This album features the complete works for guitar of British composer and radio broadcaster John Brunning, including world-premier recordings, performed by internationally acclaimed classical guitarist Xuefei Yang.

At its heart is the world premiere recording of Concerto Magna Carta, written for Xuefei, and performed with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Clark Rundell.

Xuefei is again joined by the RLPO for Five Romances in new arrangements for guitar and orchestra; and by renowned cellist Johannes Moser for Lacrimosa in a duet for guitar and cello - also premiere recordings for these settings of the material.

John writes, “these pieces were completed between 2007 and 2019, and without consciously seeking to steer clear of the strong Spanish tradition of the classical guitar, I feel there’s something essentially English in all this music. I was so pleased that Fei picked up on this when I asked her to contribute a cadenza to the Concerto.”

Concerto Magna Carta, is so named because it was completed in the 800th anniversary year of that historic document. The Magna Carta is an iconic British achievement recognised around the world, so Xuefei structured her cadenza around well-known folk tunes from the these isles dovetailed with melodies from each movement of the Concerto. It’s particularly poignant that one of the folk tunes (Sumer is icumen in) dates back to the time of the Magna Carta, so the Concerto contains music that would have been familiar to people of that time.

The Five Romances : Pastorale; Dusk; Elegy; Saharan Sunrise; El Verano each evoke a different mood, place, or season made all the more vivid in the settings for guitar and strings.

Lacrimosa for guitar and cello is an intensely emotional conversation between the two instruments.

Xuefei writes, “John writes lovely melodies. I have performed his music in concerts across the globe and find that audiences and other musicians enjoy it. When he suggested writing a concerto for me, I thought it would create an opportunity to bring together all his works for guitar, and add to the accessible repertoire for guitar and orchestra.”

You can listen in Spatial Audio - the recording was made using Dolby Atmos which gives a height dimension to the sound.


"an elegant, ravishing album"
ArtMuseLondon, August 2022

"(cadenza) .. This is a magnificent solo, based on an inspired idea (blending the concerto’s melodies with English folk songs), perfectly executed. Here, Yang supplies her own orchestra, floating the tunes above rippling rhythms or arpeggios, all building towards a thrilling version of ‘Sumer is icumen in’. Masterful."
ArtMuseLondon, August 2022

"This is an elegant and beautifully engineered example of its type, and it was no surprise to see it on classical best-seller charts in the spring of 2022."
AllMusic, August 2022


Release Date: 27th May 2022
Label: Apple Music
Format: digital & CD
Sound: Spatial Audio - Dolby Atmos
Producer: Andrew Cornall ; Ian Watson [10]
Recording engineer: Ian Watson / Lizzie Arnold [10]
Location: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall ; Platoon 7, Tileyard [10]


    Classic FM Album of Week
    May 23 2022 Classic FM Album of Week

    Gramophone Official Specialist Chart #4
    Week of June 3 2022

    UK Official Specialist Chart #4
    June 3-9 2022

    Amazon Concertos #3
    June 3-9 2022Classic FM Album of Week

    Billboard Charts #12
    June 3-9 2022