Live recital recordings by Schubert and Goetz

Live recital recordings of piano music by Schubert and Goetz, courtesy of Prima Facie Records. Recorded live at Holy Trinity Church, Hereford, and produced by Steve Plews.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) – Drei Klavierstucke, D946 (1828)

  • I. Allegro assai
  • II. Allegretto
  • III. Allegro

These three powerful and beautiful pieces were completed by Schubert in the year he died. Forty years later they were edited (anonymously) by Brahms, on whose instruction they were published. The three pieces make a dramatic triptych, full of lyricism, poignancy, tenderness, humour and wonderful tunes.

Hermann GOETZ (1840-1876) – 4 Genrebilder (Genre Pictures), op.13 (1870-1876)

  • I. Andantino espressivo
  • II. Allegro scherzando
  • III. Larghetto
  • IV. Larghetto

Hermann Gustav Goetz, born in Konigsberg, East Prussia, spent most of his career in Switzerland, where he died of tuberculosis at the age of 35. He was a composer, pianist, organist, conductor and music critic, whose beautifully crafted piano pieces are reminiscent of Mendelssohn and Schumann. They are lyrical and inventive, as is evident in these four miniatures. These pieces were favourites of Duncan’s former professor, Rosemarie Wright, who broadcast them for the BBC in the 1980s. Following her death, he inherited her scores and has taken the pieces into his repertoire.

remembered melody...vibrant echoes

works for cello and piano by Moeran, Jacob, Cooke and Pantcheff

Performed by Joseph Spooner, cello, and Duncan Honeybourne, piano

Released March 2024, available from Prima Facie Records

remembered melody...vibrant echoes - album cover

There has been a flurry of recording activity in recent years around British works for cello and piano, with the repertoire finally receiving the attention it deserves from artists, critics, and record labels alike. New light has been cast on familiar pieces and neglected treasures have been heard for the first time. Yet despite these endeavours, much remains to be done to bring the full range of this music to audiences. Long-time colleagues Joseph Spooner and Duncan Honeybourne, two of Britain’s foremost exponents of this repertoire, have now collaborated to bring together the known, the neglected and the new in a generous selection of works.

The known composers here are E. J. Moeran and Gordon Jacob. Moeran’s works for cello and piano of the late 1940s (the Prelude, the Irish Lament, and the monumental Sonata) have all been recorded previously, though surprisingly they have never been presented together. The performers here bring their long-standing affection for Moeran and experience of his music to bear on fresh interpretations of these emotional yet glorious works.

It is quite astounding that a work as substantial as Gordon Jacob’s Sonata of 1957 has never previously been recorded, and the performers are delighted to present it here in its full, craggy, and melancholy splendour. Greville Cooke’s neglected Sonata, dating to 1966–67 but written in a rather earlier idiom, has only recently come to light after several decades in hiding. It is a touching, lyrical piece that refuses to conform to traditional notions of evolution in music.

The newest music on the disc is the 1983–84 Sonata by Richard Pantcheff, a work of power and dark drama.

Synopsis by Prima Facie Records

British Piano Sonatas

by Gordon Jacob, Arnold Cooke and Nicholas Marshall. Performed by Duncan Honeybourne (piano)

Released 2nd February 2024, available from Prima Facie Records

British Piano Sonatas - album cover

“It seems to me that these three British piano sonatas stand well together. All are muscular, lyrical, assertive and impassioned, each with a real sense of organic growth and structural cohesion. All three composers had fully mastered their craft by the time they penned these mature and substantial works. It shows in the sureness of technique and the effectiveness and economy of the writing. Not a single note is unnecessary or employed for effect, and the dramatic gestures are calculated with precision and clarity. The emotional scope of all three works is wide, and the colouristic scope of all three seems to me to be almost orchestral in its imagination.

I had known the 1956 Piano Sonata of Gordon Jacob for some years before learning and performing it. It jumped off the page as a work of enticing lyricism and infectious joie de vivre. It was dedicated to, and premiered by, that fine English pianist Iris Loveridge (1917-2000).

Arnold Cooke’s highly distinctive and intricate compositional style is the product of a remarkably individual mind and a sophisticated technique. The sonata was premiered by my former professor, Rosemarie Wright (1931-2020) at the 1966 Cheltenham Festival in Cheltenham Town Hall. After her death in 2020 I was privileged to inherit the manuscript, with many of her own markings made in consultation with the composer. It is from this unique copy that I learned the piece and made the recording.

The Piano Sonata by Nicholas Marshall is the most recent of the three works on the disc, and by any reckoning the most severe and uncompromising. Yet it is shot through with moments of lyricism, even tenderness, and eruptions of almost ecstatic passion. I premiered the work at St Lawrence Chapel in Ashburton, Devon, in September 2022.”

Synopsis by Duncan Honeybourne

“Three piano sonatas by relatively obscure British composers are presented here by Duncan Honeybourne, in each case persuasively. Gordon Jacob's sonata of 1956 is fascinating, its spacious adagio giving way to a hurtling, mechanistic allegro. That by Arnold Cooke (1965) has an andante that seems to hover above the earth, its spaces and stillness creating an effect that is shattering. And Nicholas Marshall's 2022 sonata is bracingly uncompromising, making demands on both player and listener and rewarding the effort handsomely.”

Dan Cairns, the best albums of 2024 so far, The Sunday Times

Richard Pantcheff: Chamber Music Volume 1

Released 12 January 2024, available from Prima Facie Records

Richard Pantcheff: Chamber Music Volume 1 - album cover

Features Duncan Honeybourne playing the Evocations for solo piano, written for him by Richard Pantcheff, plus the Viola Sonata with Lydia Lowndes-Northcott and the Suite on South African Folk Tunes.

Otto M. Zykan plays Schoenberg and Scriabin, Duncan Honeybourne plays Zykan

Released 4 November 2023, available from Prima Facie Records

Otto M. Zykan plays Schoenberg and Scriabin, Duncan Honeybourne plays Zykan - album cover

This unique 2-CD recording is produced by Prima Facie in association with the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF). It celebrates the genius of the Viennese composer, pianist and writer Otto M Zykan (1935-2006), whose historic recordings of Schoenberg’s piano music are re-released here for the first time since their original issue on LP in 1970. Acclaimed by the German critic Joachim Kaiser as “captivating technically and spiritually in equal measure”, Zykan’s performances are important documents reflecting a lifelong dedication to Schoenberg’s art. In this important release revealing the breadth of Zykan’s musicianship and creativity, they are coupled with a new recording of Zykan’s own complete solo piano music, played by the British pianist Duncan Honeybourne. Honeybourne was asked to record Zykan’s piano music for the coupling by the composer’s partner, Austrian musicologist and radio producer Irene Suchy. Duncan Honeybourne’s link with the Viennese tradition comes through his former professor, Rosemarie Wright, Zykan’s contemporary in the class of Bruno Seidlhofer, the most prominent piano teacher in Vienna.

