Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence

Classical Changes


Catalogue No: SOMMCD 0663
Release Date: 2023-02-10
Number of Discs: 1
EAN/UPC: 748871066328
Liner Notes

SOMM Recordings is pleased to announce Classical Changes, a second disc by the Art Deco Trio, which treats favourite classical pieces to delightful and often dazzling jazz-accented re-workings in variegated arrangements by Iain Farrington.

Comprising three remarkable instrumentalists – Peter Sparks clarinet, Kyle Horch saxophone, Iain Farrington piano – the Art Deco Trio is a virtuosic powerhouse in performance and made its acclaimed label debut with Gershwinicity (SOMMCD 0631) in 2021.

Also featuring five African-American Spirituals and three sea shanties, Classical Change takes the early-20th-century fashion for “Jazzing the Classics” at face value with a collection of 20 first recordings of scintillating new arrangements, translating the works’ “original sober environment into one that was more intoxicated”, as Farrington tellingly comments in his booklet notes.

Familiar pieces by Beethoven, Brahms and Rimsky-Korsakov are respectively refashioned in the, by turns, evocative, exuberant and ecstatic ‘Elise’s Blues’, ‘Hungarian High-Five’ and ‘The Bite of the Flumblebee’.

Similar treatment is afforded Bizet (the excitable ‘Jiffy Dance’ and sultry ‘One Night in Seville’), the ceremonial pomp of Handel (‘Arrival Revival’), grandeur of Elgar (‘Saturday in the Park with Elgar’), and grandiosity of Wagner (‘Valerie Takes a Ride’) alongside vivacious re-imaginings of Satie and Vivaldi.

The trio of sea shanties in A Sea Shanty Shake-Up and the five-part Lay My Burden Down, drawn from African-American Spirituals, prove pleasingly amenable to Farrington’s jazz-laced re-fashioning of their various messages and moods.

Of the Art Deco Trio’s Gershwinicity, BBC Music Magazine declared “What’s not to love? It’s a winning combination and the arrangements are top- notch too. This is a recording that is guaranteed to get you moving”. Fanfare approvingly commented: “Not only are the arrangements superb, but so is the Art Deco Trio’s performance of them…. I think it’s a safe bet that any Gershwin aficionado will be as captivated with this disc as I was”.

On This Recording

    Classical Changes

  1. The Bite of the Flumblebee (after Rimsky-Korsakov)
  2. Valerie Takes a Ride (after Wagner)
  3. Elise's Blues (after Beethoven)
  4. Arrival Revival (after Handel)
  5. One Night in Seville (after Bizet)
  6. Jiffy Dance (after Bizet)
  7. Saturday in the Park with Elgar (after Elgar)
  8. Country Breaks (after Beethoven)
  9. Jim's Nobody (after Satie)
  10. Hungarian High-Five (after Brahms)
  11. 3am Lullaby (after Brahms)
  12. There's a Storm Brewiing (after Vivaldi)
  13. A Sea Shanty Shake-Up

  14. What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor
  15. Lowlands
  16. Sailor's Hornpipe
  17. Lay My burden Down (based on African-American spirituals)

  18. When I Lay My Burden Down
  19. Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child
  20. Amazing Grace
  21. Steal Away
  22. Every Time I Feel the Spirit