Rayfield Allied Advent Calendar

1 December 2016

Welcome to the 2016 Rayfield Allied Advent Calendar
Rayfield Allied artists have released many great recordings this year.
Here are some of our favourites in our online Advent Calendar, celebrating Advent and counting down to Christmas.

Matthew Brook - Christmas Oratorio
Dunedin Consort
J.S. Bach

Released: September 2016 - Linn Records

What the critics said: ‘It’s surely one of the finest accounts now available of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. The choral sound is pert, sinewy, unforced; the instrumental playing is punchy, broad and charismatic’ - The Guardian

Listen to Matthew Brook sing ‘Thus saith the Lord’ from Handel’s Messiah.

Laurence Cummings - Handel: Susanna
FestspielOrchester Goettingen and NDR Chor

Released: September 2016 - Accent

What the critics said: ‘Cummings’s new version with Göttingen festival forces captures fully the uplifting, pastoral, ethereal vision in arias such as Susanna’s “Crystal streams in murmurs flowing’ - The Guardian

Listen to Laurence Cummings conduct the overture to Faramondo at the Göttingen International Handel Festival.

Andrew Parrott - Western Wind: Mass by John Taverner & Court Music for Henry VIII
John Taverner and Anon
Taverner Choir & Players

Released: March 2016 - AVIE

What the critics said: ‘Parrott’s past recordings of Taverner count among his finest achievements…this new offering suggests that the hiatus of 25
years has not dulled his affinity for the music of his ensemble’s namesake…dispatched with real flair’ - Fabrice Fitch, Gramophone
Winner of Gramophone 2016 Early Music Award

Listen to Andrew Parrott conduct the Taverner Choir and Players in ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’.

Mahan Esfahani: Goldberg Variations
J.S. Bach

Released: August 2016 - Deutsche Grammophon

What the critics said: ‘This is a disc I’ve wanted to hear ever since I first heard Esfahani play the Goldbergs back in 2010. The intensity and virtuosity are every bit as evident here as then, and the instrument sounds beautiful.’ - Martin Cullingford, Gramophone (Editor’s Choice)

Watch Mahan Esfahani explore J.S. Bach’s The Art of Fugue.

David Hill - Stanford Choral Music
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Released: September 2016 - Naxos

What the critics said: ‘Here is David Hill’s latest in a string of excellent choral recordings for Naxos. His fiery shaping of the Prelude to Stanford’s Stabat Mater shows how responsive the Bournemouth orchestra has become to his direction; and his powerful shaping of the ‘Stabat Mater dolorosa’ movement locks players an singers tightly together in the sizzling crescendo at ‘Pertransivit gladius’, and again on the pulsatingly climactic ‘Et flagellis subditum.’ - Terry Blain, BBC Music Magazine

Watch footage of David Hill recording Howells with the BSO.

Nicholas Mulroy - Stravinsky: Choral Works
Choir of St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh
Scottish Chamber Orchestra Soloists
Duncan Ferguson

Released: August 2016 - Delphian

What the critics said:
‘He (Duncan Ferguson) is fortunate to have two fine soloists in Ruby Hughes and Nicholas Mulroy for [the] Cantata’ - Choir & Organ, September 2016

Listen to Nicholas Mulroy perform ‘Thou shalt break them’ from Handel’s Messiah.

Benjamin Bevan - Handel in Italy Vol. 2
G.F. Handel

Released: August 2016 - Signum Classics

What the critics said: ‘Benjamin Bevan and the orchestra bring out the vividness of the music with real vigour as Polifemo rages.’ - Robert Hugill, planethugill.com

Listen to Benjamin Bevan sing ‘Non V’alletti Un Occhio Nero’ from Handel’s Dalla Guerra Amorosa from the disc.

Gennady Rozhdestvensky - Tchaikovsky & Sibelius: Violin Concertos
David Oistrakh (Violin)
Radio Moscow Philharmonie & USSR National Orchestra

Reissed: 2016 - Praga Digitals

What the critics said: ‘Fiery performances, with soloist and conductor at the top of their game’ - BBC Music Magazine

Listen to Gennady Rozhdestvensky conduct Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

The Cardinall’s Musick - Spem in Alium
Thomas Tallis

Released: November 2016 - Hyperion

What the critics said: ‘This Hyperion issue is another sure fire winner from Andrew Carwood and his outstanding choir, taking further their Tallis edition … anyone who loves to wallow in the Great British choral tradition should not hesitate. I sense this could well be a potential award winner’ - Classic FM

Listen to The Cardinall’s Musick sing Honor Virtus et Potestas from their CD Tallis: Ave, Dei patris filia & other sacred music.

Mhairi Lawson - Apolle e Dafne
Ensemble Marsyas
G.F. Handel

Released: October 2016 - Linn Records

What the critics said:
‘[Lawson’s] exquisite entrance aria, ‘Felicissima quest’alma’, barely touches the ground, so lightly spun are its phrases.’ - Gramophone

Mhairi Lawson perform live in Die Schöpfung with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia under Richard Egarr.

Elizabeth Kenny - Shakespeare Songs
Ian Bostridge

Released: September 2016 - Warner

What the critics said: ‘The recital is well constructed: Elizabethan lute songs (with the incomparable Elizabeth Kenny).’ - Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian

Listen to Elizabeth Kenny and Robin Blaze perform Lawes

Raphael Pichon & Ensemble Pygmalion - Dardanus (DVD)
J.P. Rameau

Released: September 2016 - Harmonia Mundi

What the critics said: ‘Pygmalion provides vigorous and expert orchestral accompaniment, and Raphaël Pichon’s assured direction secures superb coordination with the soloists and the firmly focused chorus.’ - Jan Smaczny, BBC Music Magazine

Watch Raphael Pichon conduct Ensemble Pygmalion in Rameau’s Dardanus

Steve Reich - Duet
Steve Reich, MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra and Kristjan Järvi

Released: September 2016 - Sony Music

What the critics said: ‘Thank you Kristjan Jarvi and the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony & Chorus for such an accurately detailed, emotionally charged double album. You Are (Variations) and Daniel Variations are two of the best pieces I have ever written and now, more listeners can hear them in extraordinarily beautiful performances. Take a listen’ - Steve Reich

Watch Steve Reich perform ‘Clapping Music’.

