Prima Facie

CDs with online ordering

On The Shoreline (PFCD98) £12.50

Music by Gordon Crosse

1 On the Shoreline for recorder and string septet (2016)
2-3 Trio, for violin, cello and piano (1985/6)
Lento; Presto
4-6 Sonata No.1, for piano (2013/14)
Vivace con fuoco; Lento molto, calmo assai; Presto scorrevole e sotto voce
7-11 Ron's Toyes, for piano (2014/15)
Puffin Windmill; Battleship and Submarine; Classic Hen;. Sheep and Shears-man; Two WW1 Biplanes
12-14 Papay Sonata for clarinet and piano (2016)
Andante sotto voce; Lento; Allegro

On the Shoreline CD

"The playing on this CD is outstanding. Every piece is delivered with care, commitment and obvious enthusiasm. The sound quality is excellent... relished this new CD of music by Gordon Crosse from end to end." John France, MusicWeb Recording of the Month review

Manchester Sinfonia is a vibrant new professional orchestra. The players are the cream of musicians in and around Manchester (UK) and produce exceptional performances of the highest quality. Manchester Sinfonia is fortunate to have the vastly experienced Richard Howarth as the orchestra's Leader / Director / Conductor. He draws on a successful career as a violinist, playing in and leading many of the UK's orchestras. He has led the Ulster Orchestra and Manchester Camerata, and has been guest leader of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra inter alia. Richard now enjoys heading the new Manchester Sinfonia along with his other conducting commitments.

John Turner is one of the leading recorder players of today. He has played as recorder soloist with the Hallé Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Manchester Camerata, the English Baroque Soloists, the English Chamber Orchestra, and many other leading orchestras and ensembles. Concertos and works with orchestra have been written for him by Gordon Crosse, Anthony Gilbert, Peter Hope, Kenneth Leighton, Elis Pehkonen, Alan Bullard, John Casken, and many other distinguished composers. In all, he has given the first performances of over 600 works for the recorder, with works by many non-British composers, including Leonard Bernstein, Ned Rorem, Peter Sculthorpe, Douglas Lilburn, Petr Eben, Naji Hakim and Ruth Zechlin. Many of the works he has premiered have now entered the standard repertoire, and these and his own recorder compositions are regularly set for festivals and examinations.

Eighteen years old (and counting), the Lawson Trio has achieved widespread recognition for its intelligent interpretations, imaginative programming and innovative approach to commissioning. In recent years the Trio has appeared at major venues in London including Wigmore Hall, Kings Place and the Southbank Centre. They have also given world premiere performances of works by British composers live on BBC radio, including trios by Anthony Powers, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, David Knotts and Camden Reeves. Gordon Crosse has been a long-standing friend of the Lawson Trio since revising his Trio for them in 2012. The Trio, originally written in 1986 for the Hartley Trio, was premiered by the Lawsons in its revised version at the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre as part of the Park Lane Group Series in 2012. The Trio’s violinist at the time was Fenella Humphreys, for whom Gordon has since written several works and the Lawson Trio is delighted to welcome Fenella back for this premiere recording.

Annabelle Lawson has established herself as a pianist and chamber musician who exudes subtlety and vivacity in equal measure. She is a passionate advocate of both new and obscure repertoire, having commissioned and premiered a large number of works with the Lawson Trio and she recently performed Stanford's little-known 2nd piano concerto, as well as chamber music by Rebecca Clarke and Louis Vierne. Annabelle studied piano as a child at Chetham's School of Music, before reading music at King's College, Cambridge. After completing her BA she undertook a one-year BMus, for which she gained a Distinction, during which time she researched the social role of the Argentine tango in Paris in the years preceding World War One. She then pursued postgraduate tuition in chamber music at the Royal Academy of Music, who went on to award her piano trio a two-year Junior Leverhulme Chamber Music Fellowship.

British clarinettist Matthew Scott graduated from London's Royal Academy of Music in 2015, attaining BMus(Hons) First Class and an MA with Distinction and DipRAM, generously supported by scholarships from RAM, The Countess of Munster Musical Trust and The Greenbank Scholarship. Described as "musically stylish and technically excellent... [projecting] a compelling sense of engagement, connecting [the] audience with the music" (Richard Heason; Director St. John's Smith Square) with a "wonderfully beautiful and flexible sound" (David Campbell; international clarinettist), Matthew regularly performs solo and chamber recitals for music societies and festivals throughout the UK.

Maltese pianist Christine Zerafa has appeared in major international venues and festivals in the UK and overseas, including the Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, St John Smith Square and Oxford Lieder Festival. She has been described as "a natural musician" and "a musician with a warm and very communicative personality" (The Times of Malta, 2012), and she has been recipient of various awards, including the RNCM Clifton Helliwell Prize, the RAM Scott Huxley prize for piano accompaniment, the Schumann Lieder pianist prize, the Eric Brough Prize and the John B McEwen Prize.

John Turner (recorder) with The Manchester Sinfonia (Conducted by Richard Howarth)
Lawson Trio: Annabelle Lawson (piano), Matthew Scott (clarinet), Christine Zerafa (piano)

Cover Photo by Michael McGhee.
Recorded and produced by Richard Scott at The Royal Northern College of Music on the 7/8 December 2017.
Except track 12-14 Recorded and produced by Stephen Plews at The Royal Academy of Music on 23 September 2018, edited by Phil Hardman.
Mastered by Richard Scott.

Prima Facie is grateful for financial assistance provided by RVW Trust.

For more information, please download the CD booklet.

Gordon Crosse

Gordon Crosse
Photo by Marc Yeats
Gordon Crosse was born in 1937 in Bury, Lancashire. In 1961 he gained a first class honours degree at Oxford, after which he did two years’ research on early fifteenth century music, part of 1962 being spent studying with Petrassi in Rome. Since 1964 he has held various appointments at the universities of Birmingham and Essex, and was for two years composer in residence at King’s College, Cambridge. In 1976, the year in which he was awarded the Cobbett Medal, he returned to his home in Suffolk to devote all his time to composition, but in 1977 he spent one year as Visiting Professor of Composition at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

A number of his compositions, including 'Ceremony', 'Epiphany Variations', 'Play Ground', 'Dreamsongs', 'Symphony No. 2', the 'Cello Concerto' and 'Violin Concerto No. 2', have been written to commissions for international orchestras and festivals, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Cheltenham Festival, the Aldeburgh Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival.

From the late 1980s Crosse became heavily involved with computer technology, and ceased composing. However the hiatus was broken in 2008, when he wrote a new collection of songs to words by Rudyard Kipling (a favourite author) for the eightieth birthday of his friend Sir John Manduell, and since then he has been extremely prolific. Recent works include five new string quartets, two more symphonies, a viola concerto, a third violin concerto, several choral works, a Second Elegy (in memory of his late father), an oboe trio, Brief Encounter for recorder, oboe d’amore and strings, and a handful of solos for various wind instruments and piano, written mainly for friends. He now divides his time between Suffolk and Papa Westray in the Orkney Islands.