DISC SUBSCRIPTIONS

Many of our exciting and groundbreaking discs could not be recorded if it were not for the generosity of subscribers. For a suggested minimum donation of £50, subscribers to a disc receive the following:

 

A mention as a named subscriber in the CD booklet
A pair of free tickets to the launch event, held at a major venue
A complimentary signed copy of the CD immediately upon its release

 

We are currently inviting subscriptions for three major recording projects. Please follow the link at the ends of the descriptions below to support any or all of them!

 

 

THE VISION OF DAME CHRISTIAN

The masque ‘The Vision of Dame Christian’ was composed in 1909 for the girls of St Paul’s Girls’ School (SPGS), of which the composer Gustav Holst was Director of Music; the words were written by the High Mistress at the time, Miss Gray. Dame Christian was the mother of John Colet, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral and founder of St Paul’s School. The masque tells of Dame Christian’s vision for the future of her son’s school and the subsequent founding of the Girls’ School. Holst referred to this masque as “the Masque of St Paul’s Girls’ School” and mentioned that "I value this very highly… it contains my best tune — a solemn march.”

 

The piece has never been recorded, and we consider that, given the inseparable links with SPGS, it should be recorded at the school and should feature the girls themselves. EM Records therefore proposes to make a recording of this work that fulfils these stipulations and with the current Director of Music of SPGS as the conductor. To maintain the very highest artistic standards, we will also be engaging the London Mozart Players. As well as ‘The Vision of Dame Christian’, the disc will include other works strongly associated with SPGS: ‘St Paul’s Suite’, ‘Brook Green Suite’, the ‘Gavotte’ (which Holst withdrew from the ‘Brook Green Suite’), ‘Seven Choruses from the Alcestis of Euripides’ and ‘The Playground Song’.

 

The costs of making such a recording, however, will be very high, given the engagement of the London Mozart Players, and in order for the production values to meet EM Records’s high standards. We anticipate costs of £18,000 and we urgently need help to enable us to meet these. We are therefore inviting individuals to subscribe to the disc, and we would be hugely grateful to anyone who can help us in this way.

 

 

LINKS WITH ST PAUL’S GIRLS’ SCHOOL

 

EM Records has strong links with SPGS. We have recorded much music composed by previous Directors of Music and by other composers also associated with the School (John Gardner, Gustav Holst, Herbert Howells, Norman O’Neill and Ralph Vaughan Williams); whilst previous Director of Music Hilary Davan Wetton has appeared on several EM Records discs as conductor. Furthermore, a number of our recordings have been made in the Great Hall at SPGS and feature Paulina Voices.

 

 

BENEFITS TO SUBSCRIBERS

 

EM Records would like to offer the following benefits to anyone who subscribes to this recording at the following levels:

 

A DONATION OF £250
   
Your name in the disc booklet
An invitation to the Champagne Reception launching the disc
A free copy of the disc

 

A DONATION OF £500
   
Your name in the disc booklet
An invitation to the Champagne Reception launching the disc
Two free copies of the disc
Free copies of EMR CD004 (Gustav Holst: ‘The Coming of Christ’); and of EMR CD009 (Christmas music by John Gardner), recorded at SPGS and featuring Paulina Voices

 

A DONATION OF £1,000
   
Your name in the disc booklet
An invitation to the Champagne Reception launching the disc
Three free copies of the disc
Free copies of EMR CD004 (Gustav Holst: ‘The Coming of Christ’); EMR CD009 (Christmas music by John Gardner), recorded at SPGS and featuring Paulina Voices; EMR CD012–13 (including piano music by Herbert Howells and Ralph Vaughan Williams); EMR CD019–20 (the complete music for violin and piano by Howells); EMR CD022 (including piano music by Holst and Vaughan Williams); EMR CD025 (including chamber music by Holst and Howells); EMR CD044 (including Howells’s ‘Requiem’ and choral works by Holst and Vaughan Williams); EMR CD049 (choral works by Holst and George Dyson); EMR CD057 (John Gardner’s ‘The Ballad of the White Horse’), EMR CD060 (songs by Holst and Joseph Holbrooke); and EMR CD062 (Christmas music by Holst)

 

A DONATION OF £2,500
   
Your name in the disc booklet
An invitation to the Champagne Reception launching the disc
Five free copies of the disc
Free copies of EMR CD005 (chamber works by Norman O’Neill); EMR CD006 (Ralph Vaughan Williams: Violin Sonata); EMR CD012–13 (including piano music by Herbert Howells and Ralph Vaughan Williams); EMR CD019–20 (the complete music for violin and piano by Howells); EMR CD022 (including piano music by Holst and Vaughan Williams); EMR CD025 (including chamber music by Holst and Howells); EMR CD044 (including Howells’s ‘Requiem’ and choral works by Holst and Vaughan Williams); EMR CD049 (choral works by Holst and George Dyson); EMR CD057 (John Gardner’s ‘The Ballad of the White Horse’), EMR CD060 (songs by Holst and Joseph Holbrooke); and EMR CD062 (Christmas music by Holst); EMR CD065 (including songs by Howells, sung by Roderick Williams); EMR CD067 (music for guitar duo, including Vaughan Williams’s ‘Fantasia on Greensleeves’)

 

A DONATION OF £5,000
   
Your name in the disc booklet
An invitation to the Champagne Reception launching the disc
10 free copies of the disc
The opportunity to attend the recording sessions
A free set of discs comprising EM Records’s entire catalogue to date

 

 

Please follow this link to subscribe to the disc.

