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NAXOS FEATURED TITLES


SEPTEMBER 2016
Bach, Handel, Mozart: Arias
Bach, Handel, Mozart: Arias
Rykkvin, Aksel; Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Short, Nigel
Signum SIGCD435

Norwegian boy-soprano Aksel Rykvvin has quickly built a reputation as a rare talent, combining an intelligent musicality with a beautifully resonan ttreble voice. On his debut recording he is accompanied by The Orchestra of the Age of Englightenment under Nigel Short. Many of the arias performed are considered too technically demanding for boy singesr in the present day.

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Stravinsky: The Soldier’s Tale – Suite • Octet
Les Noces

Tianwa Yang; Rebecca Nash; Robynne Redmon;
Robert Breault; Denis Sedov; Virginia Arts Festival Players; JoAnn Falletta

Naxos 8.573538

The three works on this recording were composed at a crucial juncture in Stravinsky's musical life. The Soldier's Tale, a small-scale theatrical work for instrumental septet, narrator and two speakers completed in 1918 (Naxos 8573537). It is performed here in the suite premiered in 1920. The Octet marked a new element in Stravinsky's writing, inaugurating a turn to neo-classicism, whilst Les Noces (The Wedding) is a ballet cantata impelled by dramatic motor rhythms, and once again saturated in his Russian background. Scored for pitched and unpitched percussion, vocal soloists, and mixed chorus, it is a pivotal work in Stravinsky's development.

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Michael Nyman: The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat
Matthew Treviño; Rebecca Sjöwall; Ryan MacPherson; Nashville Opera Orchestra; Dean Williamson
Naxos 8.660398

Michael Nyman's one-act chamber opera The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat takes as its subject Dr. P, a man suffering from visual agnosia, or "mental blindness", and is adapted from the neurological study in the book of the same name by Oliver Sacks. For Nyman, Dr. P "requires music as a lifeline, cue, clue, cure", living as he does in a world lacking visual meaning. It is through his musical gifts that Dr. P reclaims meaning from chaos, Nyman's tautly conceived masterpiece providing a perfect medium through which the moving drama can be explored.

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NORMA - Bellini, Vincenzo; Romani, Felice
NORMA - Bellini, Vincenzo; Romani, Felice
Kunde; Aceto; Radvanovsky; Gubanova; Puche; Vas; Symphony Orchestra and Choir of the Gran Teatre Del Liceu Palumbo
C Major 737304

Vincenzo Bellini is widely regarded as the last and greatest composer of bel canto opera, and his most famous operas, Norma, is one of the leading works in the genre. Even Richard Wagner said of Norma: “If we weep from emotion on hearing it, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.” This release is a new production of the opera, directed by Grammy Award-nominated director of opera, theatre, and film, Kevin Newbury. Sondra Radvan stars as a captivating Norma in a performance in which the New York Times described as “powerful, elegant.” Gregory Kunde performs as Pollione. operatraveller.com wrote of his performance: “something very special. The word ‘historic’ is used perhaps a little too often but tonight there really is no other adjective to describe the sensational performances offered to us by Sondra Radvanovsky and Gregory Kunde.”

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Michael Daugherty: American Gothic for orchestra, Tales of Hemingway for cello and orchestra, Once Upon a Castle for organ and orchestra
Zuill Bailey; Paul Jacobs; Nashville Symphony Orchestra; Giancarlo Guerrero
Naxos 8.559798

GRAMMY® Award-winning composer Michael Daugherty creates colorful musical portraits in this recording, featuring larger-than-life personalities drawn from 20th-century American culture. Tales of Hemingway is a dramatic cello concerto, evoking the turbulent life, adventures and literature of author Ernest Hemingway. American Gothic is a dynamic concerto for orchestra, reflecting on the creative world of Iowa artist Grant Wood. Once Upon a Castle is a virtuosic sinfonia concertante for organ and orchestra, inspired by the rich history of the Hearst Castle, built lhigh upon the California Pacific coast by billionaire Randolph Hearst, the subject of Orson Welles' film Citizen Kane. Under the baton of Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero, the GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony is joined by Zuill bailey, one of the leading cellists of his generation, and GRAMMY® Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs.

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P.I. Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 2, Fantaisie de Concert
Eldar Nebolsin; New Zealand Symphony; Michael Stern
Naxos 8.573462

Tchaikovsky has long maintained his position as among the most popular of all composers, his unequalled gift for melody and colorful orchestration given added depth through a rich Russian soulfulness. The Second Piano Concerto has always lived under the shadow of the famous First but, played here in the composer's original version, is full of life-enhancing character and emotion. Both this and the Concert Fantasia also contain beautiful chamber music sections allowing unique interaction between soloist and orchestra.

