CD label featuring world premières by British composers.
Prima Facie is the meeting of two minds - Giles Easterbrook and Stephen Plews - both known in the music industry as champions of new music. They have produced or promoted hundreds of projects, many of which have won awards or been recognised as outstanding contributions to the arts.
Preludes to Chopin (PFCD084) £12.50
Kenneth Hamilton - piano
Following the widely admired 'Back to Bach' and 'Ronald Stevenson' recordings by Kenneth Hamilton, Prima Facie are proud to present 'Preludes to Chopin', his remarkable new CD.
Kenneth Hamilton comments: “The inspiration for this recording is identical to the motivation for my book 'After the Golden Age: Romantic Pianism and Modern Performance': an abiding fascination with the styles of the “golden age” of piano-playing from Chopin to Paderewski, and how these approaches might enrich our performances today. I’ve used Chopin’s thought-provoking Preludes as they were originally intended—as exquisite prefaces to longer pieces—and adopted a wide range of Romantic performance techniques. My aim was not a direct imitation of historical recordings, but to open myself up to the wider panorama of interpretative possibilities within this wonderful music.”
The recording features the great Chopin Sonatas and the Barcarolle, along with two rarities: Busoni’s dramatic reworking of the “Heroic” Polonaise, and a hauntingly nostalgic version of the Chopin/Liszt 'My Joys', played according to Liszt student Bernhard Stavenhagen’s “personal memories of Liszt”. The CD is accompanied by Hamilton’s own detailed notes on the pieces and their performance.
Typically Teppo (PFCD080) £12.50
Celebrating the music of Teppo Hauta-aho
'Typically Teppo' features the music of the legendary Finnish bassist- composer Teppo Hauta-aho alongside works composed to celebrate his 75th birthday at Teppo-Fest (UK) in May 2016. The international project includes five performers from four countries and composers from six countries in a unique CD which celebrates the music of Teppo Hauta-aho, noting his influence on bassists and composers across the world.
Teppo Hauta-aho was born in 1941 and is the most prolific composer in the history of the double bass. He has composed more than 300 works for every ability level and his unique sound world, influenced by classical styles alongside jazz, contemporary and improvisation, produces a rich palette of atmospheric colours, textures and timbres.
'Two Dances' for double bass quartet employ waltz and reggae styles within a modern but accessible idiom and 'Elegy-Fantasy in Memory of David Walter', a ‘tour de force’ for double bass quartet, is a seventeen minute tone poem of momentous breadth and imagination, and unlike anything else in the quartet repertoire. The bleak, expansive landscapes of his native Finland are captured in the music.
' Trio Poem Basso II' for double bass trio features jazz styles whilst 'Dan’s Gasparo' and 'Dan’s Gasparo Ballade', both for unaccompanied double bass, were composed to celebrate the glorious tone and solo qualities of Dan Styffe’s unique and priceless double bass, made in Brescia (Italy) in the 1580s by Gasparo da Saló. Modern techniques and influences are used but within a lyrical framework.
Sarah Poole (soprano) is the soloist in works by David Heyes (UK) and Katrien Bos (Netherlands). The silky tone of Sarah’s solo voice, against a pizzicato accompaniment, create wonderfully evoca- tive textures.
The five colourful and effective miniatures by Bernard Salles (France) are contrasted by 'Northern Lights' by Simón García (Spain), which is played almost exclusively in harmonics, with 'Aria' by Eric Funk (USA) and 'Finnish Sketches' by David Heyes (UK), both for unaccompanied double bass, emphasising the tonal and sonorous qualities of the 21st-century double bass.
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“An Invitation to Dream…This recording has a uniquely special sound, which drapes the music in a round, full, Romantic tone-colour.” Radio 100.7 Luxembourg review for Kenneth Hamilton's Preludes to Chopin
Mark Yeats: 'the anatomy of melancholy'
"Ian Pace is a phenomenal pianist; a man whose musicality and intellect I have admired for many years. I have heard him fearlessly play some of the most challenging music of our time with huge flair, passion, insight and musicality. I’ve been writing piano music since 1997 and over the years have built up a substantial catalogue of works, many of them hugely ambitious and virtuosic beyond normal pianistic expectations. Across the years, due to a number of factors mainly around the music’s enormous challenges, only a tiny handful of the pieces (often the least frightening and shortest of them) have been performed live, and none so far recorded. Now, for the first time in this amazing collaboration with Ian Pace I have found a pianist who not only enjoys and can meet these challenges but actually wants to perform my work because of the very nature of the music itself.
This album will be the first recorded collection of my piano works ranging from 1997 to the present day. Pieces on the album include:
‘the anatomy of melancholy’ (1998 c. 17 minutes)
‘enuma elis’ (2010 c.13 minutes)
‘ouroboros’ (2009/15 c.17 minutes)
‘the viciousness of circles’ (1998 c.10 minutes)
‘professor wingard’s nameless force’ (2010/15 c.10 minutes)
‘william mumler’s spirit photography’ (2016 c.11 minutes)
I can’t tell you how excited I am about this." Marc Yeats