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An audiophile (= from Latin ‘I hear’ and Greek ‘loving’) is a hobbyist who seeks high-quality audio reproduction via the use of specialised high-end audio electronics. Audiophiles prefer to listen to music at a quality level that is as close to the original performance as possible, using high-fidelity components.

The many state-of-the-art digital recordings from Naxos continue to serve audiophiles in their pursuit of audio nirvana, whether in traditional CDs or Blu-ray Audio discs, a recently developed format which combine spectacular audio fidelity with convenient usage. (Click here to download our Blu-ray audio catalogue, or check out our dedicated Blu-ray Audio page for a complete listing and extra information on the format.)

We are pleased to offer our audiophile audience an assortment of critically acclaimed recordings of exceptional audio quality:


Naxos Blu-ray Audio Discs

NBD0029
Hector BERLIOZ (1803–1869)
Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14
Le corsaire – Overture, Op. 21

Orchestre National de Lyon • Leonard Slatkin

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.

HIGH DEFINITION 24-bit, 96 kHz PCM Surround Recordings
Presented in HIGH DEFINITION 24-bit, 96 kHz
5.1 Surround - DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo - PCM

NBD0031
Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891–1953)
Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 100
The Year 1941, Op. 90

São Paulo Symphony Orchestra • Marin Alsop

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.

HIGH DEFINITION 24-bit, 96 kHz PCM Surround Recordings
Presented in HIGH DEFINITION 24-bit, 96 kHz
5.1 Surround - DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo - PCM

NBD0027
Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901)
Complete Ballet Music from the Operas
Otello • Macbeth • Jérusalem • Don Carlo
Aida • Il trovatore • I vespri siciliani

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra • José Serebrier

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.

HIGH DEFINITION 24-bit, 96 kHz PCM Surround Recordings
Presented in HIGH DEFINITION 24-bit, 96 kHz
5.1 Surround - DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo - PCM

NBD0025
George GERSHWIN (1898–1937)
Concerto in F • Rhapsody No. 2
I Got Rhythm Variations

Orion Weiss, piano
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra • JoAnn Falletta

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.

HIGH DEFINITION 24-bit, 96 kHz PCM Surround Recordings
Presented in HIGH DEFINITION 24-bit, 96 kHz
5.1 Surround - DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo - PCM


ClassicsToday.com 10/10 Top Recommendations

8.669032-33
Robert Livingston ALDRIDGE (b. 1954)
Elmer Gantry

Keith Phares • Patricia Risley • Vale Rideout
Frank Kelley • Heather Buck
Florentine Opera Chorus • Florentine Opera Company
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra • William Boggs

Set just before World War I, Sinclair Lewis’s incendiary novel Elmer Gantry tells a story of old-time religion, illicit romance and revenge. Robert Aldridge and Herschel Garfein’s operatic adaptation is a ‘marvelous amalgam of toe-tapping accessibility’ (Opera News) full of hymns, gospel songs, marches and dance, evoking the period in a score which echoes Gershwin and Copland. This all-American production combines a first-rate cast of singers and a world-class orchestra for ‘an intoxicating experience’ (The New York Times).

8.572607
Robert FUCHS (1847–1927)
Serenades Nos. 3, 4 and 5

Cologne Chamber Orchestra • Christian Ludwig

‘A richly endowed composer, selfless teacher, and a rare human being’ proclaims Robert Fuchs’s memorial stone, and this esteem is reflected in his astonishing roster of pupils—Mahler, Sibelius, Wolf and Korngold among them. His own compositions, though, have been overlooked, unaccountably so on the evidence of these lovely Serenades. The Third is quite Brahmsian with a wonderfully bracing Hungarian finale. No 4 is a highly expressive and richly scored work, whilst No 5 casts its net yet wider—with anticipations of Mahler, and joyous references to the Vienna of the Strauss family. Serenades Nos 1 and are available on Naxos 8.572222.

