• Recorded Music Department

    February 3, 2018

    Murray McLachlan launches new Marcus Blunt CD at Forsyth!

    On Wednesday (31 January) there was a rare and wonderful opportunity to hear an internationally-renowned pianist perform locally for free with a programme close to his heart: Murray McLachlan played his own transcriptions of Rachmaninov and Busoni – as a duo with his wife Kathryn Page – as well as beautiful piano works by Marcus Blunt, a British contemporary composer he has long championed.

    This special in-store event marked the launch of Murray’s new recording of Marcus’s Piano Concerto with Manchester Camerata and the publication of Murray’s new Rachmaninov transcription.

    If you missed it, you can read all about it here! And if you’d like to join us for future events, keep an eye on our Events pages.

    Murray McLachlan, Kathryn Page, Marcus Blunt, Maureen Blunt and Lesley Wilson

    Left to right: Murray McLachlan, Kathryn Page, Marcus Blunt, Maureen Blunt and Lesley Wilson

  • Recorded Music Department

    May 14, 2017

    Get your BBC Proms 2017 Festival Guide now and start planning your musical summer!

    Whether you are planning a trip to the Royal Albert Hall or to keep up with the concerts as they are broadcast, the festival guide is indispensable.

    Along with full details of every performance, it features new articles on some of the diverse themes running through this year’s programme:

    - the musical legacies of both the Reformation (from 1517) and the October Revolution in Russia (1917);

    - the birthdays of Minimalist composers John Adams (70) and Philip Glass (80), and jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald (1917–1996);

    - stand-out works such as Handel’s Water Music (premiered in 1717), Elgar’s three symphonies, and the first collaboration between Rodgers and Hammerstein, Oklahoma!

    * * *

    BBC Proms 2017

    Festival Guide


    Read more & buy now!

  • Recorded Music Department

    April 29, 2017

    Your last chance to enter our Hallé & NMC Recordings prize draw!

    There’s still time to enter our prize draw for passes to a special reception celebrating the Hallé’s recording partnership with NMC Recordings!

    In anticipation of the Hallé’s performance of Bruckner’s magnificent Symphony No. 9 at the Bridgewater Hall on 4 May, we’re excited to be teaming up with NMC Recordings to offer Forsyth customers the chance to attend a special reception celebrating their recording partnership with the orchestra.

    Two winners will each receive:

    - a pair of free passes to the pre-concert reception and post-concert drinks with the conductor Ryan Wigglesworth;

    - and a promotional code providing a 25% discount on a pair of tickets for the concert in the top four price tiers (£24, £29, £34, £39) booked online at www.halle.co.uk.

    To enter, all you need to do is email “NMC” and your name to [email protected] by 11.59pm on Sunday 30 April 2017

    We will randomly select and notify the two winners the following morning!

    For further details of the concert and reception, please see last week’s post.

  • Recorded Music Department

    April 22, 2017

    Record Store Day discounts! | Hallé & NMC Recordings prize draw!

    It’s Record Store Day!

    Join us in celebrating the UK’s independent record shops:

    - enjoy our in-store only discount, valid today only, of 10% off everything in our Recorded Music Department!

    - enter our prize draw for passes to a special reception celebrating the Hallé’s recording partnership with NMC Recordings!

    With over 6,000 titles in stock, Forsyth’s Recorded Music Department is a rare sight on the high street: a treasure trove of classical and jazz on CD, opera and ballet on DVD and even jazz on vinyl. As well as core repertoire and the latest releases, we are able to display a wide selection of unusual offerings. We are always happy to play any CD before you buy and will endeavour to track down anything you cannot find.

    See our Recommended Recordings at the end of this post for a sample of our range of Hallé and NMC recordings, including our special price on Tarik O’Regan’s latest release, A Celestial Map of the Sky.

    * * *


    In anticipation of the Hallé’s performance of Bruckner’s magnificent Symphony No. 9 at the Bridgewater Hall on 4 May, we’re excited to be teaming up with NMC Recordings to offer Forsyth customers the chance to attend a special reception celebrating their recording partnership with the orchestra.

