Browsing articles in "News"

Aura released 9th February

Feb 8, 2018   //   by Michael   //   News  //  No Comments

Such an immense privilege to work with great musicians like Patrick Clahar and Alok Verma . Our album is out tomorrow on itunes, spotify and all digital platforms. Huge thank you to Lella Russo Clahar for providing the inspiration with her incredible sculptures, and to Daniele Madio for providing the beautiful cover design. Huge thanks to Air-Edel Associates Ltd for releasing the album and my incredible wife Nunziatina Vecchio-Wills for playing beautifully on one of the tracks.


Release of “On the Ice Edge” with Air Edel records

Oct 23, 2017   //   by Michael   //   News  //  No Comments

Air Edel records release a classical / film cross-over album inspired by Bruckner’s 3rd Symphony and a cold Scandinavian landscape. Cello solos played by Nunziatina Del Vecchio….



Violin Concerto for the Constella Arts Festival – Cincinnati

Jan 19, 2017   //   by Michael   //   News  //  No Comments

Constella Festival have just released a little trailer of my violin Concerto so beautifully performed by Tatiana Berman in Cincinnati last year. Thank you Jose Luis Gomez for such a great concert of my music!



Fanfare Magazine review

Jul 15, 2016   //   by Andre   //   News  //  No Comments

“English composer Michael Csányi-Wills (b. 1975) is a real find. He’s also a talented pianist, and has recorded two volumes of Weinberg violin sonatas with Yuri Kalnits for Toccata Classics. But it is the sheer depth of his vocal settings that truly impresses. In addition, the impeccable, atmospheric, deep recording presents these remarkable works in the best possible light …powerfully delivered by the excellent Ilona Domnich …The baritone of Jacques Imbrailo is perfectly suited to this music, plangent and expressive …Nicky Spence is the strong, pure-voiced soloist here. His voice shares many traits with Imbrailo’s in terms of suitability for this music …some ravishing horn playing from Chris McKay.

…Diction from all the singers is exemplary, but it is worth noting they are helped throughout by Csányi-Wills’s fine ear for the English language and by his aptitude for transparent scoring. A simply magical disc.

Colin Clarke (An extract from Fanfare Magazine July 2016)

An all Csanyi-Wills programme in Cincinnati

May 18, 2016   //   by Michael   //   News  //  No Comments

Over an hour of music was performed of mine by Violinist Tatiana Berman, Soprano Alexandra Kassouf and renowned conductor, Jose Luis Gomez in a programme of the Maestro Suite, the Budapest Songs, and a newly commissioned Violin Concerto for Tatana Berman for the Constella Arts FestivViolin Concerto shotal in Cincinnati. It was an extraordinary event, and I felt honoured to have been composer in residence for the festival which will go from strength to strength and widen to more states, and eventually more countries. Thank you to all involved, it was incredibly special…

Constella Group Photo


Alexandra Kassouf & Jose Luis Gomez

MCW talking to Audience in Cincinnati



Lewis Carroll’s Phantasmagoria

Mar 1, 2016   //   by Michael   //   News  //  No Comments

Fantastic review from Robert Hugill

Feb 29, 2016   //   by Michael   //   News  //  No Comments

Michael Csanyi-Wills – songs with orchestra

Michael Csanyi-Wills - Songs with Orchestra

Michael Csányi-Wills Songs with Orchestra; Ilona Domnich, Nicky Spence, Jacques Imbrailo, Londamis Ensemble, Mark Eager; Toccata Classics
Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Feb 25 2016
Star rating: 5.0
Mining his own family history, Michael Csanyi-Wills produces songs of remarkable lyric power and intensity

This disc from Toccata Classics presents first recordings of new work by the British composer Michael Csányi-Wills, works in a form which is relatively unpopular nowadays, the song with orchestral accompaniment. Soprano Ilona Domnich, tenor Nicky Spence and baritone Jacques Imbrailo are accompanied by the Londamis Ensemble, conductor Mark Eager, in Three Songs: Budapest 1944Six AE Housman Songs and Elegy for Our TimeThree Songs: Budapest 1944 mines Csányi-Wills own family history (his grandmother left Hungary just before the Second World War) with texts written by Hungarian Jews in 1944, sung by Ilona Domnich. Six AE Housman Songs uses six poems from Housman’s A Shropshire Lad with the songs divided between Nicky Spence and Jacques Imbrailo. Elegy for Our Time sets a poem by Jessica d’Este, sung by Ilona Domnich.

