CD label featuring world premières by British composers.
Prima Facie is the meeting of two minds - Giles Easterbrook and Stephen Plews - both known in the music industry as champions of new music. They have produced or promoted hundreds of projects, many of which have won awards or been recognised as outstanding contributions to the arts.
Clarinet Fantasies (PFCD076) £12.50
20th Century British Works for Clarinet and Piano, performed by Nadia Wilson, clarinet, and Martin Butler, piano
Arnold Bax: Clarinet Sonata in D Major
I. Molto moderato
Joseph Horovitz: Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano in B Flat Major
I. Allegro calmato
II. Lento, quasi andante
III. Con brio
Martin Butler: Barlow Dale: Four Characteristic Pieces
I. Barlow Dale
II. Inspector Merlin
III. Miss Honeyflower
IV. Asiam Rex
John Ireland: Fantasy-Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
This album boasts the world première recording of Martin Butler’s 1977 work 'Barlow Dale: Four Characteristic Pieces'. It was through these pieces that Nadia and Martin first struck up a conversation, which led to their lasting friendship and working together as a duo. Each character is a cat who features in his aunt, Ruth Siverns’s published book about the eponymous cat-detective, Barlow Dale, and is a parody amalgam of Sherlock Holmes, James Bond and Dr Finlay’s Casebook. The detective hero, Barlow Dale, is aided by bumbling police cat Inspector Merlin and smart secretary Miss Honeyflower, with their wits pitted against the dashing black criminal mastermind, Asiam Rex.
Composer and pianist, Martin Butler, said: ‘I never thought that these four pieces I wrote when I was seventeen would catch on in the way they did! Two clarinettists played them with me a few times, but I had no idea that one of them had not only kept the scores but had been passing them on to his students – including Nadia. I am thrilled not only to be playing them again, but also to be laying them down on disc for the first time.’ Clarinettist, Nadia Wilson, said: ‘Ever since Martin and I met and started performing as a duo together, it has been our aim to make the première recording of his ‘cat pieces’ (as they have come to be known). It was then a natural choice to complete the album with a programme of all British clarinet repertoire and the pieces on the CD are all personal favourites of ours.’
The album also includes Arnold Bax’s 'Clarinet Sonata in D Major', the 'Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano in B flat Major' by Joseph Horovitz, and John Ireland’s 'Fantasy-Sonata for Clarinet and Piano'. Nadia Wilson continues: ‘I love all of Bax’s music; there is a romanticism, surrealism and folk-like quality mixed with Celtic mysticism and chromatic twists and turns that is so unique to his music. The Ireland is a classic British masterpiece for clarinet and piano and was an obvious choice for the CD; it’s a real duo with virtuosic, exciting and varied writing for both instruments, creating vivid sound worlds that envelop the listener. The Horovitz is just lots of fun! It’s full of humour and vitality and is always a favourite with audiences. The second movement is, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful, lyrical writing for the clarinet.’
No Man's Land (PFCD073) £12.50
David Heyes; a composer portrait
No Man's Land for double bass and piano
Invocation for double bass trio
A Spotless Rose for soprano and piano
Hold On... A Prayer-Song for Bridget for unaccompanied double bass
Passchendaele - a Meditation for 2 double basses and piano
When I’m Gone... for double bass and piano
Far Away...for soprano and piano
Sahara for unaccompanied double bass
The Last Poppy for double bass trio
Beneath the Stars for double bass and piano
Ilmarinen (Spirit of Air-Maker of Heaven) for unaccompanied double bass
The poppies Blow... for double bass and piano
The Great Wall of China for double bass quartet
‘NO MAN’S LAND’ brings together a selection of works composed by David Heyes since 2014. David only began to compose seriously in his early fifties, has had music performed in 13 countries to date, and was Featured Composer at Galicia Graves International Double Bass Competition (Spain) in 2017.
Performers: David Heyes (double bass), Gemma Ashcroft (double bass), Joe Prindl (double bass), Josie Jobbins (double bass), Alexander Heather (double bass), Sarah Poole (soprano), Derek Harris (piano)
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Excellent reviews for Sadie Harrison's 'Return of the Nightingales'
'the anatomy of melancholy'
"Ian Pace is a phenomenal pianist; a man whose musicality and intellect I have admired for many years. I have heard him fearlessly play some of the most challenging music of our time with huge flair, passion, insight and musicality. I’ve been writing piano music since 1997 and over the years have built up a substantial catalogue of works, many of them hugely ambitious and virtuosic beyond normal pianistic expectations. Across the years, due to a number of factors mainly around the music’s enormous challenges, only a tiny handful of the pieces (often the least frightening and shortest of them) have been performed live, and none so far recorded. Now, for the first time in this amazing collaboration with Ian Pace I have found a pianist who not only enjoys and can meet these challenges but actually wants to perform my work because of the very nature of the music itself.
This album will be the first recorded collection of my piano works ranging from 1997 to the present day. Pieces on the album include:
‘the anatomy of melancholy’ (1998 c. 17 minutes)
‘enuma elis’ (2010 c.13 minutes)
‘ouroboros’ (2009/15 c.17 minutes)
‘the viciousness of circles’ (1998 c.10 minutes)
‘professor wingard’s nameless force’ (2010/15 c.10 minutes)
‘william mumler’s spirit photography’ (2016 c.11 minutes)
I can’t tell you how excited I am about this." Marc Yeats