    The evening will begin with pre-concert drinks and speeches in the Barbirolli Room overlooking the canal, and after the concert guests will be joined by the conductor Ryan Wigglesworth.

    And you could be there! We have two pairs of passes to the reception to give away, and attendees will also be entitled to a discount on tickets to the evening’s concert. Here are all the details:

    Thursday 4 May 2017

    The Barbirolli Room, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

    Arrival drinks – 6.30pm | Speeches – 7pm | Concert – 7.30pm

    Hallé, Hallé Choir, Ryan Wigglesworth (conductor)

    Purcell, Funeral Sentences for Queen Mary

    Ryan Wigglesworth, Locke’s Theatre (2013)

    Bruckner, Symphony No. 9

    Post-concert drinks with Ryan Wigglesworth

    Two winners will each receive:

    - a pair of free passes to the pre-concert reception and post-concert drinks;

    - and a promotional code providing a 25% discount on a pair of tickets for the concert in the top four price tiers (£24, £29, £34, £39) booked online at www.halle.co.uk.

    To enter, all you need to do is email “NMC” and your name to [email protected] by 11.59pm on Sunday 30 April 2017

    We will randomly select and notify the two winners the following morning!

    * * *


    Here is a sample of our range of Hallé and NMC recordings. In honour of Record Store Day, you can get 10% off these and everything else in our Recorded Music Department when you shop in-store today only!

    - - -


    – A Celestial Map of the Sky

    OUR PRICE: £10.85 (RRP £13.60)


    Hallé Youth Choir

    The Manchester Grammar School Choir

    Sir Mark Elder & Jamie Phillips

    NMC Recordings NMC D220

    NMC Recordings is an award-winning record label with charitable status. Founded in 1989 by composer Colin Matthews, it is devoted to the promotion of contemporary classical music from the British Isles. With a catalogue of more than 250 titles, encompassing major established figures and new voices, its award-winning recordings are of the highest quality and feature major international artists. In 2015 NMC became the first organisation to receive the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Leslie Boosey Award for “its outstanding contribution to the furthering of contemporary music in Britain”.

    “The other star player on this recording is the Hallé Orchestra itself, illuminating with passion and precision the bright colours of O’Regan’s immensely enjoyable and refreshing sound world.”

    – Gramophone Magazine

    Read more & buy online

    - - -


    – Symphony No. 9 in D minor



    Cristian Mandeal

    Hallé CD HLL 7524

    “… supremely well executed by the Hallé, in even finer form than we have learned to expect in the last few years. The playing is of fierce precision and immense power.”

    – BBC Music Magazine

    Read more & buy online

  • Recorded Music Department

    October 25, 2016

    New classical recordings: Manchester Camerata, and premieres by Panufnik, Smyth and Stanford

    This month, our pick of the new classical releases includes three premiere recordings, Tasmin Little’s Four Seasons, and the latest from one of our neighbours, the Manchester Camerata.

    * * *


    * * *

    Krenek: Reisebuch aus den österreichischen Alpen

    Florian Boesch (baritone)

    Roger Vignoles (piano)

    Hyperion CDA68158 – 59 mins


    Ernst Krenek described his 1929 song cycle as a ‘pilgrimage to the sacred shrines of Austria’s landscape and history’. Written 100 years after the death of Schubert, these 20 songs draw both on the idyllic settings of Schubert’s Lieder and on subsequent, interrelated developments in these landscapes, society and music. However, while many of his contemporaries had abandoned traditional tonal musical language, considering its capacities to have been exhausted, Krenek believed his songs demonstrated that it was ‘possible to rejuvenate an earlier vocabulary and to restore its former vitality and freshness through a new and original experience’. Delivered by Boesch and Vignoles ‘with fabulous naturalness and fierce dramatic intensity when needed’ (The Guardian), the album concludes with four songs by fellow Austrian Alexander Zemlinsky.

    * * *


    * * *

    Mozart: Piano Concertos K 453 & K 456, Divertimento K 137

    Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano)

    Manchester Camerata

    Gábor Takács-Nagy (conductor)

    Chandos CHAN 10929 – 74 mins


    If you heard Manchester Camerata perform Haydn’s first cello concerto with Hannah Roberts during their ‘From Haydn to Hendrix’ concerts last month, you will know what to expect from their latest release: a modern-instrument ensemble’s take on historically-informed performance spiced with stylistically anachronistic flashes, particularly in the cadenzas. It is a formula that worked for Bavouzet and the Camerata on their recording of Haydn piano concertos released in 2014 to resoundingly positive reviews, although The Financial Times did concede that Bavouzet’s cadenzas were “possibly not to all tastes”. Perhaps for this reason, Mozart’s K 453 is here offered with both Bavouzet’s and Mozart’s own cadenzas on separate tracks so that listeners can programme their machines to insert the versions they prefer. This disc also provides an opportunity to hear the Divertimento K 137 performed by chamber orchestra rather than the usual string quartet, the Camerata arguing convincingly that, since the work’s textures are less intricate than those in Mozart’s other chamber music, it is well suited to execution by an expanded ensemble.

    * * *


    * * *

    Smyth: The Boatswain’s Mate

    Nadine Benjamin (Mrs Waters)

    Edward Lee (Harry Benn)

    Jeremy Huw Williams (Ned Travers)

    Lontano Ensemble

    Odaline de la Martinez (conductor)

    Retrospect Opera RO001 – 120 mins


    The Boatswain’s (pronounced “Bosun’s”) Mate was Ethel Smyth’s most successful work, a comedy presenting serious social themes of the day with a lighter musical touch than she allowed herself in her symphonic works. Central to the plot is the question of whether Mrs Waters, recently widowed, would be happier if she re-married than if she continued to live independently. First performed in 1916, two years before women over 30 were granted the right to vote, the opera’s overture incorporates “The March of the Women”, which, written by Smyth in 1911, had become the anthem of the women’s suffrage movement. Until now, the overture was one of the few sections of the opera to be commercially available, and Smyth’s own recordings of extracts from this opera and another, The Wreckers, supplement this first complete recording. As well as marking the 100th anniversary of the opera’s first performance, this release is also the first from Retrospect Opera, which plans to release further British operas such as Solomon and Burnand’s Pickwick, Loder’s Raymond and Agnes, and Smyth’s Fête Galante.

    * * *


    * * *

    Stanford: String Quartets Nos 5 & 8

    Dante Quartet

    Somm Recordings SOMMCD 0160 – 67 mins


    The 40 Anglican choral works for which Stanford is largely remembered represent only a fifth of his varied output. Alongside nine operas and seven symphonies are numerous concertos and chamber works, including eight string quartets all written in the second half of his life as he consciously sought to preserve classical purity from what he considered the degeneracy of modernism. This effort is most apparent in the serious and sombre Quartet No. 8, which, along with Nos 4, 6 and 7, has never been published, remaining only in the composer’s manuscript. Even the four which were published in Germany during Stanford’s lifetime have not appeared in a modern edition, hitherto a major obstacle to performance, so all the quartets have been edited by Prof Jeremy Dibble for this series of premiere recordings. Quartet No. 5 was Stanford’s memorial to his friend, Joseph Joachim, the violinist who premiered Brahms’s concerto. Despite commemorating a death, it is largely a more cheerful work than No. 8, not only taking its lead from Joachim’s personal character but quoting from one of his own compositions, the Romance Op. 2 No. 1, which is also included on the recording.

