There are three recordings in the catalogue so far:
Ian Storey sings (ARC01001)
A solo recital CD in a range of highly musical interpretations of some of opera’s most treasured repertoire. The breadth of music covers arias from Otello, Turandot, Parsifal, Tosca, Les Troyens, Pikovaya Dama, Fidelio and Tristan.
Ian Storey has sung the role of Tristan over 50 times during his career. It was Daniel Barenboim who chose Ian to make his debut as Tristan at the opening of the season at La Scala in December 2007, a role he has now sung not only at La Scala but also at both the Berlin Staatsoper and Deutsche Oper in Berlin, Zurich, Dusseldorf, Barcelona, Bilbao, Oslo and Genova.
Barenboim has high praise for Storey:
‘It’s a wonderful thing for him, a wonderful thing for La Scala, a wonderful thing for the music world, because Tristans don’t grow on trees.’
Plácido Domingo is also a huge supporter of the singer. After sharing the role of Herman in Pikovaya Dama with Domingo in Madrid, he hired Ian to make his US debut singing the title role of Otello for LA Opera (where he is General Director). He did this immediately after his success as Tristan at La Scala.
Podcast: Ian Storey talks to Edward Seckerson.
‘One of the most convening interpretations is that of “Amfortas! die Wunde’, in which Storey delineates a Parsifal who is anguished and tortured, with a feeling of emptiness portrayed through the tonal shadings, which he employs to full effect.’ International Record Review
‘After some 50 performances, Tristan remains a signature role, and he has added Siegfried; but as this disc demonstrates his range extends well beyond Wagner…Rienzi’s prayer more clearly demonstrates Storey’s plangent, shaded tones and his heroic timbre…’ BBC Music Magazine
Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot and other stories (ARC02001)
Recorded in June 2012 Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ 2012 St Magnus Festival on Orkney, this DVD and Blu-ray includes three works:
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot, Judith Bingham’s Mary Anning and Colin Riley’s Science Fictions.
Both Judith Bingham and Colin Riley’s pieces were given world premieres on Orkney in that year’s festival (Riley’s was a world premiere of a new version of Science Fictions). This project was made in conjunction with its partner the University of Northampton, and also the Dundee Film School, part of the University of Dundee. The soloist in all three pieces is Alison Wells.
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s curiously named work Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot, stemming from 1974, is based on an Australian, apparently one of the models for Miss Havisham in Dickens’s Great Expectations; jilted at the altar, she became a recluse, and the piece discovers her ranting among the remnants of her wedding cake, which is decorated with instrumentalists. There are eight songs and the challenging solo voice involves a three octave range.
Judith Bingham’s new work Mary Anning was written specially for Alison Wells and celebrated the composer’s 60th birthday (which occurred during the festival). Colin Riley’s Science Fictions based on Frankenstein author Mary Shelley.
Alison Wells said before the 2012 Orkney Festival performances and recordings:
‘The two Marys are almost exactly contemporary with each other but lived such different lives, and both, since recognised as world leaders in their fields, were not so celebrated in their own time. The two pieces are innovative – Judith’s piece about Mary Anning is unaccompanied except for the sound of the gravel beach I walk on, and the stones I hit to find my fossils! Colin Riley’s Science Fictions is accompanied by a soundtrack that he has created which has echoes of the scientific and “electric” world of Frankenstein
I will also be performing Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot, about the bride from Sydney whose wedding didn’t happen and who stayed in her wedding dress with her feast decaying around her for 30 years – a possible real life model for Miss Havisham.’
‘Written by Peter Maxwell Davies in 1974 as a stage piece requiring few resources and designed to tour, Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot is a counterpart to the composer’s more famous Eight Songs for a Mad King…it’s performed superbly here…the DVD presents two other performance films, shot in and around Orkney in 2012. In all three, the soloist is Alison Wells, the outstanding mezzo who has distinguished herself in the field of contemporary music; here she is in full and imposing command, her marvelous vocal gifts and artistry on wonderful display.’ Opera Magazine
Ghosts & mirrors (ARC01002)
A contemporary piano disc from the award-winning pianist Richard Uttley, the first to be recorded at the new Milton Court Concert Hall, London opposite the GSMD and Barbican. Says Uttley: ‘A number of the works mark life or death: Lulu Fantasy features the protagonist’s ‘Todesschrei’ [Death scream]; the first of Lindberg’s Piano Jubilees was a birthday present to Pierre Boulez; the Murail, Takemitsu and two of the Berio Encores, meanwhile, were written ‘in memoriam’. Others reflect on specific pieces or genres: Lindberg ruminates on his Jubilee I in Jubilees II-VI; Adès revisits the Mazurka, taking up where Chopin left off; Simpson explores and explodes Classical Alberti bass; and Wolfthal reincarnates Berg’s Lulu as a piano paraphrase.’
He continues: ‘Reflection in its other sense – mirroring – guided my programming. Inspired by the palindromic music in the middle of Berg’s Lulu, I tried to create a sense of symmetry within the structure of the programme. The centrepiece is Wolfthal’s Lulu Fantasy, which is itself ‘symmetrical’. This is flanked by the Murail and Takemitsu, both of which were written in memory of Olivier Messiaen. Next, new takes on old models, by two of my favourite British composers – Thomas Adès and Mark Simpson. Finally, the six Jubilees that begin the programme are mirrored by six Encores to close it.’
The haunted aspect is perhaps most evident in Mark Simpson’s Barkham Fantasy, who saw ghosts as he wrote the piece!
‘This is a truly amazing disc, as Richard Uttley dazzles throughout with his dexterous finger-work but at the same time keeps the strength and rich complexity of the music. You never feel that we are listening to virtuoso elements just for their own sake. And his control of structure and colour is superb, so that the colouration of the pieces lives up to the disc’s title Ghosts and Mirrors.nHighly recommended for anyone who wants to know what a 21st century version of Liszt would be playing!’ Planethugill.com
‘ You might expect a concert full of ghosts and reflections to be pale and melancholic. In fact the predominant tone was sumptuous and glittery and virtuoso. Uttley seemed diffident and mild in his pre-concert chat, but once seated at the piano be became a different person, seizing the music with amazing decisiveness. He caught the unabashed impressionist gorgeousness of the first Piano Jubilee by Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg, and the way the following five Jubilees retreated down to simplicity. Tristan Murail’s Cloches d’adieu et un sourire (Bells of Farewell and a Smile) was a homage to the greatest post-war French composer, Olivier Messiaen. The spirit of Messiaen seemed to hover in the music’s harmonic glitter, evoked by Uttley with musing delicacy.’ Ivan Hewett, Daily Telegraph
‘The centrepiece of Uttley’s excellently devised, symmetrical sequence of 20th-and 21st-century piano pieces is a splendid Lulu Fantasy (2008) by the Boston-based Marvin Wolfthal.’ Paul Driver, Sunday Times
Recordings can be purchased by:
sending a cheque made out to Artists Recording Company to POBox 308, Sevenoaks, Kent,
emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your order
or calling the ARC office on 07885 753272.
Ian Storey sings (ARC01001): £12 including postage and vat
Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot and other stories (ARC02001): £22 including postage and vat
Ghosts and mirrors (ARC01002): £12 including postage and vat
ARC recordings are also distributed by Discovery Records Ltd