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APRIL 2020

NEW ON NAXOS

This month’s spotlight belongs to the audiovisual release of Henry Purcell’s King Arthur, featuring the critically acclaimed 2017 production from Staatsoper Berlin, directed by Sven-Eric Bechtolf and Julian Crouch. Sung in English with German dialogue, the performance was conducted by René Jacobs with a cast led by soprano Anett Fritsch and bass Johannes Weiser, with the Choir of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. Release on the 24th of April!

This month’s highlights:
• The newest recording by the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic, again performing American orchestral masterpieces, conducted by James Judd. The renowned British conductor lead the GRAMMY-nominated orchestra in outstanding interpretations of Aaron Copland’s An Outdoor Overture, Georges Gershwin’s An American in Paris, and Leonard Bernstein’s Songfest, with the Wolf Trap Opera company.

• Ludwig van Beethoven’s Mass in C major, recorded by the world-renowned conductor Leif Segerstam and the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. Segerstam and his Turku forces were joined by the Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis, with soloists Kaisa Ranta (soprano), Niina Keitel (mezzo-soprano), Topi Lehtipuu (tenor), Tuomas Katajala (tenor) and Nicholas Söderlund (bass). This is the last recording of Beethoven's large-scale orchestral works to be released on Naxos by Leif Segerstam and Turku.

• Fabrice Bollon’s third album of music by French composer Albéric Magnard, leading the Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg in a collection orchestral works, including Ouverture, Chant funèbre, Hymne à la justice, Hymne à Vénus, and Suite d’orchestre dans le style ancien.


Visar 24 artiklar
Image Songfest; An American in Paris; An Outdoor Overtur
Release 10th of April

An American in Paris is one of Gershwin’s most vivacious works, an orchestral ballet saturated in homesickness and the blues. This recording, however, uses the new 2019 critical edition and offers Gershwin’s original orchestration, unheard for 75 years- leaner, more angular and transparent, it also employs the correct use of the iconic taxi horns, for a new sonic experience. The breezy vitality of Copland’s An Outdoor Overture is balanced by Bernstein’s Songfest- written to celebrate the Bicentennial Year in America, setting the verses of 13 of the country’s poets.

89 kr
Image Mass in C Major; Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt
Release 10th of April

The custom of marking the name-day of Princess Esterhazy with a newly composed Mass began in the 1790s and for many years was carried out by Joseph Haydn. In 1807 Beethoven was commissioned and responded with his Mass in C major. Coolly received at court, it is a celebratory work of large-scale brilliance. The cantata Meeresstille und gluckliche Fahrt is set to Goethe’s poems and contrasts calm with exuberance. In 1803 Beethoven set two numbers from Vestas Feuer, written by Emanuel Schikaneder, the librettist of Mozart’s die Zauberflote.

89 kr
Image Solo Piano Recordings, Vol. 6
Release 10th of April

Volume 6 in Naxos’s Rachmaninov solo piano series features recordings made on the Victor label in 1922–24. It features short works by Chopin and popular encore pieces, a very rare test pressing of Le Cygne in Alexander Siloti’s transcription, and the first ever release of surviving first takes from part of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18. The previous volume (8.111408) won a Diapason d’Or award.

89 kr
Image Mysteries of the Horizon; Dial H for Hitchcock; Sw
Release 10th of April

Nigel Clarke has always been fascinated by virtuosity and timbre- it is the brass band genre that has lent itself most to his passion for musical athleticism. ‘Dial ‘H’ for Hitchcock’ is an imaginary film score in the film noir vein, complete with classic and chilling sound effects, while the heroic, brooding and violent ‘Swift Severn’s Flood’ was inspired by a line from Shakespeare. Cornet concerto ‘Mysteries of the Horizon’ examines the atmosphere of paintings by Rene Magritte, and ‘Earthrise’ celebrates one of the most iconic photographs in history and the drama of the Apollo 8 mission.

89 kr
Image Complete Works for Horn, Vol. 1
Release 10th of April

Kerry Turner made his mark on the global music community through his association with the illustrious American Horn Quartet. Turner’s compositional goal is to communicate to the listener a vivid picture through his highly melodic musical language. Many sources provided the inspiration for the works on this album, ranging from the spiritual, to the literary, and even Turner’s powerful response to the music of J.S. Bach.

89 kr
Image String Quartets Nos. 4 & 5
Release 10th of April

British composer Douglas Weiland has long been acclaimed as one of contemporary music’s most outstanding composers for the string quartet medium, and his evolving cycle has won much admiration. Composed between 2011 and 2012 the Fourth and Fifth Quartets show him at the height of his artistic powers, where he seeks connections across time, and shows a Classical commitment to form, invention and melodic beauty. His conceptions can be Schubertian in scale and scope, while also displaying the influence of Haydn and Bartok.

89 kr
Image Works for Solo Piano
Release 10th of April

Composer, conductor and pianist Thomas Ades has been described by The New York Times as ‘among the most accomplished all-round musicians of his generation.’ His ‘Concert Paraphrase on Powder Her Face’ reflects the glamor of the opera’s subject in the grand manner of Liszt or Busoni, while ‘Still Sorrowing’ and ‘Darknesse Visible’ explore John Dowland’s haunting lute works. Heard here in its world premiere recording, competition piece ‘Blanca Variations’ is lyrical and flowing in character, and ‘Traced Overhead’ is a vivid description of ascent and flight. Ades captures and transforms Polish style in his ‘Mazurkas,’ and the spirit of Satie and Ravel in a ‘Souvenir’ from the film ‘Colette.’

89 kr
Image Organ Symphonies, Vol. 2
Release 10th of April

Charles-Marie Widor was a hugely influential and venerated musician in his day, and his innovative organ symphonies are both a pinnacle of the repertoire and a testament to his creative and technical mastery of the instrument. These spectacular works are in the grand Romantic manner, but Widor was keenly aware of his musical ancestry, referring to music of the past such as Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in the opening of the Third Symphony. The Scherzo of the Fourth Symphony is one of Widor’s finest symphonic movements, exploring the organ’s sonic beauties. The original E major Scherzo from the Symphony No. 2, which Widor subsequently replaced with a Salve Regina can be heard on Track 6.

89 kr
Image Piano Recital
Release 10th of April

Honggi Kim, winner of the 2018 Jaen Prize International Piano Competition, has chosen a fascinating recital programme for his Naxos recording debut. Both Scarbo and Los requiebros are pillars of the piano repertoire, brimming with expressive and technical challenges for any performer, as is Carl Vine’s beautifully written but rarely heard Piano Sonata No. 1. Sanchez-Verdu’s Jardin de espejos (‘Garden of Mirrors’) is influenced by the multiple layers in Islamic art, the ‘mirrors’ of the title lending shape to a tradition of listening, silence and echoes. The programme concludes with Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E flat major, an outstanding work in the chamber-music literature.

89 kr
Image Brazilian Guitar Music
Release 10th of April

Rooted in European music, native folk traditions and often infused by jazz, Brazilian music encompasses a huge variety of dance forms and songs. Prize-winning guitarist Pedro Aguiar has selected a panoramic recital to illustrate these elements which include the choro and music rich in melody and rhythmic vitality. From Villa-Lobos, whose Charos No. 1 is one of the most popular guitar solos ever written, through to the work of the revered Dilermando Reis, and on to contemporary examples of the genre, this is music of dazzling virtuosity and finesse.

89 kr
Image King Arthur (DVD)
Release 24th of April

The collaboration of the poet John Dryden and Hendry Purcell marked a conspicuous leap forward for English opera. Their greatest project, King Arthur, is a five-act ‘dramatick opera,’ the text of which had its origins in a patriotic musical play Dryden had written in 1684 but which he radically overhauled. The result was a work that appealed to the audience’s enthusiasm for fine costumes, lavish sets, ingenious stage machinery and a cast of singers, dancers and instrumentalists, containing vocal show-stoppers such as the imperishable ‘Frost Scene’ and ‘Fairest isle.’ This critically acclaimed staging uses a new performing edition by Rene Jacobs, and is sung in English with German dialogue. Bachtrack.com greatly admired the 2017 performance: “The singing cast- all of which played up to six parts each- were strong throughout Soprano Anett Fritsch marveled as Merlin’s trusty spirit Philidel and Cupido, her coloratura agile and light, her singing and speaking impressive both on stage and whilst airborne. Bass Johannes Weisser played a suitably repulsive Grimbald and convinced vocally in the Cold Genius’ staccato aria “What Ho,” Soprano Robin Johannsen and Altus Benno Schachtner delighted particularly during their touching love duet.”