Synopsis by Prima Facie Records

Duncan Honeybourne plays the 1873 Bevington organ

at Holy Trinity Parish Church, Bincombe, Dorset

Released 13th October 2023, available from Prima Facie Records

Duncan Honeybourne Plays the 1873 Bevington organ at Holy Trinity Parish Church, Bincombe, Dorset - album cover

This release features Duncan Honeybourne playing the Bevington chamber organ in the parish church at Bincombe, Dorset. Honeybourne writes that Bincombe is “a tiny place, comprising a few cottages, fields, farms and an ancient church nestled against a verdant hillside in sight of the sea. The lush meadows provide an inviting backdrop whilst, on the sightline, the English channel sparkles in the summer sunshine and shimmers mysteriously at night.” Part of the church dates from the twelfth century, with most of the remainder having been constructed in the fifteenth. The single manual organ was built by the London firm of Bevington and Sons in 1873 and supplied at a cost of £105 to the neighbouring parish of Broadwey. It was moved to Bincombe in 1903.

Honeybourne, whose 3x great grandparents were married in the church in 1831, writes that he has chosen a recital programme “to show the strengths of this tiny instrument and to evoke its rustic and timeless setting.” The recording opens with some vivacious and masterly early English keyboard writing by Bull and Byrd: “an obvious choice for the Bincombe organ”, comments Honeybourne. Bach’s charming Pastorella also works well, as do pieces by Buxtehude, John Stanley and Maurice Durufle. There is a nod towards several West Country composers, notably Exeter-born Kate Boundy and Kate Loder of Bath, whose six voluntaries receive their premiere recording. Also recorded for the first time is Greville Cooke’s tranquil Threnody. Cooke, a pianist, composer, poet, priest and professor at the RAM, lived in Dorset in his last years but this piece was written during his time as Rector of Buxted, East Sussex. The recital ends with one of Joubert’s Short Preludes on English Hymn Tunes, composed for the new chamber organ at Peterborough Cathedral in 1990. Honeybourne notes that “this incisive ramble around a familiar French carol lends itself to an organ of the proportions and sonority of the Bincombe instrument.”

Synopsis by Prima Facie Records


Twentieth Century British Harpsichord Music by Malcolm Lipkin, Kenneth Leighton, John McCabe and Ronald Stevenson

Released February 2023, available from Prima Facie Records

Metamorphosis album cover

Duncan’s debut harpsichord recital disc features major works by four 20th century British composers, three of them in premiere recordings, recorded on two contrasting instruments.

The 20th century revival of the harpsichord initially enabled the playing of 17th and 18th century keyboard music on the instrument for which it was originally composed. But its sound gradually began to inspire 20th century composers, and a contemporary repertoire of original harpsichord music developed. Having a contemporary repertoire has enabled the harpsichord to achieve a maturity in which it is heard and appreciated in a way that enhances its long history and heritage, of which the music on this CD is especially representative.

“Duncan Honeybourne is a very persuasive advocate for this music, playing it with complete conviction and technical assurance and making the strongest possible case for repertoire which does not readily yield all its secrets at first hearing. Honeybourne makes you want to keep listening.”

Music Web International

“The composers could not have asked for a better advocate than Duncan Honeybourne. He plays each piece with complete conviction”

British Music Society News, Summer 2023


Piano Music by Phillip Cooke

Released February 2023, available from Prima Facie Records

Transfiguration album cover

Phillip Cooke was born in Cumbria in 1980, spending the first 18 years of his life in the Lake District. He studied composition at Durham and Manchester Universities and for a PhD with Anthony Powers at Cardiff University. His works have been performed in most of the leading cathedrals and churches in the UK and in many festivals in the country and further afield. Recent works have been performed by, amongst others, the BBC Singers and The Sixteen. His work has regularly been premiered and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and has also been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, Classic FM and many European broadcasters. Strongly influenced by his native Lake District and by history, Cooke’s main musical influences are found in continuing and reconciling a pastoral British tradition. He has written many articles on contemporary British music, and books on the composers Herbert Howells and James MacMillan. He is Professor of Composition at the University of Aberdeen. This 2-disc album celebrates a corpus of solo piano music created for Duncan Honeybourne and premiered by him in Scotland in 2022 and 2023. The composer writes that, in its broadest sense, “transfiguration is a complete change of material from one form into a more beautiful or spiritual state – in many of these short pieces or movements I seek to do something similar, taking the existing material and transfiguring it into something more ethereal and mystical”. The piano works on this album transfigure a wide range of musical material, from folk songs to national anthems, plus original pre-existing music by Cooke himself.

“Phillip Cooke is Professor of Composition in the Music Department at the University of Aberdeen. This double CD album presents his piano music to date, performed radiantly by virtuoso pianist Duncan Honeybourne…you will be delighted by whole new worlds of complexity in rhythm, melodic line and counterpoint. It needs a pianist of the first-rate calibre of Honeybourne to make left and right hands ring out so clearly…That’s what makes Cooke’s piano music so special. He has his own personal style, and he owns it completely.”

British Music Society News, Spring 2023

A New Light

Violin/Piano Music by Elgar and Gurney

Released January 2023, available from EM Records

A New Light album cover

This new issue from Duncan and violinist Rupert Marshall-Luck includes the world premiere recording of the Sonata in D major (c.1918-1919) by Ivor Gurney, dedicated to Gurney’s friend and fellow war poet F.W. Harvey. Like the shifting light cast by a windswept sky, the Sonata contrasts exuberant energy and passionate outbursts with moments of quiet solemnity and brooding introspection. It is a richly rewarding discovery, and is coupled with Elgar’s Sonata for violin and piano, performed from the new Henle edition edited by Marshall-Luck, plus the same composer’s Chanson de Matin, Chanson de Nuit and Salut d’Amour.

In Dreams’ Projections

New Piano Music written for and played by Duncan Honeybourne

Released December 2022, available from Prima Facie Records

In Dreams’ Projections album cover

A disc of premiere recordings of solo piano works especially composed for Duncan Honeybourne. Duncan writes: “working with living composers to bring their music to life has been one of the great joys and privileges of my career. I’ve had the opportunity to record many of the resulting works, but the idea of an album devoted to some of those I hadn’t is something that has occupied my mind for some time.” Central to the recital are two piano cycles by Sadie Harrison and a colourful triptych by Cecilia McDowall, plus shorter pieces by Andrew Downes, Richard Francis, Richard Pantcheff and Jenni Pinnock. Most of the works are recent, but completing the collection is an impressionistic miniature, Pictures in the Snow, by Ruth Barrett, now one of Britain’s most successful and sought-after composers for TV and film. Barrett was 17 when she composed the piece for Honeybourne, and both were studying in the Royal Academy of Music’s Junior Department. “It was the first premiere I ever gave”, writes Honeybourne, “and I’ve always retained a real affection for the piece.”

“This highly desirable Prima Facie release presents several rewarding works by contemporary composers with whom the pianist Duncan Honeybourne has collaborated, in most cases over several years. The impressive range of the music is matched by the commitment, imagination and distinction of the playing... Warmly recorded and generously filled, this disc is a worthy tribute to Duncan Honeybourne’s passionate commitment to contemporary music. Highly recommended.”

Musical Opinion, July-September 2023. *****

Pictures of Light

Music by William Baines and Robin Walker

Released November 2022, available from Divine Art Records

Pictures of Light album cover

William Baines is one of those exceptionally gifted composers whose music still remains little known to the general music-loving public. Deeply rooted in nature, it shows influences from Debussy, Scriabin, Chopin, Liszt and Ravel and has totally assimilated those exemplars into truly mature and distinguished works all his own. This album includes a number of impressionist piano solos and the first recordings of the unpublished Eight Preludes and Five Songs, the latter presented by the veteran tenor Gordon Pullin, who has long been associated with the music of Baines. Duncan Honeybourne has become one of the most sought after of British pianists with a sparkling discography and is totally at home in this picturesque music. This album was produced on the centenary of Baines’ death and launched with recitals in Manchester and the composer’s native Yorkshire.

Synopsis by Divine Art Records

“Duncan Honeybourne’s gripping performances reveal a composer of genuine fibre, who absorbed Scriabin, Debussy and earlier influences, but still became his own self. Layered textures move in conflict; key tonalities become unstable; climaxes are both ecstatic and unsettling. Meanwhile, the Yorkshire landscape and North Sea are never far away… This is a precious album.”

The Times

“Performed splendidly by Honeybourne, who makes a convincing case for these pieces – and who also wrote the fine program notes.”

American Record Guide

“A splendid new disc with inspiring music in glowing recorded sound. The performances are first class and the documentation is superb.”

MusicWeb International

“This collection reveals a composer of significant talent and an individual voice. Sensitively and colorfully played by Duncan Honeybourne, who also contributes the fine program notes. Excellent recorded sound rounds out the picture.”

Fanfare Magazine (USA)

“This album is a wonderful introduction to the imagination, originality and genius of William Baines, brilliantly illuminated by Duncan Honeybourne’s compelling performances. Honeybourne is very much at home in Baines’ picturesque, atmospheric music. And then there is a glittering clarity and multi-layered textures coupled with a gorgeously warm, yet transparent piano sound.”


“Honeybourne’s playing on this disc is an absolute revelation. Baines’s harmonic language is even more unsettled and searching than the Frenchman’s (Debussy) and, at times, Scriabin will come to mind….this new disc contains a lengthy homage to Baines by Robin Walker in a brilliant and dramatic essay entitled At the Grave of William Baines. This then is a disc which anyone with an interest in British music should snap up.”

British Music Society News


The Collected Piano Music of Peter Reynolds

Released October 2022, available from Prima Facie Records

Penllyn album cover

Peter Reynolds (1958-2016) was a leading musical figure in Wales and far beyond: a Lecturer at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Artistic Director of the Lower Machen Festival, founder of the PM Music Ensemble and author of a history of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Reynolds’ own music is evocative, pithy and beautifully crafted, and includes Sands of Time, recognised in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s shortest opera. Duncan Honeybourne was the dedicatee of Reynolds’ last piano piece, Penllyn, which gives its name to this disc. The recording features the collected solo piano music of Peter Reynolds, all in premiere recordings, and is enriched by the inclusion of works by two of his friends, David Power and Luke Whitlock, who produced the disc.

“Reynolds’ craftsmanship, generosity and gentle humour all readily resurface in this commemorative disc, sensitively performed by Duncan Honeybourne and sympathetically produced by Luke Whitlock.”

Wales Arts Review

“Production values throughout are consistently high – thank heavens for pianists as reliably resourceful and adventurous as Duncan Honeybourne, always willing to investigate uncharted territory, and repertoire too many disdain: as a result this disc forms a very fitting tribute to a fondly remembered figure”

British Music Society News, Summer 2023

Paul Henley Piano Works

Sonatas Nos. 1-3, Five Epigrams, Suite, Adagietto

Released September 2022, available from Bridges Music

Paul Henley Piano Works album cover

Paul Henley (b.1959) is a British composer of remarkable gifts and with a distinctive personality, and is Artistic Director of the Corvedale Festival in Shropshire. Duncan Honeybourne premiered Henley’s first three piano sonatas in 2005, 2019 and 2022 and plays them all here, alongside several shorter pieces.

“In the torrent of recorded music that continues to defy the nay-sayers about the future of the compact disc, what marks out this music? It does not need to be unique – whatever that means in the context of music appreciation – but it does demand to serve a lowly (comfort) or exalted (inspirational) purpose, or both, to stand any chance. Henley attains that standard and we must hope to hear in future his Prelude for Orchestra and two string quartets. In different times I can imagine Henley achieving other great things in setting Hardy’s The Dynasts. I am sure he must count himself blessed that Duncan Honeybourne has lent skill and psychological oratory to this music.”

MusicWeb International


Piano and Chamber Music by Ruth Gipps

Released November 2021, available from Prima Facie Records

Opalescence album cover

Ruth Gipps was a remarkably versatile musician. She was a brilliant pianist who could – and did – triumphantly tackle the hallowed summits of the Brahms Second Concerto. She also toured nationwide as a freelance orchestral player during the dark days of the Second World War, as the second oboist and cor anglais player of the City of Birmingham Orchestra (CBO). Musicians with long memories remember her with fondness and fear as a spirited and pioneering conductor who, bruised and frustrated by the musical establishment’s distrust of baton-wielding women, simply set up her own orchestras and ran them with remarkable drive and success for more than three decades. Gipps made her professional conducting debut at the Royal Festival Hall in 1957, and the London Repertoire Orchestra – later the London Chanticleer Orchestra – introduced many outstanding young soloists at the outset of their careers. Gipps’s enterprises also gave a vibrant and much-needed platform to a significant tranche of neglected orchestral music, much of it by British composers working in traditional forms whose outputs had been sidelined by promoters in a culture then favouring the more assertively avant garde.

