Albums

 

 

*Includes world premiere recordings*

 

"That Stevenson was a great transcriber is abundantly demonstrated not only in Rory Dall Morrison’s Harp Book but also in the Hebridean Seascape, which reimagines the slow movement of Frank Merrick’s Second Piano Concerto, a colouristic tour de force, vibrantly brought to life by Guild….  Guild provides his own compelling notes and he ends with a recording premiere, the touching Lament for a Blind Harper, movingly played." - Harriet Smith, Gramophone, May 2017

This is the second volume in a projected, multi-disc series dedicated largely to the unrecorded (and, often, unperformed) work of Scottish composer Ronald Stevenson.  Following on from the success of Volume 1 (below), this explores Stevenson's Scottish roots further by presenting transcriptions of Scottish folk song and works by other composers (including Frank Merrick and Savourna Stevenson), alongside original works such as the Carlyle Suite. 

Previews.

 

*Includes world premiere recordings*

"The Scottish pianist Christopher Guild inaugurates a new series of recordings of Stevenson’s works with a vividly played and recorded program centred on music derived from and influenced by folk songs." - Matthew Guerrieri, Boston Globe, April 2015

Ronald Stevenson (1928-2015) was one of the last links we had in the 21st century with that golden age of pianism, where performance was largely inseparable from composition: a time where pianists were composers and performers equally, and where creativity and subjectivity 'in the moment' often reigned supreme. Stevenson's correspondence with the likes of Percy Grainger and even Jean Sibelius is invaluable, as are his links with Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears, and Shostakovich - all of whom he knew personally.  He is, without doubt, the foremost living authority on Ferruccio Busoni.

The wonderful thing about Stevenson, aside from being an extraordinary pianist in his own right (there are some rare recordings out there on the now-defunct Altarus label which are really worth discovering), is what he has done for the Western Art Music tradition of Scotland: not only in his Graingeresque treatments of the country's folk music, but in how he has fused the vernacular with his own distinctive voice.  This CD is a great introduction to all of that, surveying folk song transcriptions, original works taking their leave from Scottish and Irish musical idioms both secular and sacred - and, something equally important to Stevenson, music for young people to play.

 

Previews.

 

*Includes world premiere recordings*

"There are intimations of the percussive spikiness of Prokofiev, the folk idioms and harmonies of Bartok, the simplicity of Poulenc, the wit and humour of Shostakovich, and the sensuality and stately parallel harmonies of Claude Debussy... Hints of Scottish airs make intriguing appearances in the music, reminding us of the composer’s heritage..." 

Frances Wilson, Cross-Eyed Pianist

 

It almost seems incredible that Ronald Center (1913-73) languished in obscurity for his whole life, considering what a powerful emotional punch his music packs.  From Aberdeenshire, Centre quitely composed and worked as a music teacher, as well as coaching local choirs and occasionally partnering his Soprano wife, Evelyn Morrison, in BBC Radio Scotland Broadcasts.  Among his students were James Naughtie (Today, BBC R4) and the late pianist and professor of the Birmingham Conservatoire, Joyce Findlay.

 

The corpus of piano music is easily the best representation of his formidable gifts as a (self-taught - no conservatoire training) composer, but worth seeking out are the numerous choral works which are deeply moving.

 

With sincere thanks and gratitude to the National Library of Scotland for providing access to the manuscripts of many of the works presented here.
 

 

*Includes world premiere recordings*

Grigori Frid (1915-2012) is one of the many composers who lived and worked behind the Iron Curtain who the West is ony now beginning to hear about.  Frid's extremely long life took in the entire history of the Soviet Union, and thus he experienced almost every major historical event of the 20th century.  Violist Elena Artamonova is an authority on Russian music, particularly that for the viola, and introduced me to this music which at times is overwhelmingly powerful.  This album also includes a tribute to Frid by his former pupil, Alexander Vustin.  

Almost every work on this album is appearing on record for the very first time (save for an analogue recording of Sonata No.1 made in the Soviet Union during the 1960s): thus, it is safe to say that this makes the project vital in filling a hole in the history of Russian music.

 

*Includes world premiere recordings*

Diana Galvydyte and I first collaborated as Park Lane Group Young Artists in 2011, and together have maintained a keen interest in exploring the unknown.  This album was actually recorded in honour of Diana's victory at the Windsor String Competition in 2010, and we have here works largely by lesser-known composers of the Baltic countries, including her native Lithuania.  We also explored two works by James Macmillan, one new commission from Italian composer Joe Schittino, and solo works by Huw Watkins and Esa-Pekka Salonen.  The album was awarded 4 stars in the November 2012 edition of BBC Music Magazine.
 

Out of stock.

 

© 2019 Christopher Guild.

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