GURNEY AND ELGAR: A NEW LIGHT

The Sonata for Violin and Piano, op.82, of Edward Elgar is a work whose presence in recording catalogues has been steadily strengthening during the last few years. Last year, however, the prestigious German publishing house G. Henle Verlag issued a new scholarly-critical edition of the work which draws on all the extant sources – the composition sketches and drafts, a proof copy annotated by Elgar, and the first edition – and, in the process, clarifies and resolves the anomalies which remained in the edition published by Novello in 1919 and which has been the score principally used by performers since. EM Records is therefore delighted to be including on its forthcoming disc a recording of this well-loved Sonata which uses the new Henle edition, in the process revealing unsuspected subtleties of expression and a new fusion with the composer’s original intentions.

 

Elgar’s Sonata is one of his last completed works, and it will be complemented on the recording by three of the composer’s earliest offerings – which are also certainly among his most popular. ‘Salut d’Amour’, op.12, and ‘Chanson de Nuit’ and ‘Chanson de Matin’, together constituting op.15, are, again, presented using scholarly-critical editions from G. Henle Verlag, casting a refreshing light on these beautifully-crafted miniatures.

 

EM Records was privileged to release, in 2013, the first-ever recording of a violin-and-piano sonata by Ivor Gurney; and we are therefore thrilled to have been offered the opportunity to record the same composer’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in D major, dedicated to Gurney’s friend and fellow war poet F.W. Harvey. Although the manuscript is undated, evidence suggests the work was rigorously tried through, if not performed: in particular, the violin part (copied out by Gurney’s champion Marion Scott) incorporates fingering and other technical suggestions; and performance timings are also noted. Like the shifting light cast by a windswept sky, the Sonata contrasts exuberant energy and passionate outbursts with moments of quiet solemnity and brooding introspection. It is a richly rewarding discovery.

 

 

Please follow this link to subscribe to the disc.

‘LA BELLE DAME’

EM Records is seeking to raise the funds necessary to record a fascinating disc of World Première recordings of works by Norman O’Neill, Gustav Holst, Frederick Delius, Cyril Scott and Havergal Brian with the BBC Concert Orchestra and celebrated baritone Roderick Williams.

 

O’Neill’s orchestral baritone scena ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’ sets words by John Keats. First performed at the Queen’s Hall in 1910, such was its success that the work received a number of subsequent performances, and the music critic Francis Toye described the scena as “an altogether delightful piece of work, full of imagination, poetry and sensitive response to the varying atmosphere of the poem”. At one such concert, ‘La Belle Dame’ was paired with the World Première performance of Gustav Holst’s ‘Beni Mora’, so it is fitting that we also feature on this disc the World Première recording of another early Holst work: the scena for baritone and orchestra ‘Ornulf’s Drapa’. Based on William Archer’s translation of Ibsen’s ‘The Vikings of Helgeland’, this was composed in 1898 and revised two years later. Although written while Holst was still in his twenties, it is a typically characterful, individual and assured work.

 

Havergal Brian’s ‘Legend’ was discovered amongst the composer’s papers after his death but is thought to date from as early as 1919. Although the work was scored by Brian for violin and piano, the nature of the piano writing is suggestive of orchestral accompaniment and the Havergal Brian Society has therefore commissioned the definitive orchestrated version of this work for this recording. The piece intersperses darkly brooding episodes with passionate outbursts and builds to a surging climax before a quietly meditative coda.

 

As a young man in the early 1900s, Cyril Scott was one of English music’s enfants terribles; musically very sophisticated for his time and immensely popular. In the late 1900s, he set the romantic, but melancholy, Scottish ‘Ballad of Fair Helen of Kirkonnel’ for baritone and piano / orchestra, which tells the tragic tale of a young man who shoots his beloved when she intercepts a bullet intended for his rival. ‘The Times’ stated in its review of the first performance with Beecham in 1905 that the work’s “vigour and originality, together with the ingenious if at times bizarre orchestration, make it really effective”.

 

The final work on the disc will be Delius’s ‘Petite Suite d’Orchestre’. Composed in Paris in May 1889, Delius described it to Grieg in June 1889 as “a little ‘Suite d’orchestre’ in five movements – ‘Marche’, ‘Berceuse’, ‘Scherzo’, ‘Duo’ and ‘Tema con Variation’, which has come off quite well.” Of these short movements only the ‘Marche’ has been performed before, in its revised version as ‘Marche Caprice’. This disc thus comprises the World Première recording and first complete performance of the ‘Petite Suite d’Orchestre’.

 

 

Please follow this link to subscribe to the disc.

REVIEWS
Beautifully shaped by Benjamin Frith... Beguiling sounds, graced by the tawny richness and unexaggerated line of Richard Jenkinson’s cello playing... The sense of purpose and sureness of line of Ian Venables’ music is pure oxygen.
EMR CD31 | BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
Exquisitely rewarding... Ravishing accounts.
EMR CD029 | CHOIR AND ORGAN
This is music of great beauty and integrity and the performances fully do it justice. It would be criminal to let it pass you by.

EMR CD028 | INTERNATIONAL
RECORD REVIEW

The Bridge Quartet approach these pieces with a sympathetic and insightful warmth, and confirm their ambassadorial credentials for British chamber music. A lovely, radiant disc.
EMR CD025 | Gramophone
Duncan Honeybourne’s playing is astonishingly affectionate, yet never saccharine... Honeybourne plays with suave confidence.
EMR CD024 | INTERNATIONAL PIANO
Rupert Marshall-Luck is an ideal interpreter: generously but not effusively lyrical; agile and athletic... The warm, folk-song like slow movement is at times almost painfully beautiful, with a shimmering pastoral central section... Marshall-Luck is, again, indefatigable and keenly picks up on the work’s melancholic strain.  Finely recorded and with comprehensive booklet notes, this is a must for fans of 20th-century English repertoire.
EMR CD023 | THE STRAD