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New releases, 12 January 2024 – The Cross-Eyed Pianist

Two contrasting, but equally delightful new releases are featured today:

HEAVEN TO EARTH Joanna Forbes L’Estrange

An album of choral music, sung by London Voices, conducted by Ben Parry, with Adreanna Chan, organ, composed by Joanna Forbes L’Estrange, who has a busy career in choral music – as a singer and choral director(with ensembles such as the Swingle Swingers and Tenebrae) and leading composer for the Royal School of Church Music. Endorsed by leading choral composer John Rutter CBE, as “simply beautiful” music that “every choir will want to sing”, this is a lovely, varied collection of choral music which demonstrates the range of Joanna’s writing – from uplifting tracks like Give Us Grace to more reflective pieces such as Drop, Drop Slow Tears, which was commissioned in memory of British countertenor James Bowman. Released on the Signum Classics label and available on CD and via streaming. Sheet music available from RSCM Music Direct.


This new release of contemporary piano and chamber music is the result of a collaboration between American composer James Sizemore and British-American pianist Stephen Gott.

I must claim a personal interest as I first met Stephen when he was 18 at a piano course run by our then teacher. Interestingly, he only started playing the piano in his mid-teens. I’ve stayed in touch with Stephen since then and have followed his career and development as a pianist with interest.

This debut album, released as one single a week from today, 12 January, is a significant moment for Stephen, working with a leading composer, arranger and producer (Sizemore has worked with film composer Howard Shore on The Hobbit trilogy, as well as on films such as Spotlight and The Twilight Saga), to produce an album of very attractive, minimalist-style music, impeccably performed and produced, which will appeal to those who might not normally listen to classical music. The music has a distinctly filmic quality, and if you like the music of Max Richter, Philip Glass, Yann Tiersen and the like, you will certainly enjoy this album!

Stephen celebrates the release of this album with a special concert at the Bechstein Piano Centre in Manchester on Friday 16 February from 6.30pm. Tickets/info



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