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.
The Eternal Song (PFCD090) £12.50
Compositions by Daryl Runswick
Prima Facie Records is delighted to announce the release of 'The Eternal Song' (PFCD090). This CD includes Daryl Runswick's 'Variations for String Orchestra' (1980), 'Concerto for Piano and Nine Instruments' (2017) and a piano work, 'Gentle Do Not Care to Know...' (1998); it features Aleksander Szram, i Solisti di Londra, and a string orchestra including members of the Gabrieli and Delmé String Quartets.
Two major works from either end of Runswick's career are highlighted on this CD. Following in the tradition of Mozart, the soloist in 'Concerto for Piano and Nine Instruments' (2017) not only plays from a notated score but also improvises. The concerto is built upon Runswick's fractal technique: every detail of the musical texture is constructed from a single five-note germ. This CD provides the live recording from the world premiere performance at Cadogan Hall in June 2017, when Runswick celebrated his 70th Birthday at a Gala Concert.
'Variations for String Orchestra' (1980) is dedicated to several of Runswick's friends, including the cellist Christopher van Kampen, who died in 1997. In contrast, the piano work 'Gentle Do Not Care to Know ...' (1998), whose title is taken from 'A Summer Night' by W H Auden, a poem full of foreboding of the onset of war, is dedicated to Runswick's father. Runswick describes how the composition process mirrored Stravinsky's comment, “I heard and I wrote what I heard”. Strikingly, despite the diversity of the works included on this CD, and the wide timespan over which they were written, all share elements of the same melody, as Runswick explains in the liner notes.
Follow Prima Facie
Prima Facie on Twitter
Prima Facie Blog
In-depth profiles; videos; audio; the Prima Facie Blog
To celebrate the launch of his latest CD, Preludes to Chopin, Kenneth Hamilton (‘Pianist, author, lecturer and all-round virtuoso’, according to Tom Service in The Guardian) plays and discusses music from the recording at Cardiff University Concert Hall, 09/10/2018, 7-9pm. Full details here.
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