But this extraordinarily gifted musical polymath, a woman of powerful creative imagination and intense intellectual rigour, was first and foremost a composer. As memories of Gipps (or ‘Wid’, as she always liked to be called) recede with the passing years, we are left solely with her output of some eighty works as a memorial to her daring, questing, romantic spirit. Cast in a broad range of forms and genres, these are fastidious in craftsmanship, overwhelmingly tonal, invariably lyrical and poetic, and frequently deeply affecting. ‘My music’, she wrote, to her biographer Jill Halstead, ‘is a follow-on from Vaughan Williams, Bliss and Walton – the three giants of British music since the Second World War. All were great and inspired composers.’ A vigorous exploration of Gipps’s wide-ranging output certainly offers abundant evidence of a highly individual genius whose vivid and communicative personality is unmistakeably and strongly her own. Many influences are distilled in her work, but a full- blooded originality sings throughout. This recording delves into a selection of Gipps’s chamber works, and presents her complete œuvre for solo piano, to commemorate the centenary of her birth in 2021. It features her first work – The Fairy Shoemaker – and her last, the Sonata for double bass and piano, separated by some sixty-seven years.

Synopsis by Prima Facie Records

“This warmly recorded recital represents a significant addition to the revival of British composer, oboist, pianist and conductor Ruth Gipps, offering no fewer than four world premiere recordings... Honeybourne brings a refulgent warmth to the Ravelian Opalescence and the Theme and Variations

The Strad, April 2022

“The three performers bring extraordinary talent and enthusiasm to this repertoire. The sound quality of the recording is bright and immediate.”

MusicWeb International

“Spooner and Honeybourne are a fabulous combination of musical characters both of whom fully understand this music...This disc is a real gift to the musical world at large. Superlative performances of beautiful, and often powerful, music.”

Colin Clarke, Classical Explorer, January 2022

“This is a rewarding and intriguing collection of Gipps's music performed with panache and brilliance, with a delightfully bright and immediate piano sound from Honeybourne.”

Artmuse London, January 2022

The Holy Boy

Christmastide in Albion

Released November 2021, available from Prima Facie Records

The Holy Boy album cover

The idea for this programme of Christmas music was sparked by a handful of songs and a handful of singers. Having rather hurriedly gathered together repertoire for a Christmas concert in December 2020, after months of cancelled and postponed performances, it dawned on us that the few songs we had chosen (among them ‘The Little Road To Bethlehem’, ‘The Holy Boy’, ‘The Oxen’ and ‘The Bayly Berith The Bell Away’) belonged together and would sit very happily in an expanded programme of similar music. Little did we know how rich a seam we were to discover, and how much of this repertoire seems to have been sadly neglected.

While the Christmas songs of Peter Warlock could fill an entire disc (and have done), not all of the songs are well known, particularly in the versions for voice and piano. We have Warlock’s friend Arnold Dowbiggin to thank for the revised version of his well-loved carol, ‘Bethlehem Down’, one of the very last acts of Warlock’s tragically short life. Another fine singer to whom this programme owes a debt is Owen Brannigan, who is the dedicatee of both Michael Head’s ‘Carol of the Field Mice’ and Malcolm Williamson’s ‘A Christmas Carol’, composed some six years apart.

Two other singers deserve special recognition, namely Forbes Robinson (1926-87) and John Carol Case (1923-2012). It was ‘Christmas With Forbes Robinson’ (Tower LP 1973) that not only pointed us in the direction of Arnold Bax’s ‘Five Fantasies on Polish Carols’ and Mark Hankey’s delightful ‘Lucy’s Carol’ (of which we are told that “the words...were extemporised to her doll by a four year old child whose name was Lucy”) but also showed that a programme of Christmas songs for Bass-Baritone was not only plausible but genuinely commendable. As for John Carol Case, it was to his anthology ‘Sing Solo Christmas’ that we (as many others must have) turned for inspiration and stimulation, and it is hard to imagine a more varied and sensitively assembled collection of such music.

We are immensely grateful to The Peter Warlock Society for their generous support.

This recording is dedicated to the memory of Birgitta Honeybourne, 1939-2021.

Synopsis by Prima Facie Records

“This is a pleasant seasonal disc. The singer’s smooth and amiable voice, and Duncan Honeybourne’s sympathetic accompaniment, give this recording a good feel. The repertoire is well balanced, though with a leaning towards the reflective theology of the season rather than the celebratory. In that perspective, it is a remarkable success.”

MusicWeb International

Dedication: The Clarinet Chamber Music of Ruth Gipps

Released September 2021, available from SOMM Recordings

Dedication: The Clarinet Chamber Music of Ruth Gipps album cover

This CD celebrates the centenary of the birth of Ruth Gipps with Dedication, featuring five premiere recordings of chamber works inspired by her clarinettist-husband, Robert Baker, most of which were recently broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Composer of the Week.

Synopsis by SOMM Recordings

“(Peter) Cigleris and Duncan Honeybourne are ideal executants in an account I cannot see being bettered any time soon. Somm's sound is unobtrusively superb. Recommended.”

Gramophone, December 2021

“...the Clarinet Sonata of 1957 in a luminous account with pianist Duncan Honeybourne.”

BBC Music Magazine, November 2021

The Complete Solo Piano Music of John Joubert

Released June 2021, available from Prima Facie Records

The Complete Solo Piano Music of John Joubert album cover

Duncan Honeybourne’s recording of Joubert’s piano music was first released by Prima Facie in February 2019, a few weeks after the composer’s death. Honeybourne, a close friend of Joubert and the dedicatee of the Third Piano Sonata, had studied the works with the composer, who asked him to record his piano music and described his pre-release copy of the disc as “one of my most prized possessions.” The recital charted a chronological journey through Joubert’s complete published solo piano music, from the bracing Dance Suite, written in John’s twenties, to the transcendental musings of the Third Piano Sonata, composed when he was almost eighty.

This second edition also offers something extra: a remarkable work from Joubert’s years as a student at the Royal Academy of Music. In December 2020 Joubert’s daughter Anna discovered the manuscript of Evocations, a rhapsody for piano, which John had written at the age of 22. Howard Ferguson, one of John's composition professors, gave the work its first performance at the RAM in 1950, but this student work was quickly shelved as Joubert achieved international renown for his ever-growing output of masterpieces.

Honeybourne writes: “The strong personality I knew so well from Joubert’s later work jumped vividly and unmistakably off the page. I was astonished at the maturity and assurance of the writing, the fluency of the invention and the technical ingenuity with which the one-movement structure was knitted together. I felt that we should add Evocations to my existing recording of Joubert’s piano music, to offer a truly complete conspectus of this very distinctive composer’s writing for solo piano. This new set of two discs is the result."

Synopsis by Prima Facie Records

“The recorded sound is superb. The playing is exemplary throughout – a very appropriate tribute to one of the most substantial and significant composers of our time.”