    * * *


    * * *

    Vivaldi & Panufnik: A Violin for all Seasons

    Graham Bradshaw (Tibetan singing bowl)

    Bradley Creswick (leader)

    David Wright (harpsichord)

    BBC Symphony Orchestra

    Tasmin Little (violin, conductor)

    Chandos CHSA 5175 – 63 mins


    If you’re a violinist recording Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, you’re entering an extremely crowded market in which most of your potential takers will already own other people’s interpretations and, to some, what you programme alongside the Vivaldi will be more important than how you play it. Most releases offer additional works related by either period or theme; enterprisingly, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin ticked both boxes with Rebel’s ballet Les élémens of 1737. Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires has become a favourite companion piece, but a fashion has developed for new commissions providing other local, national and global perspectives: Alexey Shor’s A Manhattan Four Seasons, Philip Glass’s The American Four Seasons, and now Roxanna Panufnik’s Four World Seasons. Here we witness both Indian Summer and Tibetan Winter (featuring Tibetan singing bowl), Spring in Japan, and Autumn in Albania, dedicated to the composer’s father, Sir Andrzej Panufnik, who, while Polish rather than Albanian, “lived, loved and died in Autumn”. Meanwhile, in the Vivaldi, while declaring herself “not a baroque violinist”, soloist and director Little creates an effective synthesis of elements drawn from historically-informed and modern practices. Instead of the one-to-a-part ensemble often employed for period-instrument performances, Little opts for a larger, modern-instrument orchestra which nonetheless sits comfortably with her nuanced vibrato, flowing ornamentation and improvised linking passages between movements, all accompanied by some inventive continuo playing.

  • Recorded Music Department

    September 3, 2016

    New classical recordings, including arias from Pumeza and an Elgar world premiere

    Welcome to the first of a new series of posts from the Recordings department at Forsyth. This week we digest some of our favourite new classical releases available now in store, by phone and on-line.

    * * *

    Pumeza: Arias

    Pumeza Matshikiza (soprano)

    Aarhus Symfonieorkester

    Tobias Ringborg (conductor)

    Decca 478 8964 – 52 mins


    Pumeza Matshikiza’s debut album, Voice of Hope (2014), introduced her to an international audience with a mixture of music from her home country, South Africa, and arias by Mozart and Puccini, with whose works she had already established her reputation at the Stuttgart Opera. Her follow-up builds on this range with a beautifully assembled programme showcasing the diversity of her recent and forthcoming roles – including Dido (Purcell), Rusalka (Dvořák) and Concepción (Ravel) – as well as an even broader selection of individual songs: the Cuban-inspired La Paloma (Yradier) and Punto de Habanera (Montsalvatge), the pastiche baroque of À Chloris (Hahn), and newly-commissioned orchestrations of Si tu le voulais (Tosti) and Après un rêve (Fauré). Writing in The Sunday Times, Hugh Canning enthuses, “The verismo arias… reveal one of the most luscious sounds we’ve heard from a young soprano in years”, while noting approvingly that, unlike many of her contemporaries, “she sings words!”

    * * *

    John Field: Piano Concerto No. 7, Irish Concerto & Piano Sonata No. 4

    Benjamin Frith (piano)

    Northern Sinfonia, David Haslam (conductor)

    Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Andrew Mogrelia (conductor)

    Naxos 8.573262 – 66 mins


    Recently the subject of Alistair McGowan’s Radio 4 documentary Field Notes: The Irishman Who Invented the Nocturne, John Field spent the majority of his working life in Russia, selling pianos for Clementi, with whom he had previously studied in London and travelled in Paris and Vienna. Russian audiences were particularly receptive to Field’s highly nuanced playing, and in turn a Russian influence is apparent in the second movement of his Piano Concerto No. 7. The so-called Irish Concerto is a one-movement work based on the first movement of his Piano Concerto No. 2: among the revisions is the addition of a central nocturne, reflecting Field’s practice of performing a pre-written or improvised nocturne in the middle of his two-movement sonatas and concertos to compensate for their lack of written slow movements. This recording concludes Frith’s complete series of Field piano concertos but also includes the Piano Sonata No. 4 not previously represented in his two volumes of Field’s solo piano music.

    * * *

    Elgar, orch. Donald Fraser: Piano Quintet & Sea Pictures

    English Symphony Orchestra

    English Chamber Orchestra

    Rodolfus Choir

    Kenneth Woods (conductor)

    Avie AV2362 – 60 mins


    Donald Fraser has form when it comes to orchestrating Elgar, having already provided arrangements for The Elgar Society, Yehudi Menuhin and Channel 4, and reviews of this world premiere recording agree that, even while taking the liberties demanded by expanded forces, his orchestral language is faithful to Elgar’s own. The Times deems that Fraser “has added the kind of touches of colour and splashes of figuration Elgar himself might well have introduced” while BBC Music Magazine finds the finale of the Piano Quintet “exhilaratingly Elgarian”. Fraser’s new version of the Sea Pictures, originally scored for contralto and an orchestra including solo winds and harp, transforms the song cycle into a choral work accompanied by string quartet and string orchestra, the more unified ensemble intended to highlight the extent to which Elgar integrated his vocal and instrumental material.

    * * *

    Sibelius: Symphonies Nos 3, 6 & 7

    Minnesota Orchestra

    Osmo Vänskä (conductor)

    Bis BIS-2006 – 82 mins


    Osmo Vänskä’s latest release with the Minnesota Orchestra brings to a close not his first but his second series of the complete Sibelius symphonies and, according to The Sunday Times, “confirms his status as our greatest living Sibelian”. BBC Music Magazine made the recording their Orchestral Choice (August 2016) and Gramophone their Editor’s Choice (September 2016), both publications praising Vänskä’s new performances in particular for their clarity – “of rhythm, of texture, of intention” (Gramophone). If you’re wondering whether to re-invest in Vänskä’s re-interpretations, James Longstaffe writes in Presto Classical that “even if you already own Vänskä’s earlier cycle with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, I think that these new performances are simply unmissable.”

  • Recorded Music Department

    May 9, 2016

    Looking forward to a season of great music at the Proms

    The BBC Proms Official Guide for the 2016 season has now been published and has arrived in store. Lots going on - day proms, night proms, ‘Strictly’ prom, CBBC 10 pieces etc

    Click here to get your copy of the guide.

  • Recorded Music Department

    July 17, 2013

    Nobuyuki Tsujii made his BBC Proms debut….

    …. last night in Prom 6 at the Royal Albert Hall.  Broadcast live on BBC Radio3 and recorded for broadcast on BBC4 on 19th July, the program included a world premier by David Matthews and Rachmaninov Concerto No2 in C minor played by Nobuyuki Tsujii.

    Tsujii (only 24) is a former winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano competition.

    The Recorded Music department here at Forsyths have a range of recordings by Tsujii and Matthews.  Come in and have a browse or look through our webshop listings or Ask a question via any product and we’ll see if we can find you something wonderful to listen to.

  • Recorded Music Department

    June 5, 2013

    New Ranges and Labels available!

    cd-dvdIf you’ve been reading our blogs you’ll know this new web site is still very new. We are working hard to get everything we have in the shop represented on the web site.

    In the Recorded Music department we are lucky to be able to offer the entire Priory CD and DVD catalogue and while its not listed on here yet, you can still ‘ask a question’ about what we’ve got available and what’s coming in soon, via the Music tab at the top of this page and choosing Recorded Music from the list on the left hand of the page. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

  • Recorded Music Department

    February 18, 2012


    Hyperion’s Recording of the Month - Now only £13.00   (Normally £15.65)

    Friedrich Kalkbrenner - The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 56

    kalkbrenner-romantic-piano-concerto-561Piano Concerto No. 2 in E minor, Op. 85.  Piano Concerto No. 3 in A minor, Op. 107.  Adagio et Allegro di Bravura, Op. 102.

    Howard Shelley (piano),   Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

    Hyperion - CDA 67843

    Normally £15.65

    Now only £13.00

    25% Off all Hyperion New Releases in March!

    In addition Forsyths are offering a 25% price reduction on all of Hyperion’s other new releases in March together with a similar price reduction on many other items from the Hyperion catalogue. Please feel free to get in touch with us, whether you would like to place an order or simply wish to make an enquiry. (more…)

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