June 2017, Champs Hill Records
Cheryl Frances-Hoad - Katharsis
Cheryl Frances-Hoad - The Forgiveness Machine
Cheryl Frances-Hoad - Quark Dances
Cheryl Frances-Hoad - Homages (Book 1 & Book 2)
Cheryl Frances-Hoad - A Refusal to Mourn
David Cohen (cello), Phoenix Piano Trio (Jonathan Stone, Christian Elliott, Sholto Kynoch), Ivana Gavric (piano), Nicholas Daniel (oboe), Rambert Orchestra, Paul Hoskins (conductor)
RPS Award-winning British composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad's fourth disc with Champs Hill Records, this is a compilation of chamber orchestral, chamber and solo piano works inspired by composers from the past.
Cheryl Frances-Hoad explains the meaning behind the disc: "Throughout my composing life I have found myself continually looking to composers from the past in order to create something new. This disc … is united by the theme of ‘homage’: each piece, although I hope clearly recognisable as my own, involved immersing myself in the language of another composer in order to write it."
"One of the most distinctive voices in the well-stocked, thirtysomething generation of British composers...Frances-Hoad’s implicit trust in the expressive power of her melodic invention and harmonic thinking is paramount...That may seem to be an old-fashioned approach, but nothing in Frances-Hoad’s music ever sounds secondhand."
Andrew Clements, The Guardian,
"Exquisite performances throughout, and quite superb sound. Strongly recommended 21st-century music that should frighten no one but make them pause frequently for thought (not least through her beguilingly idiosyncratic titles)."
Guy Rickards, Gramophone Magazine
"In a disc of almost 80 minutes duration showcasing recent work by a contemporary composer it is a wonder that the time simply flies by, so enjoyable and interesting is the material - the whole disc is easily digestible at one sitting. And yet, as is typical of Frances-Hoad, each successive listen yields new delights.
So abundant are the musical ideas that the concerto [Katharsis] needs its six movements to accommodate them comfortably, but none is left undeveloped – indeed all are most satisfyingly resolved. There is real concision here – absolutely no padding. The music can effortlessly evoke at different moments both great depths of feeling and a huge sense of fun. But there is nothing clichéd or artful about it, simply a composer revelling in the realisation of her own considerable abilities."
Richard Hanlon, MusicWeb International
"Lyrically impassioned music [Katharsis]...a fabulous work, quietly intense and full of rich textures [The Forgiveness Machine]...In each [Homage] the original composer's signature can be detected, but Cheryl Frances-Hoad's personality is to the fore too, creating a sequence of delightful character pieces which can be enjoyed without worrying who was inspired by what. Performances are uniformly excellent, and this lovely disc introduces to a wide range of Cheryl Frances-Hoad's well constructive and imaginative music."
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill