Handel in the Wind is on general release! We're very happy with the press response so far - here are some of the early reviews (more to follow soon):
AAA Music: “Wild, quirky, wicked, outrageous and excessive… and the occasional moment of exquisite beauty.” **** Very Good
The Classical Reviewer: "Some of the most spectacularly virtuosic playing you are likely to hear, always full of fun yet thoroughly musical… You really have to hear it to believe it!"
WDR3 (Germany): “72 minutes of pure pleasure!”
The official London launch of the CD is coming up soon - anyone who missed our pre-release performance at King's Place in December will have another chance to hear the programme live in St George's Church, Hanover Square, on April 8th, as part of the prestigious London Handel Festival - tickets available here. And if you miss this there will be another opportunity at the Greenwich Early Music Festival in November...
Catch us too on BBC Radio 3's 'In Tune' on April 2nd, in conversation with Sean Rafferty.
More from us soon!
November 2014 Part 2
IT HAS ARRIVED!! Yes, our brand new CD 'Handel in the Wind' - the group's first release in 5 years - is now available for purchase EXCLUSIVELY on this website, in advance of its general release in the Spring.
'Handel in the Wind' is possibly our most daring recording yet - not least because it includes our own take on Handel's most famous work, The Messiah, alongside a host of other hits from the greatest tunesmith of the baroque.
And if all of that doesn't make you smile, maybe this will… Cellist Angela East celebrated her birthday during our recent American tour, and we prepared a little surprise for her as she warmed up for a concert. Watch the video here!
In other news… Piers wrote and presented a programme about the father of modern recorder playing, the late, great Frans Bruggen, for BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show. You can listen to it here for another 3 weeks: http://www.bbc.co.uk/
Thank you for all your support throughout the year. We love meeting everyone at concerts and really appreciate all the wonderful comments that appear on the website and Facebook pages. We wish you all a very happy festive season and good health and happiness in 2015.
Hold onto your wigs! Our brand new CD 'Handel in the Wind' is hurtling through the final stages of production and will arrive at the Red Priest offices by mid-November.
Although it won’t be officially released until the Spring we are making advance copies available to
our fans through the Red Priest website – so you will be able to secure your copies in good time for Christmas; and what better gift than this 70-minute collection of Handelian hits, including our own take on The Messiah? We will let you know as soon as stock has arrived…
Recording news… Red Priest is heading to the studio (the state-of-the-art Birley Centre in Eastbourne College) to record its sixth CD on May 28-30. 'Handel in the Wind' is a brand new take on the music of Georg Frederick Handel, with a particular emphasis on his most famous work - the Messiah! It will be released early in 2015, but advance copies will be available through this website in time for Christmas...
Meanwhile Piers is busily developing his solo projects, which can be read about on his brand new solo website - www.piersadams.com. Here you will also find a fabulous and ever-expanding library of sound and video clips.
A belated happy 2013 to all of our supporters!
This year promises some exciting developments for Red Priest. Currently under construction is the group's new programme, a bold take on the music of Handel, including an epic instrumental suite from the Messiah, under the title 'Handel in the Wind'. The music will be rolled out in stages over the coming months, starting in Keele, Rottingdean and Guildford in February and March, and leading to a recording this summer - look out for the new disc a year from now!
Meanwhile Piers is expanding his solo activities, following his wildly successful concerto performances with Chicago's 'Baroque Band' (videos of which will be posted shortly) with performances of David Bedford's ear-boggling Recorder Concerto in North America and Finland in March. He is also involved in a number of new collaborations: with pianist Howard Moody in a project called the Flight of the Eagle, showcasing the amazing new 'Eagle Recorder' in music with a strong jazz/world/impressionist slant; with Red Priest harpsichordist David Wright in a 17th century duo project, Wild Men of the Seicento; with composer Chris Gander and visual artist John Baker in a new cross-cultural multimedia work, Son Et Lumiere; and with producer/keyboard artist Larry Lush in a trance-baroque crossover...
Further news will follow soon!
Following the news that our Four Seasons disc has been selected by Gramophone Magazine as one of the four all-time best recordings of this work we are pleased to quote their comments:
"For purists, mentioning Red Priest is like waving a red rag to a bull. But for fans there's nothing like their blend of virtuosity and mahem. This is The Four Seasons like you've never heard it before, with an out-of-control aviary taking over the asylum"
And from elsewhere in the feature:
"But strangest of all - and most fun - is the madcap arrangement from Red Priest... [who] let their imaginations run free, with everything from rifles, snatches of God Save the Queen and fireside dreams of a Caribbean holiday thrown in. But as always with Red Priest, the playing is extremely virtuoso, the musicianship sublime."
The CD is available for purchase or download from this site - please visit our Store!
Hello and welcome to the new Red Priest website! This has been a long time in coming, as is the nature of these things... but we hope you enjoy the new look and functionality. In particular we take the occasion to welcome into the group our new harpsichordist David Wright, who has been bringing his baroque'n'roll style to our concerts since the start of 2011, following the decision by his predecessor (and 10 year member) Howard Beach to hang up his red suit in favour of a less frenetic lifestyle.
NEW ACCOLADE FOR THE FOUR SEASONS
We are pleased to announce that Red Priest's Four Seasons CD (RP003) has been selected by Gramophone Magazine as one of the four must-have versions of this much recorded work, highlighted as the 'Eccentric Choice'. This will be announced in the August issue - more details to follow...
With great regret we announce that our Japanese tour has been cancelled, due to the recent catastrophe and the ongoing problems at Fukushima. We send our heartfelt wishes to our Japanese fans and friends, especially those who have been directly affected by the disaster, and hope that the crisis will be quickly resolved. We plan to re-schedule our tour as soon as possible, and look forward to seeing you then!
THE JOHANN TOUR
Part one of the tour to launch the Johann I'm Only Dancing CD is now complete - a hectic month with 15 performances throughout England and Scotland. Many thanks to all who came to hear us - we really appreciate your support! The remaining 'Johann' dates this Spring and Summer can be found on our Tour Dates page - we would be pleased in particular to see as many of you as possible at the Corn Exchange, Cambridge (May 11) and Cadogan Hall, London (May 18). Well OK, that's because we're footing the bills for these...
In the meantime Red Priest is Stateside for its 27th American tour, as the Pirates of the Baroque plunder Chattanooga, Orlando, Milwaukee and British Columbia. The tour ends with a recital and masterclass by Piers and Howard in the inaugural Chicago Early Music Festival.
IN THE PRESS
Rave reviews for Johann I'm Only Dancing have started to arrive - a full portfolio will soon be uploaded onto this site, but here are a few choice quotes for now:
"It's pretty difficult to imagine anyone in Bach's time or our own managing to pull off quite such a coup of collective virtuosity and unashamed display as does Red Priest, a singularly skilled foursome... This is playful, tongue-in-cheek and often obscenely entertaining, but make no mistake, at heart this disc is rooted in solid musical ideals. The fun and frivolity never obscure the fact that these players know and love their Bach and are treating his music with the ultimate honour, pouring every ounce of their accumulated musical and technical skills into communicating it as vividly as they can."
INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW
"I thoroughly enjoyed the current offering. It deserves to be a runaway success."
"To my mind this new release is the group’s finest... I would recommend the Bach collection unreservedly to all."
And here's a radio interview with Piers about dancing with Johann, and other matters: