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Facts about Naxos New Blu-ray Audio Series:
  • Each HIGH-DEFINITION AUDIO DISC has both stereo and surround versions of the programme at 24-bit 88.2/96kHz high resolution.
  • Blu-ray discs can store 5 times more information on a single disc than a regular DVD. This means Blu-ray Audio can offer absolutely complete, lossless audio.
  • With proper listening equipment, the consumer will hear exactly what the producers and recording engineers intended.
  • High resolution and surround versions are interchangeable by use of the coloured buttons on the Blu-ray remote.
  • Naxos Blu-ray Audio discs have on-screen navigation options, or can be navigated by the Blu-ray remote. Texts and other visual material are available on-screen.
  • Naxos will only offer original 24/96 or 24/88.2 recordings in the Blu-ray Audio format. Naxos will not offer up-sampled older digital or analogue recordings.
  • A Blu-ray player is required to play Blu-ray Audio discs. Blu-ray Audio discs are incompatible with standard CD or DVD players.


NEW RELEASE


BRAHMS Ein Deutsches Requiem
Libor • Bauer • Warsaw Philharmonic Choir & Orchestra • Wit
24-bit, 96 kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0039

The longest work in Brahms’s entire oeuvre, A German Requiem was almost certainly triggered by the death of his mother, although it also seems likely that the tragic loss of his friend Robert Schumann, some years earlier, added to its depth and eloquence. Taking inspiration from Bach’s contrapuntal genius but avoiding overt religious tradition, Brahms chose the texts himself, placing an emphasis on an affirmation of life with the suggestion that he would gladly have substituted ‘human’ for ‘German’ in the title.

RECENT RELEASE


FEBRUARY 2014 RELEASE

ROSSINI Complete Overtures Vol 2
Prague Sinfonia Orchestra • Benda
24-bit, 96 kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0035

The enduring popularity of Rossini’s operas is a testament to their wit and inventiveness, every overture a superb portrait of each ensuing drama. Volume 2 includes rarities such as the lively student work, Grand’overtura ‘obbligata a contrabasso’, and Matilde of Shabran, set in medieval Spain, alongside perennial hits such as The Italian Girl in Algiers, La Cenerentola (Cinderella), and the farcical comedy of Il barbiere di Siviglia. Volume 1 of this two-disc edition of the complete overtures is available on NBD0028.

NAXOS BLU-RAY AUDIOS


BERLIOZ  Symphonie fantastique
Lyon National Orchestra • Slatkin
24-bit, 96 kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0029

Immensely influential, the remarkable Symphonie fantastique was composed while Hector Berlioz was suffering an intense and unreciprocated passion for the Irish actress Harriet Smithson. Its autobiographical tale describes a young musician’s opium-poisoned nightmares of jealous despair and fatal justice following the murder of his beloved. Berlioz wrote a second movement cornet solo into a subsequent revision of the score, here included as an optional extra. He wed his sweetheart actress but, recuperating in Nice, wrote Le corsaire after the final break-up of their marriage.
CHOPIN Piano Concerto No 1, Fantasia on Polish Airs, Krakowiak
Eldar Nebolsin, piano • Warsaw Philharmonic • Antoni Wit
24-bit 88.2kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0011

“The Concerto No 1 can hold its head up along side almost any performance” – BBC Music Magazine

“On the whole, this is a splendid release and augurs well for a second DVD from these same forces shortly, presenting the Second Concerto and other Chopin works.” – MusicWeb International

“The recorded sound is rich and detailed … The multichannel tracks anchor the piano in the middle speaker for greater clarity” – Soundstage.com
CHOPIN Piano Concerto No 2, Variations on La ci darem, Andante spianato and Grande polonaise brillante
Eldar Nebolsin, piano • Warsaw Philharmonic • Antoni Wit
24-bit 88.2kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0012

Using the new Polish National Chopin Edition, acclaimed pianist Eldar Nebolsin and Poland’s national orchestra conducted by the renowned Polish conductor Antoni Wit, here present fresh interpretations of Chopin’s great works for piano and orchestra – now with upgraded audio performance from the new Blu-ray Audio Disc.