239 kr
Image King Arthur (Blu-ray)
Release 24th of April

The collaboration of the poet John Dryden and Hendry Purcell marked a conspicuous leap forward for English opera. Their greatest project, King Arthur, is a five-act ‘dramatick opera,’ the text of which had its origins in a patriotic musical play Dryden had written in 1684 but which he radically overhauled. The result was a work that appealed to the audience’s enthusiasm for fine costumes, lavish sets, ingenious stage machinery and a cast of singers, dancers and instrumentalists, containing vocal show-stoppers such as the imperishable ‘Frost Scene’ and ‘Fairest isle.’ This critically acclaimed staging uses a new performing edition by Rene Jacobs, and is sung in English with German dialogue. Bachtrack.com greatly admired the 2017 performance: “The singing cast- all of which played up to six parts each- were strong throughout Soprano Anett Fritsch marveled as Merlin’s trusty spirit Philidel and Cupido, her coloratura agile and light, her singing and speaking impressive both on stage and whilst airborne. Bass Johannes Weisser played a suitably repulsive Grimbald and convinced vocally in the Cold Genius’ staccato aria “What Ho,” Soprano Robin Johannsen and Altus Benno Schachtner delighted particularly during their touching love duet.”

239 kr
Image Orchestral Works
Release 24th of April

Although Albéric Magnard’s oeuvre is relatively small, the uncompromising perfectionism with which he worked created a catalogue that is filled with expansive, complex and beautifully crafted music. Composed while he was still a student of Vincent d’Indy, the Suite d’orchestre dans le style ancien follows 18th-century models and is simultaneously solemn and joyful in mood, while the Chant funèbre is seen as his first true masterpiece. The importance of justice in Magnard’s life is expressed in the Hymne à la justice, while the Hymne à Vénus reflects every aspect of love, from tenderness to elation. This new release continues the Magnard’s symphonies recorded by the Freiburg Philharmonic Orchestraunder Fabrice Bollon. The Third and Fourth Symphonies was released in September 2019 (8.574082), in which ClassicsToday.com commented: ‘Bollon delivers confident, flowing performances that fully encompass the music’s wide-ranging expressive vocabulary, from the haunting modal opening of the Third Symphony, to an amazing clean and clear fugal development in the finale of the Fourth. He and the Freiburg orchestral clearly enjoy the rustic charm of the two scherzos, while the profound lyricism of the slow movements emerges naturally and songfully, without dragging.’ The First and Second Symphonies were released on January 2020 (8.574083).

89 kr
Image The Parting
Release 24th of April

Heard here in its world premiere recording, The Parting is a daring opera by award-winning composer Tom Cipullo and librettist David Mason that explores the life and art of Miklos Radnoti, one of the most important poetic witnesses to the Holocaust, and one of its tragic victims. Radnoti’s poems express emotions from love and enchantment to absolute loss, and The Parting includes texts found in his jacket pocket after his death. This opera is a profound meditation on what it is about art that outlives us, that enables us to be creative even in the face of unimaginable adversity, and reminds us to guard against hatred and to celebrate what makes us human. Music of Remembrance (MOR) is a non-profit organization founded in 1998 by artistic director Mina Miller to remember the Holocaust through music. Along with its large and varied repertoire of Holocaust-era music, MOR commissions and premieres new works by some of today’s leading composers, building bridges across generations and sharing stories that underline the Holocaust’s urgent relevance for us now. The Parting is among the more than 30 new works that MOR has commissioned in its first two decades, including chamber music, song, oratorio, opera, ballet and film score. MOR’s mission is not religious, nor is its scope limited to Jewish music or experience.

89 kr
Image The Russian Notebook; Anyuta (excerpts)
Release 24th of April

Valery Gavrilin was one of the most colorful and significant Russian composers of the second half of the 20th century. He was only 25 when he composed ‘The Russian Notebook,’ a ‘poem of love and death’ crafted in a new musical language that doesn’t employ folk melodies but does use folkloric texts, and with a virtuosic vocal part. These stylized tunes are combined with rich melodies to form a haunting cycle heard here in a 2018 orchestration. The ten numbers from the ballet ‘Anyuta’ are lively, melodious and touchingly beautiful. Yuri Serov has toured across over 35 countries and has recorded more than 70 albums for record labels across the world. Serov is chief conductor of the Volgograd Philharmonic Orchestra and the St. Petersburg Mussorgsky Youth Symphony Orchestra, and is the author of many articles and essays on music.

