A complete discography of Altarus Records

14 March 2022. It is my re-posting on this website of my Amazon review of Marc-André Hamelin’s rare recording of the six sonatas of Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté (link will open new tab to my review) that sent me back to my ongoing discography of Altarus Records (to skip the introduction an go directly to the discography, click here).

When I originally posted the review, back in 2009, Altarus were still in business. Apparently they are now gone. A website can be found online, but it seems to be inactive and untended, and strangely its numerical listing of the label’s releases isn’t even complete (for instance the Hamelin recording that sent me back to the label is missing). I found very little information online about them and the background of their founder and producer, Chris Rice, and even their country of origin – I thought they were British, probably because they were involved in many aspects in British music, but no, they are American. But this:

I’m not sure that the statement can be entirely trusted, though: the incorporation date doesn’t stick with what I’ve established of Altarus’ activity: first releases (still on LP) were in 1983-84. But maybe they weren’t legally “incorporated” back then, a one-person business (risky!). Publishing recordings of Classical Music – especially the kind of music tackled by Altarus – is a labor of love, not profit. Also, I wonder how “gone” they are: I find online, under the label’s moniker, a couple of recordings of Irish composer Simon Mawhinney, dating apparently from 2018 and 2021, that seem available only as downloads (Altarus had previously published, in 2009, a CD of Mawhinney’s music).

They were an interesting label, specialized in the off-the-beaten track piano repertoire: Godowsky, Paderewski, Busoni, Percy Grainger, Ronald Stevenson, Harold Truscott, Alan Bush, John Foulds, Ronald Center (new tab to Wikipedia), Nathaniel Dett, William Grant Still, Edward MacDowell, Carson Cooman, Ethelbert (1862-1901) and Arthur Nevin (1871-1943), Felix Draeseke, Jacques Ibert, Rodion Shchedrin, Samuil Feinberg, Gyorgii Sviridov, Lev AbeliovichSergei Slonimsky, Ronn Yedidia. On their roster of performer they had John Ogdon (in fact they documented, in 6 releases, the pianist’s very last recordings), then-burgeoning Marc-André Hamelin (2 releases), Peter Jacobs (5 releases), Ronald Stevenson (7 releases), Joseph Banowetz, Denver Oldham, Donna Amato (7 releases), Jonathan Powell (joining the roster in 2002, and totalling 9 releases), Carlo Grante (5), Claudius Tanski, Yonti Solomon, Charles Hopkins, and more.

But they were particularly noted for spearheading the rediscovery of maverick composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji (a Brit. born near London, as his name  does not indicate – his father was an Indian Parsi). Among their circa 75 releases, 18 were devoted to, or contained, piano music of Sorabji – many being premiere recordings (the other recording of Marc-André Hamelin published by Altarus was one of those). One of their close collaborators on that endeavor was composer and curator of the Sorabji Archive, Alistair Hinton. There’s a discussion thread somewhere online where, in 1995, he writes that “Altarus have done more in the Sorabji cause than any other record company; all who care about Sorabji’s music owe them a debt of immense gratitude“. And that was in 1995: they added much more in the ensuing years.

In fact, Altarus first appeared on my own radar back in 1989, when they published John Ogdon’s recording of Sorabji’s “Opus Clavicembalisticum” (it came on 4 CDs, in a long-shaped box, and was later reissued on 5). The mammoth composition was recorded in 1985-86, but it took them three more years to get it out on the market. This may have had to do with the fact that they didn’t immediately make the jump to the new CD medium, as shown by the fact that their first CDs were published not by them but by the English label Continuum. I’ve acquired a number of their releases since, but reposting the review of Eckhardt-Gramatté gave me the spur to try and find out what was missing from my collection – especially now that they’re gone.

You can find online (see thread linked above) traces of disputes about Altarus’ attitude to timings: they never inscribed them on the back of their CDs. The rationale was that, just like when you by a ticket to a live concert, you don’t buy a CD for the duration of its program, but for the music. I buy that only to an extent. You’d feel legitimately shortchanged if you had bought a premium-price ticket for Horowitz’ return at Carnegie Hall, and he came in and played Chopin’s Minute Waltz and left. Anyway Altarus published a number of “Extended Play” CDs of Sorabji – a misnomer really, since those EPs were in fact “Shortened-Play” CDs, extended only in comparison to the 45rpms of the vinyl era. When first put on the market those CDs were duly announced as such and offered at reduced prices, the rationale here again being that they wanted to bring that unknown and exceptional stuff of Sorabji to the public with no delay and had no suitable pairing. Today, of course, the forces of market price, of offer (rare) and demand, rule, so it’s how much you are ready to pay on the marketplace per minute of Sorabji’s music. Fortunately a lot has been uploaded on YouTube: download to your computer before it’s gone!

The label had the same kind of idiosyncracies in their label numbering: past 1984 it seems to go entirely haphazardly, and the chronology of publications appears to be entirely independent of the numerical order.  The chronological sequence would be something like (1983) 9004, 9005, (1984) 9001, 9002, 9003, 9008 [but 9006 was released in 1995, and 9007 apparently never attributed], (1985) 9040, 9042, 9100, (1986) 9012, 9073, 9074, (1987) 9090, (1988) 9012, (1989 and first CDs) 9075, (1990) 9050, 9091, (1991) 9020, 9033, 9052, (1992) 9030, 9037, 9043 etc. In circa 1993 they start using their own barcodes – more about that hereafter. In addition to 9007, I haven’t found trace of a release for label numbers 9016-19, 9026, 9039, 9047-48, 9051, 9054, 9057, 9059-60, 9062, 9065, 9071, 9076-7, 9079-80, 9087-88, 9095-97, 9099. Label numbers stop at 9101. In all I count 74 releases – which translates into more LPs and CDs, since a number of those releases contained multiple LPs or CDs.

As I’ve vented numerous times on this website (see for instance my discography of Christian Ferras), a discography serves a purpose only inasmuch as it allows the music-lover and record collector to find the damned albums on their favorite commercial website. Otherwise the discography is just an abstract and senseless list of numbers, which for all intents and purposes could be invented. So: barcodes, barcodes and barcodes, the surest, and oftentimes only way to find your CD, given the vagaries, inaccuracies, falsities and absurdities of listings and search engines on many, many websites. And in that respect, Altarus wasn’t always helpful.

Initially their LPs and CDs came without barcodes – not uncommon for a small label in the 1980s. As of, it seems, 1991, their US distributor was Albany and they were ascribed a barcode, which at least followed the label numbering (many distributors’ barcodes don’t, because they carry many different labels): 034066XXXX2Y, XXXX being the label number. For instance, Ogdon’s famed recording of Sorabji’s Opus Clavicembalisticum, on AIR-CD-9075, which first came out in 1989 without barcode,  can thereafter be found under barcode 034066907522, with a copyright year of 1991, which must be when the Albany reissue took place.

That said, I think those Albany barcodes were never actually printed on Altarus’ backcover, I’ve never seen a backover photo with them: they were affixed as stickers, perhaps even over the disc’s shrinkwrap rather than on the back of the jewel case (I’ve seen one online, see 9089). It doesn’t help either that Albany appears to have re-used some of these barcodes for other labels, in particular the German Archiphon. Case in point is AIR-CD-9001 (piano music of John Foulds), barcode 034066900127, which in some searches also connects to Archiphon ARC-101, Otto Klemperer conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam in Bartok, Janacek and Schoenberg (1951 and 1955 live recordings). 

Then, starting I believe in 1993, Altarus uses its own barcodes and these are printed on the backcover (although the copyright inscribed there usually remains the one of first CD release): 076958XXX2Y with XXX the three last digits of the label number. So you will also find online Ogdon’s Opus Clavicembalisticum under 076958707520 (the reissue is from 2004).

My datings of release year are based on the copyright inscription at the back of the CD when I’ve been able to see it “with mine own eyes” – when I haven’t, the date I provide is based on various online sources, but I indicate with a question mark that they are only my “best hypothesis”. LPs are indicated in Italics. They were labelled with the prefix AIR-2 (while the CDs came as AIR-CD). When I’m aware of reissues I indicate them. I haven’t looked systematically for reviews in The Gramophone or Tempo, but when I am aware of them, I indicate them after the date – and for Fanfare, thanks to their online archive, I have been systematic (F is for Fanfare, Gr for Gramophone and T for Tempo). In the case of Altarus, reviews are an inaccurate pointer to the CD’s year of release, because they can be reviews of the reissues rather than of the original release, and since barcodes aren’t indicated, there is no way to know.

I give links to Discogs.com when the entry there displays front and back cover photos. When Discogs doesn’t provide backcover photo, and when I’ve found those photos online (not all, alas, are good quality) or in my own collection, I provide them. When I’ve reviewed the CD I also provide the link to my review.

I have drawn upon the listings on Discogs.com and the incomplete discography that can still be found on Altarus’ website – the latter, in truth, not very useful, as the thumbnail-sized cover photos are useless and publication dates are not indicated – and don’t even mention barcodes! – but a convenient starting point nonetheless.

If you are aware of omissions, mistakes, inaccuracies, please signal them to me in the comments section.

The discography

First I need to mention a CD that was NOT issued on Altarus, because they didn’t publish CDs then and, due to its length, the recording was hardly publishable on LP (and unlike other albums, they never reissued that one on their label). It was produced by Altarus’ Chris Rice, and I see it mentioned in discussion threads online or studies on Sorabji as an Altarus publication, but no, I think it is a confusion, I’ve seen no trace that it was ever issued on Altarus, either as LP or CD. It came out on Continuum CCD 1001/2: Sorabji Organ Sonata No. 1, by Kevin Bowyer, recorded in the Church Of St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, April 1988 (1988) no barcode, (reissue 2020) 0885686575185 (links are to respective entry on Discogs.com). Note that in two more releases by Continuum, devoted to the electronic music of Barry Anderson, Chris Rice is credited as recording engineer and co-producer. I’ve reviewed these two, CCD 1008 and CCD 1009. I hope to publish soon a discography of Continuum.

The discography is numerical and presented by rising order of label number. To make things more convenient, at the end I provide an alphabetical list of the composers recorded by Altarus, with the correspondence to the respective releases.

AIR-CD-9001 John Foulds: Seven Essays in the Modes, Variazioni ed Improvvisati su una Thema Originale, English Tune with Burden, Gandharva-Music, April England. Peter Jacobs (1992, F 9/93), 034066900127, 076958700125. From LP AIR-2-9001 (1984). Reissued on 4 CDs Heritage HTGCD 406 “The British Piano Collection vol. II” (2020) 5060332662128 (+ Balfour Gardiner from Continuum CCD 1049, Benjamin Dale from Continuum CCD 1044, Alan Bush from AIR-CD-9004), see review on Musicweb-International
Note: barcode 034066900127 was apparently re-used by Albany for an Archiphon CD, ARC-101, Klemperer conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam in Bartok, Janacek and Schoenberg)
LP AIR-2-9002 Harold Truscott: Prelude and Fugue Nos. 1 & 2, Piano Sonatas Nos. 5 & 12. Peter Jacobs (1984) see entry on Discogs.com. Reissued with 9003 and 9008 on 3 CDs Heritage (2020) 5060332662012 (see Heritage’s website)
LP AlR-2-9003 Harold Truscott: Sonatas 9, 13, 15. Peter Jacobs (1984), on Discogs.com, also listing on Amazon.com with backcover photo. Reissued with 9002 and 9008 on 3 CDs Heritage (2020) 5060332662012
CD-AIR-9004 Cover art for 24 Preludes; Letter Galliard; Nocturne; Corentyne Kwe-Kwe [Peter Jacobs, Piano] by Alan BushAlan Bush: 24 Preludes, Leter Gailliard, Nocturne, Corentyne Kwe-Kwe. Peter Jacobs (1993? F 9/93 Dating based on Fanfare review and indication given in review of the Heritage reissue on Musicweb-International) 034066900424, 076958700422. From 2 LPs AIR-2-9004 (1983), documented on Discogs.com. Reissued on 4 CDs Heritage HTGCD 406 “The British Piano Collection vol. II” (2020) 5060332662128 (+ Balfour Gardiner from Continuum CCD 1049, Benjamin Dale from Continuum CCD 1044, John Foulds from AIR-CD-9001, see above)
LP AIR-2-9005 Gerald Finzi: Prelude & Fugue for String Trio, Ernest Moeran: Fantasy Quartet for Oboe & String Trio, Lennox Berkeley: String Trio, Hubert Parry: Two Intermezzi. Thamyse String Trio, John Anderson (1983), see Discogs.com
AIR-CD-9006 Rodion Shchedrin: The Polyphonic Book, Two Polyphonic Pieces. Anna Ouspensakya (1995) 076958700620
No release found for 9007 (Note: Albany barcode 034066900721 attributed to Archiphon ARC-107 “The Kolisch Quartet plays Schubert “)
LP AIR-2-9008 Harold Truscott: Sonatas 3, 7, 11. Peter Jacobs (1984), see cover art on Amazon.com. Reissued with 9002 and 9003 on 3 CDs Heritage (2020) 5060332662012
AIR-CD-9009. Philip Martin: Songs. Penelope Price Jones, Philip Martin Songs of(1994? F 3/95 Dating from Trove Australia and “Irish Classical Recordings: A Discography of Irish Art Music” by Axel Klein) 076958700927
AIR-CD-9010. Nicola LeFanu: A Penny for a Song, John Kinsella: Last Songs, James Wilson: Contemporary SongsUpon Silence, John Buckley: Abendlied, Samuel Barber: Hermit Songs. Penelope Price Jones, Phiilip Martin (1996? F 1/98 Dating from Trove and website of John Buckley) 076958701023
AIR-CD-9011. Philip Martin: Piano Trio No. 1 “Serendipity”, Two Elegies for Violin & Piano, Songs for the Four Parts of the Night, Light Music, The Rainbow comes and goes. Crawford Piano Trio, Ruxandra Colan (violin), Philip Martin, Penelope Price Jones (1995? Dating from “Irish Classical Recordings: A Discography of Irish Art Music” by Axel Klein) 076958701122
LP AIR-2-9012. Bartok Sonata for Solo Violin, Enescu Violin Sonata No. 3.  Sherban Lupu, Claude Cymerman (1986), see Discogs.com. Augmented CD reissue (+ Ysaye Solo Violin Sonatas Nos 3 & 6) Continuum CCD 1003 (1988)
AIR-CD-9013 Piano Music of William Grant Still (Dark Horseman, Radian Pinnacle, Marionnette, Dance, Rising Tide, Quit dat fool’nish, Entrance of the Porteuses, A Deserted Plantation) and Nathaniel Dett (After the Cake Walk, Cave of the Winds, Inspiration Waltzes, Enchantment Suite). Denver Oldham (1996? Dating from Allmusic and Academia.edu, F 1/98) 076958701320
AIR-CD-9014 Jacques Ibert: Piano Works (Matin sur l’eau, Les Rencontres, Histoires). Denver Oldham (2003) 076958701429
AIR-CD-9015 Carson Cooman: Piano Works (Nine Preludes, Concert Piece: La Tricotea, Madrigal, Lullaby after Rameau, Bear Mountain Fragments, Summer Solstice, Madaket Dreaming, Mountain Toccata).Donna Amato (rec. May 2010) (2010, F 7/11) 076958701528, reviewed Musicweb-International 12-1-2012
No release found for 9016-9019
AIR-CD-9020 The Mystic Skryabin: Piano Sonatas Nos. 8-10, Préludes op. 67, Poèmes op. 69, op. 71, Vers la flamme, 2 Danses op. 73, Préludes op. 74. Donna Amato (1991, F 11/93) no barcode, then 034066902022, 076958702020 (also 723721461621). See entry on Discogs.com
AIR-CD-9021 Ronald Stevenson: Den Bergtekne, Norse Elegy for Ella Nygard, Beltane Bonfire; Kaikhosru Sorabji: Variiazione maliziosa e perverse sopra La Morte d’Ase da Grieg; Alistair Hinton: Variations and Fugue on a theme of Grieg. Donna Amato (1993, F 3/94) 076958702129 (034066902121 not found). 
AIR-CD-9022 (EP 17’54”) Kaikhosru Sorabji: Fantaisie espagnole    Donna Amato (1993, T 6/93, Gr 7/93, F 11/93) 076958702228 (034066902220 not found). See Discogs.com
AIR-CD-9023 Edward MacDowell Complete Piano Sonatas (Nos. 1-4).   Donna Amato (2003) 076958702327. See Discogs.com (Note: Albany 034066902329 attributed to Archiphon ARCH-2.3 Schuricht vol. 3 conducts Schumann’s Manfred live)
AIR-CD-9024 “From Edgeworth Hills”: Piano Music of Ethelbert (1862-1901) and Arthur Nevin (1871-1943). Donna Amato (1995) 076958702426 (Note: Albany 034066902428 attributed to Archiphon ARCH-2.4 Schuricht vol. 4 conducts Bruckner live)
AIR-CD-9025 Kaikhosru Sorabji: Quaere reliqua hujus materiei inter secretiora, St Bertrand de Comminges, Toccatinetta sopra C.G.F., 2 Sutras, Passeggiata arlecchinesca. Donna Amato (1994, Gr 4/95 + F 9/95 R) 076958702525 (Note: 034066902527 attributed to Archiphon ARCH-2.5 Schuricht vol. 5 conducts Brahms and Wagner live)
No release found for 9026
AIR-CD-9027 Simon Mawhinney: Batu (Mary Dullea, piano), Barcode III (Darragh Morgan, violin), Hunshigo (for violin and piano) (2009? Dating based on listing on Discogs.com and review June 2009 in journal of Music) 076958702723
AIR-CD-9028 “A Tour d’Anches”. Albéric Magnard: Quintette, Florent Schmitt: A Tour d’Anches, Jean Françaix: Quatuor. Luiz Ferdando Benedini piano, Christine Nield flut, Robert Weiner oboe, Margaret Donoghue clarinet, Luciano Magnanini bassoon (2000) 076958702822. See Discogs.com.
AIR-CD-9029 Simon Mawhinney: Quintet In All The Worlds (36’40).  Garth Knox (viola d’amore), Quatuor Bela (2021? Dating based on listings on Prestomusic.com, Rateyourmusic.com). 076958702921 not found. Download only? Hear on YouTube.
AIR-CD-9030 Franz Liszt, Felix Draeseke Piano Sonatas. Claudius Tanski (1992, F 9/93) no barcode then 034066903029, 076958703027. See Discogs.com
AIR-CD-9031 Twentieth-Century Music for Bassoon and Piano: Eugène Bozza, Henri Dutilleux, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Alexandro Longo, Teresa Procaccini, Nino Rota. Luciano Magnanini, Michele Levin (1998? Dating based on listing on Discogs.com and December 1998 catalog from recordsinternational) 076958703126
AIR-CD-9032 Poulenc: Oboe-Bassoon-Piano Trio, Saint-Saëns: Oboe Sonata, Bassoon Sonata, Willard Elliot: Suite of Six Songs in 15th Century France. John Dee oboe, Luciano Magnanini bassoon, Carlo Grante piano (1996? Dating based on listings on eBay, Swapacd, Cadenza.cd.com; 2007? Tower.jp) 076958703225. No suitable cover photo found online
AIR-CD-9033 Shostakovich Trio No. 2, Tchaikovsky Trio. (Rodney) Friend (Yonti) Solomon (Tim) Hugh Trio (1991, F 9/93) no barcode then 034066903326, 076958703324
AIR-CD-9034 Samuil Feinberg: Piano Concerto No. 1 op. 20, Solo piano pieces. Christophe Sirodeau, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Leif Seigerstam (2008) 076958703423 reviewed Musicweb-International Febr. 2009)
AIR-CD-9035 Christophe Sirodeau “Obscur chemin des étoiles”: Musique vespérale pour Elsa op. 14 – Sumphônia (V) pour violoncelle solo et orchestre (Pia Segerstam, Orchestre National de Montpellier, Leif Segerstam); Obscur chemin des étoiles op. 15: Nocturnal-Fantasy pour piano solo; Cénotaphe op. 4: Petite Fantaisie et Choral pour piano solo (Jonathan Powell); Artificial Horizon op. 3-2: 12 Variations pour violon solo; Jeux d’ombres op. 7c: Improvisation VIII Ode à Floribert le poète pour violon et piano (Hannele Segerstam, Christophe Sirodeau); Arlequins en rouge et blanc (Hommageà Raoul Dufy) op. 2-1: Improvisation I pour violoncelle et piano (Pia Segerstam, Christophe Sirodeau); Esquisse pour Adramandoni op.  12: poème musical électro-acoustique (2006) 076958703522
AIR-CD-9036 Sorabji: Gulistân. Charles Hopkins (35’15) (1995, Gr 4/96, F 1/98) 076958703621
AIR-CD-9037 (EP 26’51”) Sorabji: Le Jardin Parfumé. Yonty Solomon (26′) (1992, T 6/93, Gr 7/93 R, F 11/93) no barcode then 034066903722, 076958703720
AIR-CD-9038. Samuil Feinberg: Songs. Rita Ahonen (mezzo), Sami Luttinen (bass), Christophe Sirodeau (2009) 076958703829. Recorded 1999/2000, 2003
No release found for 9039
AIR-CD-9040 Percy Grainger: Salute to Scotland. Ronald Stevenson (1994, F 3/95) 076958704024 see listing on Discogs.com. From LP AIR-2-9040 (1985, F 9/86), see Discogs.com
AIR-CD-9041 Ronald Stevenson “The Essence of Busoni”: Busoni Toccata, Variations on a Chopin Prelude, Prélude et étude en arpèges, Tanzwalzer, Epilogue, Stevenson: Prelude Fugue and Fantasy on themes from Busoni’s Doktor Faust (1996, F 1/98) 076958704123, see Discogs.com
AIR-CD-9042 “Twentieth Century Operatic Fantasias”. Ronald Stevenson: Prelude Fugue and Fantasy on themes from Busoni’s Doktor Faust, Strauss-Grainger: Rosenkavalier-Ramble, Berg- Stevenson: Wiegenlied aus Wozzeck, Alan Bush-Stevenson: The Minstrel’s Lay from Wat Tyler, Britten-Stevenson: Peter Grimes Fantasy. Ronald Stevenson (1996, F 1/98) 076958704222, see Discogs.com. From LP AIR-2-9042 (1985, F 5/89) see Discogs.com 
AIR-CD-9043 “Cathedrals in Sound”. Liszt: Carillon (Abendglocken), Chopin: Prelude & Nocturne in C minor, Debussy: Cathédrale engloutie, Czeslaw Marek: Triptych, Sorabji: Fantasiettina, MacDowell: In Deep Woods, Bach-Busoni: Chaconne, Ronald Stevenson: Heroic Song for Hugh MacDiarmid. Ronald Stevenson (1992, T 6/93, F 9/93, F 3/94) nobarcode then 034066904323, 076958704321
AIR-CD-9044 Busoni: Fantasia Contrappuntistica (2 pianos), Improvisation on a Bach Chorale, (after Mozart) Fantasy for a Mechanical Organ, Finnish Folksongs, Fugue on “O du lieber Augustin”. Joseph Banowetz, Ronald Stevenson (1994, F 5 & 7/95) 076958704420
AIR-CD-9045 Paderewski: Miscellanea: Série de morceaux pour piano op. 16, Tatra Album op. 12, Sonata op. 1 . Adam Wodnicki (1997, F 1/98) 076958704529
AIR-CD-9046 Paderewski: Variations and Fugue op. 23, Album de Mai op. 10, Two Intermezzi, Humoresques de concert op. 14. Adam Wodnicki (2000) 076958704628
No release found for 9047 and 9048
AIR-CD-9049 Sorabji: Piano Sonata No. 2. Tellef Johnson (1999) 076958704925 US Premiere, live concert performance in Merkin Concert Hall at Abraham Goodman House, 6 December 1998
AIR-CD-9050 (EP 21’06”) Sorabji: Piano Sonata No. 1. Marc-André Hamelin (1990, F 3/91, Gr 5/91) no barcode then 034066905023, 076958705021 see entry on Discogs.com
No release found for 9051
AIR-CD-9052 (2 CDs) Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté: The Six Piano Sonatas; Marc-André Hamelin (1991, F 11/93) no barcode then 034066905221, 076958705229. Reissue Centrediscs CMCCD 16611 (2011), 773811166110
AIR-CD-9053 Gyorgii Sviridov: Partitas Nos. 1 & 2, Piano Sonata, Children’s Album. Nikita Fitenko (1997, F 5/98) 076958705328 see Discogs.com
No release found for 9054
AIR-CD-9055. Liszt: Ballade No. 2, Le Triomphe funèbre du Tasse, Réminiscences de Don Juan (éd. Busoni), Bénédiction et Serment—deux motifs de Benvenuto Cellini de Berlioz, Les Adieux—Rêverie sur un motif de l’opéra Roméo et Juliette de Gounod. Arnold Schalker (1994? F 3/95) 076958705526
AIR-CD-9056 (2 CDs) Lev Abeliovich: Piano Sonatas Nos. 1-3, Frescoes. Alexander Tutunov (2002) 076958705625 see Discogs.com
No release found for 9057
AIR-CD-9058 Lev Abeliovich: Piano Concerto, Piano Trio, Aria for viola and piano, Ten Romances on poems by Fyodor Tyutchev; Alexander Tutunov, Corvallis/Oregon State University Symphony Orchestra, Marlan Carlson, Kathryn Lucktenberg violin & viola, Steven Pologe cello, James Wood bass-baritone (2003) 076958705823 see Discogs.com
No release found for 9059, 9060
AIR-CD-9061 Lieder of Joseph Marx. Sarah Leonard, Jonathan Powell (2006) 076958706127
No release found for 9062
AIR-CD 9063 (2CDs) “In Memoriam John Ogdon”. Ronald Stevenson: Prelude & Fugue on a Theme by Liszt, Alistair Hinton: Pansophiae for John Ogdon, Busoni-Wilhelm Middleschulte: Fantasia Contrappuntistica (Kevin Bowyer, Organ of St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol), Busoni: Fantasia Nach Bach, All’Italia! (Elegy No. 2), Stevenson: Sonatina No. 1, Ogdon: Dance Suite (John Ogdon) (1994, F 3/95) 076958706325
AIR-CD-9064 (2CDs) Sorabji Symphonia brevis (Symphony No. 5 for solo piano). Donna Amato (2011? Dating based on the Sorabji Archive and reviews) 076958706424, reviewed Musicweb-International June 2011
No release found for 9065
AIR-CD-9066 (3 CDs) Alistair Hinton String Quintet. Sarah Leonard soprano, Jagdish Mistry, Marcus Barcham-Stevens, Levine Andrade, Michael Stirling, Corrado Canonici double bass (2002) 076958706622
AIR-CD-9067 Sorabji: Villa Tasca, Passeggiata veneziana. Jonathan Powell (2002) 076958706721 see Discogs.com
AIR-CD-9068 Sorabji: Toccata No. 1. Jonathan Powell (2003) 076958706820 see Discogs.com
AIR-CD-9069 (3 CDs) Sorabji: Piano Sonata No. 4. Jonathan Powell (2004, F 11/04) 076958706929 see Discogs.com
AIR-CD-9070 (2 CDs) Busoni: Transcriptions after Bach: Toccata, 5 Organ Chorale Preludes, Prelude and Fugue in Eb Major, Toccata & Fugue d minor, Chaconne (previously unreleased, rec. 8-12/7/85), Fantasia Contrappuntistica (first release of Ogdon’s last recording of Fant. Cont. 10-15/3/86.). John Ogdon 7/85 + 3/86 (2005) 076958707025
No release found for 9071
AIR-CD-9072 John Ogdon in Recital  November 9th 1985 (at Midlands Art Center, Birmingham). Bach: Prelude & Fugue C-sharp minor, Beethoven: Sonata op. 109, Chopin: Ballade No. 1, Etude op. 25-1, Liszt: Dante-Sonata, George Lloyd: The Road Through Sammarkand (1993, F 11/93) no barcode then 034066907225, 076958707223 see Discogs.com
LP AIR-2-9073 John Ogdon Liszt: Dante Sonata, Chopin: Ballade No. 1, Busoni: Elegy No. 2, Dohnanyi: Rhapsody No. 4, Balakirev: Islamey; Recorded 8-12/11/85 at St. Silas Church  London (1986). Never reissued to CD. Hear it on YouTube, and I’ll take the liberty of reposting here a comment left thereunder:


Richard Black: “I was present at this recording session. A couple of anecdotes from it may perhaps amuse. The LP was titled (I think on the spine only) ‘Favourite Encores’. Ogdon had indeed played the Balakirev, Chopin and, yes, the Liszt as encores. He may have played the Busoni, I can’t remember. But he hadn’t played the Dohnanyi. In fact the only reason it’s on the disc is that I found a copy of the score in a junk shop, took it home, played it, loved it, and played it to the producer of the disc. His immediate reaction was, ‘We must get John to play this’. He gave Ogdon a copy but it’s likely the copy was hardly opened before the recording. (Ogdon’s sight-reading is the stuff of legend: I caught him out almost certainly sight-reading the Grainger ‘Flower Waltz’ transcription in a concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.) The first take was a bit on the fast side, so the producer said at its conclusion, ‘Wonderful, John. Do you fancy trying it again a little slower?’ John did so. Same comment. Same routine times three more. Take One I think was about 7 or 8 minutes, Take Five nearly double that. The published take is either Four or Five – no editing between takes was possible because of the speed differences throughout.

Ogdon played the Chopin, Liszt and Balakirev without the score. As far as I remember he played them 4, 3 and 5 times (respectively) straight through without getting up from the piano, though he did smoke a couple of cigs between takes. We didn’t need that many takes: he was just having fun.

