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Jesse Owens & Preludes In Our Time: OUT NOW

The Philharmonia Orchestra are heard in all their majesty on the incidental music from Michael Stimpson's opera, Jesse Owens, a work about the legendary US athlete who won four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics of 1936. This is accompanied by a collection of songs from the opera, arranged for soprano, baritone, and piano, in which singers Abigail Kelly and Johnny Herford beautifully illustrate the breadth of the work, the struggle, humour, and achievements of the greatest Olympian ever. These two works are complimented by Preludes In Our Time, for solo piano. Written while the world was looking towards the Beijing Olympics, this unique collection is enchantingly performed by Megumi Fujita, who also accompanies the singers.

CRITICS CHOICE 

"Stimpson’s expressive, immediately accessible music reveals hints of the blues and period popular music, but mostly it has a firm classical grounding, evoking the dignity and historical importance of Owens’s life and achievements" 

Opera News

"Much fine, humane music, which it is worth anyone’s while getting to know"

MusicWeb International

Stone Records presents two of the UK's finest musicians, Roderick Williams (baritone) and Sioned Williams (harp) in a superb performance of Michael Stimpson's Dylan, a biographical song cycle of Wales's most renowned poet, Dylan Thomas. Through his own wonderful texts and poems, Dylan's life is traced from his childhood in Wales, through his fiery marriage to Caitlin and love of alcohol (Bottled God), to his untimely death in New York in 1953. Dylan is paired with The Drowning of Capel Celyn (Boddi Capel Celyn) for solo harp, a work Sioned commissioned from Michael to mark her 60th birthday. Capel Celyn, a village near Bala in North Wales, was flooded in 1965 to create a reservoir for Liverpool. People were devastated as the water rushed into the valley, drowning the Chapel, Quaker Meeting House, Post Office, and a number of cottages. Set in five movements, the work evokes Capel Celyn in first light, the marching protesters and the violence of the flooding. 

"a superb performance of a winning work"

Classical Music 

"Stimpson's settings of the poetry and prose enhanced the imagery, the mystery, the dark moods, the wartime horrors and the enigmatic verses dedicated to his wife Caitlin"

Musical Opinion

"Roderick Williams’s performance of all this is, quite simply, superb"

MusicWeb International

"The impeccable, sensitively shaded playing by Williams, and the addition of a substantial work to the limited original repertoire for baritone and harp, make this CD an important disc to
add to your collection"
Harp Magazine (UKHA) 

The CD features String Quartet No.1 (Robben Island) performed by the Allegri String Quartet. Composed to celebrate the end of apartheid, it is accompanied by a performance of A Walk Into War, a work for tenor and piano quintet based on the delightful writings of Laurie Lee.

Scores

Solo Guitar

 

Originally part of the Guitar Styles series with Oxford University Press, this work for the intermediate guitarist is now published here

A set of pre-Grade One pieces for the beginner classical guitarist, each introducing one main technique to help with early skills.

A set of popular works in a lighter style.

 
Solo Harp
 

Set in five movements, this lyrical and evocative work marks the anniversary of the flooding of a village in North Wales.

This challenging three-movement work based on the life of John Ruskin is a substantial piece for any recital programme.

Solo Piano

A set of piano pieces which range in length and complexity (approx. 20 mins)

Five shorter movements (approx. 14  mins).

Violin and Piano
 
 

The first part of Age of Wonders evokes the early life of Charles Darwin up to his departure on The Beagle (approx 20 mins).

In four movements, this atmospheric work takes as its inspiration a feature in the Wiltshire countryside (approx 10 mins).

This classical piece in three movements is based on the 12-bar blues (approx 15 mins).

Chamber

A work to celebrate the end of apartheid, based on the National Anthem of South Africa. CD available. (approx. 20 mins).

Based on Darwin's most famous voyage, two movements, Inbound and Outbound (approx. 22 mins)

Inspired by the two pyramids just outside Mexico City (approx. 23 mins).

 
Voice
 

For baritone and harp, this song cycle in eight movements traces the life of Dylan Thomas through his own texts and poems.

A work based on the writing of the Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli (approx. 23 mins).

A one-movement work based on the poem by Giovanni Pascoli (approx. 12 mins).

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© 2018 Michael Stimpson