Peter Harvey - St Matthew Passion
Kammerchor Stuttgart, Frieder Bernius
J.S. Bach

Released: 2016 - Carus

What the critics said:
‘[‘Mache dich’ is] ... beautifully seasoned and suitably absorbing.’ - Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Gramophone

Awarded the Pizzicato Supersonic Award

Listen to Peter Harvey sing the aria “Mache Dich mein Herze rein” from Bach’s St Matthew Passion

Jennifer Pike - Mendelssohn in Birmingham
CBSO, Edward Gardner

January 2016 - Chandos

What the critics said: ‘Jennifer Pike allies the luminous beauty of her tone to her innate musicality and mercurial technique to produce an exceptionally lyrical interpretation of the evergreen Violin Concerto in E minor.’ - Stephen Pritchard, The Observer

Listen to Jennifer Pike play Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto

Tobias Ringborg - Arias
Soprano Pumeza Matshikiza

Released: May 2016 - Decca Classics

What the critics said: ‘The conductor Tobias Ringborg ensures a sequence of secure and characterful accompaniments, with the Turandot extract a particular highlight.’ - George Hall, Opera Magazine

Watch Tobias Ringborg conduct Dvorák’s Song to the Moon in a recording session with Aarhus Symfoniorkester and Pumeza Matshikiza for Decca.

Louis Lortie - A Fauré Recital, Volume 1
Gabriel Fauré

Released: September 2016 - Chandos

What the critics said: ‘There’s no mistaking Lortie’s affection for the music, nor his sensitivity to its delicate high-lights and sensuous shadows. His technical control is unflinching, whether in the starlit glimmers in Nocturne No. 6, or the virtual ambidexterity required for the Barcarolle No. 5. Everything is finessed without the succumbing to preciousness. He has a knack for creating atmosphere through ideal tempo plus judicious balance of tone of voicing: the Sicilienne of the Pelléas Suite is a case in point, as is the Pavane. And as the fleeting, side-stepping harmonies of the Preludes whirl by, you are left marvelling at the intricate beauty of Fauré’s unique style – which is, hopefully, any great pianist’s ultimate aim.’ - Jessica Duchen, BBC Music Magazine

Watch Louis Lortie play Chopin’s Étude Op. 25 No. 2

Robin Blaze - Secular Cantatas, Bach Collegium Japan, Bach Complete Works Volume 6
J.S. Bach

Released: February 2016 - BIS

What the critics said: ‘Robin Blaze produces a gloriously bell-like radiance…One cannot find but solace and satisfaction in the assuaging dialogues of Carolyn Sampson and Robin Blaze.’ - Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Gramophone

Listen to Robin Blaze sing the ‘Domine Fili’ from Bach’s Lutheran Mass in G Minor BWV 235

Barnaby Rea - HMS Pinafore
Gilbert & Sullivan

Released: June 2016 - Linn Records

What the critics said: ‘[With] a cast of top-drawer voices…this is definitely recommendable.’ - BBC Music Magazine

Robert Levin - Mozart 225 - The Complete Edition
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Released: August 2016 - Chandos (Presented by Decca Classics and Deutsche Grammophon)

What the critics said:
‘Robert Levin is really one of the very best: his playing is always both thoughtful and expressive and his attention to detail is, I think, unprecedented.’ - Prof. Cliff Eisen, Huffington Post

Watch Robert Levin play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no.5 with the Filarmonica della Scala, conducted by Semyon Bychkov.

Gothic Voices - Mary, Star of the Sea
Various composers

Released: August 2016 - Linn Records

What the critics said: ‘This welcome revitalisation of an iconic group is characterised by warmth of tone and beautiful blend. A thoroughly engaging recording of impeccable clarity.’ - Choir & Organ - 5 stars

Listen to Gothic Voices perform Landini’s Ne la mia vita

Nicholas McGegan - Scarlatti: La Gloria di Primavera
Philharmonia Baroque

Released: 2016 - PBO Productions

What the critics said: ‘Nicholas McGegan leads his chorus and period orchestra in nicely polished, stylistically assured performances’ - George Loomis, Opera Magazine

Listen to Nicholas McGegan conduct L’ile Inconnue from Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’été (Op. 7) with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (mezzo-soprano)

Peter Herresthal - Henrik Hellstenius | Ørjan Matre
Peter Herresthal with Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and Rolf Gupta

Released: March 2016 - BIS

What the critics said: ‘Herresthal has its measure, both technically and expressively… Superb sound.’ - Guy Richards, Gramophone

Listen to Peter Herresthal play an extract from the final movement “Rounds” from Thomas Adès’s violin concerto Concentric Paths.

Leonore Piano Trio - Lalo Piano Trios
Édouard Lalo

Released: January 2016 - Hyperion Records

What the critics said: ‘There’s high virtuosity all round—superb light, dazzling backgrounds from Tim Horton, searing intensity of tone from violinist Benjamin Nabarro and cellist Gemma Rosefield [...] it’s terrific stuff’ - Jessica Duchen, BBC Music Magazine

to an excerpt from the disc

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