“The two Chopin discs are also impressive, with Eldar Nebolsin comfortably among the finest interpreters of his generation. … both discs score strongly for their inclusion of Chopin’s relatively rare other works played with such relish.” – BBC Music Magazine
COPLAND Rodeo, Dance Panels, El salón México, Danzón cubano
Detroit Symphony • Slatkin
24-bit, 96 kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0037


While Copland’s hugely successful celebration of the American West, Rodeo, has become an American classic, Dance Panels is barely known despite working beautifully as a concert work. Based on popular Mexican melodies, the glittering, even exotic El Salón México is one of Copland’s most frequently performed works. Of his rhythmically complex Danzón Cubano, inspired by a visit to a dance hall in Cuba, in which there were two orchestras playing at both ends, the composer himself wrote: “I did not attempt to reproduce an authentic Cuban sound but felt free to add my own touches of displaced accents and unexpected silent beats.” GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor Leonard Slatkin’s recording of Copland’s Lincoln Portrait (Naxos CD 8.559373–74) received “the kind of performance that brought tears to my eyes” (Audiophile Audition).
John CORIGLIANO Circus Maximus
The University of Texas Wind Ensemble • Jerry Junkin
24-bit 88.2kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0008

“When we first released this recording on CD I promised the composer that it would be our first Blu-ray Audio release. The work was conceived for surround sound and here it is in all its glory, a sound spectacular if there ever was one.” –Klaus Heymann

“Wow. Zowie. Astounding. There simply aren't enough adjectives to describe this amazing audio Blu-ray … Corigliano composed Circus Maximus with space in mind, and it shows in virtually every note. This is one of the most amazingly visceral surround tracks I've ever experienced.” – Blu-ray.com

“Given the exemplary sound reproduction and the ability to use surround-sound in a tasteful rather than garish manner, I would hope that more will follow.” – Blu-rayDefinition.com

“An incredible sonic experience that may change your outlook in terms of the level of visceral excitement achievable with large-scale repertoire in a home listening environment.” – Fanfare

“This particular issue is very well recorded indeed. I would go so far as to say it is one of the best I've ever heard. … The dynamic range on the disc is little short of frightening.” – MusicWeb International

Circus Maximus is almost an example of a musical composition (contemporary of course) designed specifically to musically ‘test’ an audio system. The testing is really severe at times and includes multi-channel surround sound and powerful feelable extended bass response that should tickle any audiophile’s fancy.” – Positive-Feedback.com
DVOŘÁK Symphonies Nos 6 & 9
Baltimore Symphony • Marin Alsop
24-bit 88.2/96kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0014

“The performances and sonics cannot be faulted … Alsop has raised the Baltimore Symphony to a very high standard, and the lossless Blu-ray ray audio captures it with much better fidelity than the lossy codecs to which standard DVDs are limited.” – Audiophile Audition

“On CD, the recording is remarkably good, but Blu-ray adds so much more, even in stereo. There is a natural quality to the sound that becomes most apparent when returning to the flat artificiality of the CD version.” – BBC Music Magazine on NBD0010 and NBD0014

“Whilst no one but an audiophile extremist would claim any recording sounds like the real thing, this is as real as one can wish for.” – MusicWeb International
DVOŘÁK Symphonies Nos 7 & 8
Baltimore Symphony • Marin Alsop
24-bit 88.2kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0010

“These are simply gorgeous sounding recordings, with the 5.1 perfectly spacious without sounding overly ambient. … The dark string and wind sounds of both of these pieces are reproduced wonderfully here, with a deep and richly burnished sound that is both completely "accurate" in terms of the composer's soundworld, but also just plain ingratiating to listen to.” – Blu-ray.com

“Recorded live in Baltimore’s Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, when played on a Blu-ray player and surround sound system they deliver not only riveting performances but a wonderful sense of space and presence. More please, Naxos!” –Gramophone on NBD0010 and NBD0014
GERSHWIN Piano Concerto, Second Rhapsody, I Got Rhythm Variations
Orion Weiss, piano • Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra • JoAnn Falletta
24-bit, 96 kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0025

George Gershwin’s Concerto in F was a response to demands for a ‘proper concerto’ after the success of Rhapsody in Blue, avoiding programmatic content while providing a feast of tunes both uplifting and nostalgic. Originally intended as music for a film, his up-beat Rhapsody No 2 describes the bustling Manhattan cityscape while under construction. Sourced from his hit musical Girl Crazy, I Got Rhythm Variations was Gershwin’s last full score. Pianist Orion Weiss is one of the most sought-after soloists and collaborators of his generation of young American musicians.
GERSHWIN Rhapsody in Blue, Strike Up the Band Overture, Promenade, Catfish Row
Weiss • Fullam • Buffalo Philharmonic • Falletta
24-bit, 96 kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0033


