James Rhodes launches new label – Instrumental Records

Guest Fri 23rd May 2014

The first release will be Rhodes's fifth studio album

The cover of James Rhodes's new album 'Five'

The cover of James Rhodes's new album 'Five'

Pianist James Rhodes is launching a new record label (in association with Signum Classics) called Instrumental Records. The label will be formally launched at a concert at Hinde Street Methodist Church, Marylebone, London, on June 4. The first album, called 'Five', sees Rhodes recording Bach's Partita, BWV825, Beethoven's Piano Sonata No 15, Chopin's Ballade No 3 and Scherzo No 2, Gluck's Orfeo Melody (arranged by Sgambati) and Schumann's Frühlingsnacht (arranged by Liszt). Rhodes says of the new label that 'Even before I started making albums, I had long dreamed of forming my own label. One that had something new to say - great designs, brilliant musicians, thrilling repertoire. I want it to include a big presence on social media, I want to tour as a label and hopefully engage a new kind of musician and listener.'

Rhodes's previous four albums have been well-received in Gramophone. Reviewing Rhodes's 'Now would all Freudians please stand aside' in July 2010, Jeremy Nicholas wrote, 'Behind all this redundant rock-image nonsense is an innovative and imaginative musician of real talent. The CD's subtitle is a quote from Rhodes's hero Glenn Gould and his best playing here is the Bach Partita, outstanding in every way - lightly pedalled, lucidly voiced, with a lithe, rhythmic buoyancy and deeply expressive Sarabande.'

And in reviewing Rhodes's 'Bullets and Lullabies', Jed Distler wrote, 'However you respond to Rhodes’s pop persona – inescapable in the way this disc is presented – the fact is that he’s a pianist who can deliver the goods and has something to say.' 

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