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Naxos Titles in Chicago’s Daily Herald Top 10 for 2008

January 17, 2009

Despite a growing trend toward digital downloads and rumors that the major labels will eventually leave the classical music business altogether, 2008 was another good year for recordings, wrote Bill Gowen of Chicago’s Daily Herald. Two outstanding Naxos releases were chosen among his Top 10 albums for 2008:

Aaron Copland: Piano Concerto (Benjamin Pasternack, soloist); Suite from "The Tender Land," "Old American Songs" sets 1 and 2
St. Charles Singers (Jeffrey Hunt, artistic director), Robert Hanson conducting the Elgin Symphony Orchestra
Naxos 8.559297

In May, the ESO triumphantly offered its virtuosity to the world with this release on the best-selling Naxos label as part of its American Classics Series. Pasternack's playing of the piano concerto is exquisite, and the St. Charles Singers prove ideal collaborators with Hanson and the CSO in the seldom-heard choral arrangements of Copland's "Old American Songs."

Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 in E Minor ("From the New World"); Symphonic Variations
Marin Alsop conducting the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Naxos 8.570714

Alsop makes an impressive recording debut with her new orchestra, launching a Dvorak series with a dramatic interpretation of one of the most popular symphonies in the repertoire. She also conducts a well-thought-out performance of the Symphonic Variations. After a controversial appointment in 2007 as the first female music director of the Baltimore Symphony, Alsop appears to have settled comfortably into her new post.

- Bill Gowen, Daily Herald Classical Music Critic, 7 January 2009

Read an Interview with conductor Marin Alsop


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