them, they wrote well over a hundred such pieces. The rivalry between these two composer-pianists was to have profound implications for the development of pianistic technique and texture as we know it today. Despite the acclaim accorded both men during their lifetime, posterity has awarded fame to Liszt and obscurity to Thalberg, principally due to the former’s greater compositional invention and ingenuity. Nevertheless these pieces will be welcome discoveries for many listeners. In fact The Concert Fantasy on “La Forza del Destino” by Giuseppe Martucci (1856-1909) – presented here as the opening track receives a first commercial recording.
Born in Dundee, Scotland, Andrew Wright showed an early interest in music and had his first piano lessons at the age of seven. Further study followed with William Stevenson and subsequently with Kenneth van Barthold and Nicholas Pope. He has a particular interest in semi-forgotten composers of the Romantic era and has made a detailed study of 19th century piano transcriptions, a passion reflected in this recording.
DDA25116 Carson Cooman “Litany – Music for Organ” – performed by Erik Simmons playing The organ of Laurenskerk, Rotterdam
Carson Cooman (b. 1982) is an American composer with a catalogue of hundreds of works in many forms—ranging from solo instrumental pieces to operas, and from orchestral works to hymn tunes. His music has been performed on all six inhabited continents in venues that range from the stage of Carnegie Hall to the basket of a hot air balloon.
Erik Simmons started playing the organ at age 10 when he was a chorister at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glendale, California. His primary organ teacher was Richard Slater. Erik has furthered his studies by working with Lanny Collins, Barbara Baird, and Lee Garrett, and through master classes with various clinicians, including Harald Vogel.
The featured instrument is the Main Organ of Laurenskerk, Rotterdam, Netherlands built by Marcussen & Søn in 1973. It is a large neo-baroque instrument that is completely mechanical in all respects. It is the largest entirely mechanical action instrument in Europe.
MSV28533 Karl Fiorini “Violin Concertos” performed by Emanuel Salvador and Marta Magdalena Lelek
Karl Fiorini was born and brought up in Malta – his musical journey began by studying with Charles Camillieri. He then progressed to London, and his education included studying at Guildhall School of Music and Drama and then The Royal College of Music. He relocated to France and is now, amongst other responsibilities, composer in residence at the Conservatoire in Avignon.
“…what really hallmarks the concerto is the intense and molten lyricism of the solo violin score played spectacularly by Emanuel Salvador to whom Mr Fiorini dedicates the work. Salvador performed this work with great pathos and conviction projecting the most dissonant and spaced out tonal passages into sheer lyricism.” Times of Malta (Karl Fiorini Concerto, May 2008)
Born in 1981, Emanuel Salvador has already performed as a soloist and chamber musician in many important venues including St. Martin-in-the-Fields and Southwark Cathedral (London), and major venues in Portugal, Poland, Spain, Mexico, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Italy, Germany, Malta and the Netherlands. As a concerto soloist Emanuel has played with a large number of orchestras in several countries, under many eminent conductors. Karl Fiorini´s Violin Concerto, also written for Emanuel, was premiered in Rotterdam, Portugal and Malta.
Marta Madgalena Lelek is recognized as one of the foremost Polish concert violinists. In 1999 she was invited to commence her higher education at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, in Professor Krzysztof Śmietana’s violin class. In 2003 she was awarded the Bachelor’s Degree (with Honours) and two years later the Master’s Degree with Distinction in Performance.
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 quite easily and quickly if you are interested. I look forward to hearing from you shortly. Review copies are available now.