Rayfield Allied Advent Calendar: Who's behind the door today?

1 December 2017

Our artists have released many great albums this year. In the lead up to Christmas we will be sharing our favourite releases from 2017, as selected by the Rayfield Allied team.

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David Hill, Caitlin Hulcup, Joshua Ellicott - Dyson: Choral Symphony The Bach Choir

Released: Nov 17 - Naxos

Watch a behind-the-scenes video of the performance here.


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Paul McCreesh - Silence and Music Gabrieli Consort & Players

Released: Oct 17 - Signum Classics

What the critics said: “The Gabrieli Consort, conducted by Paul McCreesh, sings Stanford’s “The Blue Bird” with such abstracted beauty that enchantment sets in from the opening minutes.” - Richard Fairman, The Financial Times****

Listen to extracts of the CD here.


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Michael Volle - Wagner Arias Rundfunk Symphonieorchester Berlin, Georg Fritzsch (conductor)

Released: Sept 17 - Orfeo

What the critics said: “With Michael Volle in such outstanding form this essential Wagner collection is a riveting experience on Orfeo” - MusicWeb International

Listen to extracts of the CD here.


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Nicholas McGegan - Mozart: The Complete Works for Violin & Orchestra Capella Savaria, Zsolt Kalló (violin)

Released: August 2017, Hungaroton

What the critics said: “Vivid and beautifully shaped Mozart from a Hungarian-British team” - The Strad


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Peter Harvey - Georg Friedrich Händel: Occasional Oratorio

Released: June 17 - BR Klassik

What the critics said: “Peter Harvey’s diction, vocal suavity and persuasive authority are all spot-on…Another extraordinary set piece is the verse-anthem-style ‘To God, our strength, sing loud and clear’, which starts with Harvey’s eloquent introduction” - David Vickers, Gramophone

Watch extracts of the performance here.


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Peter Herresthal - Buene: Violin Concerto Arctic Philharmonic Sinfonietta, Øyvind Bjorå, conductor

Released: Nov 17 - BIS Records

Listen to extracts of the CD here.


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Catriona Morison - L'heure espagnole - Oh! La pitoyable aventure!

Released: June 17 - BBC Cardiff Singer of the World

What the critics said: "To secure the prize, Ms. Morison sang selections from Rossini (“Tancredi”), Strauss (“Der Rosenkavalier”), Ravel (“L’Heure Espagnole”) and Purcell (“Dido and Aeneas”) with a silky, lightly smoky tone, easygoing dramatic flair and unflappable poise." - Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times

Watch extracts of the performance here.


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Laurence Cummings - Water Music FestspielOrchester Goettingen

Released: May 2017 - Accent

What the critics said: "Laurence Cummings makes the music dance and sing: touches like leaving the perky wind trios without continuo make the expressiveness of the strings as they enter all the more effective" - The Guardian

Listen to extracts of the CD here.


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Katherine Watson, Stephen Langridge and Alison Chitty - Handel: Theodora 

Released: January 2017 - Erato Records

What the critics said: "Katherine Watson captures the full measure of Theodora's dignity, lyricism and profound sublimity in every crucial scene; the middle part of Angels, ever bright and fair has seldom been so beautifully accurate of the heroine's desperate plight" - David Vickers, Gramophone

"At the Theatre des Champs Elysees, Stephen Langridge devised a staging of Handel's oratorio that is more meditative than explicitly descriptive. [A] fine and worthy production" - Philippe Venturing, Les Echos

"Alison Chitty's scenography is judicious and evocative" - Cantal Cazaux, L'Avant-Scene Opera

Watch extracts of the production here.


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Pieter Wispelwey - Mendelssohn: Motets and Piano Trio Flemish Radio Choir and Hervé Niquet

Released: October 2017 - Evil Penguin Records Classic

Listen to extracts of the CD here.


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David Stout - John Joubert: Jane Eyre English Symphony Orchestra

Released: March 2017 - Somm Recordings

What the critics said: "the melodies are glorious, all rendered in this concert performance with immense security and colour by the English Symphony Orchestra under Kenneth Woods... David Stout’s Rochester was tortured and charismatic, his baritone shifting from honeyed tenor registers to cutting lower notes.” – Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post

Listen to extracts of the CD here.


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Alexander Romanovsky - Childhood Memories

Released: May 2017 - Decca Classics

Listen to extracts of the CD here.


