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CD of the Month


Ernest John Moeran: In the Mountain Country; Rhapsodies, Overture for a Masque

Benjamin Frith (piano), Ulster Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta

Ernest John Moeran’s Rhapsodies occupy a significant place among his orchestral compositions. Each is marked by melodic exuberance, inventive scoring and formal mastery. Moeran’s gift for imbuing his music with folkloric tunes that are actually his own is especially evident in the First Rhapsody and in his first orchestral work, In the Mountain Country. First performed in 1943, the Rhapsody in F sharp major for piano and orchestra is unashamedly popular in style, with an appealing tunefulness.

JoAnn Falletta serves as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic and Virginia Symphony in the United States and as Principal Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra in Northern Ireland.


Naxos Featured CDs


Mieczysław Weinberg:
Symphony No. 12 ‘In memorium D. Shostakovich’; The Golden Key – Ballet Suite No. 4

St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, Vladimir Lande

Weinberg’s symphonies are recognized today as a substantial continuation of the Russian tradition.  Weinberg’s Symphony No. 12 was written in the style and spirit of Shostakovich and is a response to the death in August 1975 of his great friend and supporter of 32 years.  With its subtle stylistic allusions to Shostakovich, this is the longest and most wide-ranging of Weinberg’s purely orchestral symphonies.  This recording has been prepared utilizing the composer’s hand written materials and markings.

One of only two surviving ballet scores, The Golden Key is a compelling satire extending a lineage which includes Prokofiev and Stravinsky.



Stanisław Moniuszko: Overtures Volume 1

Paria; Halka; Verbum Nobile; Flis; Hrabina; Straszny Dwór; Jawnuta;
Nowy Don Kichot, czyli Sto szaleństw; Krochanka Hetmańska; Bajka

Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Antoni Wit

Stanisław Moniuszko was Poland’s leading opera composer in the 19th century, and his work has been said to bridge the gap between Chopin and Szymanowski.  His skill as a born melodist is apparent in the beautiful and inspired overture to Paria, while the dramatic Halka was the work which brought him national acclaim.  An affinity with Liszt’s tone poems can be heard in the substantial overture Bajka.



Peter Maxwell Davies:
Strathclyde Concertos Nos. 9 & 19; Carolísima

David Nicholson (piccolo), Elisabeth Dooner (alto flute),
Maurice Checker (cor anglais), Josef Pacewicz (E flat clarinet),
Ruth Ellis (bass clarinet), Alison Green (contrabassoon)

Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Peter Maxwell Davies

Peter Maxwell Davies’s Strathclyde Concertos, jointly commissioned by Strathclyde’s Regional Council and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in 1987, have given rise to a whole family of concertos for different and unusual instruments.

Strathclyde Concerto No. 9 provides an opportunity for woodwind instruments to shine as soloists, the music inspired by the infinite shades of winter light reflected from the seas of Orkney.  The final tenth concerto is ‘a concerto for orchestra that’s as bracing as a gale on the rugged Orkney cliffs’ (BBC Music Magazine).




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6:57:28 AM, 21 April 2014
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