George Gershwin fired up the New York music scene with his mélange of alluring tunes and refinement of the jazz vibe. His Strike up the Band Overture opened a flashy Broadway hit and, inspired by a train ride, the composer heard his masterpiece Rhapsody in Blue as a “musical kaleidoscope of America”. Promenade was reconstructed from a 1937 film score, and Catfish Row was Gershwin’s concert suite from the opera Porgy and Bess. Acclaimed as a “bold, gutsy performance with plenty of pizzazz” and with “impressive brilliance and depth”, JoAnn Falletta’s previous Gershwin volume can be found on 8.559705 or Blu-ray NBD0025.
JANÁČEK Glagolitic Mass, Sinfonietta
Christiane Libor, soprano • Ewa Marciniec, alto • Timothy Bentch, tenor
Wojciech Gierlach, bass • Jarosław Malanowicz, organ
Warsaw Philharmonic Choir & Orchestra • Antoni Wit

24-bit, 88.2 kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0026

Leoš Janáček’s dramatic Glagolitic Mass is set to a ninth century Old Church Slavonic text. With its highly individual synthesis of thunderous brass outbursts, rhythmic energy, radiant melodies and interludes of rapt contemplation, the work has established itself as a unique contribution to the choral repertoire. An avowed statement of his belief and patriotic pride in Czechoslovakian national independence, Janáček’s Sinfonietta uses spectacular large-scale orchestral forces. Both of these works belong to the composer’s last and most inspired decade, and represent his mature musical language at its most communicative.
LANCINO Requiem
Heidi Grant Murphy, soprano • Nora Gubisch, alto
Stuart Skelton, tenor • Nicolas Courjal, bass • Choeur de Radio France
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France • Eliahu Inbal

24-bit, 48 kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0020

Thierry Lancino’s vast Requiem is a challenging and eloquent contemplation on human mortality which the composer describes as ‘both an epic fresco and sacred ceremony’. In a paradox which brings the Christian into dialogue with the Pagan, Lancino presents an exploration of Death and Time which is both human and relevant, as well as posing eternal and unanswerable questions. This recording captures a unique and moving event, performed by a stellar cast of artists and France’s leading choir and orchestra.
MAHLER Symphony No 8 ‘Symphony of a Thousand’
Soloists • Warsaw Boys Choir • Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra • Antoni Wit
24-bit 96kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0009

“Wit’s Mahler 8 has always been a hidden gem in the Mahler discography, and now this Blu-ray makes it shine with even more lustre than before. True, one pays a bit more for this than the CD, but the audible – and emotional – gains make this a mandatory purchase for anyone interested in superb Mahler and even better sound.” – MusicWeb International

“When we released this recording a few years ago, many critics rated it as among the best performances of the work ever. At the time, the sound of the recording was also highly praised. Now this outstanding performance is available on one Blu-Ray disc in state-of-the-art high-resolution sound and with extra-wide dynamics. This is a unique opportunity to demonstrate and experience the benefits of the Blu-Ray audio format.” – Klaus Heymann
MENDELSSOHN Violin Concertos, Violin Sonata in F minor
Tianwa Yang • Descharmes • Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä • Gallois
24-bit, 96 kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0032

Filled with Mendelssohn’s signature freshness and lightness of touch, the Violin Concerto in D minor and the Sonata, Op 4 are youthful products but written with an assurance which is startling in its maturity. The substantial earlier concerto gives a foretaste of the originality and soaring inspiration which has made the Violin Concerto, Op 64 one of the most enduring works of its age. Acclaimed as “an unquestioned master of the violin” (American Record Guide), Tianwa Yang has quickly established herself as a leading international performer and recording artist, with highly acclaimed discs of works by Sarasate, Piazzolla and Wolfgang Rihm.
MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition, Songs and Dances of Death
New Zealand Symphony • Breiner
24-bit, 96 kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0036

Originally written as a set of piano pieces, Mussorgsky’s splendid Pictures at an Exhibition translate the artistry of the composer’s friend Victor Hartmann into unforgettable music. Mussorgsky’s remarkable song cycles contrast encounters with death against the often uneasy world of children in The Nursery. Peter Breiner’s new orchestrations create a Pictures at an Exhibition for our times, achieving contemporary sounds through unusual instrumental combinations, right up to a spectacular Great Gate of Kiev performed by 104 musicians.
PROKOFIEV Symphony No 4 (revised 1947 version),
The Prodigal Son

São Paulo Symphony • Alsop
24-bit, 96 kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings 
NBD0038

Prokofiev’s imposing Fourth Symphony and his final ballet for Sergey Dyagilev, The Prodigal Son, share common roots but are entirely distinctive in character. The vivid depictions in the ballet’s moral tale include sensual temptations, drunken debauchery, robbery and remorse. The 1947 revision of theFourth Symphony, lengthened and enriched in orchestration by the addition of a piccolo clarinet, piano and harp, makes extended use of themes from The Prodigal Son as well as unused material. Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony with Marin Alsop and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (CD: 8.573029 / Blu-ray:NBD0031) was described as “an outstanding achievement” by BBC Music Magazine.
PROKOFIEV Symphony No 5, The Year 1941
Sao Paulo Symphony • Alsop
24-bit, 96 kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0031

