The Affetto Classical Sampler, featuring nine tracks from our nine album releases, is out and it’s Free on Amazon.

The Affetto Classical Sampler, featuring nine tracks from our nine album releases, is out and it’s Free on Amazon.

Listen to the spellbinding work of Grammy-nominated violinist Elmira Darvarova teamed with Indian sarod masters the Ali Khans, from “Amalgam” and “Soul Strings” albums.

Hear baritone Elem Eley, one of the world’s expert song cycle artists, interpret new works from “Lenoriana.”

Cellist Kate Dillingham and harpsichordist Jory Vinikour, play a movement from J.S. Bach’s De Gamba Sonatas from a new Schirmer edition edited by Ms. Dillingham.

Listen to a track from “Masterpieces by Beethoven / Franck / Clara Schumann” by Elmira Darvarova on violin and Shoko Inoue on piano.

Rutgers University’s exquisite early music ensemble Musica Raritana, led by Dr. Andrew Kirkman, performs Mendelssohn’s earliest work for piano and strings.

The outstanding early music vocal ensemble The Thirteen, led by founder Matthew Robertson, harmonizes on  a piece by King Henry VIII from “Voice Eternal.”

Elmira Darvarova (on her fourth Affetto album!) and the late Octavio Brunetti perform tangos by Piazzolla from “Adios Nonino” with incomparable spirit and passion.

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Masterpieces By Beethoven, Franck, and Clara Schumann by Elmira Darvarova, Violin & Shoko Inoue, Piano

Fantastic renditions of timeless masterpieces, presented by Grammy-nominated violinist (and former MET Opera concertmaster) Elmira Darvarova and internationally-acclaimed pianist Shoko Inoue. Clara Schumann’s magnificent Three Romances Op. 22,  Beethoven’s immortal “Spring” Sonata,  and César Franck’s universally beloved Violin Sonata in A Major  are interpreted here with breathtaking excitement, immense passion and marvelous poetry. An unusually intense and deep artistic connection between the two instrumentalists brings out the multifaceted dimensions and sparkling brilliance of these eternally beautiful gems.

Available at Amazon and iTunes.

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Music Web International : Review – Dawn and Twilight: The First and Last Violin Sonatas of Cyril Scott

Music Web International : Review

Cyril SCOTT (1879-1970)
Dawn and Twilight: The First and Last Violin Sonatas
Violin Sonata No. 1 in C Major, Op. 59 (1910) [39:50] Violin Sonata No. 4 (1956) [16:15] Andrew Kirkman (violin); Clipper Erickson (piano)
rec. God’s Love Lutheran Church, Pennsylvania, 11-14 Sept 2013.

I was all set to challenge Affetto’s claim that this disc presented first recordings. Not so quick. Andrew Kirkman, in the booklet points out that the First Sonata, as recorded on Naxos (review ~ review), is of the version Scott revised in 1956 – a year when he was much engaged by the violin and piano duo. Andrew Kirkman and Clipper Erickson, courtesy of Affetto, let us hear the original 1910 version of the First Sonata. This valuable and luxuriously enjoyable addition to the catalogue is about as third as long again as its late re-casting.

Cyril Scott was much occupied with the violin as an instrument. His own instrument, the piano, drew from him piano solos, sonatas, two piano concertos, a roaming piece for piano and orchestra and a 1900 piano concerto revived as a reconstruction on Dutton. The violin with its independence from lung-capacity and its legato capacity for spinning preternaturally long melodic lines produced from Scott a violin concerto, four sonatas and various genre pieces.

Scott’s early flowering years produced generously proportioned works and this is clear in the sumptuous dimensions of the First Sonata. The first movement – an Allegro moderato – is in a state of constant efflorescence with a good sense of forward motion. The tropical undergrowth is dense and curvaceous – a little like the Austrian Marx and Scott’s British colleague, Arnold Bax at least in his early works like the String Quintet, the unnumbered symphony and Spring Fire. The movement’s successor is a deeply affecting Andante with some really distinguished and memorable ideas. It’s rather Debussian and the piano writing recalls for me another rare British composer of that era, William Baines. The diminutive Allegro molto scherzando [4:15] is a jaunty light blend of Dvořákian ‘Dumky’ and genre salon-charmer. The expansive finale [12:47] is a lofty Allegro maestoso with that noble-ecstatic air heard in the first movement. It evinces a sustained indulgence in gorgeous soliloquy rather than oxygen-rich dynamism. It is not that there is no dramatic energy [9:25] but the predominance is one borne of a sultry hothouse. Lovers of the Delius violin sonatas and violin concerto will find much to reward them here.