The piano was a very fine Bösendorfer Imperial, rather spoiled by the well-intentioned ministrations of a young and inexperienced piano tuner who was good at leaving the piano basically in tune but not so good at setting it up to remain in tune for a day’s recording.”

AIR-CD-9074 Busoni Fantasia Contrappuntistica, Fantasia nach Bach, Toccata. John Ogdon recorded 8-15/11/85 at St. Silas Church  London (2005? Dating based on Pianistiscography, and listings on Melomania, Allmusic) 076958707421. From Continum CCD 1006 (1989) no barcode (see entry on Discogs.com), from LP Altarus AIR-2-9074 (1985, F 9/87, Gr 10/88) without Toccata, see Discogs.com
original edition 1989

AIR-CD-9075 (4 CDs) Kaikhosru Shapurgi Sorabji: Opus Clavicembalisticum. John Ogdon 7+11/85 at St. Silas Church  London  + 3/86 at ? (1989, Gr 9/89, F 3/90) no barcode then (1991) 034066907522, (5 CDs) (2004) 076958707520. See my listing for complete cover art of original edition and reissues. See also Discogs.com for details on original edition.


2004 reissue

From Altarus’ website: Spread over 5 CDs (the previous edition was on 4, but the price is unchanged) with the principal benefit that the great Theme and 49 Variations is no longer split over 2 discs, the recording has been completely remastered from the original master tapes using state of the art 24-bit digital technology and our engineers’ customary meticulous attention to detail, allowing the massed sonorities and filigree delicacy of Ogdon’s playing to be presented with a degree of clarity and precision surpassing even that of the previous edition. The new edition is packaged in the now-familiar ‘opera set’ format (which did not exist when the set was first issued) with the CDs in a 5-CD case alongside the booklet, now 100 pages, in an outer slipcase which fits on normal CD shelves. The booklet has been extensively updated and incorporates numerous small but important revisions and corrections to the text. All the essays and photographs from the previous edition are included: Ronald Stevenson’s masterly analysis (with 35 music examples), the composer’s own note on the piece, a comprehensive list of Sorabji’s works (the most up to date and accurate currently in print), John Ogdon’s provocative and illuminating essay on Sorabji and Herman Melville, and much other material besides.

