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Select Music named as Best Distribution Company 2010 and 2011
by Independent Classical Specialists
JUNE 2015

Naxos Featured CDs


8.573299  


Jean SIBELIUS (1865–1957)
Kuolema • King Christian II
Overture in A minor
Two Songs from Twelfth Night

Pia Pajala, Soprano • Waltteri Torikka, Baritone
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Leif Segerstam

Listen to TRACK 15:
King Christian II: Serenade


Jean Sibelius was the most significant figure in the formation of Finland’s musical identity. Beyond the famous symphonies and tone poems he was prolific in other genres, including music for the theatre. King Christian II and Kuolema ensured Sibelius’s fame throughout Europe, the latter including the haunting melody (track 2) which would later become the Valse triste. The Two Songs from Twelfth Night contrast the spectre of death with more comical moods, an effect also to be heard in one of Sibelius’s least performed orchestral works, the Overture in A minor.

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8.571358  


Kenneth LEIGHTON (1928–1988)
Complete Chamber Works for Cello
Elegy* • Partita* • Sonata
Alleluia Pascha Nostrum*

Raphael Wallfisch, Cello • Raphael Terroni, Piano*
Listen to TRACK 4:
Variation I: Allegro inquieto


Kenneth Leighton’s distinctive gifts as a composer were apparent as early as the première of his Cello Concerto, when he was barely 26. It was an instrument for which he wrote with particular subtlety and often from an inner compulsion. The Elegy, Op. 5 is full of brilliance, lyricism and mystery whilst by the time he wrote the rhapsodic and expressive Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 52, his position as one of Britain’s leading composers had long been cemented. The beautiful Alleluia Pascha Nostrum, Op. 85 was first performed by the soloist on this disc, Raphael Wallfisch.

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8.573427  


The Song of the Stars
British Music for Upper Voice Choir

Eleanor Turner, Harp • Elliot Launn, Piano
Wells Cathedral School Choralia
Christopher Finch

CHILCOTT • MEALOR • HOLST • MACMILLAN
O’REGAN • MCDOWALL • TAVENER • WHITBOURN
Listen to Track 3:
Gustav Holst: Ave Maria, H49 (1900)


WORLD PREMIÈRE RECORDINGS

Beauty, purity, and expressivity mark out music for upper voice choirs. On this recording, performed by one of the UK’s leading vocal ensembles, the repertoire embraces classics of the genre such as Gustav Holst’s sublime Ave Maria and his third group of Hymns from the Rig Veda, as well as contemporary music. James MacMillan and Sir John Tavener are represented by works that explore their unique musical language, whilst Bob Chilcott’s technically demanding The Song of the Stars offers richly approachable pleasures.

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8.571363-65
[3 CDs]  


Kaikhosru Shapurji SORABJI (1892-1988)
Piano Music
Early Works • Nocturnes • Assertive Works

Michael Habermann, Piano
Listen to CD 1 Track 3:
Fantaisie Espagnole: Prélude et introduction –
Mouvement de habanera – Modérément animé


Kaikhosro Shapurji Sorabji is known as a composer whose pursuit of extremes resulted in vast works such as his Opus Clavicembalisticum which, for many years, was acknowledged as the world’s longest non-repetitive piano work. More important is his music’s unique and satisfying beauty. From the mystical impressionism of earlier ‘nocturnal’ pieces to the awe-inspiring energy and massive climaxes of his later work, Sorabji’s legacy is one which is increasingly appreciated as a unique contribution to 20th century music. Michael Habermann’s now legendary recordings gained Sorabji’s exclusive approval, breaking through the notorious ban he had placed on performances of his own work.

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2:54:24 AM, 8 July 2015
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