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Classical Music Home > Featured Releases - April 2016


Featured Releases - April 2016


RAVEL, M.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 3 - Orchestrations
Maurice RAVEL (1875–1937)
Orchestral Works, Vol. 3
Orchestrations
CHABRIER: Menuet pompeux
DEBUSSY: Sarabande et Danse
SCHUMANN: Carnaval
MUSSORGSKY: Pictures at an Exhibition

Orchestre National de Lyon • Leonard Slatkin
Naxos 8.573124

Maurice Ravel’s incomparable skill in orchestration and command of orchestral colour is evident both in his own works and in his orchestrations of music by other composers. His versions of both Chabrier’s vibrant Menuet pompeux and the colourful commedia dell’arte figures of Schumann’s Carnaval were commissions for ballet, while new life was given to his late friend Debussy’s Sarabande et Danse at the request of publisher Jean Jobert. Ravel’s iconic orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition makes telling use of a large orchestra, vividly depicting scenes that range from the playful to the macabre.

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HERBERT, V.: Cello Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 / Irish Rhapsody
Victor HERBERT (1859–1924)
Cello Concertos Nos. 1* and 2*
Irish Rhapsody for Grand Orchestra

Mark Kosower, Cello* • Ulster Orchestra • JoAnn Falletta
Naxos 8.573517

Irish-born Victor Herbert was one of the most celebrated names in American music in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A cellist, conductor, and composer of light operas, he was also a recording artist. His two Cello Concertos are full of graceful melodies, the First having a songlike slow movement and a spirited Polonaise finale that earned praise at its 1885 première in Stuttgart. The Second Concerto, scored for a large orchestra, is more tightly constructed than the First. It was hearing this work that inspired Herbert’s boss at the National Conservatory in New York, Antonín Dvořák, to write his own great B minor Cello Concerto.

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CARVALHO, J. de S.: Angelica (L') [Serenata per musica]
João de SOUSA CARVALHO (1745–1798)
L’Angelica
Serenata per musica da cantarsi
Libretto by Pietro Metastasio

Joana Seara • Sandra Medeiros, Sopranos
Lidia Vinyes Curtis • Maria Luísa Tavares, Mezzo-Sopranos
Fernando Guimarães, Tenor
Concerto Campestre • Pedro Castro

Naxos 8.573554-55 [2 CDs]

João de Sousa Carvalho was one of the foremost Portuguese composers of his generation. L’Angelica was his first opportunity to write a ‘courtly serenata or drama’, the first of ten such works, after being appointed music master to the Portuguese royal family at the court of Queen Maria I (1734–1816). Setting a libretto by the great Italian poet Metastasio, Carvalho brings out every ounce of dramatic intensity in his richly expressive and captivating score, the story of how the beautiful and intelligent Angelica uses and misuses her seductive charms to fool the noble Orlando into thinking she loves him, only to abandon him and run away with Medoro instead.


CHEN, Qigang: Enchantements oubliés / Er Huang / Un temps disparu
Qigang CHEN (b. 1951)
Enchantements oubliés
Er Huang* • Un temps disparu**

Chun-Chieh Yen, Piano* • Jie-Min Yan, Erhu**
Taiwan Philharmonic, NSO
Shao-Chia Lü

Naxos 8.570614

Qigang Chen is one of the most prominent Chinese composers working today, whose music has been commissioned and performed by leading orchestras and musicians around the world. Er Huang, commissioned by Carnegie Hall, is based on a number of melodies from Peking operas, nostalgically recollected, while the unusual structure of Enchantements oubliés explores a journey into the essence of beauty. Un temps disparu features the erhu, a two-stringed Chinese fiddle, and makes use of an ancient Chinese melody called Three Variations on the Plum Blossom.


RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, N.A.: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3
Nikolay Andreyevich RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844–1908)
Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3

Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra • Gerard Schwarz
Naxos 8.573581

Begun when he was a seventeen-year-old naval cadet, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Symphony No. 1 was hailed by the nationalist group ‘The Five’ as the first truly Russian symphony, in contrast with the German-influenced music of Anton Rubinstein. With its use of Russian folk-songs, this is a work of remarkable natural talent, justifying the early enthusiasm of Balakirev. Symphony No. 3, cast in a thoroughly Russian musical language, is notable not only for its significantly enhanced technical competence but for its great rhythmic vitality and subtle orchestration.

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BROUWER, L.: Concierto de Benicàssim / RODRIGO, J.: Concierto de Aranjuez / MARTIN, F.: Guitare
Leo BROUWER (b. 1939)
Concierto de Benicàssim†
Joaquín RODRIGO (1901–1999):
Concierto de Aranjuez
Frank MARTIN (1890–1974): Guitare†

Miguel Trápaga, Guitar • Real Filharmonía de Galicia
Óliver Díaz

Naxos 8.573542

WORLD PREMIÈRE RECORDING

This album brings together two world première recordings and an undisputed masterpiece, Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez which, with its sublime Adagio, has become his most celebrated work. Frank Martin’s extraordinarily powerful Guitare is the composer’s orchestral version of Quatre pièces brèves for solo guitar [Naxos 8.570191]. Echoes of Rodrigo can be heard in the cinematic Romanticism of Leo Brouwer’s Concierto de Benicàssim, described by the composer as ‘a panorama of my own ideas’. Written as a tribute to the 150th anniversary of the birth of Francisco Tárrega, it is revived here by Miguel Trápaga over a decade after its première.

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