No release found for 9076, 9077
AIR-CD-9078 Ronn Yedidia: Piano Sonata No. 3 “Outcries”, Grand Etudes Nos. 3, 5, 6 “Sunrise”, 7 “The Flight over the Ocean”, 8 “A Voice is calling in the Desert at Night”, 10 “Tempest”, Apparitions, Aether, Toward the Gardens of Heaven. Ronn Yedidia (2000) 076958707827 see Discogs.com
No release found for 9079, 9080
AIR-CD-9081 Sorabji: Concerto per suonare da me solo: e senza orchestra: per divertirsi. Jonathan Powell (2006) 076958708121 see listing on Muziekweb.nl
AIR-CD-9082 Sorabji: Un nido di scarole, Djâmî, St Bertrand de Comminges. Jonathan Powell (2007) 076958708220 see Discogs.com
AIR-CD-9083 Sorabji: Rosario d’arabeschi, Gulistân. Jonathan Powell (2005) 076958708329
AIR-CD-9084 Sorabji: Fantasia ispanica. Jonathan Powell (2004? Dating based on the Sorabji archive) 076958708428
AIR-CD-9085 Sergei Slonimsky: Piano Sonata, 24 Preludes and Fugues Book 1. Nikita Fitenko (2000) 076958708527 see Discogs.com
AIR-CD-9086 Sergei Slonimsky: 24 Preludes and Fugues book 2, 10 pieces from the collected piano works  “From 5 to 50”, two pieces from the cyle “Reminiscences of the Nineteenth Century”. Nikita Fitenko (2000) 076958708626 see Discogs.com
No release found for 9087, 9088
AIR-CD-9089 Ronald Stevenson: A Twentieth-Century Music Diary, Fugue on a fragment of Chopin, Symphonic Elegy for Liszt, A Scottish Triptych, Motus Perpetuus (?) Temporibus Fatalibus. Joseph Banowetz (1993, F 11/94) no barcode then 034066908925, 076958708923
LP AIR-2-9090(2) Ronald Stevenson Passacaglia on DSCH (1987, F 5/89), see Discogs.com
AIR-CD-9091 (2 CDs) Ronald Stevenson: Prelude Fugue and Fantasy, Recitative and Air, Passacaglia on DSCH. STEVENSON - Stevenson - Passacaglia on DSCHRonald Stevenson (1990?, Gr 9/90, F 11/93, F 5/05 Dating based on Discogs.com, Melomania, Gramophone review) no barccode then 034066909120, 076958709128
AIR-CD-9092 Godowsky: Studies after Chopin’s Etudes vol. 1 (1-20). Carlo Grante (1993, F 3/94) 076958709227 (034066909229 not found), see Discogs.com
AIR-CD-9093 Godowsky: Studies after Chopin’s Etudes vol. 2 (21-43). Carlo Grante (1995, F 5/96) Studien über die Etüden von Chopin vol.2 (n°21-43)Studien über die Etüden von Chopin vol.2 (n°21-43)076958709326
AIR-CD-9094 Godowsky piano vol. 3: Studies after Chopin’s Etudes vol. 3 (44-48)Godowsky Vol.3, Passacaglia, Chopin Waltz Transcriptions. Carlo Grante (1998?, F 9/98 Dating based on Discogs, Melomania, Fanfare review) 076958709425
No release found for 9095, 9096, 9097
AIR-CD-9098 Operatic Fantasies: Busoni: Sonatina No. 6 Kammerfantasie über Carmen, Sorabji: Pastiche on Carmen’s Habanera, Liszt: Réminiscenses de Norma, Réminiscenses de Don Juan. Carlo Grante (1993, F 7/94) 076958709821, (034066909823 not found)
No release found for 9099
LP AIR-2-9100 Ronald Center: Dona Nobis Pacem (Kathleen Livingstone soprano, Neil Mackie tenor, Ronald Leith organ, Ronald Stevenson piano etc, Queen’s Cross Chamber Chorus, cond. Geoffrey Atkinson), Piano Sonata (Ronald Stevenson), Three Nativity Carols (Queen’s Cross Chamber Chorus, Alistair MacDonald) (1985), see Discogs.com. Not reissued to CD
AIR-CD-9101 Clementi Sonatas vol. 1. Carlo Grante (1995, F 11/95) 076958710124 see Discogs.com

And to finish here, Discogs.com references what it presents as an Altarus recording, without label number and apparently available only on download, from 2018: Simon Mawhinney’s Marlacoo performed at the piano by Mary Dullea. You can hear it on YouTube.

Alphabetical list of composers
Lev Abeliovich 9056, 9058
Johann Sebastian Bach 9072
Mili Balakirev 9073
Samuel Barber 9010
Bela Bartok 9012
Ludwig van Beethoven 9072
Lennox Berkeley 9005
Eugène Bozza 9031
John Buckley 9010
Alan Bush 9004, 9042
Ferrucio Busoni 9041, 9043, 9044, 9063, 9070, 9073, 9074, 9098
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco 9031
Ronald Center 9100
Frédéric Chopin 9043, 9072, 9073
Muzio Clementi 9101
Carson Cooman 9015
Nathaniel Dett 9013
Claude Debussy 9043
Ernö von Dohnanyi 9073
Felix Draeseke 9030
Henri Dutilleux 9031
Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté 9052
Willard Elliot 9032
George Enescu 9012
Samuil Feinberg 9034, 9038
Gerald Finzi 9005
John Foulds 9001
Jean Françaix 9028
Leopold Godowsky 9092, 9093, 9094
Percy Grainger 9040, 9042
Alistair Hinton 9021, 9063, 9066
Jacques Ibert 9014
John Kinsella 9010
Nicola LeFanu 9010
Franz Liszt 9030, 9043, 9055, 9072, 9073, 9098
George Lloyd 9072
Alexandro Longo 9031
Edward MacDowell 9023, 9043
Albéric Magnard 9028
Czeslaw Marek 9043
Joseph Marx 9061
Philip Martin 9009, 9011
Simon Mawhinney 9027, 9029, no label number
Ernest Moeran 9005
Ethelbert (1862-1901) and Arthur Nevin (1871-1943) 9024
John Ogdon 9063
Ignacy Paderewski 9045, 9046
Hubert Parry 9005
Francis Poulenc 9032
Teresa Procaccini 9031
Nino Rota 9031
Camille Saint-Saëns 9032
Florent Schmitt 9028
Alexander Scriabin 9020
Rodion Shchedrin 9006
Dimitri Shostakovich 9033
Christophe Sirodeau 9035
Sergei Slonimsky 9085, 9086
Kaikhosru Sorabji 9021, 9022, 9025, 9036, 9037, 9043, 9049, 9050, 9064, 9067, 9068, 9069, 9075, 9081, 9082, 9083, 9084, 9098
Ronald Stevenson 9021, 9041, 9042, 9043, 9063, 9089, 9090, 9091
William Grant Still 9013
Gyorgii Sviridov 9053
Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky 9033
Harold Truscott 9002, 9003, 9008
James Wilson 9010
Ronn Yedidia 9078

Comments are welcome