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NOVEMBER 2020

NEW ON NAXOS

The November edition of NEW ON NAXOS celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of French composer Florent Schmitt, with a collection of his poetic orchestral works presented by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor JoAnn Falletta. The GRAMMY-winning team performs the symphonic poem La Tragédie de Salomé and the exquisite Musique sur l’eau featuring mezzo-soprano Susan Platts, as well as the world premiere recording of Légende in its version for violin and orchestra, marking BPO concertmaster Nikki Chooi’s Naxos debut as soloist. Falletta and the BPO have previously recorded Schmitt’s Antony and Cleopatra suites, receiving 5-star ratings from Pizzicato: ‘Falletta succeeds extremely well in realizing the mixture of brilliance and sensuality which characterizes Schmitt’s music’; and Classical Music magazine: ‘this makes a fine introduction to a neglected composer.’

Other highlights include:
• Music for stage by Engelbert Humperdinck restored and conducted by Dario Salvi, with the Malmö Opera Chorus and Orchestra, and soloists Andrea Chudak (soprano), Ruxandra Voda van der Plas (mezzo-soprano) and Harrie van der Plas (tenor). The release includes the world premiere recordings of Das Wunder – Suite, the small cantata Die Wallfahrt nach Kevlaar and incidental music to Lysistrata.

• A special 6-disc boxed set of Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Complete Symphonies, recorded by award-winning conductor Isaac Karabtchevsky and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra. The OSESP ‘brings something special to the music of their countryman’, making all of the composer’s surviving symphonies ‘available in first-rate performances.’ (WTJU)

• The 2020 Komische Oper Berlin production of Jaromír Weinberger’s operetta Frühlingsstürme (‘Spring Storms’) directed by Barrie Kosky and conducted by Jordan de Souza. Acclaimed as an ‘invaluable addition of the [company’s] repertoire’ by The New York Times, the cast includes Swiss actor Stefan Kurt and sopranos Alma Sadé and Vera-Lotte Boecker.

Visar 25 artiklar
Image La Tragédie de Salomé; Musique sur l'eau; Oriane e
Release 13th of November

Florent Schmitt was a student of Massenet and Fauré, and winner of the coveted Prix de Rome. His impressionistic style blends influences ranging from Debussy to Wagner, with references to Stravinsky and other contemporaries. Conceived as a ballet but revised as a symphonic poem, La Tragédie de Salomé depicts Salome’s dangerous seductiveness with subtle magnificence. Narrative symbolism also applies to the evocative word painting of the exquisite Musique sur l’eau. The perilous saga of Oriane et le Prince d’Amour contrasts with the poetic tapestry of orchestral colors in Légende, in a version that replaces the original solo saxophone with violin.

71 kr (89 kr)
Image Music for the Stage
Release 27th of November

Engelbert Humperdinck won a worldwide reputation through his application of Wagnerian techniques to folk music in Hänsel und Gretel. But he wrote far more widely for the stage than is acknowledged, and this selection focuses on long overlooked works that reveal Humperdinck’s flair for romance, comedy and innovation. These include music for one of the first full-color silent films, the spectacular Das Wunder (1912); the passionate, ethereal small cantata Die Wallfahrt nach Kevlaar; the rich antique flavor of Lysistrata; as well as his dance-saturated and serenely beautiful incidental music for Der Kaufmann von Venedig. Dario Salvi is a Scottish-Italian conductor, musicologist and researcher who specializes in the restoration and performance of rare works. His passion is the rediscovery and performance of long-forgotten masterpieces by the likes of Suppé, Meyerbeer, Rumshinsky, Genée, Auber, and many others. He is collaborating with Naxos on recording a series on Romantic ballets, including works by Minkus, Pugni, Adam and others, and a series on Auber’s overtures and orchestral music. Two other important projects include recording the last three missing operas by Johann Strauss II and three never before recorded operatic works by Giacomo Meyerbeer.

71 kr (89 kr)
Image … and …
Release 20th of November

... and ...... a collection of sacred music by Arvo Pärt, Julia Wolfe, Caroline Shaw, interspersed with songs from the Laudario di Cortona, Italy. ARS NOVACopenhagen was founded in 1979 and is widely recognized as one of the world’s finest vocal ensembles. The ensemble’s chief conductor and artistic director since 2003 is the acclaimed British conductor Paul Hillier. The ensemble specializes in the interpretation of the polyphonic choral music of the renaissance and new vocal music. Ars Nova is also building collaborations with creative artists in different fields such as drama, film, and ballet, as well as cultivating new modes of concert performance and innovative repertoire. The group’s performances are marked with precision and nerve and with a sound that attracts attention worldwide. With an annual concert season in Denmark, numerous concerts in the rest of Europe and recurring tours worldwide, the group is now more in demand than ever.

