Prima Facie Records

CD label featuring world premières by British composers

Profiles of Giles Eaterbrook and Stephen Plews
Prima Facie Records was formed by the meeting of two minds – Stephen Plews and the late Giles Easterbrook – 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

Featured Disc

Salon and Stage CD

Kenneth Hamilton plays Liszt – Volume 2: Salon and Stage (PFCD210/211) Double CD £15.00

Kenneth Hamilton piano
An Official Specialist Classical Chart Top 3 recording
An Official Classical Artists Album Chart Top 20 Recording
A Guardian Classical CD Pick of the Week
An AllMusic "Classical Highlight"


'Salon and Stage' is the second volume of Kenneth Hamilton’s internationally acclaimed Liszt series. In contrast to the first album, 'Death and Transfiguration', this recording offers a life-enhancing selection of virtuoso transcriptions from song and opera. But it happily shares with its predecessor Hamilton’s passion for these pieces. He has sought out Liszt’s oft-ignored recommendations on their interpretation and studied the reminiscences and recordings of his students. He has, in effect, tried to think like a Liszt pupil, and to immerse himself in a performance tradition that goes well beyond the printed text.

His rendition of Schubert’s haunting “Leise flehen meine Lieder”, for example, includes a captivating cadenza composed by the elderly Liszt forty years after first arranging the song. His 'Soirée de Vienne no.6' features piquant revisions written for Sophie Menter, Liszt’s favourite female student; while his touchingly unsentimental performance of the famous third 'Liebestraum' adopts authentic variants passed down by Frederick Lamond, one of Liszt’s very last pupils, and is played with an attentive ear to the composer’s own advice on interpretation.

“Hamilton is an unusual virtuoso, offering penetrating insights into Liszt’s music not just with his playing but also with his scholarship. You emerge from the notes as well as the music with your appreciation of Liszt’s extraordinary musicianship significantly enhanced.” Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review, 15.07.23

"Pianistic flair and technical brilliance are the hallmarks of this winning record… Hamilton’s ability to combine pianistic flair and technical brilliance with an acute understanding of how this music came into existence makes these performances very special indeed. 5 Stars" Andrew Clements, The Guardian

“My reaction to Hamilton’s superb playing is an appreciation of the hugely diverse emotional effect of these pieces, and a sense of the numinous which should always be present in Liszt’s music. One must not overlook the sheer technical wizardry: Kenneth Hamilton fully satisfies my expectations.” John France, Music Web International

“Kenneth Hamilton is a specialist in Liszt’s music, and it is good to see not only that he has embarked on a major series of Liszt recordings, but that this one, the second in the series, landed on Classical best seller lists…Liszt lovers will have a feast here.” James Manheim, AllMusic

“A glorious triumph… a wonderful voyage of discovery, with a splendid tour guide.” Ralph P. Locke, Arts Fuse

For more details of this recording, please see the CD web page

Prima Facie

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The War of Wrath CD

The War of Wrath (PFCD208/209) Double CD £15.00

Composed by Paul Corfield Godfrey
Performed by Volante Opera

Choose Country

The cycle of “epic scenes from The Silmarillion” by Paul Corfield Godfrey, drawn from the posthumous writings of J R R Tolkien, was the largest-scale work of classical music written in Wales in the twentieth century, and has been recorded by Prima Facie over the course of the last five years. We are now pleased to release the concluding section of this work, written as recently as 2019-20, to bring to an end Tolkien’s description of the history of Middle-Earth in the First Age. The text, as before, employs a wide variety of posthumously published texts by the author with the permission of the Tolkien Estate. It not only features the return of roles and singers familiar from earlier parts of the cycle, but also introduces new characters such as Elrond, Galadriel and the great mariner Eärendil who will be familiar to readers of The Lord of the Rings. All the singers are professional artists from Welsh National Opera.

