Prima Facie Records

CD label featuring world premières by British composers

Giles Stephen
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.

Prima Facie

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Contemporary Piano Soundbites (PFCD140) £12.50

Composers in Lockdown 2020 - Duncan Honeybourne (piano)

John Casken (b.1949) Tempus Plangendi (2.55)
Phillip Cooke (b.1980) The Turtle Dove (3.04)
David Jennings (b.1972) Melancholy. A Fragment (3.31)
Marcus Blunt (b.1947) Prelude to Better Times (1.57)
Clive Jenkins (b.1938) Quicksilver (2.35)
Francis Pott (b.1957) Poem of the Air (4.18)
John McLeod (b.1934) A Dark Waltz (2.10)
David Lancaster (b.1960) Angelus (5.47)
David Power (b.1962) Joy (1.23)
Sadie Harrison (b.1965) In the Air... (3.04)
Simon Clarkson (b.1964) Everyone Sang (3.33)
Adam Gorb (b.1958) After the Darkness (5.23)
Graham Fitkin (b.1963) R Zero (6.12)
Liz Dilnot Johnson (b.1964) A Little Lockdown Lyric (1.57)
Benjamin Oliver (b.1981) From the Sublime to the Ridiculous (5.31)
Hayley Jenkins (b.1990) I hear you Mr Blackbird - Before March 23rd, 2020 (1.10)
Hayley Jenkins (b.1990) I hear you Mr Blackbird - After March 23rd, 2020 (2.36)
Charlotte Marlow (b.1992) Wayfaring (2.52)
Zoe Sones (b.1998) Rona (3.59)
Luke Whitlock (b.1978) Refractions of Light (4.52)
Ludo Geloen (b.1962) Paralysis (3.39)
Paul Henley (b.1959) Adagietto (3.05)
Peter Facer (b.1987) Diabolical Dance (3.33)

Contemporary Piano Soundbites CD

"Contemporary Piano Soundbites is a collection of solo piano miniatures composed during the 2020 coronavirus lockdown and premiered on video during the months of April, May and June. The project, which ranked in the top 10% of Just Giving fundraisers nationally during the month of April 2020, has already raised well over £2000 for the Help Musicians UK Coronavirus Hardship Fund, supporting musician colleagues struggling in the current situation. The disc, recorded in July 2020 under conditions of social distancing, presents a representative selection from the online series. It celebrates the diversity of styles embraced by a broad cross section of professional composers working today, and it was an invigorating experience to record an entire disc of pieces which hadn’t existed less than four months earlier! Especially stimulating and exciting is the juxtaposition of several leading senior composers with some of their most gifted younger colleagues. Several young composers make their first appearances on disc." Duncan Honeybourne

For more details, please see the CD web page

Prima Facie

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As My Harp Sang Out of Darkness (PFCD139) £12.50

Jane Ford performs arrangements for Celtic Harp by Ronald Stevenson

My Harp Sang Out of Darkness CD

As a pianist, Jane Ford has performed throughout Britain and abroad for solo recitals and concertos, broadcast on television and radio, and won numerous awards in International Competitions. Alongside her performing and recording experience on piano, Jane has performed throughout the UK on her lever harp, celebrating the Celtic History of harp music.

When the terrifying Covid-19 global pandemic hit the Earth in 2020 and Europe entered lock-down, Jane wanted to use her musical experience, talent and imagination to create a very special Harp album, to send out a message of hope and comfort, and to be a light in the darkness during a difficult time.

More details on the CD web page

Prima Facie

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The Heart Flies Upward (PFCD137) £12.50

Composed by Mark Darvill-Evans – Performed by Siwan Rhys, Simon Mercer, Steve Waterman and Prima Facie Ensemble

'The Heart Flies Upward' is the second Prima Facie release (following Seeds of Time) by Classical Crossover composer Mark Darvill-Evans, a UK-based composer whose music fuses a variety of styles, blending aspects of classical music and progressive rock with rhythmic and structural nuances found in contemporary jazz.