8.572441
Edvard GRIEG (1843–1907)
String Quartets (arr. Alf Årdal)
Arne NORDHEIM (1931–2010)
Rendezvous

Oslo Camerata • Jerry Junkin

Grieg’s String Quartet in G minor has long established itself as one of the finest such works of the second half of the nineteenth century. The distinction of its thematic material, and its use in cyclical form, is reinforced by an ultimately victorious motto theme. The F major Quartet was written later, but remained unfinished, but it too is a fertile creation with a strong dance profile. Both works are heard in Alf Årdal’s imaginative arrangements for string orchestra. Arne Nordheim, the leading Norwegian composer of the 20th century, wrote Rendezvous as a quartet but expanded it in 1986. It is an intense, moving, and beautifully crafted work.

8.572163
Paul HINDEMITH (1895–1963)
String Quartets, Vol. 1 – Nos. 2 and 3

Amar Quartet

Paul Hindemith wrote seven String Quartets, all of which reflect the experience and practical assurance of a distinguished violinist and, later, violist. No 2 was written in 1918 whilst he was a soldier on active duty. It’s a bracing, dynamic and pithy work with a clever series of variations which parody romantic excess, and a virtuosic finale. No 3 followed early in 1920 and was an instant success, a thrilling example of Hindemith’s concise imagination at work. This passionate quartet, with its richly varied material, is one of his supreme chamber masterpieces.

8.572695
Leoš JANÁČEK (1854–1928)
Taras Bulba • Lachian Dances • Moravian Dances

Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra • Antoni Wit

Leoš Janáček was an authority on his native folk-music, and the Lachian and Moravian Dances preserve and celebrate culture and traditions which were vanishing even in his own lifetime. Based on Gogol’s historical novel, Janáček’s inspired orchestral rhapsody on Taras Bulba depicts three moving and dramatic episodes in the violent life of the Cossack leader, climaxing in his stirring and triumphant prophecy of liberation. This release follows Antoni Wit’s acclaimed Warsaw recording of Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass and Sinfonietta (8.572639).

8.572243
Albert ROUSSEL (1869–1937)
The Spider’s Banquet • Padmâvatî – Suites

Royal Scottish National Orchestra • Stéphane Denève

One of Roussel’s most performed orchestral works, The Spider’s Banquet was composed during his earlier impressionistic period, and depicts the beauty and violence of insect life in a garden. Roussel’s experiences as a lieutenant in the French Navy first introduced him to Eastern influences, and the ‘opera-ballet’ Padmâvatî was inspired by his later visit to the ancient city of Chittor in Rajasthan state of western India. It uses aspects of Indian music to evoke this city’s legendary siege by the Mongols. This is the fifth and final volume in Stéphane Denève and the RSNO’s acclaimed survey of Roussel’s orchestral works. “An excellent disc, splendidly and idiomatically performed and a superb advertisement for composer, conductor and orchestra. Highly recommended.” (Gramophone on Vol. 4 / 8.572135)

8.572818-19
Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901)
Complete Ballet Music from the Operas

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra • José Serebrier

This unique programme is the first time that all the ballet music from Verdi’s operas has been brought together in a singe 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.


The Absolute Sound Super CDs

8.550737
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Symphonies Nos 7 and 8
Bournemouth Symphony, Bakels


8.555714
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No 4, Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture
Colorado Symphony, Alsop




8.553494
PROKOFIEV Violin Concertos Nos 1 and 2
Papavrami, Polish National Radio Symphony, Wit




8.554719
ELGAR / PAYNE Symphony No 3
Bournemouth Symphony, Daniel



8.553964
Philip FEENEY Dracula (Ballet in 3 Acts)
Northern Ballet Theatre Orchestra, Pryce-Jones




8.559072
Howard HANSON Orchestral Works, Vol 1
Nashville Symphony, Schermerhorn




8.553779
LUTOSŁAWSKI Concerto for Orchestra, Three Poems, Mi-Parti
Camerata Silesia, Polish National Radio Symphony, Wit



8.554591
PÄRT Tabula Rasa, Collage über BACH, Symphony No 3
Hatfield, Hirsch, Ulster Orchestra, Yuasa



8.554387
SIBELIUS Symphonies Nos 6 and 7
Iceland Symphony, Sakari





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