NEW RELEASE 2021

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                                                       'for clarinet and strings' 

                                                                      Music by

                                             Rebecca Clarke, Tony Coe, Sadie Harrison,

                                          Nicola LeFanu, Cyril Scott, Howard Skempton


                                                                                  Released 2018 (CD of the year)


                                        Chamber music by Philip Grange

This is the third disc of music by Grange recorded by Gemini. Both the previous discs were chosen as Disc of the Year in Gramophone magazine.  This disc includes the piano quartet Tiers of Time an homage to Grange's friend and fellow composer John Casken, the solo cello Elegy, homage to the poet Edward Thomas, the Piano Trio: Homage to Chagall and the most recent work, the major sextet Shifting Thresholds an homage to Samuel Beckett. 


Gemini:  |Ieana Ruhemann flutes, Catriona Scott clarinets,  Joby Burgess percussion, Aleksander Szram piano, Caroline Balding violin, Rose Redgrave, viola, Sophie Harris cello, Ian Mitchell conductor

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This disc arose from a prize in the Prudential Awards, which provided initial funding to record three major but neglected works: Cyril Scott's Clarinet Quintet; Howard Skempton's Gemini Dances for ensemble - a bonus track; and Rebecca Clarke's Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale for clarinet and viola, together with more recent pieces by Sadie Harrison (for clarinet, viola, narrators and clap sticks), Nicola LeFanu (Songs without Words for clarinet and string trio), Howard Skempton's Lullaby for cello and clarinet, and jazz legend Tony Coe's miniature tone poem for clarinet and string quartet. This is not a clarinet feature disc however, but a programme of fine works involving that instrument ‘in the mix’. 

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Homage chamber music by Philip Grange            MSV28591                                                                                 

The third disc Gemini has recorded of music by Grange (see below) marking not only his 60th birthday, but also a relationship stretching back almost 30 years. 


 Gemini’s playing of these four remarkable works is first-class. I think that special honours ought to go to Sophie Harris for her extraordinary performance of the Elegy for solo cello.

John France (MusicWeb International

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Bass Clarinet and Friends - a miscellany            MSV28579                                                                                 

There is much variety among the styles and instrumentation of these wonderfully played works such that the listener will be held rapt through the duration of this program. Lovers of well-written chamber music in varying contemporary styles will definitely not want to miss this set.

                                                                                                                    David DeBoor Canfield (Fanfare)

This highly-imaginative programme explores a diverse range of music: from the romantic certainties of York Bowen’s remarkable Phantasy Quintet to Jonathan Harvey’s ebullient The Riot, by way of the Latin-infused sounds of Dave Smith’s Aragonesca. It is thoroughly enjoyable from the first track to the last.

                                                                                                           John France (MusicWeb International)

Peter Maxwell Davies: Ave Maris Stella  Metier/Divine Art MSV28503

      Sunday Times Contemporary CD of the Year

      Ave Maris Stella (1975) reaffirms itself as a tour de force of ear-gripping  virtuosity…Absolutely superb.’’                                                                                                                            Malcolm Hayes, BBC Music Magazine  

       Fiercely difficult to play though the music is – and it is meant to be unconducted, like true chamber music – it

       comes over here with an idiomatic ease and brilliance that make the work seem truly classical.

                                                                                                                                         Paul Driver, Sunday Times

      What a little gem of a disc this is, making up in density (and intensity!) what it lacks in length. Sir Peter 

      Maxwell Davies has written some fine chamber music in recent times...two of the four works here go back to

      the mid-1970s – Ave Maris Stella and Psalm 124, Star-Folded and Economies of Scale date from 2000 and

      2002 respectively. They are all given fine, committed performances by the chamber ensemble Gemini under

      its director and clarinettist Ian Mitchell.

       As if the quality of the music and the performances weren’t enough, the listener is also provided with a

     superb set of booklet notes by the University of Surrey’s Christopher Mark.         International Record Review

Peter Maxwell Davies: Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot DVD ARC02001-2

    Recorded live at Orkney's St Magnus Festival, Wells' account proves this 1974 theatre piece still has the

     power to shock...Beautifully filmed with fine sound.                                                                     Classical Music                                                                                                                                      a performance such as that given by Alison Wells, the pathos and fractured humanity at its core pin you

      to your seat. In every perfectly imagined body gesture, facial expression and manipulation of her soprano,            Wells showed a virtuoso understanding of Miss Donnithorne, her Reel, her Rant and her recitatives. She ran

      up the aisle as the bosun’s whistle piped her into eternity...                                         Hilary Finch, The Times                                                                                  

      ...It’s performed superbly here. What also distinguishes this DVD version of the work is that it actually consists

     of two films, in which scenes from a live performance  are intercut with film images of the story transposed to a

     modern setting. In fleeting visual scenes from the narrative, we encounter Eliza Donnithorne alone in her

     increasingly threadbare wedding dress, later terrorized by young men in the neighbourhood, ageing, going

     mad, the wedding feast still on the nuptial table but in ever more alarming states of putrefaction…Davies’s

     crystalline, transparent music is a marvel: lucidly conceived, its textures brilliantly coloured, the work is in a

     modernist style that remains beguiling and irresistible (especially when played as superbly as it is by the 

     Gemini ensemble here). Building to a conclusion of ironic glory, the score is also wonderfully diverse, replete

     with  stylistic allusions to music hall, bel canto, cabaret and more.                                           Opera magazine

Nicola LeFanu/David Lumsdaine: Mandala 3  Metier/Divine Art msv28565     ʽʽIt is powerful music, an intense and absorbing work which receives virtuosic performances from pianist

     Aleksander Szram and members of the Gemini  Ensemble.ˮ                    Loud Mouth (Australian Arts Trust)

     This is important music by two master composers beautifully performed by their frequent collaborators.