The First Sonata contrasts with the Fourth, which runs to just over a quarter of an hour. It was written long after the world had, by and large, turned away from Scott as it had from his contemporary Bantock. Bantock died in 1946 while Scott lived on to the fine age of 91 but these were cruel years where the musical establishment remained obdurate against the merits of Scott’s music. While his pupil Rubbra hymned his praises on radio it would be the late 1970s before anything approaching revival would spark.

The Fourth Sonata is in three tersely concentrated movements. There is still the same flow of song in constant motion but the language is a degree cooler and can be chill at times. This is still the luxurious Scott of old (I: 3:02) but dark clouds shade the waters of Lotus Land, previously the home of Rainbow TroutParadise Birds and Water Wagtails. There are some gaunt pages among the trilling delights but the delights are there. These include a noble finale which breathes conviction and new life into Scott’s early grandeur.

Clipper Erickson is no newcomer to Scott having recorded for DTR a mix of Scott and Quilter piano pieces. He has always been an adventurous pianist and the latest evidence of this is a 2-CD set of the complete solo piano music of African-American R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) on Navona. Dett’s magnificent oratorio The Ordering of Moses has recently been issued by Bridge. Erickson is nicely complemented by Kirkman who can search out and bear on high a lush lyricism with the very best. The apposite and straight-talking notes are by Andrew Kirkman and Desmond Scott.

The style-apt playing and warm, up-close recording are very satisfying indeed. I hope that Kirkman and Erickson will look at other rare violin sonatas including those by Coke, Isaacs and Gaze Cooper. That said there is still much to be done for Scott. Let’s hear an intégrale of the four string quartets and – more expensive yet – the major choral-orchestral work, Hymn of Unity.

Rob Barnett

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Affetto Records offers for your consideration …

14611006_543339262537990_876939772602202033_nAffetto Records offers For your consideration:

“Amalgam” World Music / Best Engineered (non-classical) / Producer of the Year (non-classical) – Amjad Ali Khan, Sarod / Amaan Ali Khan, Sarod / Ayaan Ali Khan, Sarod / Elmira Darvarova, Violin / John C. Baker, Producer / Sumit Babbar, Recording Engineer / Sam Ward, Mastering Engineer

“J.S Bach – Sonatas for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord BWV 1027–1029” Best Engineered Classical / Producer of the Year Classical / Best Chamber Music Album – Small Ensemble – Kate Dillingham, Cello / Jory Vinikour, Harpsichord / John C. Baker, Recording Engineer / Sam Ward, Mastering Engineer / John C. Baker, Producer

“Dawn and Twilight – The First and Last Violin Sonatas of Cyril Scott” Best Engineered Classical / Producer of the Year Classical – Andrew Kirkman, Violin / Clipper Erickson, piano / Andrew Kirkman, Producer / John C. Baker, Sam Ward, Loren Stata, Recording Engineers

“Mendelssohn: Early Works for Piano and Strings” Andrew Kirkman, Producer of the Year Classical – Rutgers Musica Raritana, Andrew Kirkman, Conductor / Christoph Hammer, Fortepiano / Andrew Kirkman, Producer

Visit our SoundCloud page for a sampler from each album.

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Just Released: Voice Eternal – The Thirteen

Coming on October 28th a new Affetto Records release.

The Thirteen is an all-star professional choir best described by National Public Radio commentator M.D. Ridge: “to talk about the remarkable abilities and sound of the individual singers would… be like trying to say which whitecaps on the ocean reflect the sun most beautifully, or which leaves on a tree dance most gracefully with the wind… I stand in awe.” Described as having “a tight and attractive vocal blend and excellent choral discipline” (American Record Guide), The Thirteen draws its artists from among the finest ensembles in the world, including Chanticleer, Seraphic Fire, Apollo’s Fire, Conspirare, I Fagiolini, Opera Philadelphia, Boston Early Music Festival and Trinity Wall Street. “Voice Eternal” presents a virtuosic program of music by Tudor-era composers that explores musical upheaval during the English Reformation through music that is at times epic, intimate, majestic and joyful. With works by Thomas Tallis, King Henry VIII, John Farmer, Thomas Weelkes, Robert Fayrfax, Walter Lambe, and William Cornysh Jr., this album by The Thirteen makes this powerful music come alive for 21st century audiences. Affetto Records introduces an album which presents surprising contrasts and spell-binding harmonies by one of the nation’s most-compelling up and coming ensembles, The Thirteen.

Listen to  “Helas Madame – King Henry VIII (1491-1547)” on Soundcloud (as well as seven other tracks from our releases on our page there).


Available now at iTunes and Amazon

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