Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence

Three SOMM Recordings in the July Gramophone!

“While certain pianists approach Mozart sonatas in the manner of visual artists who favour pastels and subtle hues, Peter Donohoe often applies primary colours in broad brushstrokes. … Donohoe’s full-throated yet stylistically contained Andante cantabile corroborates the composer’s essentially operatic DNA. … The A major K331’s theme-and-variations first movement seems to play itself by virtue of Donohoe’s simplicity, grace and insidious tempo relationships. … Donohoe reveals the great B minor Adagio’s intense expressive points through intelligent attention to voice-leading, rather than imposing the weight of the world on to the music. … Christopher Morley’s excellent booklet notes and Somm’s robust engineering enhance my recommendation, and I look forward to this Mozart sonata cycle’s further instalments.”

—Jed Distler, Gramophone

“it was Lambert moreover who, as an accomplished pianist himself, made the piano duet arrangements which appear on this recording, crisply and sympathetically rendered by Andrew West and Ronald Woodley. Beautifully conceived for four hands in terms of texture and idiomatic fluency, these transcriptions have much in common with the resourceful ‘white-note’ studies of Lambert’s Trois Pièces nègres pour les touches blanches composed in 1949, miniatures designed only to be played on the white keys of the piano. These are also performed with an empathy and stylistic awareness (especially the final ‘cake-walk’ movement). … The post-Satie world of Lambert’s Li Po songs, written between 1927 and 1930, is compellingly chaste and charmingly enigmatic in James Geer’s hands. The selection of Walton’s songs… are also delightful examples of Walton’s affinity for Tudor pastiche.”

—Jeremy Dibble, Gramophone

an enticing roster of performers…The songs, performed variously and excellently by Carolyn Sampson, Janes Gilchrist and William Dazeley, share the world of Quilter and Butterworth – rueful, nostalgic, intensely English… Both Forestry and Reverie as well as a set of Shakespeare Songs for chorus and soloists see her at her best. A wonderfully earthy, almost Falstaffian Fear No More the Heat O’the Sun from Dazeley banishes memories of Finzi in its contrasting spirit, while O Mistress Mine and It was a Lover have the lean-back lightness of revue numbers… strong performances from Ex Cathedra.”

—Alexandra Coghlan, Gramophone