British Music Society News, Autumn 2021

De Profundis Clamavi

English piano music

Released June 2021, available from Em Records

De Profundis Clamavi album cover

De Profundis Clamavi is a two-disc recording of English piano music, contrasting three dramatic sonatas with a vibrant selection of shorter pieces ranging from the sublimely poetic to the darkly rhapsodic. Frank Bridge began writing his grandiose Piano Sonata in 1921, in the wake of the First World War, and it is suffused with a mood of desolation and torment. Contemporary composer Richard Pantcheff’s own sonata was completed in 2017 and evokes a similarly intense emotional landscape; hence the quotation from Psalm 130 that gives the album its name (‘Out of the deep have I called unto Thee, O Lord’). Also here making its first recorded appearance, the 1938 Sonata by Christopher Edmunds bubbles over with vivid pianistic colours, melting tenderness and and irresistible romantic warmth.

The three sonatas are complemented and contextualised by Parry’s delicious Shulbrede Tunes – affectionate portraits of the composer’s family and their Sussex home – plus the first recordings of two stunning romantic showpieces by a composer better known for his vocal writing, Cecil Armstrong Gibbs. Three unpublished – and previously unrecorded – gems by Edgar Bainton add further distinctiveness to the disc.

Synopsis by Em Records

“Honeybourne’s performances throughout this recital deserve the highest praise. Virtuosity is one thing, and it is delivered in spectacular fashion. But in these performances, virtuosity is combined with profound musical insight and mastery of the architectural spans of extended movements.”

MusicWeb International, October 2021

“Never a pianist to pull his punches, Duncan Honeybourne adds to his expanding discography with this extensive survey of British piano music...It is the Piano Sonata by Frank Bridge which inevitably dominates this collection, not least as this recording is among the finest from recent years...Honeybourne has been astute in his planning so that each disc can be appreciated as a stand-alone recital in its own right, or as independent halves of an "uber-recital" which even he would be unlikely to undertake in a live context. All except the Bridge, Britten and Parry are receiving their first recordings, and it would be surprising if some pieces did not enjoy greater exposure in future. For his dedication in championing them, and for putting together such an ambitious anthology, Honeybourne can only be commended... It adds up to an impressive release and a highlight of the EM Records catalogue so far.”

Richard Whitehouse, On Record – Arcana, November 2021

“This generous set (of two and a half hours) is a triumph for Duncan Honeybourne's intelligent pianism”

Present Arts, October 2021

“This is a wideranging survey of British piano music from the 20th century, including a rather delightful trio of works by Edgar Bainton, a composer more familiar for his choral music....with several premiere recordings, it's a nice album to have in the collection.”

BBC Music Magazine, October 2021

“It goes without saying that Duncan Honeybourne's playing is superb throughout. He has rapidly become the Dean of British piano music.”

MusicWeb International, September 2021

Contemporary Piano Soundbites

Solo piano miniatures

Released September 2020, available from Prima Facie Records

Contemporary Piano Soundbites album cover

Contemporary Piano Soundbites is a collection of solo piano miniatures composed during the 2020 coronavirus lockdown and premiered on video during the months of April, May and June. The project, which ranked in the top 10% of Just Giving fundraisers nationally during the month of April 2020, has already raised well over £2000 for the Help Musicians UK Coronavirus Hardship Fund, supporting musician colleagues struggling in the current situation. The disc, recorded in July 2020 under conditions of social distancing, presents a representative selection from the online series. It celebrates the diversity of styles embraced by a broad cross section of professional composers working today, and it was an invigorating experience to record an entire disc of pieces which hadn’t existed less than four months earlier! Especially stimulating and exciting is the juxtaposition of several leading senior composers with some of their most gifted younger colleagues. Several young composers make their first appearances on disc.

My objective, as I stated in my invitation to composers, was fourfold: to imaginatively harness the zeitgeist of our present situation: to bring comfort and enjoyment to a large ready-made audience stuck at home, to aid musicians badly affected by the “cultural lockdown” and to add to the contemporary repertoire, creating an artistic keepsake of this extraordinary phase in our history.

My long term plan is that, as well as helping our colleagues at a time of need, the collection will provide a snapshot of reflections and musings by some of the finest and most distinctive composers of our time at a unique and unprecedented moment in our history. I hope the disc will make for a refreshing, enriching, stimulating and quirky listening experience too!"

Synopsis by Duncan Honeybourne

“A dazzling explosion of creativity.”

Tom Service, BBC Radio 3 New Music Show, 13/03/21

“... remarkable set of pieces ... the recital seems to me perfect in every way. Duncan Honeybourne is a great champion for all these composers.”

John France, MusicWeb International

“The standard of the compositions and their interest and accessibility are all high ... The recording is natural and warm ... The booklet essay gives excellent background information on each of the composers and on their pieces.”

Gary Higginson, MusicWeb International

“With an unerring sense of colour and narrative, Duncan Honeybourne finds the individual character of each miniature. His thought-provoking, wide-ranging programme is thoroughly recommended.”

Paul Conway, Musical Opinion Quarterly

The Road Less Travelled

Piano music by Geoff Cummings-Knight

Released 17 July 2020, available from Prima Facie Records

The Road Less Travelled album cover

Prima Facie’s latest release features the English pianist Duncan Honeybourne in the first commercial recording of the work of composer Geoff Cummings-Knight (b.1947), whose contribution to British musical life in recent decades has been self-effacing but of consistent and remarkable quality. His solo piano music is highly distinctive, impassioned and lyrical, and its appearance on disc long overdue.

Cummings-Knight was born in Colwyn Bay and grew up in Yorkshire. He studied at Goldsmiths College, the Birmingham School of Music and Leeds University, gaining BMus and MA degrees. His numerous compositions include a cantata The Turning Year, two symphonies, chamber works, choral settings, stage works and a symphonic prelude The Infancy of Hercules. In 1986 Geoff was a finalist in the Barclaycard Composer of the Year competition and in 1998 his work was featured in the TV series Heartland FM.

His works have been widely performed and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and his Piano Concerto, premiered in 1985 by Philip Challis and the Worthing Symphony Orchestra underJan Cervenka, received a further acclaimed performance in Birmingham’s Adrian Boult Hall.

The piano works on this disc range from two of the early, vividly descriptive Russian Tableaux - composed in 1970 and broadcast by Philip Challis on BBC Radio 3 in 1984 to the magisterial and richly-contoured Sonata in C sharp major, premiered by Duncan Honeybourne in 2011.

Honeybourne writes that Cummings-Knight’s "creative road is a rewarding one and his substantial catalogue of piano music central to any consideration of it. This is a journey on which I am honoured and delighted to accompany the inquisitive and enterprising listener."

“... splendid CD ... the recording by Prima Facie is superb ... Honeybourne [...] is clearly a splendid advocate and champion of this piano music ... For anyone who enjoys approachable, romantically tinged music ... this is a perfect investment”

John France, MusicWeb International

“This CD will appeal to all those who enjoy complex deeply expressive piano music ... pianistic callisthenics, big chords, virtuoso runs and ripples remind one of Rachmaninoff. All these are certainly there, and with his seasoned technical abilities, Duncan Honeybourne is the man to deliver these with stylistic élan.”