For more details of this recording, please see the CD web page

Prima Facie

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Contemporary Music for Harpsichord Volume 2 CD

Inventions: Contemporary Music for Harpsichord Vol 2 (PFCD195) £12.50

Compositions by Stephen Dodgson and Elizabeth Maconchy
Performed by Katarzyna Kowalik


Stephen Dodgson’s Sonata-Divisions date from 1982, and the fifth (and final) set of six Inventions from 1993. These two works, of which these are the first recordings, are played by Katarzyna Kowalik on her own harpsichord after Goujon, made by Andrew Garlick in 2012 – an ideal instrument for these works.

Elizabeth Maconchy composed only two works for solo harpsichord, which are recorded here for the first time. As Katarzyna began to work on the Maconchy pieces, she found that these sounded well when played on her Goujon. Dodgson’s and Maconchy’s own musical languages, though distinctly different, do have features in common, which becomes apparent when played on the same harpsichord. The decision was therefore made to record the entire programme on Katarzyna’s Garlick / Goujon.

The harpsichord’s contemporary repertoire has grown steadily, and in the third decade of the 21st century, composers are continuing to find inspiration from the instrument and its players. Having a contemporary repertoire has indeed enabled the harpsichord to achieve a maturity in which it is heard and appreciated in a way that enhances its long history and heritage, of which the music on the CD is especially representative.

For more details of this recording, please see the CD web page

Prima Facie

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Music for Organ and other Instruments by Richard Pantcheff CD

Richard Pantcheff: Music for Organ and other Instruments (PFCD205) £12.50/£17.50

Neil Fulton flugelhorn, Benedict Holland violin, Simon Passmore organ


Following on from the successful release of Passacaglia on a Theme of Benjamin Britten and Other Organ Works (PFCD174-5), organist Simon Passmore returns to the organ of St. Ann’s Church, Manchester, for this second volume of organ music by British composer Richard Pantcheff. This new disc comprises works for organ solo, as well as works written for organ with other instruments: Violin (Benedict Holland), and Flugelhorn (Neil Fulton). The programme contains highly melodic modal works, including the Sonata for Violin and Organ (Opus 74) and its forerunner ‘Agnus Dei’ (Opus 41). The more contemporary Nocturnus I (Opus 90, No.1) for Flugelhorn and Organ is complemented here by the solo organ work which completes the Nocturnus series of compositions, Nocturnus VI (Opus 90, No.6). Both works were completed while the composer was living in South Africa. Lastly, the six Chorale Preludes (2021/No.2) for solo organ are here recorded in full for the first time. Written during the depths of the pandemic, these sparse, elevated, works are like icons in music: where time seems to stand still, and the listener is immersed in the intense spiritual dialogue presented in the music.

For more details of this recording, please see the CD web page

Prima Facie

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Metamorphosis CD

Metamorphosis (PFCD191) £12.50/£17.50

Contemporary Music for Harpsichord Volume 1 – performed by Duncan Honeybourne


The 20th-century revival of the harpsichord initially enabled the playing of 17th and 18th century keyboard music on the instrument for which it was originally composed. But its sound gradually began to inspire 20th-century composers, and a contemporary repertoire of original harpsichord music developed.

The harpsichord’s contemporary repertoire has grown steadily, and in the third decade of the 21st century, composers are continuing to find inspiration from the instrument and its players. Having a contemporary repertoire has indeed enabled the harpsichord to achieve a maturity in which it is heard and appreciated in a way that enhances its long history and heritage, of which the music on the CD is especially representative.

Features compositions by Malcolm Lipkin, Kenneth Leighton, John McCabe and Ronald Stevenson.

For more details of Metamorphosis, please see the CD web page

Prima Facie

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Pasture and Storm (PFCD193) £12.50/£17.50

New Music for Left Hand Piano and Ensembles
Composed by Sadie Harrison


The Pasture & Storm Project brings together the composer Sadie Harrison, three pianists in Nicholas McCarthy, Sophia Benton and Tomáš Klement, the singer Peyee Chen, flautist Stephanie Gilbert, violinist Roger Huckle, and the Bristol Ensemble, conducted by John Pickard. The CD includes 8 new works written to celebrate the unique talents of the left-hand-only pianist.