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Benjamin Bevan and Peter Auty - John Joubert: St Mark Passion, Missa Wellensis & Locus Iste Wells Cathedral Choir

Released: September 2017 - Resonus Classics

What the critics said: "He has a firm, well-focussed voice and sings with great intelligence. Bevan invests his role with just the right degree of dignity... Peter Auty sings very well indeed. His voice is well suited to Joubert’s vocal lines and his diction is crystal clear. He tells the story compellingly” – John Quinn, MusicWeb International

Listen to extracts of the CD here.


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David Hill - Yale Scola Cantorum: Faure; Requiem and other sacred music

Released: October 2017 - Hyperion

What the critics said: "The real glories of the disc come with the handful of rarely heard choral miniatures which are, without exception, absolute gems. Hill's overall approach is to produce a smooth sound rather than present significant interpretations of the music, and this is an approach that serves these shorter pieces particularly well, investing them with simple beauty rather than emotional or spiritual depth." - Mark Rochester, Gramophone

Listen to extracts of the CD here.


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Nicholas Mulroy and Joshua Ellicott - Dunedin Consort: Monteverdi Vespers 1610

Released: September 2017 - Linn Records

What the critics said: "A brisk bright sounding performance and if you miss the grandeur of the larger forces you gain in clarity, transparency and rhythmic flexibility as well. And the standard of solo singing is outstanding, beautifully ornamented. It's typical Butt, he'll have you rethinking how Monteverdi's Vespers might sound and it's a well matched recording as well" - Record Review

Listen to extracts of the CD here.


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Natalie Clein - Bloch, Ligeti & Dallapiccola: Suites for solo cello

Released: February 2017 - Hyperion

What the critics said: "A wonderful and compelling recording by Natalie Clein demonstrating the art of cello-playing at its most intimate - physical, lyrical and beautifully recorded" - Martin Cullingford, Gramophone - Editor's Choice

Listen to extracts of the CD here.


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David Wilson-Johnson - Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra - Glanert Requiem

Released: June 2017 - RCO Live

What the critics said: "The performance has power and conviction - you would think this was an established concert work rather than a first performance" - Stephen Jackson, BBC Music Magazine ****

Listen to extracts of the CD here.

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Elizabeth Kenny - The Masque of Moments

Released: February 2017 - Linn Records

What the critics said: "There are exquisite sounds from Kenny's plucked-instrument ensemble, and beautiful numbers from masques by Henry and William Lawes, Coprario, Locke and others, with nicely refined singing." - Nicholas Kenyon, The Observer

Listen to extracts of the CD here.

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Robin Blaze- J S Bach: St John Passion

Released: April 2017 - Chandos 

What the critics said: "The solo line-up is without a weak link, among it's glories [...] Robin Blaze's exquisitely judged Es ist vollbracht" - Paul Riley, BBC Music Magazine

Listen to extracts of the CD here.

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Quatuor Mosaïques - Beethoven: The Late String Quartets

Released: October 2017 - Naïve

What the critics said: “Their playing is so natural and communicative that fans will find gold in every measure […] this is a treasure. Do not let it go.” Laurence Vittes - Early Music America

Listen to extracts of the CD here.


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Mhairi Lawson - Monteverdi Madrigali Volume 3: Venezia Les Arts Florissants

Released: February 2017 - Harmonia Mundi

What the critics said: "... the scrupulous way voices and instruments complement each other are a treat in themselves." - Andrew Clements - The Guardian

Listen to extracts of the CD here.


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Pierre-André Valade - Philippe Leroux: Ailes... The Meitar Ensemble

Released: October 2017 - Soupir Editions

What the critics said: ‘[This recording] gives a good idea of what the Leroux listening experience constitutes for the listener, [and] shows just how far Philippe Leroux has managed to reinvent himself over 25 years" - Pierre Gervasoni, Lemonde.fr (translated from French)

Listen to extracts of the CD here.


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Nicholas Mulroy - I Fagilioni: Monteverdi; The Other Vespers

Released: April 2017 - Decca Classics

What the critics said: ‘Confitebor tibi, Domine (secondo) lilts gently and with delightful translucence, its measured pace aligned to an affectionate tone of delivery from the superb solo trio Ciara Hendrick, Nicholas Mulroy and Jonathan Sells" - David Vickers, Gramophone

Listen to extracts of the CD here.


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Leonore Piano Trio - Taneyev & Rimsky Korsakov

Released: February 2017 - Hyperion Records

What the critics said: ‘Sections of persistent drama, a pensive piano solo, a deeply felt cello and violin duet and a thrilling climax make this an irresistible piano trio ... the thrilling performances of the Leonore Piano Trio make these late Romantic works come alive" - Audiophile Audition, USA ****

Listen to extracts of the CD here.

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