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.
Translations (PFNSCD009) £12.50
Early Chamber Works by Peter Dickinson
Prima Facie Records is delighted to announce the release of Translations: Early Chamber Music (PFNSCD009) by Peter Dickinson (b. 1934). This release forms part of the Prima Facie Records NEW Series, which aims to encourage the younger generations to appreciate, promote and play contemporary music.
"A composer who has escaped the confines of the predictable without ever ceasing to communicate" Arnold Whittall, Gramophone.
This disc spans much of Dickinson's career, from his days as a university undergraduate (Sonatina for Recorder and Piano (1956) and Threnody for cello and piano (also 1956), the latter first recorded by Penelope Lynex and Alexander Wells) to recent works such as Waltz For Elliott Schwartz For Piano (2016), celebrating Schwartz's 80th birthday, and Freda’s Blues For Piano (2016), a tribute to Lady Berkeley (1923- 2016), based on Berkeley's song ‘How Love Came In’. It also includes works written some time ago but only recently performed, such as the Fantasy for Clarinet and Piano (1956), first performed in 2000. The inspiration for the works on this CD is characteristically diverse. For example, Lullaby for clarinet and piano (1967/82) is derived from Dickinson's sketches for an opera called The Unicorns, based on a story by John Heath-Stubbs (1918-2006), about two competing countries who wanted to secure unicorns for research. Four Duos for cello and flute (1962), the second movement of which was written in a room with a chiming clock, uses a twelve-note row from Charles Ives’ Three Page Sonata (1908). The idea for the Sonatina for solo bassoon (1966) emerged whilst the Dickinsons were staying in Paris in a house in which a bassoonist was practising on the top floor. Translations for recorder, gamba and harpsichord (1971) was written for David Munrow, Oliver Brooks and Christopher Hogwood, and includes a range of extended techniques, as Munrow believed that early music instruments should be available to today's composers.
"As composer, performer and writer, Peter Dickinson has made a significant contribution to British musical life" Philip Borg-Wheeler, Classical Music
Organ Works Volume 1 (PFCD076) £12.50
Organ works by Ronald Frost performed by Simon Passmore
Toccata for St Ann’s (July 1980)
Partita: Conditor Alme (Bury, December 1996)
Berceuse (Bury, July 1984) (For Andrew Shaw – former Organ Scholar at St Ann’s – to celebrate his success in the ARCO examination)
Three Pieces for Organ (for Calthorpe Emslie – August 2001)
Chorale Preludes (for Calthorpe Emslie, 1999)
Meditation on a Dutch Hymn Tune (for Jeffrey – August 1982) (De eersten zijn de laatsten – Fritz Mehrtens)
Meditation on ‘Ripponden’ (for Trevor – Bury, July 1981) (For the funeral of my dear friend Trevor Tildesly)
Variations on David Mardon’s Hymn Tune ‘Nicola’ (Bury, April 1998) (To David Mardon – with apologies for ruining a good tune!)
Prima Facie are delighted to celebrate the life and works of the legendary musical polymath Ronald Frost with this first volume in the series of his complete organ works, performed by Simon Passmore.
As organist of the historic St Ann's, Manchester, for 37 years, Ronald Frost remained at the forefront of the city's music-making throughout the second half of the 20th century. He was associated with the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) where his input and experience helped mould the creative personalities of many of Britain's most eminent practitioners. Likewise, as one of the defining choral conductors of his generation, he brought the Hallé Choir to a level of performance which had few, if any, equals.
Simon Passmore was born in Hexham in 1990 and began piano lessons at the age of seven, studying with Hexham Abbey's then directors of music John Green and Michael Haynes, and then with Newcastle University's head of keyboard David Murray. He has given solo piano recitals at numerous festivals across the UK and has featured as a concerto soloist both in the UK and abroad. Simon is currently the Organist and Director of Music at St Ann's Church, Manchester, where he gives lunchtime organ recitals on a weekly basis.
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Excellent reviews for Sadie Harrison's 'Return of the Nightingales'
'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