89 kr
Image Works for Clarinet
Release 24th of April

Barcelona native Leonardo Balada’s creative style has been labelled ‘Dalí’s surrealism in music’ – an aspect of his work explored in this programme through the technique of ‘sound transformation’ in which abstract musical materials become familiar melody. Fusing traditional and contemporary elements, Caprichos Nos. 6 and 7 engage intimately with Spanish culture and history, while the virtuoso Double Concerto, heard here in an arrangement for flute, clarinet and piano, blends well-known Mexican folk tunes with the composer’s distinctive avant-garde style. The Naxos label has been releasing recordings of the music of Leonardo Balada for many years now, and his profile has achieved a level at which each new disc is greeted with much interest and healthy sales figures in the contemporary music genre. This particular recording also promises wider circulation in being related to Ivan Ivanov’s book Leonardo Balada and Surrealism in Music to be published by Routledge. This is aimed towards teaching surrealism in Universities as well as being of interest to wider audiences. The new release will be used as an example on the music analyzed in the book, but will also be attractive worldwide because of the international status of surrealism in art.

89 kr
Image Quartets for Bassoon & Strings
Release 24th of April

Upon hearing a chamber piece by Joseph Michl in Munich in 1772 the English composer and music historian Charles Burney wrote, ‘I hardly ever heard a composition that discovered more genius and invention.’ Even though Michl achieved success writing for the operatic stage and his contemporary reputation rested on his sacred works, the Bassoon Quartets present the epitome of urbane sophistication – elegantly constructed and full of imaginative detail – and at times resembling miniature concertos. Ben Hoadley is one of Australasia’s finest bassoonists, performing on modern and historical instruments. He is also an award-winning composer whose works are performed and recorded internationally. Hoadley has appeared frequently as guest principal with many of the professional orchestras in both Australia and New Zealand, and as a recital and concerto soloist and chamber musician. His special interest in music by New Zealand composers has led to many collaborations in the creation of new music for bassoon. The Hall String Trio (Lara, Amalia and Callum Hall) are siblings from Auckland, New Zealand who have performed together extensively since childhood, primarily as a string quartet with their brother Elroy. Continued performances together have included duos, trios and collaborations with non-family members.

89 kr
Image Chamber Music (2CD)
Release 24th of April

In his first decade in Vienna, Beethoven seems to have been preoccupied with music for wind instruments. The best-known example is his Quintet in E flat major, Op. 16, which he arranged at the same time for piano quartet. He also wrote music for dances and settings of folk songs, and reflected the public’s interest in automata by writing for musical clock. The Napoleonic wars were mirrored in Beethoven’s music of the period, especially in his military compositions such as a series of Marches and the Equali, scored for trombones, which were later played at his funeral. The Naxos Beethoven Complete Edition 90-album boxed set (8.500250) features a host of fragments, sketches, drafts, arrangements, transcriptions and reconstructions. Following Sergio Gallo’s Piano Pieces and Fragments (8.574131) and the Fine Arts Quartet’s Fugues and Rarities for String Quartet (8.574051) albums, this new release includes many lesser-known works that will attract connoisseurs and completists, and casual listeners as well.

159 kr
Image Impromptus & Scherzos
Release 24th of April

Chopin turned the Scherzo into a new form of piano composition: an independent virtuoso work which he laced with drama, Polish folk song, tranquility and nuance. With their rhythmic lilt and filigree ornamentation the Impromptus are infused with Romantic freedom, while the Allegro de concert, Op. 46 was originally conceived as a movement for a projected piano concerto but was instead revised for solo piano. Mao Fujita was awarded Second Prize at the 16th International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2019. A laureate of numerous national and international competitions such as the World Classic in Taiwan (2010, first prize in the junior section), the Rosario Marciano International Piano Competition in Vienna (Austria, 2013), the Zhuhai International Mozart Competition for Young Musicians (2015), the Gina Bachauer International Young Artists Piano Competition in (USA, 2016) and many others. In 2017 he won the first prize as well as three special prizes at the Concours International De Piano Clara Haskil in Switzerland. In October 2019, Fujita made his UK debut with the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev, which was critically acclaimed by The Times. Immediately following this success, he made his debut in Seoul and Moscow. Mao Fujita has recorded several albums under the Naxos Japan label, which include woks by Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, Liszt and Prokofiev, among others.