The album features jazz trumpeter Steve Waterman and classical pianist Siwan Rhys, as well as several talented younger musicians from the Royal Northern College of Music who make up the Prima Facie Ensemble. It contains several short, discrete compositions and a ‘stream of consciousness’ over eleven tracks, 'The Heart Flies Upward'.

The Heart Flies Upwards CD

Simon Mercer - organ / piano
Raya Kostova - piano
Sarah McCann - flute
Siwan Rhys - piano
Steve Waterman - trumpet
Mair Molteno - spoken word
Prima Facie Ensemble

For more details see the CD web page.

Prima Facie

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The Beachcomber (PFCD135) £12.50

Music by Lynne Plowman
Performed by Michael Bennett, tenor, Sandrine Chatron, harp, Oliver Cox, percussion, Owen Gunnell, percussion, James Harrison, percussion, Joanna Lam, piano, Jinny Shaw, oboe d’amore, Lucy Wakeford, harp

Two works, both composed in 2017, form the framework for this album - 'A Field Guide to Pebbles' (five short pieces for percussion duo) and 'Songs of the Sea Dreamer', a song-cycle for tenor and harp - settings of four poems by Russell Hoban.

"Huge thanks go to all the wonderful musician friends who have commissioned these pieces and contributed to this recording, with special thanks to producer Steve Plews." Lynne Plowman

Track 12, 'The Owl-Woman', is available as a FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD

The Beachcomber CD CD

  • Logs and Shells - Percussion Duo (from A Field Guide to Pebbles) 1.26
  • Fred to Samantha - Tenor and Harp (from Songs of the Sea Dreamer) 3.20
  • Pedalling Man - Percussion Duo (from A Field Guide to Pebbles) 2.30
  • Mermaid - Tenor and Harp (from Songs of the Sea Dreamer) 2.03
  • Panjangle - Percussion Duo (from A Field Guide to Pebbles) 2.54
  • The Mermaids’ Lagoon - Solo Harp 7.22
  • Lullaby for Ianto - Solo Piano 4.08
  • Harrison’s Stone - Percussion Duo (from A Field Guide to Pebbles) 2.15
  • Another set of footprints in the snow (after Debussy) - Solo Piano 3.45
  • Long, Lone - Tenor and Harp (from Songs of the Sea Dreamer) 2.34
  • Bell Patterns - Percussion Duo (from A Field Guide to Pebbles) 2.10
  • The Owl-Woman - Tenor and Harp (from Songs of the Sea Dreamer) 3.10
  • floating turning spinning - Oboe d’amore and Harp 6.44
  • Rain - Percussion Duo 3.03

For more details see the CD web page

Prima Facie

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Symphony No. 1 (PFCD136) £6.50

Composed by Michael Csányi-Wills
Performed by Cardiff University Symphony Orchestra - Conductor Mark Eager

Prima Facie is pleased to announce the third release in its collaboration with Cardiff University Symphony Orchestra and conductor Mark Eager. The disc features the world premiere of Michael Csányi-Wills’ moving and masterly Symphony No. 1, commissioned by Mark Eager for performance with this orchestra.

Symphony No. 1 CD

  1. Andantino 8.10
  2. Scherzo 5.44
  3. Sarabande 12.38
  4. Con Moto 8.51

For more details see the CD web page

Prima Facie

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More Preludes to Chopin (PFCD134) £12.50

Kenneth Hamilton - piano
An Official Classical Chart top 10 recording
Selected by Spotify as a 'very best Classical new release'

"Here is a release that stands out from the crowds by a country mile. Well recorded, played with real mastery, and including fabulously but unsurprisingly eloquent notes from Hamilton himself, any lover of Chopin’s music - and indeed of piano playing - should acquire this urgently." Colin Clarke, Fanfare

Following his extremely popular and critically acclaimed 'Preludes to Chopin', Prima Facie presents 'More Preludes to Chopin', a remarkable and thought-provoking new CD by Kenneth Hamilton, as the latest release in its Heritage series. This new recording features a strikingly eloquent later version of Chopin’s famous Nocturne op.9 no.2 using the composer’s personal variants, an epic rendition of the dramatic C minor Nocturne inspired by Chopin’s own interpretative advice to his students, and a gripping performance of the great Polonaise-Fantasy. The CD is accompanied by Hamilton’s fascinating notes on the pieces and their performance history.

