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 
Recording engineer: Ian Watson / Lizzie Arnold 
Location: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall ; Platoon 7, Tileyard
Classic FM Album of Week
May 23 2022
Gramophone Official Specialist Chart #4
Week of June 3 2022