Alan Cooper, British Music Society

Richard Francis Solo Piano music (2006-2015)

Released 2020, available from Prima Facie Records

Richard Francis Solo Piano music (2006-2015) album cover

Prima Facie’s release of recent piano music by Richard Francis celebrates the craftsmanship, wit and eclecticism of this popular Shropshire composer, winner of the 2001 Gregynog International Composition Award. The disc comprises Francis’s complete solo piano output from the years 2006-2015, all played by its dedicatee, Duncan Honeybourne, whose previous Prima Facie discs – of piano music of Sadie Harrison and John Joubert – have met with critical acclaim.

Duncan Honeybourne plays here the ‘Piano Sonata no.2 (Irish Memories)’, with its references to Irish folk melodies, premiered in Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford, in 2011. The first movement evokes a Donegal storm whilst the second is a set of variations on the much-loved hymn tune Slane. The ‘Grand Concert Variations’ are inventive and virtuosic, while the set of 10 ‘More Characteristic Pieces’ must surely contain something for everyone, ranging from the touching ‘Evensong’ to the rumbustious ‘Seaside Jaunt’!

This attractive and varied disc was recorded on a Bosendorfer piano in the Ty Cerdd studio at Cardiff Bay, in April 2019.

Synopsis by Prima Facie Records

“[the Piano Sonata second movement] is excitingly virtuosic, its fast chiming chords and dizzying runs performed with great élan by the splendid solo pianist, Duncan Honeybourne.”

Alan Cooper, British Music Society

“The sound quality is beyond reproach... I thoroughly enjoyed this recital. Duncan Honeybourne is an unmistakably powerful advocate of Richard Francis’s piano music. All the music here is approachable and easily enjoyed.”

John France, MusicWeb International

The Piano Music of John Joubert

Released 22 February 2019, available from Prima Facie Records

The Piano Music of John Joubert album cover PFCD097

“The spring of 2017 offered me a heartwarming opportunity to revisit the complete piano music of a composer who has been highly significant in my musical life. John Joubert celebrated his 90th birthday in March, an occasion I marked by presenting the cycle as an evening recital at the Birmingham and Midland Institute. This creative artist of trenchant expressive power, finely tuned eclecticism, visionary intensity and refined craftsmanship has, over some six decades, enriched the solo piano repertoire with a sequence of personal and dramatic essays: each of them with a distinctive individuality, yet charting a compelling and logical narrative when presented as a whole. The three piano sonatas constitute in themselves a major cycle, the triptych charting an instructive journey through different seasons of his career and musical mindset. Most striking for me as an omnipresent juxtaposition throughout the cycle is the irresistible coalescence of the violent and the consoling, the heart-stoppingly lyrical and the menacingly unsettling, the sumptuously tender and the bracingly aggressive. Rarely, if ever, have the percussive and the song-like attributes of the piano fused more organically, or to more dramatic – and beautiful – effect. The jagged rhythms of the irresistible early Dance Suite and the warm lines of the operatic Lyric Fantasy complement the cycle of sonatas very effectively.”

Synopsis by Duncan Honeybourne

“(Joubert’s complete piano music) is featured here in glittering performances from Duncan Honeybourne… Listening to Honeybourne’s accounts, recorded last year in Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton, it is not hard to hear why Joubert was drawn to his playing. The performances are fluent and powerful, alive to the full range of Joubert’s mercurial invention, whether in the jagged rhythms of the Bartokian Dance Suite (1958) and concentrated Sonata in one movement (1957), or the more melodic lines of the Lyric Fantasy. The two later sonatas require even greater virtuosity and these accounts are a match for their rivals.”

International Piano, July 2019

“The expressive keyboard technique of pianist Duncan Honeybourne shows just what a great musical ally he was to composer, the British South African, John Joubert…Honeybourne worked extensively with Joubert and…Joubert dedicated his Third Sonata to Honeybourne. This noteworthy recording of Joubert’s complete piano works, crisply engineered in Southampton’s Turner Sims Concert Hall, can therefore boast an impeccable provenance. It is a perfect illustration of Joubert’s dramatic writing…These are bold piano works that have earned their place in classical music history.”

British Music Society Journal

The God Marduk

Works for violin, viola and piano by Andrew Downes

Released January 2019, available from Em Records

The God Marduk album cover EMRCD056

As a complement to EM Records’ disc of piano music by Andrew Downes, this release features the composer’s music for violin and viola, including World Premiere recordings of the Violin Sonata, the Viola Sonata, and the work from which the disc takes its title, ‘The God Marduk’. Downes was a student of Herbert Howells and his work is characterised by influences absorbed from a wide variety of musical cultures, including Indian ragas, African drum-rhythms and Carolingian plainchant, these being fused to form a language that is rich in colour and vivid in the immediacy of its portrayals. This recording is a dramatic representation of Downes’s art, ranging from the gentle lyricism of the second movement of the Violin Sonata, through the playful whimsy and implacable sternness of ‘The God Marduk’, to the devotional stillness and joyful assurance of the ‘Sacred Mass’ for solo violin.

Synopsis by Em Records

“This is a wonderful disc, presenting four works by Andrew Downes, each with some memorable sections and a strong sense of the twentieth century English musical tradition. The playing of Rupert Marshall-Luck and Duncan Honeybourne is excellent throughout and makes a strong case for the music... This lovely disc will be enjoyed greatly by all followers of English music.”

MusicWeb International, 2019

The Wanderer

The complete works for violin and piano by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry

Released December 2018, available from Em Records

The Wanderer album cover EMRCD050-52

The Wanderer is EM Records’ first triple-disc set: a celebration of the violin-and-piano works of one of Britain’s most important composers, C. Hubert H. Parry.

Parry is not popularly known as a composer of chamber music; yet his contributions to the genre span his entire career. Of particular historical-musical interest are his works for violin and piano, from the early ‘Freundschaftslieder’ – amongst the first works Parry completed in adult life – to the two Suites, published in 1907. These show a wide range of aspects of Parry’s multifaceted character: the generously-spirited young man, acknowledging his debt to Brahms and Schumann in the Sonata in D minor; the warm-hearted family man shown in the ‘Twelve Pieces for Violin and Piano’, which are dedicated to his wife and his two daughters; and the musical experimenter that is seen in the ‘Fantasie-Sonate in einem Satz’, in which Parry, inspired by the Piano Concerto of Xaver Scharwenka, combines four tautly-unified movements in a single, 14-minute work. The recording also features a number of intriguing and characterful miniatures which were discovered among the composer’s manuscripts in the Bodelian Library, Oxford.

The recording is dedicated to the memory of Parry’s great-granddaughter, The Hon. Laura Ponsonby, whose knowledge and enthusiasm were instrumental in bringing the project to fruition.

Synopsis by Em Records

“EM Records issues one of its most important releases to date, the complete works for violin and piano by C. Hubert H. Parry... Marshall-Luck (endows) violin lines with real flexibility and Honeybourne (ensures) some densely chorded piano parts never feel overbearing. Not all this music was unrecorded… but the present accounts set new standards for these works overall. Recommended.”

Richard Whitehouse, Arcana.FM

“Combining rigour and sensitivity, the interpreters serve this fine music perfectly.”

Michel Fleury, Classica magazine (France), June 2019

“immensely rewarding….confirms the virtuosity of both Parry’s invention and the duo’s technique…Honeybourne’s eloquence in the Retrospective communicates surprisingly weighty emotions…Honeybourne’s rhythmic definition and accentuation are admirable…the performers communicate real joy and commitment.”

MusicWeb International, January 2019

'A hundred years of British Piano Miniatures' album cover GP789

A Hundred Years of British Piano Miniatures

Released October 2018, available from Grand Piano Records

These piano pieces trace a trajectory from the Edwardian poetry of Leo Livens to the overdubbing of Peter Reynolds by way of a century of evocative, descriptive and exciting miniatures. Reflecting pastoral, light and experimental traditions, these previously unrecorded works offer rich variety from neglected composers.

– Recommended CD on ORF Austrian Radio, November 2019

“These are easy-listening, fairly restrained character works from 1915-2015. Reynolds’s work skillfully incorporates recorded bird calls, glass marbles, and drumsticks. Power’s miniatures are simple and direct, with well-balanced and straightforward playing. Constance Warren’s brief “Idyll” is thorny and chromatic. Honeybourne’s playing is always polished and refined.”

American Record Guide, March 2019

“This disc is full of these very short tracks, beautifully selected for their contribution to the program and historical relevance…There is a remarkable degree of originality throughout all these works that makes this disc an engaging listen from start to finish.”

The Whole Note (Canada), January 2019

Return of the Nightingales: Music for Solo Piano by Sadie Harrison

Released October 2017, available from Prima Facie Records

Return of the Nightingales: Music for Solo Piano by Sadie Harrison, album cover PFCD072

‘Return of the Nightingales’ is a celebration of four pianists with whom Sadie has collaborated extensively over the past decade – Duncan Honeybourne, Philippa Harrison, Ian Pace and Renée Reznek. As the majority of the pieces were premiered by these pianists, the disc is a showcase not just of Sadie’s music but also of each performer – from Duncan Honeybourne’s sumptuously expressive renditions of Lunae (2012) and Shadows (2013) to the hyper-virtuosity of Ian Pace in the title work; from the quirky vivacity of Philippa Harrison in Four Jazz Portraits (2014) to Renée Reznek’s highly coloured interpretation of Par-feshani-ye ’eshq (2013-14). As such, the disc offers a unique insight into a range of contemporary piano performances, an unusual contribution where the emphasis is as much on the players as the composer herself.

Synopsis by Prima Facie Records

“A disc that offers much of interest for inquiring listeners and players alike. Not that those latter will find it easy to match the technical finesse and interpretative insight of the pianists featured here.”


“Duncan Honeybourne has the lion’s share... with fine accounts of the two large sets, Lunae (2012) and Shadows (2013).”

Musical Opinion

“Honeybourne sensitively and sensuously illuminates the tender, intimate lyricism”

The Cross-Eyed Pianist

“A box of delights, wrapped up in a musical package”

Sounds Magazine

“Medieval chant, Dowland, Debussy and Messiaen are just some of the influences on the gentle Lunae, superbly performed by Duncan Honeybourne, who also captures the gnomic essences of Shadows, Harrison’s tribute to composer William Baines...An important disc.” (***** 5 stars)

International Piano

Daybreak in the Fields

The piano music of Andrew Downes

Released August 2017, available from Em Records

Daybreak in the Fields album cover EMRCD040

Duncan Honeybourne has been associated for many years with the piano music of Andrew Downes, distinguished English composer and former Head of Composition at the Birmingham School of Music/Birmingham Conservatoire. On this new set of two discs taking their name from one of Downes’ piano preludes, Duncan plays the complete solo piano music of Andrew Downes, much of it dedicated to and premiered by him. To complete the discs, he is joined by pianist Katharine Lam for the Downes Sonata for Two Pianos.

The Piano Music of Andrew Downes: a personal note by Duncan Honeybourne

A Western Borderland

works for piano by four composers associated with the England-Wales border

Released December 2015, available from Em Records

A Western Borderland album cover EMRCD034

The counties on the borders between England and Wales – Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire – are rich in spiritual resonance, powerful historical imagery and a tangible sense of tranquility and apartness, which continues to appeal strongly to composers, writers and artists. This CD presents works for piano by four composers associated with this borderland.

Edward Elgar was born just outside Worcester; the Concert Allegro, his only substantial piece for solo piano, was written whilst living at Malvern Wells. Ivor Gurney was strongly attached to his native Gloucestershire, and his Five Western Watercolours paint sound portraits of favourite landscapes in that county. Walford Davies was born in Oswestry, Shropshire; his Theme and Variations, written whilst a student at the Royal College of Music, was rediscovered by Duncan Honeybourne, who gave its first known public performance in 2015. Richard Francis was born in Herefordshire and now lives and works in Shropshire: the works on this CD were given their première performances by Duncan Honeybourne.

“It’s fun to hear from Walford Davies in his student days, flamboyantly building up his 1890 Theme and Variations from a docile, hymn-like melody. Honeybourne treats his enterprising repertoire with respect and affection.”

BBC Music Magazine, 4 stars **** for performance and recording

“Honeybourne has given a wonderful, inspired account of all these pieces... a remarkable CD.”

MusicWeb International

Flowing Waters

Released June 2015, available from Divine Art Records

Flowing Waters album cover

Luke Whitlock’s music is firmly rooted in traditional harmonies and tonal bases, lyrical and expressive. This is the first album devoted to his work and features acclaimed pianist Duncan Honeybourne in solo works ranging from Whitlock’s survey of 18th century Suite form, to two picture-pieces and a lively, witty and sparkling waltz. A very open, airy flute sonata and three impressionist works for wind trio make this a fine introduction to music of wide appeal.

“Duncan Honeybourne is peerless in his handling of the (solo piano) music”

MusicWeb International

“Honeybourne’s performance is simply beautiful, even in its most powerful and haunting moments”

Fanfare magazine (USA)

“Luke Whitlock’s debut CD, Flowing Waters, is a collection of beautifully composed pieces. Being a pianist myself, I’m particularly fond of the expressive and varied piano music on the CD, which is superbly performed by Duncan Honeybourne.”

Debbie Wiseman MBE (Film & Television Composer)

“I have listened ‘right-through’ and again in shorter sections and found lots of lovely moods. My own immediate favourite - and I believe for many other listeners - is without doubt Evening Prayer. It is also beautifully played!”

Joseph Horovitz (composer)

King of Instruments, Instrument of Kings

Rupert Marshall-Luck, violin, Duncan Honeybourne, piano/organ

Released May 2015, available from Em Records


The use of the sobriquet ‘King of Instruments’ for the organ is well-known; and the violin was the instrument of the royal courts of Europe from the seventeenth century until after the Enlightenment. The chiasmus offered by the juxtaposition of these two instruments was thus irresistible as the title of a disc that features works for violin and organ or piano by three organist-composers: Herbert Sumsion, Harold Darke and Richard Pantcheff.

Composed early in their respective careers, the sonatas for violin and piano by Sumsion (organist of Gloucester Cathedral from 1928 until 1967) and Darke (best-known for his setting of the carol ‘In the bleak Midwinter’) are full of zestful life and with a rich harmonic language that lends them depth and warmth. They are complemented on this recording by Richard Pantcheff’s Sonata for Violin and Organ, composed in 2010, and which casts the two instruments as partners in a dialogue that is full of lyricism, passion and energy.

Recorded in December 2014 in the Chapel of Jesus College, Cambridge, this disc highlights the Hudlestone Organ, built by the Swiss firm of Orgelbau Kuhn and installed in 2007.

“Both soloists play with nuanced feeling, and Duncan Honeybourne is an articulate advocate both for the music and for the expressive Kuhn organ of Jesus College, Cambridge. Ravishing accounts, too, of violin and piano sonatas by Sumsion and Darke.”

Choir and Organ

Schubert and Schumann

Played by Duncan Honeybourne

Released 2015, available from Forbury Records

Schubert and Schumann played by Duncan Honeybourne (Forbury Records FR1612514) album cover

This disc presents two of the greatest masterworks of nineteeth century piano literature, staples of Duncan’s recital programming for many years. Both the Schubert B Flat Sonata and the Schumann Fantasy are works which convey profound landscapes of emotional intensity and raw human experience, distilled through the exceptional sensitivity and insight borne of creative genius. Both composers died relatively young and both suffered shattering setbacks and traumas. The works recorded here are among their most personal and self-revealing.

The disc was recorded at the magnificent Lion Ballroom, Leomister’s striking and beautifully restored arts centre.

To order, please email the Director of Forbury Records, Alan Crumpler:

A Forgotten English Romantic

English piano music by Greville Cooke

Released May 2014, available from Em Records

A Forgotten English Romantic performed by Duncan Honeybourne (EM Records EMRCD022) album cover

Duncan Honeybourne’s disc for EM Records explores the piano music of a forgotten romantic composer-pianist, the Englishman Greville Cooke. Cooke combined a professorship in composition at the Royal Academy of Music with parallel careers as a poet and Anglican priest, rising to become a canon of Peterborough Cathedral and a regular broadcaster in both musical and spiritual roles. EMR CD022 presents Cooke’s superbly evocative, richly passionate music – bearing wonderful titles such as Cormorant Crag, Whispering Willows, Sundown and Reef’s End – with miniatures by Holst and Vaughan Williams to create a disc of English romantic piano music of vibrant colour and wide-ranging expressive power.

“The sympathetic pianist in this recording, Duncan Honeybourne… Cooke’s style, most affecting in lyrical mood, breathes something of that luxuriant Romanticism with which we are now much more familiar in the piano music of York Bowen… Honeybourne, with his delicate chemistry of touch and arm weight, persuasively coaxes out Cooke’s personal sense of poetry and gentle humour.”


“Instantly claims an eminent place in the annals of British recorded music. The performances catch both the storm and crash of these pieces, their willowy poetry, whimsical wit and flickering dappled fantasy. Cooke is fortunate in having found such a champion”

Recording of the Year, MusicWeb International, July 2014

“This CD is superbly presented in every way. The liner-notes, written by Duncan Honeybourne are excellent, informative and interesting. The standard of playing is of the highest order: the recording is outstanding. Even the title of the CD – ‘A Forgotten Romantic’ – lends enchantment to this project.”

Recording of the Year, MusicWeb International, July 2014

An Irish Idyll

Piano music by Archy Rosenthal

Released 30 July 2014, available from Em Records

An Irish Idyll performed by Duncan Honeybourne (EM Records EMRCD024) album cover

This disc from EM Records, performed by Duncan Honeybourne, explores the piano music of a forgotten romantic composer-pianist, Archy Rosenthal. This larger-than-life character wrote for his instrument with telling individuality, melting tenderness and searing intensity. Dublin-born Rosenthal was a virtuoso pianist of international fame, a pupil of Leschetizky and Godowsky and a close friend of Grieg. The land of his birth never lost its enchantment for this immensely charismatic and imaginative man, and our new release complements Rosenthal’s barnstorming Variations on Hush-a-bye Baby and his reflective Irish Pastels with beguiling Hibernian musings by Stanford and Bax. All the works by Rosenthal receive here their World Première recordings.

International Piano – “A programme that enchants, disarms and whets the appetite for more in equal measure... Duncan Honeybourne’s playing is astonishingly affectionate, but never saccharine, something that rescues pieces like Rosenthal’s Variations on a Nursery Rhyme from the salon. Stanford’s Ballade in G minor presents some of the most serious of intent music on the disc, distinctly Lisztian in breadth and gesture. Honeybourne plays it with suave confidence.”

E.J. Moeran: The Complete Solo Piano Music

Released 1 February 2013, available from Em Records

E.J. Moeran: The Complete Solo Piano Music album cover

E.J. Moeran: The Complete Solo Piano Music performed by Duncan Honeybourne (piano) presents Moeran’s complete, deeply atmospheric piano music alongside works by his English and Irish contemporaries. Included on this disc are première recordings of works by Aloys Fleischmann and Ronald Swaffield, while music by Howells, Vaughan Williams, Baines and Pitfield complete a set of discs that open musical vistas of the rugged mountains and grandeur of wild Ireland and the verdant pastorality of England’s lush hills.

2 CD set released 1st February 2013 by EM Records. Available to order online at

Hard to imagine better performances

BBC Music Magazine (**** excellent rating),

A set not to be missed by all lovers of English music


Honeybourne is in a class of his own, and his account of the Theme and Variations (Moeran’s most substantial piano work) is unsurpassed on disc. I would rate this new two CD set as the best complete recording of Moeran’s piano output.

MusicWeb International,

“Terrific intensity and touches of panache where needed”

International Record Review, May 2013