89 kr
Image Initiation to the Shadow - Music for Piano
Release 24th of April

The distinguished Spanish composer and pianist Sira Hernández is known especially for her involvement with multi-discipline arts projects at major international festivals and cultural events. Many of her works are inspired by Italian artists as can be heard on this album. Minimalist techniques and the significance of tonality and timbre in communicating darkness and light are heard in Iniciación a la sombra and the sewing-machine ostinatos of Fantasía para piano. The presence of God amidst the bleak spaces of madness are expressed in Terra Santa, and the intensity of Don’t Forget About That invites us to resist oblivion. This is Sira Hernández’s debut on the Naxos label, but she is well known in Spain and beyond for her concert performances and her recordings of Soler, Mompou, J.S. Bach. The opening piece on this new album, Iniciación a la sombra (‘Initiation to the Shadow) was originally presented at Arts Santa Mònica in Barcelona in a multi-disciplinary performance with dance and readings of poetry by Ángel Crespo, the same production appearing in Madrid as part of the Ellas Crean festival in the prestigious Conde Duque cultural center. Sira Hernández’s music has a wide appeal, with its tonal centre and feeling of familiarity. The combination of performer and composer in one holds a unique expressive determination to reveal what Ramón Barce called ‘the communication of hidden beauty’, and with both the attractions of minimalist and ostinato techniques and the uncompromising intensity of the composer’s response to her subject material, the effect of this carefully conceived programme as a whole is profoundly poetic.

89 kr
Image Impressions of China - Winning Works from the 2018
Release 24th of April

All of the works in this programme were prize winners in the hotly contested 2018 Huang Zi International Chinese Piano Composition Competition, an event marking the 80th anniversary of the death of this influential composer and educator. Themes explored include the charm and unpredictability of China’s landscape, alongside elements of Chinese musical and theatrical aesthetics. Joint First Prize winners were Emile Naoumoff, whose Celestial Parade describes the composer’s wonderful experiences while in Shanghai, and Zhiliang Zhang, whose Qiao Ling Liu Dan portrays six widely differing ‘Dan’ or female characters in Sichuanese opera. Huang Zi (1904–1938) was the most influential composer and music educator of his generation, mentoring many distinguished Chinese musicians. To mark the 80th anniversary of the death of Huang Zi, the People’s Government of Chuansha New Town, Pudong New Area, Shanghai, and the American Pacific Musicians Association jointly launched the HUANG ZI International Chinese Piano Composition Competition from August to November 2018. 52 piano works from all over the world were submitted to the competition, and the impressive collection of works in this recording comprise the joint winners of both Third, Second and First Prizes.

89 kr
Image 30 of the Best (3CD)
Release 24th of April

Beethoven is regarded by many to be the greatest composer who ever lived, and this collection presents 30 essential recordings of his most well-known works. From the beautiful moods of lamentation in the ‘Moonlight’ Sonata to the amorous sophistication of Für Elise, and from the heroism of Fidelio to the mighty finale of the ‘Choral’ Symphony, every significant facet of Beethoven’s monumental achievement is represented in this collection of exemplary performances from the Naxos catalogue. 2020 is the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, and the catalogues are already filling up with new releases to mark this significant event. What better then, to have a comprehensive audio guide to the best of his orchestral, chamber, vocal and piano music, providing an entertaining collection for both pleasure and discovery and a springboard into an entire world of great music that recently found its summit in our 90-album boxed set of Beethoven’s complete works.

239 kr
Image 30 of the Best (2CD)
Release 24th of April

Mozart was a childhood prodigy, composing from the age of five and performing at royal courts by the age of 10, becoming famous throughout Europe. As an immensely influential composer, his music sits at the very centre of Western musical culture and today casts its spell over the hearts and minds of music lovers throughout the world. This substantial collection presents the cream of Mozart’s imperishable contribution to music through his piano concertos, symphonies, chamber music, operas and choral works. Mozart will always be a key figure in classical music, his signature style with its clarity, balance and transparency matched by the exceptional power of his finest masterpieces, 30 of which are represented in this great value 2-album collection. The aim of such a collection is to deliver an attractive and entertaining programme with highlights from this great composer’s prolific output in acclaimed recordings from our catalogue, while introducing newcomers to the huge variety of Mozart’s creativity and provide a springboard for further exploration into every genre of his prolific output.

159 kr
Image 30 of the Best (2CD)
Release 24th of April

This introduction to the exciting world of classical music will take you on a voyage of discovery as you experience the beauty and drama of some of the most famous music ever written. This essential collection presents something for every moment: excitement, relaxation, elation and more, with critically acclaimed recordings selected from the vast Naxos catalogue. Let your mind and emotions be transported by the greatest music from the greatest composers. We have always been keen to lower the barriers to classical music as much as possible, and the Naxos label has had great success with various ‘Best Of’ collections in the past. These have until now tended to focus on single composers, but with Classical Music: 30 of the Best we have brought together a stunning programme of some of the most iconic and famous movements in all music for the enjoyment and exploration of as wide a public as possible. This release is part of a series of 30 of the Best in substantial 2- or 3-album sets. 30 of the Best: Mozart can be found on 8.578353-54 and 30 of the Best: Beethoven on 8.578350-52.

159 kr
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