More Preludes to chopin CD

  1. Prelude in C-minor, op.28 no.20 (1’38”)
  2. Nocturne in C-minor, op.48 no.1 (5’58”)
  3. Prelude in E-minor, op.28 no.4 (1’44”)
  4. Waltz in A-minor, op.34 no.2 (4’38”)
  5. Prelude in E major, op.28 no.9 (1’04”)
  6. Polonaise-Fantasy, op.61 (13’03”)
  7. Prelude in Bb minor, op.28 no.16 (1’12”)
  8. Nocturne in Eb major, op. 55 no.2 (4”36’)
  9. Prelude Db major (Raindrop), op.28 no.15 (5’18”)
  10. Prelude in C# minor, op.28 no.10 (0’30”)
  11. Waltz in C# minor, op.64 no.2 (2’52”)
  12. Prelude in Bb major, op.28 no.21 (2’08”)
  13. Nocturne in Eb major, op. 9 no.2 (4’20”)
  14. Prelude in F major, op.28 no.23 (1’00”)
  15. Brilliant Variations on the Rondo “Je vends des scapulaires” from Ludovic, op.12 (7’37”)
  16. Prelude in C-major, op.28 no.1 (0’.50”)
  17. Ballade No.1 in G minor, op.23 (8’42”)

For more details see the CD web page

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Featured Artists

Kenneth Hamilton
Kenneth Hamilton
Mark Darvill-Evans
Mark Darvill-Evans


Kenneth Hamilton radio interview

More Preludes to Chopin CD
Prima Facie artist Kenneth Hamilton is featured on the US radio show 'Conducting Conversations', discussing his new CD 'More Preludes to Chopin'. The show features music from the CD and discusses Kenneth's career.​Listen here:

Free download

Now, O now, I needs must part
In response to many requests, Prima Facie is proud to release in advance Kenneth Hamilton’s wonderful performance of John Dowland’s 'Now, O now, I needs must part' in the arrangement by Percy Grainger, as featured in Hamilton's "revelatory" and "touching" (Sir Nicholas Kenyon, The Observer) recent BBC Radio 3 broadcast The Essay. The track will also feature in the album 'Romantic Piano Encores', to appear later this year. Download 'Now, O now, I needs must part' here:
Free MP3 Download


John Joubert piano Music
Reviews for The Piano Music of John Joubert:
"(Joubert’s complete piano music) is featured here in glittering performances from Duncan Honeybourne… The performances are fluent and powerful, alive to the full range of Joubert’s mercurial invention." International Piano, July 2019
"These are bold piano works that have earned their place in classical music history." British Music Society Journal, 2019
"This CD is a landmark with all Joubert's piano music... Honeybourne is totally sympathetic throughout this CD - a well-recorded claim for a neglected chapter in British piano music." (*****5 stars) Musical Opinion, Jan-March 2020

Ronald Stevenson Vol 2 CD
Reviews for Kenneth Hamilton Plays Ronald Stevenson Volume 2:
"I cannot fault the wonderful performance by Kenneth Hamilton of these works. The recording is always clear and bright. The entire programme is a subtle balance between original music and arrangements which well-reflects Stevenson’s achievement." John France, Music Web International
"A well-constructed, varied recital…performed with commendable verve." Guy Rickards, International Piano Magazine

Preludes to Chopin CD
MusicWeb Recording of the Month review for On the Shoreline
"The playing on this CD is outstanding. Every piece is delivered with care, commitment and obvious enthusiasm."

Preludes to Chopin CD
Reviews for Preludes to Chopin:
"Brilliantly captures both the musical and the technical content…well judged and beautifully played." John France, Music Web International
"This recording has a uniquely special sound, which drapes the music in a round, full, Romantic tone-colour." Radio 100.7 Luxembourg
"The commercial success of this release shows how strongly audiences hunger for fresh interpretations of mainstream repertory, and a fresh interpretation is exactly what you get." James Manheim, AllMusic

Return of the Nightingales CD
Excellent reviews
for Sadie Harrison's Return of the Nightingales