Michael Csányi-Wills trained at the Royal Academy of Music, but listening to the songs in Three Songs: Budapest 1944 I was struck by the European influences finding traces of Mahler and Kurt Weill in the writing. Csányi-Wills also writes for films and his orchestral writing has a wonderful immediacy, fluency and complexity. Three Songs: Budapest 1944 set texts written by those persecuted by the Nazi supported regime in Hungary. The “Waldsee” Postcard is a text from a postcard written by someone who was held in a concentration camp, the card send back to relatives to convince that the sender is well. The Siege is the extract from a diary written during the latter days of the war when Budapest was besieged by the Russians. The final song The Last Letter, is the last letter Csányi-Wills’ great-grandmother wrote before she disappeared.

Csányi-Wills writes tonal, lyrical vocal lines which soprano Ilona Domnich sings in a powerfully expressive manner, bringing her beautiful distinctive voice to bear on music which is both attractive and powerfully intense. The final song, with its cries of ‘vergesst mich nicht’ (don’t forget me) is particularly striking with its almost Mahlerian bleakness. The songs set German texts (two were originally in Hungarian, but Csányi-Wills felt German was more singer friendly whilst being the official language of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), and this only goes to highlight the links between Csányi-Wills expressive and darkly emotional music and that of previous generations.

The first three of Csányi-Will’s Six AE Housman Songs were written for a baritone friend, but the second three are written for tenor voice so the six songs are shared between Jacques Imbrailo and Nicky Spence (‘Farewell’, ‘On Moonlit Heath’, ‘Carpenters Son’, ‘On the idle hill of summer’, ‘As through the wild green hills of Wyre’). The move to English brings a sense of the English lyrical pastoral into the mix. But there is still that sense of complexity and drama, along with a magical sense of orchestra sonority. These are in no sense conventional English settings of Housman, and Csányi-Wills European sensibility brings a darkness and expressionist feel to the music. By the fourth song ‘On the idle of Summer’ (the first one sung Nicky Spence) another influence is evoked that of Gerald Finzi and his great cycles for voice and orchestra, though the song goes somewhere darker. By contrast ‘White in the Moon’ is wonderfully transcendental whilst ‘As through the wild green hills of Wyre’ is large and complex. These are long, big songs (the six songs last almost 40 minutes) and both Jacques Imbrailo and Nicky Spence impress with both their commitment to the songs, and the lyrical intensity of their performances. My one small cavil is that I would have liked the song alternating voices to give a sense of variety.

The final song sets a poem by Jessica d’Este which is a meditation on death, and the waste of innocent vulnerable youth. The bleakly powerful lyric arioso for Ilona Domnich is surrounded by a web of magical orchestration (with woodblocks making a strong feature).

Throughout, Mark Eager and the Londamis Ensemble play with a strong sense of the emotional character of the music. The performances from Ilona Domnich, Nicky Spence and Jacques Imbrailo, the Londamis Ensemble and Mark Eager have a high finish and sheen which belies the fact that they are all first recordings. This is a highly satisfying disc of music by a very distinctive talent.

Michael Csányi-Wills (born 1975) – Three Songs: Budapest 1944 (2009-15) [16:06]
Michael Csányi-Wills (born 1975) – Six AE Housman Songs (2009-13) [39.38]
Michael Csányi-Wills (born 1975) – Elegy for Our Time (2015) [5.55]
Ilona Domnich (soprano)
Nicky Spence (tenor)
Jacques Imbrailo (baritone)
Londamis Ensemble
Mark Eager (conductor)
Recorded 4-5 August 2015, St Augustine’s Church, Highbury

Constella Arts Festival, Cincinnati, Ohio

Jan 12, 2016   //   by Michael   //   News  //  No Comments

I’m delighted to have been invited to be Composer in Residence at the Constella Arts Festival in Cincinnati this April. There will be two concerts of my music performed and several workshops.

Tatiana Berman will give the world premiere of the new violin Concerto that was commissioned especially for the residency.

New Compositions

Songs with Orchestra to be released by Toccata Classics

Sep 26, 2015   //   by Michael   //   News  //  No Comments

My latest CD, Songs with Orchestra will be released by Toccata Classics in December 2015. So pleased to be working with Ilona Domnich, Nicky Spence, Jacques Imbrailo and Mark Eager with the Londamis Ensemble for a couple of very special days. The CD is available from Amazon and iTunes and will be available to stream on Spotify.


Toccata Classics front cover of Songs Disk





King of Nerac Soundtrack released

Jun 9, 2015   //   by Michael   //   News  //  No Comments

Delighted that MoviescoreMedia have released the King of Nerac Soundtrack. A fantastic documentary about the incredible David Breuer-Weil and his extraordinary world of Nerac.