     Recommended.                                                                                                           Carson Cooman  Fanfare

     As the warm introductory note from musical director Ian Mitchell suggests, this disc stems from friendships

     both music and personal; between composers David Lumsdaine and Nicola LeFanu, and chamber ensemble

     Gemini. Indeed, listening to the disc is something like being party to an intimate, intelligent and far-ranging

     conversation among  old friends.

       British composer...LeFanu’s Trio 2: Song for Peter (1983) for soprano, clarinet and  cello is by turns fierce and

     meditative, pondering ideas of mortality through texts by Emily Dickinson, Chekhov, Ted Hughes and Sara

     Teasdale, and performed here with particular poise and fire by soprano Sarah Leonard. Invisible Places (1986)

     for string quartet and clarinet takes Italo Calvino’s beguiling Invisible Cities as its starting point, capturing the

     book’s seamless shifts between micro- and macrocosm in the score’s inventive textural contrasts.  

     The central work on the disc is Australian David Lumsdaine’s Mandala 3 (1978) for chamber ensemble, which

     proves a gloriously strange and moving piece. A ‘meditation’ on the final chorus of the St. Matthew Passion,

     the work weaves bold new lines around transcribed excerpts of Bach’s score to create an affecting and 

     mysterious piece...a fine performance to complete this intriguing and enlightening disc.

                                                                                                                       Kate Wakeling, BBC Music Magazine

David Lumsdaine: Aria for Edward John Eyre/ What Shall I Sing?

CD NMC D007 *

     ''Gemini virtuosic and thrilling as ever."                                  The Gramophone

David Lumsdaine: A tree telling of Orpheus Metier, msv 28519 *

     “...passages of simple and beautiful calm over hazy harmonies...the performers enter Lumsdaine’s musical world with skill and enthusiasm”          MusicWeb                               

Philip Grange: Dark Labyrinths    Black Box BBM1038 **

    Gramophone Magazine Critics’ Choice as CD of the Year

Philip Grange: Darkness Visible    Metier MSV CD92083

    Gramophone Magazine Critics’ Choice as CD of the Year

    “…one of the most distinctive minds of his generation…Finely prepared performances from Gemini…”                                                   The Gramophone                                                                                                                                                                                          

Beatrix Potter: The Tailor of Gloucester (music Douglas Young)

     VHS 0411 93702-2 (Thames TV commission - broadcast worldwide)

John White: Fashion Music (our tribute to Tchaikovsky Year '93) *

       CD Austrian label LondonHall. docu3

       BBC Music Magazine one of the Top Forty CDs of the Year

Stephen Goss: The Garden of Cosmic Speculation  Cadenza CACD0604  *

    inspired by Charles Jenck’s Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Goss’s "The Garden of Cosmic Speculation"

         was first performed in…2005. In Jenck’s Garden, a series of visual metaphors are used to enable the visitor

         to contemplate certain fundamental aspects of the universe. But the garden is not dull; it is visually

         stimulating and full of a sense of fun and excitement. Goss’s piece similarly mixes genres and styles, 

         seriousness and fun. Quotes, references and ciphers litter the score, sometimes these are obvious and

         sometimes less so. This is a piece that responds to repeated listening. It is a tribute to Goss’s skill and the

         skill of the players that the results sound natural and obvious, never overly contrived. This is chamber music

         of rare skill and played by a very fine ensemble. Gemini commissioned the piece as a companion to

         Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. Goss makes references to Messiaen’s harmonies and textures.

         [his] language is… extremely expressive and his textures are frequently very open…definitely a piece

         which can be sampled by those who shy away from contemporary music.                                      Music Web

Tim Ewers: Squaring the Circle Guild  GMCD7379*   

  Tim Ewers' compositions presented here are without exception skilfully crafted by a composer who has a keen ear for instrumental color, details, balance, as well as structural proportion. These are modern works which have melodic (albeit non-tonal) and rhythmic flow. Squaring the Circle is highly recommended to general

listeners of contemporary music and to clarinettists and keyboard percussionists, who may discover a recital gem of substance. This is a terrific CD.                                                                                                                                            The Clarinet

Geoffrey Poole: Septembral   Metier MSV CD92061 *

Camden Reeves: Night Descending   Cadenza Music CACD0807  *

Lindsay Cooper:  A View from the Bridge   Double CD Impetus

IMP CD29831  **

Giles Easterbrook: The Moon Underwater    Prima Facie PFCD002

Howard Skempton: Gemini Dances        Unknown Public

      vol. 8 Sensuality: essence and nonsense 

Gemini Collection Vol.1:

      Mozart, folk songs, Cuban dances, new music...

      cassette only BM101

Gemini Collection Vol. 2:  from Bolivia to Bengal 

      Haydn, Rebecca Clarke, Bruce Nockles, Lol Coxhill, Chris Hobbs, medieval and folk

      music, music by children                                                              cassette only BM102

Music by Nicola LeFanu: LP Chandos ABR1017 (Not currently available)