The project came about initially through Sadie’s teaching the young pianist Sophia Benton. At school Sophia suffered a netball injury which eventually left her unable to play the piano with her right hand. Extraordinarily, a few weeks after meeting Sophia, Sadie met two people at her local gym, both rehabilitating after having strokes affecting their right sides and both amateur pianists. After inviting the internationally renowned virtuoso, left-hand-only pianist Nicholas McCarthy, to be part of the project, Sadie embarked on the composition of several new works – solo pieces, a chamber concerto, a piano quartet with percussion, piano duets, duos, and an extended song cycle. All these works, written during 2020-21, are presented on the CD.

For more details of Pasture and Storm, please see the CD web page

Prima Facie

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Penllyn CD

Penllyn (PFCD188) £12.50/£17.50

The collected solo piano music of Peter Reynolds
Pianist Duncan Honeybourne


"This disc is dedicated to the memory of a very fine composer and good friend, Peter Reynolds. His unexpected death in 2016 was felt far and wide amongst his friends and colleagues, and has left a gap not only in the world of contemporary classical music, and in the academic realms of music education, but also in many peoples’ lives too. This exceptionally unassuming man was a very fine composer and an avid supporter of other musicians, both as a teacher and as a champion of performances and recordings of new and neglected works. Penllyn is the culmination and premiere recording of not only all of Peter’s found works for solo piano, which needed tracking down at The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth and at Tŷ Cerdd in Cardiff, but is also an outpouring of love from many of those who knew Peter best. So many of his friends and past students have come together to enable this recording project to come to fruition. Wherever you are now Peter, we hope that you’re happy with this disc. You are sorely missed!"
Luke Whitlock

For more details of Penllyn, please see the CD web page

Prima Facie

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Magna Carta CD

Magna Carta (PFCD184) £12.50/£17.50

The Complete Works for Guitar of John Brunning
Performed by Xuefei Yang with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Clark Rundell
A Classic FM Album of the Week
A Spotify Pick
A UK Official Specialist Classical Chart Top 5 Recording


This album features John Brunning’s complete works for guitar. At its heart is the world premiere recording of his Concerto Magna Carta, written for Xuefei Yang, and performed with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Clark Rundell.

Xuefei is again joined by the RLPO for the Five Romances in new arrangements for guitar and orchestra; and by cellist Johannes Moser for Lacrimosa in a duet for guitar and cello - also premiere recordings for these settings of the material.

With her previous album, ‘Sketches of China’, Xuefei brought the traditional music of her homeland to a wider international audience, and this latest release finds her highlighting the musical traditions of the British Isles.

Xuefei Yang: "I first met John many years ago when he interviewed me for a music magazine. It was one of my very first interviews in the UK and I remember it vividly because he asked in-depth questions that demonstrated that he knew the guitar well. In our conversation I discovered that as well as being a radio presenter, he was also a guitarist and composer. I asked him to send me some scores, and discovered that John has a talent for writing beautiful melodies in the great tradition of English pastoral music, and being a guitarist himself, his music feels very natural to play. Over the years I have recorded and performed some of John’s music, and find audiences across the globe, and other musicians, enjoy his music. When he suggested writing a concerto for me, I thought it would create an opportunity to bring together all his works for guitar."

For more details of Magna Carta, please see the CD web page

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Featured Artists

Kenneth Hamilton
Kenneth Hamilton

Mark Darvill-Evans
Mark Darvill-Evans


Alison Truefitt Memorial Concert September 2023

poster listing performers at a concert

A celebration of the life of Alison Truefitt and the music of Daryl Runswick

Classical favourites and contemporary compositions and jazz performed by Duncan Honeybourne, Richard Casey, Simon Conning, Alessandra Pompili, Aleksander Szram, Steve Plews & Dan Whieldon.