Written in 1944, Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony is one of his greatest and most complete symphonic statements. At its première he himself called it “a symphony of the grandeur of the human spirit”. The first movement couples considerable strength with unexpected yet highly characteristic twists of melody. After a violent scherzo followed by a slow movement of sustained lyricism, with a fiercely dramatic middle section, the finale blazes with barely suppressed passion. The Year 1941 is another wartime work, a symphonic suite written in response to the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
RAVEL Orchestral Works Vol 1
Lyon National Orchestra • Slatkin
24-bit, 96 kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0030

Ravel orchestrated his piano pieces Alborada del gracioso and Pavane pour une infante défunte to great effect; the former gains in suggestive colour, and the latter evokes nostalgic pathos. Another orchestrated work is the Menuet antique, which is redolent of old French dance forms. Rapsodie espagnole, Ravel’s first major orchestral work, shimmers with expectancy and bursts into Spanish dance rhythms, themes he pursued in Pièce en forme de habanera. His earliest orchestral work, the ‘fairy overture’ Shéhérazade, is all that remains of a planned opera based on The Thousand and One Nights. The famous Boléro, an ‘orchestrated crescendo’ of undimmed power, has proved one of the most popular works in all classical music.
RAVEL Orchestral Works Vol 2
Lyon National Orchestra • Slatkin
24-bit, 96 kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0034

Maurice Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales present a vivid mixture of atmospheric impressionism, intense expression and modernist wit, his fascination with the waltz further explored in La valse, a mysterious evocation of a vanished imperial epoch. Heard here in an orchestration by Marius Constant, Gaspard de la nuit is Ravel’s response to the other-worldly poems of Aloysius Bertrand, and the dance suite Le tombeau de Couperin is a tribute to friends who fell in the war of 1914–18 as well as a great 18th century musical forbear.
ROSSINI Complete Overtures Vol 1
Prague Philharmonic Choir & Orchestra • Benda
24-bit, 96 kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0028


Rossini wrote some of music’s most masterful and lovable operas. His gift for comic and tragic forms was matched by a relish for characterisation, qualities that are always evident in his overtures. La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie) is perhaps the most famous, one of the world’s most popular concert openers. Guillaume Tell, with its overture in four movements, includes a scene for five solo cellos. La scala di seta (The Silken Ladder) opens with an overture of charm and élan, and Le siège de Corinthe is dramatic and colourful. All of Rossini’s overtures display sparkling themes, rich lyricism and theatrical excitement.
SCHUBERT Complete Overtures
Prague Sinfonia • Christian Benda
24-bit 96kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0019


Schubert wrote his first theatrical work when he was fourteen and his hopes of success in the genre, never truly realised, were long lasting. He wrote concert overtures and music for Songspiel, in some of which he was guided by his teacher, Salieri. The music for the melodrama Die Zauberharfe (The Magic Harp) is better known as the Overture to Rosamunde, but evidence of his captivating vitality, tunefulness and theatricality is everywhere to be heard. Of volume 1 of the CD release (8.570328) the American Record Guide wrote; “The Prague players relish these sun-lit and tuneful pieces and respond with great enthusiasm and affection.”
SCHUMANN Scenes from Goethe’s Faust
Soloists • Warsaw Boys’ Choir
Warsaw Philharmonic Choir & Orchestra • Antoni Wit

24-bit 88.2kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0015


Goethe’s Faust is one of the highest peaks of German Romantic poetry, and fascinated composers across Europe: Berlioz, Liszt and Gounod were just some of the many entranced by its visionary power. Schumann too set what he called “Scenes from Goethe’s Faust”, but he made a point of selecting excerpts rather than using a libretto, focusing more on Part 2 of the play. The result is a work of astonishing passion, which includes some of the most dramatic music Schumann ever wrote, and some of the most beautiful as well, embracing elements of oratorio, opera, song and orchestral poem. Antoni Wit’s recording has been acclaimed for “tempos which flow with unforced naturalness and real excitement.” (ClassicsToday.com)
SZYMANOWSKI Symphonies Nos 1 & 2
Soloists • Warsaw Philharmonic • Antoni Wit
24-bit 88.2kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0021