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Dragon Voices
Dragon Voices
John Kenny
Delphian Records DCD34183

Across the ancient Celtic cultures, people were fascinated by lip reed instruments. This led them to craft many different kinds of horns and trumpets, including the carnyx. This two-meter long bronze trumpet was capped with an ornate animal head. In 1816, one of these ancient instruments was found at Deskford, Scotland, and was later reconstructed. This instrument here is joined by the Tintignac carnyx, which was reconstructed especially for this project. Recent archaeological developments have greatly increased our knowledge of both the construction of these ancient instruments as well as their performance practices. John Kenny, who has led this project from the beginning, has created this music to explore the voices of these instruments in solos, duets, and ensembles.

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Pärt: Da pacem Domine
Latvian Radio Choir; Sigvards Klava (Conductor)
Ondine ODE 1286-2

Estonian composer Arvo Part’s timeless music has touched listeners for decades. He is one of the most performed living composers. This new release features eight choral pieces which were written between 1988 and 2012. These works feature some of Part’s finest vocal writing, especially in the three-movement Triodion and the seven-movement Sieben Magnificat-Antiphonen. Part is famous for his tintinnabuli style, which he took on after distancing himself from his earlier writing which utilized neo-classicism, serialism, and polystylism. Of his style, Part once wrote, “I could compare my music to white light which contains all colors. Only a prism can divide the colors and make them appear; this prism could be the spirit of the listener.” The Latvian Radio Choir’s prior releases for Ondone have garnered them critical acclaim. Their recording of Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil received the Record of the Month, Editor’s Choice, and was a nominee for the Gramophone Awards in 2013.

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Liszt: Transcendental Études, S. 139
Liszt: Transcendental Études, S. 139
Gerstein, Kirill
Myrios Classics MYR019

Kirill Gerstein, during this project, described Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes as “one of the most towering mountain peaks of the piano literature. Transcendental Etudes can be seen as a distillation of mid-19th century Romanticism, capturing its otherworldly experiences and spirituality. The pieces are a reworking of Liszt’s earlier Douze Grandes Etudes, which Liszt began composing when he was only fifteen years old. For this new recording, Gerstein has focused on the word “transcendental” as the key to interpreting this cycle. Gerstein goes beyond the virtuosic requirements and explores the ways Liszt goes outside of the usual to depict images of the visionary, the otherworldly, and the impressionistic. He also explores the relationship between the etudes to show the dramatic arc of the set when performed altogether. Kirill Gerstein is a multifaceted pianist who has quickly ascended into the highest order of classical musicians. His masterful technique and discerning intelligence lend themselves well to his musical curiosity which continually inspires him to explore various repertoire which spans centuries and genres.

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Finney: Pilgrim Psalms
Finney: Pilgrim Psalms
Radcliffe Choral Society; Blandy, Charles; Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum; Harvard Glee Club; Lane, Christian; Clark, Andrew; Rood, Margot
Gothic G-49296

Ross Lee Finney’s Psalm pieces are contemporary settings of the Ainsworth Psalter- an inspirational collection of hymns that was carried by the pilgrims to Plymouth in 1620. Finney wrote of this collection: “These melodies are among America’s greatest folk heritage, influencing sacred singing through each singing.” Andrew Clark is the Director of Choral Activities and Senior Lecturer on Music at Harvard University. He also serves as Music Director and Conductor of the Harvard Glee Club, the Radcliffe Choral Society, and the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Museum. He has long been praised by critics for his ensembles’ outstanding performances. The Boston Globe called his choirs “first rate,” Opera News said his ensembles were “beautifully blended,” and the Worcester Telegram wrote that his performances achieve “passion, conviction, adrenaline, and coherence.”

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528-0728
528-0728
Kashmere Stage Band; ThunderSOUL Orchestra
Suite 28 Records STE012

“ThunderSoul Orchestra's mission is to educate, inform and enlighten educators, students and parents to the fact that dedication, commitment, focus and intent for our children’s Music and Fine Arts training is of most importance. We believe that the power of music can and does; improve lives, smash barriers, inspire youth, establish legacies and motivate toward excellence. We believe that by encouraging students to participate in Music and Fine Arts Programs along with their academic studies, we are developing not just excellent students, but interesting and talented members of society.

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Berg: Wozzeck
Gerhaher; Jovanovich; Peter; Ablinger-Sperrhacke; Woldt; Barkmin; Philharmonia Zurich; Chor Der Oper Zurich Luisi
Accentus Music ACC-10363

When Alban Berg attended the first production of Georg Buchner’s play Woyzeck, he immediately knew that he wanted to base an opera off of the story line. His opera, Wozzeck, was composed between the years 1914 and 1922, and received its debut performance in 1925. The dark storyline centers around the soldier Wozzeck, who travels through a callous and at times sadistic world that he doesn’t understand. He is tortured with medical experiments, ridiculed by his captain, and his lover, Marie, betrays him. He becomes a murderer and eventually secures his own demise. Renowned stage director Andreas Homoki brilliantly creates this dark and mysterious world, which explores the thin line between the unfathomable and ridiculous. Christian Gerhaher’s dramatic subtlety and vocal prowess is breathtaking in the title role, alongside the equally impressive Gun-Brit Barkim as Marie.

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