September 29th, 2023 @ 19:00, St Elizabeth's Parish Church, Ashley Rd., Ashley, WA14 3QE. Admission free.

Coming Soon

Bincombe Organ (PFCD220)

Duncan Honeybourne plays the 1873 Bevington organ at Holy Trinity Parish Church, Bincombe, Dorset. The recording features early English keyboard writing by Bull and Byrd, Bach’s charming Pastorella, pieces by Buxtehude, John Stanley, Maurice Durufle, Kate Boundy and Kate Loder of Bath, and Greville Cooke’s tranquil Threnody, ending with one of Joubert’s Short Preludes on English Hymn Tunes.

New for September 2023

Complete Solo Piano Music of Gordon Crosse (PFCD219)

Performed by Annabelle Lawson, who writes "I have lived with Gordon's music for nearly ten years and given the world premières of two of the piano sonatas, so this music is extremely close to my heart. I'm so glad to have recorded a disc comprising music which I hold in such high esteem, by such a celebrated and much-loved composer and person."

New for September 2023

The Frederick Septimus Kelly Project (PFCD218)

The Frederick Septimus Kelly Project is a collaboration between pianist Alex Wilson and composer Sadie Harrison that celebrates the life and work of British-Australian pianist, composer, Olympic rower and war hero F.S.Kelly (1881 - 1916). This solo piano recording tells Kelly’s fascinating life story through his own piano music, interspersed between characterful and profound new works by Harrison that are inspired by his experiences and interests as told in his extensive diaries.

New for September 2023

Otto Zykan (PFCD215/216)

Otto Zykan plays Schoenberg and Scriabin: Duncan Honeybourne plays Zykan. This unique 2-CD recording is produced by Prima Facie in association with the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF). It celebrates the genius of the Viennese composer, pianist and writer Otto M Zykan (1935-2006), whose historic recordings of Schoenberg’s piano music are re-released here for the first time since their original issue on LP in 1970. These recordings are coupled with a new recording of Zykan’s own complete solo piano music, played by the British pianist Duncan Honeybourne.

Download/Streaming Release

Early Piano Music (PFV001)

The first release in the Prima Facie 'Vignette' series of download / streaming-only releases by contemporary composers, featuring early compositions for solo piano by the young British composer Peter Longworth. The pianist is Simon Conning.

New release for July 2023

The Complete Songs of A. A. Milne (and Lewis Carroll) (PFCD212/213)

Available for the first time, all sixty-seven songs composed by Harold Fraser-Simson (1872-1944) to the famous poetry of A. A. Milne. 'When we were very young', 'Now we are six', 'Winnie the Pooh' and 'The House at Pooh Corner' are all represented on the album, along with a complete recording of the pantomime 'The King’s Breakfast'. Also on the album are the collection of eight songs Fraser-Simson wrote using the words of Lewis Carroll from 'Alice in Wonderland'.

New release for June 2023

Trumpet Concerto / Symphony No 2 (PFCD203)

"The Trumpet Concerto dates from the early 1980s and, despite being a classical piece, is heavily influenced by the jazz I was playing at the time. My Second Symphony dates from 2004-5. In addition to the orchestra there are two vocal soloists and electronics. The Trumpet Concerto is actually a fantasia on 'The Raggle Taggle Gypsies'. It so happens that in 1985 I arranged this song for The King’s Singers. The current King’s Singers, nearly forty years after their illustrious predecessors, make a wonderful job of reviving the piece.” Daryl Runswick, March 2023

Download / streaming-only release: Variations

Variations: Simon Conning plays Beethoven (PFDL002)

Simon Conning performs Beethoven's 'Seven Variations on God Save the King' and 'Five Variations on Rule Britannia' in a digital streaming / download-only release to commemorate the coronation of King Charles III.

Memorial Concert April 2023

Poster of concert
A concert in memory of composer David Golightly, featuring the Lawson Trio and the Plews / Barras Duo, took place at St Elizabeth's Church, Ashley, WA14 3QE, on April 28th, 2023. The Lawson Trio performed David's 'Letters of Regret', recorded on the CD of the same name, PFCD181/2.

New Release for March 2023

Ronald Stevenson and Friends
Music by Ronald Stevenson, Percy Grainger, Wilma Paterson, John Purser, David Johnson & Edward McGuire.

This CD celebrates the Scottish, but Blackburn born, composer Ronald Stevenson, best known for his piano music (he was himself a virtuoso pianist), but whose enormous work list spans most genres except opera. This disc includes all his works for recorder, interspersed with some of his songs in widely divergent styles with piano and instrumental accompaniment. The disc is also a celebration of the 80th birthday in April 2023 of recorderist John Turner, who features extensively on this disc.

New Release for February 2023

Piano music by Phillip Cooke

During the first national lockdown in 2020, Phillip Cooke composed a short piano piece, ‘The Turtle Dove’, for pianist Duncan Honeybourne’s ‘Contemporary Piano Soundbites’ series on YouTube. The piece was later recorded by Duncan for CD release. One of the reviews referred to ‘Phillip Cooke with his beautiful transfiguration of the wonderful folksong The Turtle Dove.’ The term 'transfiguration' began the compositional process and aesthetic, and this short piece has now resulted in over eighty minutes of music all searching to transfigure and reimagine pre-existing material.

New Release for December 2022

Trésors du Paradis
Lincoln College Chapel Choir

This Double CD represents an outstanding achievement from a choir that only sings once a week during university term times. In the space of just one academic year, twenty-four hours of rehearsal time in total, the chapel choir of Lincoln College managed to learn and perform two CDs worth of some of the most monumental and challenging works in the church choral repertoire. Featuring Durufle’s Requiem, Yves Castagnet’s Messe Salve Regina, a behemoth of a work, including two organs, and a world’s first recording of a piece by Jonathan Dove, 'Treasures in Heaven'.

New Release for December 2022

Imagine Two Rivers
Music by Barry Seaman

Released to celebrate his birthdate, 10th December, this memorial CD celebrates the beautiful music, heart and soul of gifted composer Barry Seaman, who was tragically lost to Covid-19 on April 5, 2020 aged just 73.

New Release for December 2022

The Nightingale and the Rose
Music by Paul Corfield Godfrey – Complete Demo Recordings

An operatic fable, based on a fairy story by Oscar Wilde, The Nightingale and the Rose is the centrepiece of this disc. To complete the CD, we also present a further setting of Oscar Wilde in the shape of verses extracted from his narrative poem The Sphinx; and a short cantata entitled Hymnus Mysticus based on poems by Aleister Crowley. Featuring soloists from Welsh National Opera, together with an orchestra drawn from live sampled performance.

First streaming / download-only release

Richard Birley booklet – Richard Birley head and shoulders, wearing a cap Prima Facie have released the first in a series of streaming / digital download-only releases featuring the music of Rick Birley.

This album is of an earlier recording of a song cycle, “Six Hardy Songs”, recorded in the Birley Centre in Eastbourne (named after his father), and 4 Orchestral works that have been “realised” by Sibelius and the East West Orchestral sampling system.

Available from Apple MusicSpotifyBleep

Classic FM CD of the Week

'Magna Carta: The Complete Works for Guitar of John Brunning' was Classic FM's CD of the Week from 23.05.22.

The album was also selected for the A-List: Classical on Apple Music, and as a Spotify Classical New Release pick.

Kenneth Hamilton: acclaim for Liszt CD

Kenneth Hamilton's 'Liszt Volume 1: Death and Transfiguration' is a Gramophone "Best Classical Album of 2022". Read more on the Gramophone review, and check out the CD webpage.