A Highland Ballad
A Highland Ballad spans three centuries of Scottish classical music, unearthing some remarkable gems of Scotland’s musical heritage including works by Sir Alexander Campbell Mackenzie, Ronald Stevenson, Alexander Munro, Stuart Macrae and William McGibbon.
This CD will be released on the 29th of November, with the official CD launch taking place at the Scottish Music Centre, City Halls Glasgow on the 29th of November. If you can’t make the launch, click the cart icon above and you can pre-order your CD here, to be dispatched on the 29th Nov.
Recorded at Filharmonia Podkarpacka, Rzeszów, Poland on 28–30 June 2011.
Jean-Baptiste Besard (ca. 1567–ca. 1620) published the Thesaurus Harmonicus in Cologne in 1603. It is an almost encyclopaedic collation of early 17th century lute music containing pieces by twenty-one credited composers from throughout Europe, along with many un-credited and anonymous works.
Attempting to condense a collection of music as vast as the Thesaurus Harmonicus into a one hour length recording is a seemingly quixotic endeavour and this in no way claims to be a comprehensive survey of the text. The pieces were chosen for purely personal reasons as being the most interesting, moving and outstanding works I discovered while exploring the book.
The Thesaurus Harmonicus contains some of the best-known lute music along with some of the most obscure. Both are presented here. The three pieces by John Dowland are probably the most famous works for lute, though they contain subtle variations that should make them interesting to even the most experienced listener.
Recorded at the Cathedral of the Isles, Millport, Isle of Cumbrae, Scotland on 5–7 May 2010
Selected Guitar Works of William Lovelady
with special guest Craig Ogden (track 11)
Opalińska & Whates
Lumière—an engaging new album from Mira Opalińska and Douglas Whates. With a lightness of touch and a darkness of sound, the piano and bass duo improvise on their unique arrangements of works by classic film and world cinema composers.
Whether reinventing the familiar or unearthing unexpected gems, the duo explore these moving and expressive scores to create inspired, extraordinary music of brooding intensity.
Recorded with a single stereo pair of microphones direct to 2‑track at Filharmonia Podkarpacka, Rzeszów, Poland on 29–30 October 2011. Front cover artwork by Jennifer Coates.
Folk Radio reviews Dark Nights... -
A really excellent 4* review of Samantha Whates’ forthcoming album Dark Nights Make for Brighter Days.
Dark Nights Make for Brighter Days
Samantha Whates, vocals & guitar
with Aisling Angnew—flute; Feargus Hetherington—violin & viola; Angus Lyon—accordion; Mira Opalinska—piano, rhodes, celesta, glockenspiel; Matthew McAllister—guitars; Douglas Whates—bass and guitars; Jamie Flanagan—drums & percussion; Brian McRae—drums & percussion.
Debut album from singer-songwriter Samantha Whates.
Bach & Brouwer
This recording is a pairing of two works by composers whose styles would appear at first glance to be in sharp contrast. Despite two centuries separating their composition, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suite No.1 (BWV 1007) and Leo Brouwer’s Suite No.2 share distinct similarities.
Recorded at the Cathedral of The Isles, Millport, 9th and 10th November 2010.
Standing Stones (NSRCD011): Here is Frevo Quartet at their most versatile and beautiful best. Standing Stones is their second offering in their themed EP series and displays the full virtuosity of these young musicians. An unlikely combination of instrumentation - guitar, violin, flute and bass - works superbly well to produce a perfectly balanced whole. From the beautifully haunting “Arisaig” to the rumbustuous “Guards Brigade at Anzio” we have a delightful selection of Scottish and Irish music reflecting both the traditional and contemporary. The enjoyment of playing comes through clearly in this superb quality recording. If you haven’t heard Frevo before, this is the perfect introduction. — Alistair Sutherland
Histoire du Tango (NSRCD010): Their musicianship is of the highest order and the fact that they did their own arrangement of this now legendary work, also illustrates their extremely good taste in orchestration. My admiration of this group is further enlarged by the fact that it was recorded ‘live’ in front of an audience in a concert from Crail Parish Church, Fife, a fact that really only comes to light when the audience’s applause erupts at the conclusion; despite the fact that it states it on the sleeve, one does tend to forget this live situation, so good is the recording and playing quality. — Steve Marsh, Classical Guitar Magazine