“A bold DTS-HD 5.1 presentation with atmosphere and power” – Gramophone

“When these two symphonies were first released on CD, the performances and sound received outstanding reviews. Now you can hear them, coupled together, in high-definition, full-range dynamic sound.” – Klaus Heymann
SZYMANOWSKI Symphonies Nos 3 & 4
Warsaw Philharmonic Choir & Orchestra • Antoni Wit
24-bit 88.2kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0022


Szymanowski’s Symphony No. 3 ‘Song of the Night’ creates a potent atmosphere of Persian mysticism in its rich blend of voices and exotic orchestration. His Symphony No. 4 is largely extrovert in character and has a prominent rôle for piano. Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 can be found on NBD0021. The CD release of Symphony No. 3 was Gramophone Editor’s Choice and given 5 STARS by ClassicFM (8.570721), and Symphony No. 4 an ‘unbeatable’ 10/10 from ClassicsToday.com (8.570722); the complete cycle acclaimed as ‘revelatory’ (ClassicalCDReview.com).
VERDI Complete Ballet Music from the Operas
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra • José Serebrier
24-bit, 96 kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0027

This unique programme is the first time that all the ballet music from Verdi’s operas has been brought together in a single recording. Although The Four Seasons from I vespri siciliani (The Sicilian Vespers) and the ballet scenes from Aida and Otello have survived, substantial pieces from Il trovatore and Don Carlo are more often cut, while the ballet from Jérusalem is all but unknown. José Serebrier’s recordings with the Bournemouth Symphony have resulted in some great successes with unusual repertoire. This release will be of interest both to opera enthusiasts and to those eager to explore Verdi’s neglected and relatively small body of concert music.

“Giuseppe Verdi's complete ballet music, performed by José Serebrier and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, is simply ravishing. The sound implementation of Blu-ray audio lacks for nothing in dynamic width, colour and plasticity.” – klassik.com, November 2012
VIVALDI The Four Seasons, La tempesta di mare, Il piacere
Cho-liang Lin, violin • Sejong • Anthony Newman, harpsichord & organ
24-bit 88.2kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0016

Violinist Cho-Liang Lin, who has been compared with Gidon Kremer, Nigel Kennedy and Kyung-Wha Chung, and the virtuoso ensemble Sejong give ‘a durable and unmannered, yet bracing and continuously interesting version’ (Fanfare) of these immortal classics. Gramophone also praised the recording as ‘an invigorating account of the Seasons’. Now you can hear the performance in the original recording’s full resolution with the new format.

“The Naxos Blu-ray will be the third violin Blu-ray I’ve studied, and I’ve been uniformly impressed. How does the violin sound? Any improvement in definition enhances Cho-Liang Lin’s elegant tone production, but he sounds very sweet here. … Strongly recommended.” – Fanfare

“It would be all too easy for this to be yet another Seasons, but this superb recording, as exciting as it is rewarding, makes a solid case for the Blu-ray audio format, and is a true delight. Highly recommended.” – Gramophone
The Virtual HAYDN – Complete Works for Solo Keyboard
Tom Beghin on 7 Historical Keyboards in 9 Virtual Rooms
24-bit 96kHz Stereo and Surround Recordings
NBD0001-04

“Tom Beghin belongs to the very few concert pianists with a professional musicological background who can turn his discoveries of rhetoric and other intellectual features in classical scores into fascinating new and impressive interpretations.” – László Somfai, author of The Keyboard Sonatas of Joseph Haydn, The University of Chicago Press, 1995

“The documentary is a fine survey of the unusual project in hi-res 16:9 video, and the fidelity of all the DTS-HD Master Audio music tracks is of course superb.” – Audiophile Audition Multichannel Disc of the Month

“This is extraordinary. Epithets such as ‘landmark’ or ‘ground-breaking’ are often used in the marketing of recordings, but this is one of those truly rare occasions when, in several respects, new ground is being traversed, with importance beyond the repertoire involved … this is as stimulating, sincere, thoughtful, spirited and joyful a traversal of Haydn’s solo keyboard works as you will find anywhere.” – BBC Music Magazine

“The audio quality is indeed reference material … This is one of the most fascinatingly technical recording enterprises I've had the pleasure of listening to, and while that technology is in and of itself mind bogglingly interesting, it's the artistry of Beghin that really shines through in these recordings.” – Blu-ray.com

“The Virtual Acoustic system works well, creating a realistic sense of ambience … An intriguing set, and fortunately nothing like a gimmicky as the concept may sound!” – Gramophone

“It’s the closest one can get inside a composer’s head … This crowning jewel of the historically informed performance movement” – La Scena Musicale



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3:15:12 AM, 21 April 2014
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