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The November 2013 issue of NEW ON NAXOS presents our monthly spotlight release: Volume 2 of RAVEL’s Orchestral Works with Leonard Slatkin and the Orchestre National de Lyon.

Other highlights include: the Third Volume of ROSSINI’s Complete Overtures with Christian Benda and the Prague Sinfonia Orchestra; Peter Breiner’s orchestrations of MUSSORGSKY’s Pictures at an Exhibition and other works, played by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; and GRIEG’s Olav Trygvason and Sigurd Jorsalfar with Bjarte Engeset and musicians from Malmö.

Watch our monthly New on Naxos video to sample some of the highlight releases of the month.


This Month's Highlights

Naxos 8.572888
Maurice RAVEL (1875–1937)
Orchestral Works, Volume 2

Orchestre National de Lyon • Leonard Slatkin

Valses nobles et sentimentales
Gaspard de la nuit (orch. Marius Constant)
Le tombeau de Couperin • La valse

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. ‘It is a delightful and assorted collection… presented in splendid performances by the Orchestre National de Lyon led by their music director, the venerable American conductor Leonard Slatkin.’ (Classical.net / Volume 1, 8.572887)

Naxos 8.570935
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792–1868)
Complete Overtures, Volume 3

Prague Sinfonia Orchestra • Christian Benda

La Cenerentola • L’Italiana in Algeri • Tancredi
Maometto II (1822 Venice version) • La cambiale di matrimonio
Matilde di Shabran • Grand’overtura ‘obbligata a contrabbasso’

Volume 3 of the complete Rossini symphonic overtures continues the pattern of placing 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 and La Cenerentola (Cinderella), said to have been written in just three weeks. ClassicsToday.com described Volume 2 (8.570934) of this series as “delightful … amazing … strongly recommended”.

Naxos 8.573016
Modest Petrovich MUSSORGSKY (1839–1881)
Pictures at an Exhibition
Songs and Dances of Death • The Nursery
(ORCHESTRATED BY PETER BREINER)

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra • Peter Breiner

Originally written as a set of piano pieces, Mussorgsky’s splendid Pictures at an Exhibition translates the artistry of the composer’s friend Victor Hartmann into unforgettable music. Peter Breiner’s new orchestration creates a showpiece for our times, achieving contemporary sounds through unusual instrumental combinations, right up to a spectacular Great Gate of Kiev performed by 104 musicians. Mussorgsky’s remarkable song cycles contrast encounters with death against the often uneasy world of children in The Nursery.

Naxos 8.573045
Edvard GRIEG (1843–1907)
Olav Trygvason • Landkjenning
Sigurd Jorsalfar • Resignation (Neupert, orch. Grieg)*

Soloists • Malmö Chamber Choir • Lund Student Singers
Malmö Opera Chorus and Orchestra
Malmö Symphony Orchestra • Bjarte Engeset

* WORLD PREMIÈRE RECORDING

Edvard Grieg and his librettist Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson were both fascinated by a great period in Norway’s past: the Viking Age, whose sagas, and fierce conflicts between Christianity and the old Norse religion, inspired all three of Grieg’s works recorded here. Landkjenning depicts the moment when Olav Trygvason (960s-1000) and his men sight the Norwegian coast for the first time on their voyage from England to Norway. As King from 995 to 1000, Olav worked single-mindedly to Christianise Norway. Conceived as a true Norwegian national opera, but left unfinished, the three scenes from Olav Trygvason explore pagan rituals and tributes to the Norse gods in anticipation of King Olav’s entrance into the pagan temple.

Naxos 8.573123
Jules MASSENET (1842–1912)
Ballet Music
Bacchus • Hérodiade • Thaïs • Le Cid

Barcelona Symphony Orchestra • Patrick Gallois

Jules Massenet is best known for operas such as Manon and Werther, but his less familiar stage works are also packed with superb intermezzos and ballet music. Evocative scenes bring the mythical story of Bacchus to life, while Hérodiade deals with the tragic biblical narrative of Herod, Salome and St John the Baptist. Turbulent temptations and passions clash with monastic life in Thaïs, and the Spanish dances of Le Cid bring us into worlds of fragrant tenderness, defiant pride and exuberant celebration.



More Exciting New Releases


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8.572464
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Blu-ray Audios


NBD0034
NBD0036

Digital Exclusives


9.70200


Musical Journey DVDs


2.110342
2.110346



Naxos Audiobooks


NA0131
NA0143
NA0150



Apps for iPhone / iPad / Android Devices


The Story of the Bible: Audiobook App



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3:34:19 AM, 27 December 2014
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