David Braid – Songs, Solos and Duos


Catalogue No: MSV 28575
EAN/UPC: 809730857522
Artists: , , , , , ,
Release Date: October 2017
Genres: ,
Discs: 1
Total Playing Time: 76:35

In the world of new music where ‘anything goes’ it is a very special composer who can create a sound and style so individual that it stands out as exceptional; such a composer is David Braid, whose writing is truly ‘art-music’ but has resonances with tone colours found in other genres which make its appeal almost universal, as seen by his recent album on Toccata Classics.

The key to his sound is first a choice of awesomely good performers, including one of the most wonderful mezzo-soprano voice of today, owned by Emily Gray; and also to Braid’s use of the resonant archtop (electric) guitar which is a perfect accompaniment to the vocal tracks and a nicely matched partner for the piano.

Certainly one of the most distinctive and beautiful new-music albums of recent times.

Track Listing

    David Braid (b.1970):

  1. Upon Silver Trees, Op. 34
  2. Invocation and Continuum, Op. 38

  3. I. Invocation
  4. II. Continuum
  5. Sonata for Archtop Guitar and Piano, Op. 19

  6. I. Invocation
  7. II. Waltz
  8. III. Fugue
  9. Invention and Fugue, Op. 36

  10. I. Invention
  11. II. Fugue
  12. Songs of Contrasting Subjects, Op. 47

  13. I. She goes but softly
  14. II. Fear no more
  15. III. Music to Hear
  16. IV. How Can I Then Return
  17. V. Is it thy Will
  18. Four Intimate Pieces for Archtop Guitar, Op. 21

  19. I. Lirico
  20. II. February Lament
  21. III. Valse Triste
  22. IV. Tomorrow’s Daydream
  23. First Piano Sonata, Op. 14

  24. I. Stabile con calma
  25. II. Poco melancholia e tranquillo
  26. III. Ossessivo
  27. Two Solos for Archtop Guitar

  28. Wordless Song, Op. 45
  29. For Alex, Op. 43



[Braid] has a voice all of his own… a voice that is often intimate, reveling in whispered confidences. Beautiful, stunningly performed… beautifully recorded. The placement of the guitar is spot-on in the sound space, the crystal clarity and absolute joy. A notable disc.

” —Colin Clarke
American Record Guide

Braid’s archtop guitar seems ideal to accompany mezzo soprano Emily Gray.

” —Barry Kilpatrick
Planet Hugill

A big feature of much of the music on the disc is Braid’s use of the archtop guitar, which Braid uses to surprisingly subtle effect. The music on the disc dates from the period 2012-2015 and is preponderantly in a gently modal, tonal style. An attractive introduction to the more intimate music of [the] composer. Here we have an array of fine performances and a selection of fascinating timbres.

” —Robert Hugill
The Cross-Eyed Pianist

Melodic and tonal with a spare lyricism and simple harmonic language which recalls early music and the distinctly “English” soundworlds, as well as folk music with occasional jazz-infused harmonies. Beautifully crafted and performed with elegance and expression… the refined simplicity of Braid’s music is really captivating and it is a real pleasure to hear music which is immediately engaging to the ear. Highly recommended.

” —Frances Wilson
The Chronicle

This is a CD that shows that good music is hard to categorise. It’s hard to pick a standout [track], as it’s all good. It’s all really interesting; intense yet not demanding, gentle but never dull. Despite being modern and using electric guitar, it often sounds like early music, too.

” —Jeremy Condliffe
MusicWeb International

[The archtop guitar] certainly has a distinctive sound that David Braid exploits brilliantly… magic and evocative. The music is interesting, often captivating, never too challenging, and always enjoyable. It has been a privilege to explore these eight works. All the performers play brilliantly. The sound quality is superb.

” —John France