A Celebration of Paul Reade

Today marks one month since this important new CD from Signum Records was released digitally!

Flautist Philippa Davies writes:

“A Celebration of Paul Reade is an exciting release of known and unknown pieces by a composer of such rare talent who deserves to be remembered for his fresh, witty, lyrical, colourful music. His music – diatonic and tonal in style – always reflects his need to communicate with the listener – he was very much a musician of the community not the ivory tower.”

Composer Paul Reade died 25 years ago and this year marks his 80th birthday. He was well-known for his music for television, writing for series such as Play School, The Antiques Road Show and The Victorian Kitchen Garden, but less familiar are the wonderful works on this beautifully compiled album from Signum Records.

Philippa continues:

“The plan percolated between myself, Laurence [Perkins], and Anna Barry (Paul’s cousin and recording producer) to record these concertos, as well as the lovely Chants du Roussillon, which were written for Elizabeth Harwood. Finally, 25 years after his death in June 2022, we recorded these pieces with soprano Pumeza Matshikiza and the English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Robin O’Neill. We also included a new adaptation of The Victorian Kitchen Garden Suite for flute, harp and strings, as well as his wind sextet Serenata with my group London Winds. These are premiere recordings (except for the Chants du Roussillon) and show Paul’s music at its best: tender, poignant, humorous and uplifting,  full of wonderful melodic and dramatic invention. I am most grateful to all the wonderful artists who have made this recording possible and to all those who have generously supported this venture as a tribute to Paul and his music.”

The album is available to stream here; it will be released in CD format on 18 August 2023.
Bassoon soloist Laurence Perkins writes:

“For more than three decades, the music of Paul Reade inspired and delighted huge numbers of children and adults – but most of them never knew who wrote the music. The wonderful improvisations from the pianist on ‘Play School’ (BBC Television), or the creator of colourful, highly imaginative music for children’s animations including ‘Ludwig’, ‘Crystal Tipps and Alistair’ and ‘The Flumps’ – all this was from a source that only a few could name. Paul’s considerable skills as a composer extended to writing superb dance music for Birmingham Royal Ballet, and in this genre his name was better known, but to this day he has not received the recognition that a composer of so much fine music really deserves. The music featured on this new Signum recording was mostly composed for live concert performance – even the music for BBC Television’s ‘A Victorian Kitchen Garden’ was re-worked into a concert suite. This new album brings to the fore some of the more substantial music written by Paul Reade, revealing his astonishing ability to create beautiful images in his compositions. His music deserves to be better known and appreciated, and this new recording goes a long way towards helping to achieve that.”