71 kr (89 kr)
Image Letters - Fennessy, O'Regan, & Goodman
Release 20th of November

Letters brings important writings to humanity in a musical setting. A Letter of Rights written in commemoration for the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta (1215) by Tarik O’Regan and Alice Goodman is a cantata which musical structure is formed as eight sections separated by short instrumental interludes. Triptych by David Fennessy is a set of three songs composed for Chamber Choir Ireland over a period of four years: Letter to Michael (2014), Ne Reminiscaris (Remember Not) (2017), and Hashima Refrain (2018). They are perhaps the expression of a single consciousness in three states of being – anticipation/longing, the absolute present, and finally, looking back.

71 kr (89 kr)
Image Complete Symphonies (6CD)
Release 13th of November

Heitor Villa-Lobos has been described as ‘the single most significant creative figure in 20th-century Brazilian art music.’ The eleven symphonies- the enigmatic Symphony No. 5 has never been found and may not ever have been written- range from the two earliest, conceived in a broadly central Central European tradition, to the final symphony No. 12 which is notable for its explosive energy, harmonic richness and rhythmic vitality. Every aspect of Villa-Lobos’s remarkable inspiration is represented in these works, with Brazilian national rhythms and extremes of ambition in terms of scale and dramatic content, alongside neo-Classical transparency and lyrical charm. These critically acclaimed performances from Sao Paulo are both idiomatic and expertly played.

287 kr (359 kr)
Image Frühlingsstürme (DVD)
Release 13th of November

Czech-born composer Jaromír Weinberger, best known for his opera Schwanda the Bagpiper, was forced to flee to America in order to escape Nazi terror. Frühlingsstürme, staged in 1933 but soon closed down by the Nazi government, was the last operetta of the Weimar Republic. It is filled with cultural complexity, combining serious operatic style with light comedy, and presents a thrilling story involving a doomed love affair set against war between Japan and Russia. This lavish production is staged by the award-winning Australian director Barrie Kosky.

303 kr (379 kr)
Image Frühlingsstürme (Blu-ray)
Release 13th of November

Czech-born composer Jaromír Weinberger, best known for his opera Schwanda the Bagpiper, was forced to flee to America in order to escape Nazi terror. Frühlingsstürme, staged in 1933 but soon closed down by the Nazi government, was the last operetta of the Weimar Republic. It is filled with cultural complexity, combining serious operatic style with light comedy, and presents a thrilling story involving a doomed love affair set against war between Japan and Russia. This lavish production is staged by the award-winning Australian director Barrie Kosky.

303 kr (379 kr)
Image La Dori (DVD)
Release 13th of November

Pietro Antonio Cesti was one of the most outstanding champions of 17th-century Venetian opera, and La Dori was both his greatest success and a major influence on the genre in the expressiveness of its arias and duets. The story is set in Babylon on the shores of the Euphrates, and is a convoluted and richly tragicomedic tale of lost lovers, disguises and mistaken identities filled with larger-than-life and colourfully costumed characters. This revival of a forgotten masterpiece was acclaimed as ‘a production of the highest level in every aspect’ (musicaculturaonline.it).

191 kr (239 kr)
Image La Dori (Blu-ray)
Release 13th of November

Pietro Antonio Cesti was one of the most outstanding champions of 17th-century Venetian opera, and La Dori was both his greatest success and a major influence on the genre in the expressiveness of its arias and duets. The story is set in Babylon on the shores of the Euphrates, and is a convoluted and richly tragicomedic tale of lost lovers, disguises and mistaken identities filled with larger-than-life and colourfully costumed characters. This revival of a forgotten masterpiece was acclaimed as ‘a production of the highest level in every aspect’ (musicaculturaonline.it).

191 kr (239 kr)
Image Concerto in F; Sequoia; Symphony No. 5; Rememberin
Release 13th of November

This program represents American orchestral music in all of its verve and expressive variety. Following the sensational success of Rhapsody in Blue, Gershwin’s Concerto in F was his first foray away from jazz bands into the concert hall, recorded here for the first time in a new critical edition by Timothy Freeze based on the composer’s own notation and performances. John Harbison’s Remembering Gatsby is a foxtrot that evokes the sonorities of1920s dance bands, while Joan Tower’s Sequoia reflects her fascination with these silent giants of the tree world. Walter Piston’s contribution to the development of 20th-century American music cannot be underestimated, and his Fifth Symphony successfully blends twelve-tone modernity with reflective profundity and a finale that evokes a spirit of joy and optimism.

71 kr (89 kr)
Image History of The Russian Piano Trio, Vol. 1
Release 13th of November

The piano trio holds an important place in the history of Russian chamber music and to follow the development of the genre is to accompany the fascinating history of Russian music in the 19th century. Its beginnings can be found with Alexander Alyabiev, a student of John Field, whose unfinished but elegant and vivacious Piano Trio in E flat major is paired with the yearning Romanticism of the Piano Trio in A minor. Mikhail Glinka’s Trio pathétique bears the inscription ‘I have only known love through the sorrow it causes!’, while Anton Rubinstein’s elaborately acrobatic piano writing in his Piano Trio in G minor reminds us of his own virtuosity, and reveals his magnificent skills as a melodist.

71 kr (89 kr)
Image Suite, Op. 23; Piano Quintet, Op. 15
Release 13th of November

Erich Korngold was described as ‘arguably the most remarkable prodigy in history’, whose transition into artistic maturity was almost seamless. The successes of his youth continued with works such as the Piano Quintet, Op.15, in which the brilliant interplay of the instruments, songful expressiveness and dramatic power create a masterpiece of weight and sub-stance. The Suite, Op.23 is a highly virtuosic piece in which Korngold leads us on a monumental stroll through a gallery of European musical history, from Bach via Beethoven to the early 20th century. Spectrum Concerts Berlin has also recorded Korngold’s Piano Trio, Op.1 and String Sextet, Op.10 for Naxos (both on 8.574008).

71 kr (89 kr)
Image Beethoven Recomposed - Cello Soanta No. 3; Violin
Release 13th of November

To mark the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, Russian born arranger Paul Struck has arranged two of the composer’s great mid-period chamber masterpieces for soloist and string ensemble. Expanding the sonorities of the ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata – Beethoven’s most important chamber work for violin – allows the sonata’s concertante quality to emerge in a new light. The Cello Sonata No. 3 equally succeeds in conceiving the piano part for ensemble, while exploring fullness of sound and maintaining transparency of texture.

71 kr (89 kr)
Image The Art of Classical Guitar Transcription
Release 13th of November

Christophe Dejour’s arrangements of music by Albeniz and Granados performed by Trio Campanella have won much acclaim. For this recording he has made three pioneering arrangements that further expand the instrument’s repertoire and compass. Dejour’s arrangement of Gesualdo’s Canzon Francese del Principe is both expressive and idiomatic, and he explores two great 20th-century works in Berg’s milestone Piano Sonata, Op.1and Bartók’s profound and complex Sonata for Solo Violin which was inspired by Bach.

71 kr (89 kr)
Image Romilda e Costanza (3CD)
Release 27th of November

Meyerbeer had already won renown in Italy before conquering Paris with a sequence of much-acclaimed grand operas. In a musical climate dominated by Rossini, Meyerbeer’s first Italian opera, Romilda e Costanza, earned the still-unknown 26-year-old composer the sobriquet of ‘the genius of the Spree’. The work is a rescue opera overlaid with a love triangle, which was written for specific performers, and the passionate intensity of feeling – from lyricism to unfettered virtuosity – reflects the semi seria nature of the opera. It is performed here in the original version heard at the 1817 premiere. In 1996 Luciano Acocella won the International Prokofiev and Dimitri Mitropoulos conducting competitions which led to his appointment as assistant to Daniele Gatti. He has conducted extensively across Europe, Asia and the US to critical acclaim. He was general music director of the Opera de Rouen-Haute Normandie between 2011 and 2015. At the Rossini in Wildbad festival he has conducted Le Comte Ory and the acclaimed Naxos recordings of Adelaide di Borgogna (8.660401-02) and Demetrio e Polibio (8.660405-06).

183 kr (229 kr)
Image Cello Concerto; Double Bass Concerto; Moonburst
Release 27th of November

David Gompper is an award-winning composer and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2020. His luminously orchestrated and expressive works have attracted admiration throughout the US, Europe and beyond. Opening with relentless energy, the second movement of the Cello Concerto is spectral and dreamlike, while the Double Bass Concerto explores the light effects of a solar eclipse, using the soloist to suggest shadows, auras and glimpses of sound. A partner work to Sunburst (8.559835), the multi-layered Moonburst reflects the transformational imagery of nocturnal sounds and perceptions. David Gompperhas lived and worked professionally as a pianist, a conductor, and a composer in New York, San Diego, London, Nigeria, Michigan, Texas and Iowa. In 2002–03 Gompper was in Russia as a Fulbright Scholar, teaching, performing and conducting at the Moscow Conservatory. In 2009 he received an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City, and a Fromm Commission in 2013. Gompper’s compositions have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Merkin Halls (New York), Wigmore Hall (London), the Konzerthaus (Vienna) and the Bolshoi and Rachmaninov Halls (Moscow Conservatory).

71 kr (89 kr)
Image Piano Quartet; Violin Sonata; Toccata for Violin &
Release 27th of November

These four works represent all of Sir William Walton’s chamber music involving both violin and piano, as well as being a microcosm of his compositional output between 1918 and 1950. They offer a fascinating glimpse of Walton’s stylistic journey, from the youthful exuberance of the early Piano Quartet and the Toccata to the unconventional but masterful Violin Sonata, and the Two Pieces with their connection to his music for films. Matthew Jones and Annabel Thwaite’s recording of works by Benjamin Britten (Naxos 8.573136) was summed up as ‘superb’ by BBC Music Magazine. Many of the works in this programme are not unfamiliar on recordings, but this is the first single-disc release to include all of the composer’s chamber works involving both violin and piano. The presence of the often overlooked Toccata is unusual, and shows a dimension of Walton’s music that is rarely given mention. The album is the result of a Guildhall School research project entitled ‘Walton: his voice through the violin’, inspired by violinist Matthew Jones’s lifelong love of Walton’s music.

71 kr (89 kr)
Image Music for Violin & Piano
Release 27th of November

Between 1849 and 1853 Robert and Clara Schumann wrote a series of striking and imaginative works for violin and piano. Clara’s expressive Romanzen explores the violin’s lower and middle range, while Robert’s own set of the same name balances turbulence with melancholy. His concentration at this time on Hausmusik also led to the Fantasiestücke, originally cast for clarinet, and the fairy-tale narratives of Märchenbilder. The passionate complexity of the Violin Sonata No. 3 in A minor suggests new musical paths the composer didn’t live to fully explore. Violinist Haoli Lin is an internationally recognized talent. The youngest winner of the China National Violin Competition in 2008, and the winner of the Andrews University International Violin Concert in 2013, Haoli Lin has performed in prestigious concert halls throughout China, Southeast Asia and the US. He has served as guest concertmaster with The Jakarta Symphony in Indonesia and the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra in China. Haoli Lin is the founder and artistic director of the New World Chamber Players and has led the ensemble on three tours of China. Born in China, Jianan Liu began studying piano at the age of five. As a chamber pianist, he has performed with the New World Chamber Players throughout China, appearing in recitals in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shantou, Fuzhou, Shanghai, Chongqing, Nanchang, Wuhan and Qingdao.

71 kr (89 kr)
Image Piano Concertos No. 1; Symphony No. 2 - Transcript
Release 27th of November

The first volume (8.551400) with Vinzenz Lachner‘s arrangements of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concertos for piano and string quintet already showed that this would be quite a special complete recording of Beethoven’s piano concertos – and not just because it is the first recording to present this version for the first time ever. For the second volume, Hanna Shybayeva chose the piano trio version of the second symphony in D major Op. 36 to be added in the arrangement by the master himself. After all, this chamber music arrangement from Beethoven's pen fits perfectly with those of the piano concertos of later times. Having begun her international career at the age of eleven, Hanna Shybayeva has transformed from a child prodigy to a mature and exciting musician. She won many international prizes and performed at many festivals, as well as giving solo recitals and concert-performances with orchestras around the world. Shybayeva was awarded grants from UNESCO/New Names (Moscow), the George Soros Foundation, the Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation, the Youri Egorov Foundation, Yamaha Music Europe and the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund. Her many recordings include a collection of Tango pieces on the Grand Piano label (GP794).

71 kr (89 kr)
Image Unerhorte Schätze - Musik von Komponistinnen
Release 27th of November

Their passion for the life and works of women composers connects the musicians of trioW. The fascinating life-stories and compositional tours de force prompted Katharina Wimmer, Stefan Welsch and Ingrid Wendel to include more and more of these works in their concert repertoire. Since the Romantic period – in spite of the prejudice against women who composed – some compositions by women were justifiably regarded with great interest, most, however, disappeared again relatively quickly from the concert halls. This disc allows us to enjoy the sound of these Unheard-of Treasures for violin and piano, for cello and piano as well as for piano trio: Amanda Maier (1853–1894), Clara Schumann (1819–1896), Amy Beach (1867–1944), Lili Boulanger (1893–1918) und Dora Pejacevic (1885–1923).

71 kr (89 kr)
Image Liszt Imagination  - Mephisto Walzer on String
Release 27th of November

André Parfenov presents the Mephistopheles cycle as an overall picture of human life - from birth to death. This does not result in transcriptions, but real, artistic, compositional work, a conversation and sometimes even a discussion between the 19th and the 21st century. A true epochal dialogue in which the words of the contemporary composer have no less weight and clarity than that of Franz Liszt. At the same time, Liszt-Parfenov's Mephistopheles cycle is not just a reflection on the original, which was the starting point of the artistic search, but a further thinking and an expansion of the philosophical framework. André Parfenov's partner in the Liszt Duet is the outstanding violinist Iuliana Münch. The listener immediately hears that a first-class ensemble has been found here, which in some places presents excessive passion and in other places acts with calm prudence, which in both cases is not only based on pure technical knowledge, but on an absolute understanding of the music.

71 kr (89 kr)
Image Carmina Predulcia - Music from the Schedel Songboo
Release 27th of November

Almara is an early music ensemble which was founded by Elisabeth Pawelke during her studies at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. The ensemble's musical focus is on the secular repertoire of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Around 1500 Hartmann Schedel (1440 - 1514) was one of the most important polymath of his time. Grown up in Nuremberg as son of a wealthy Nuremberg merchant, Schedel studied liberal arts and medicine in Leipzig and Padua from 1456 to 1566. Being a polymath and a conscientious archivist of his time Schedel collected the contemporary knowledge by compiling a vast collection of books with more than 600 volumes. One of these surviving books is the Song Book bearing Schedel's name. According to sources, Schedel showed no great interest in music. It seems that he wrote down the songs of his compendium primarily out of documentary interest and that with a lasting success as two thirds of the lyrics have been surviving for posterity until today.

71 kr (89 kr)
Image Complete Piano Music, Vol. 56 - Preludes et Harmon
Release 27th of November

Franz Liszt inherited strong religious convictions from his father, and the influence of sacred narratives can be found throughout his compositions. Drawn from the so-called Tasso Sketchbook, the Préludes etHarmonies poétiques et religieuses were composed after the end of Liszt’s relationship with Marie d’Agoult, and include the passionately turbulent Langueur? Descriptive titles characterize many of the brief Album-Leaves, while the legend of St François de Paule marchant sur les flots depicts the saint crossing the Straits of Messina using his cloak as a sail after being refused passage by a boatman. Liszt’s famous Harmonies poétiques et religieuses has been visited in other volumes in this edition, but this is not to be confused with the Préludes et Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, which is a set of eight pieces also associated with the poetry of Alphonse de Lamartine, but entirely distinct in character and content. Including fragments, this is a further collection of Liszt rarities that offers fascinating pre-echoes of later masterpieces, exploring the composer’s wider responses to religious themes, Romantic poetry and the intensity of his own circumstances.

71 kr (89 kr)
Image Organ Symphonies, Vol. 4
Release 27th of November

Widor’s cycle of organ symphonies sits at the heart of his compositional achievement. They are vivid and innovative – none more so than Symphony No. 8 in B major, which takes performer and listener alike to the limits of the genre: its glittering sonorities, lyric intensity and technical power offer a tour-de-force of organ writing. The artfully woven Symphonie romane, the last of the ten, utilizes a Gregorian chorale in music of increasing splendor, melancholy and, finally, sublime peace. Christian von Blohn graduated from the Musikakademie Saarbrücken in 1987 with a first-class degree in Church Music and also with a degree in Music Education, majoring in the organ. Since 1993, von Blohn has been deanery music director for the diocese of Speyer and currently provides musical supervision for the two St Ingbert parishes of St Hildegard and St Josef. He recorded Vol. 3 in this series (8.574206), featuring Symphony No. 7, Op. 42, No. 3 and Symphonie gothique, Op. 70, released in September 2020.

71 kr (89 kr)
Image ReVIOLAtion
Release 27th of November

Polish violist Krzysztof Komendarek-Tymendorf’s debut solo album highlights two major works for the solo viola repertoire. Soviet composer Fyodor Druzhinin is a renowned violist with whom Shostakovich dedicated his Viola Sonata. His Sonata for Viola Solo, written in 1959, reveals Druzhinin to be a highly talented composer whose virtuoso treatment of the viola is second to none. Weinberg’s close association with Druzhinin has also led to the compositions of the four Solo Viola Sonatas (No. 1 dedicated for and edited by Druzhinin), each piece having a unique and individual style from another. Sonata No.3, Op. 135 combines technical and emotional challenges to the performer. Krzysztof Komendarek-Tymendorf is one of the most eminent Polish musicians of his generation. He comes from a family with deep musical traditions and is a descendant of the renowned Polish composer Michal Kleofas Oginski.

71 kr (89 kr)
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