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The September 2014 issue of NEW ON NAXOS presents our monthly spotlight release: the Italian Soprano Arias album, performed by Italian lyric soprano Maria Luigia Borsi, with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Yves Abel. This album includes such favourites Un bel dì vedremo from Puccini's Madama Butterfly and the Willow Song from Verdi's Otello, as well as the lesser known, but gorgeous Il tramonto from Respighi.

Other highlights include: The highly anticipated release of Bartók's Kossuth, performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of world-renowned conductor JoAnn Falletta; the world première recording of Milhaud's L'Orestie d'Eschyle (The Oresteia of Aeschylus). This release is the only CD recording of the complete operatic trilogy currently available, and also the first American performance of the entire work; French composer Thierry Lancino's Violin Concerto and Prelude and Death of Virgil, both of which are world première recordings; the newest box-set release of our A-Z series, the A-Z of String Players features biographies and recordings of over 300 string players from the past to the present; three significant works illustrating the staging posts in Herbert Howells’ musical development; plus, don’t miss the Blu-ray Audio recording of JoAnn Falletta's highly acclaimed performance of Glière's Symphony No. 3, 'Il'ya Muromets'.


This Month's Highlights

Naxos 8.573412
Italian Soprano Arias
Maria Luigia Borsi, Soprano • London Symphony Orchestra • Yves Abel

Appearing here in her début solo album, Italian lyric soprano Maria Luigia Borsi has been acclaimed for her ‘grace, beauty, animation and variety’ (The Sunday Times). Her Willow Song from Verdi’s Otello has been described as ‘gorgeously sung’ (Opera News) and her role in Puccini’s Turandot as demonstrating ‘extraordinary communicative skills’ (Opera Magazine). This programme includes some of the most moving and dramatic arias from Italian opera, including the tragic heartbreak of Madama Butterfly and the shimmering beauty of Catalani’s Ebben? Ne andrò lontana from La Wally.

Naxos 8.573307
Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945)
Kossuth
Two Portraits • Suite No. 1

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra • JoAnn Falletta

All three of the works in this programme reveal a young composer on the threshold of greatness, serving as his passport to the vast new world of orchestral music prevailing at the beginning of the 20th century. Inspired by the tone poems of Richard Strauss, Bartók’s Kossuth dramatically commemorates the struggle for Hungarian independence in 1848 with an alluring and provocative orchestration. The Two Portraits set moods of love and painful heartbreak into stark contrast, while the First Suite is a showcase of symphonic effects which caused a sensation in Vienna at its première in 1905.

Naxos 8.660349-51
[3 CDs]
Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974)
L’Orestie d’Eschyle
(Oresteia of Aeschylus)
Libretto by Paul Claudel

Soloists • University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra
Percussion Ensemble • University Choirs • UMS Choral Union
Kenneth Kiesler


WORLD PREMIÈRE RECORDING

Part of the great French musical tradition and a member of Les Six, Darius Milhaud was an important avant-garde figure in early 20th century Paris. The Oresteia of Aeschylus trilogy arose from his lifelong interest in Greek mythology and drama, inspired by the expressive, syncopated rhythms of Paul Claudel’s poetic texts. In addition to innovative rhythmic elements, the trilogy exhibits complex harmonic techniques, particularly polytonality, which Milhaud believed gave him more varied ways of expressing sweetness in addition to violence.

Naxos 8.573204
Thierry LANCINO (b. 1954)
Violin Concerto*
Prelude and Death of Virgil**

Isabelle Faust, Violin* • Matteo de Monti, Baritone**
Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg* • Arturo Tamayo*
Orchestre National de France** • Gerard Schwarz**

Thierry Lancino’s background includes extensive periods of research at IRCAM and elsewhere, but his recent work concentrates on a lyrical and bold freedom of style embracing ideas of both seduction and spirituality. Inspired by a scene of historical impact, his Prelude and Death of Virgil dramatizes the demise of a daunting genius. Lancino writes of his Violin Concerto that his imagination was fired by ‘the thought of a little piece of wood (in reality a 1704 Stradivarius), played by Isabelle Faust, confronting a gigantic machine (the full orchestra)’. Thierry Lancino’s Requiem (Naxos 8.572771) was described as ‘exhilarating’ by BBC Music Magazine.

Naxos 8.558081-84
[4 CDs]
A-Z of String Players
David Milsom

The A–Z of String Players surveys the lives, careers and recordings of over 300 string players from the past and present. Many great string players who have made recordings are included, from Accardo to Zukerman. The text covers artists from the earliest recording processes to contemporary, cutting-edge technology. In this clear and straight-forward publication, the artists are listed alphabetically, with a summary of their career, notable recordings, biography and critical appraisal of their recorded legacy. In addition, four compact discs present a selection of recordings from 69 artists. This package will appeal to enthusiast and scholar alike as a readable, informed and fascinating work of reference.

Naxos 8.573176
Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983)
Stabat Mater*

Te Deum* • Sine nomine†

Benjamin Hulett, Tenor* • Alison Hill, Soprano† • The Bach Choir
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra • David Hill

The three works on this recording mark staging posts in Herbert Howells’s compositional life. Sine nomine was commissioned at Elgar’s instigation when Howells was 30 and is predominantly orchestral, with wordless parts for the two vocal soloists. This arch-like ‘spiritual meditation’ was his first extended work for larger forces. Like the Hymnus paradisi (Naxos 8.570352), the Stabat Mater is a direct musical response to the death of the composer’s nine year-old son, and further reveals his mastery of choral and orchestral polyphony. The Te Deum signalled a fresh and new approach to settings of Anglican canticles.

Naxos NBD0041
Reinhold Moritsevich GLIÈRE (1875-1956)
Symphony No. 3, ‘Il’ya Muromets’

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra • JoAnn Falletta

“The Glière Symphony No. 3 has always been a piece that shimmered on my horizon – a cult piece, in a way, renowned as the composer’s towering masterpiece but rarely played in concert. As long as a Mahler symphony and enormous in its instrumental requirements, it was a work that people spoke about reverently but almost never heard live. The recording was an adventure that changed our orchestra, strengthened us, and became an artistic benchmark for our musicians. We revelled in the gorgeous landscape of the Symphony – from mysterious bass murmurings to crushing walls of brass fortissimo to breathtaking impressionistic renderings of forests and birds. We performed and recorded this massive work uncut to preserve Glière’s extraordinary architecture. This work is a cathedral in sound that unfolds in breathtaking swashes of colour, poetry and monumental climaxes.” – JoAnn Falletta



Additional Exciting New Releases


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8.225364
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Digital Exclusives


9.70216
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Naxos Audiobooks


NA0129 • 21-CD set
NA0181 • 7-CD set
NA0187 • 9-CD set


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10:45:16 PM, 19 December 2014
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