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JULY 2015
Elements Eternal
Julie Nesrallah • Gryphon Trio
Naxos 8.573533

These pieces are some of the best of many new works commissioned by the internationally acclaimed and award-winning Gryphon Trio. Brian Current’s These Begin to Catch Fire was inspired by patterns of brilliant sunlight reflecting off the waters of Lake Muskoka, while Andrew Staniland’s Solstice Songs is a lyrical exploration of time’s universal markers, described by the composer as “the poetry of sound.” Michael Oesterle’s Centennials is a tribute to three individuals who would have celebrated their 100th birthday in 2012, and James K. Wright’s song cycle was inspired by Beethoven’s passionate letters to his eternally mysterious Immortal Beloved. These are world premiere recordings.


Sibelius: Belshazzar’s Feast
Pia Pajala • Turku Philharmonic Orchestra • Leif Segerstam
Naxos 8.573300

Alongside the great symphonies and tone poems, music for the theatre played an important role in Sibelius’s development. From exquisite nocturnal tranquility to the macabre “Dance of Life,”Belshazzar’s Feast is an exotic tale of seduction and tragedy to which Sibelius responded with some of his most hauntingly beautiful writing for the stage. The early Menuetto and lively Cortège were considered good enough by the composer to be recycled for further stage productions, while the Overture in Eand Scène de Ballet started life as Sibelius’ first attempt at composing a symphony.


Beck: Symphonies, Op. 2
Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra • Kevin Mallon
Naxos 8.573323

Franz Ignaz Beck is increasingly acknowledged as one of the most forward-looking and inventive of mid-eighteenth-century symphonists. A student of the celebrated Johann Stamitz, Beck was trained in Mannheim, a focal point of new approaches to orchestral writing. Although small in scale, his Op. 2 set includes some of the most striking and harmonically daring works of their kind from the period. Further Beck Symphonies are heard on Naxos 8.553790, 8.554071, 8.570799, 8.573248 and 8.573249.


Milan: Works for Solo Vihuela
José Antonio Escobar
Naxos 8.573305

Although biographical details of his life remain sketchy, Luys Milán’s Libro de música de vihuela de mano intitulado El Maestro is certainly the oldest surviving printed collection of vihuela music. Tuned like the contemporary Renaissance lute, the Spanish vihuela is a guitar-shaped instrument and for it Milán wrote a series of compelling works including fantasias and pavans that maturely fused improvisatory and polyphonic elements. This recording presents all the solo vihuela pieces from the first book of El Maestro in the order in which they appear.


Villa-Lobos: Guitar Manuscripts, Vol. 3
Andrea Bissoli • Ensemble Cirandinha • Federica Artuso
Stefano Brait • Andrea Marcolini • Michele Gallo
Arrigo Martelli • Enrico Filippo Maligno
Orquestra Filarmônica de Minas Gerais • Fabio Mechetti

Naxos 8.573117

The genesis of Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Études goes back to his first meeting with the Andrés Segovia, at which the legendary guitarist asked for one étude and the composer ended up writing twelve. Andrea Bissoli returns to the original 1928 manuscript, restoring elements lost in later publication and reliving the magic of those times on an instrument almost identical to Segovia’s. The Tarantela was probably also written guitar in hand. For his “folk ensemble” instrumentation of the brightly coloured songs of the Guia prático, Bissoli sought out traces of the guitar in the original and chose a selection of pieces tailor-made for his instrument. The exciting story of O papagaio do moleque (The Little Boy’s Kite) concludes this third and final volume of the series.



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12:43:18 PM, 5 August 2015
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