The World's Leading Classical Label
Newsletter 121  
June 2007  
June at

June’s special features at begin with Classics for Children. Well-loved tales are set to music by Prokofiev, Ravel, Rimsky-Korsakov, among others, and narrated by such personalities as June Whitfield, Brian Cant, Bernard Cribbins, Angela Rippon, Barry Humphries and Prunella Scales.

Start the sunny season with Summer Music. Chill out with our fine selection of classics, jazz and contemporary instrumental music.

With The Music of Igor Stravinsky, we celebrate the composer’s 125th Birth Anniversary. The highlight is this month’s release, 8.557508 Stravinsky 125th Anniversary Album. Also of note are previously-released volumes from the highly-acclaimed Robert Craft Stravinsky Collection, together with other great Stravinsky albums from the Naxos catalogue.

You will also enjoy our Film Music Classics. This ongoing series of complete scores from classic films includes the latest release 8.570110-11 KORNGOLD: Sea Hawk (The) / Deception.

Lastly, aside from these highlights, we bring you the latest monthly releases, all available for online streaming.

Featured CD of the Month

8.557508 STRAVINSKY: 125th Anniversary Album - The Rite of Spring / Violin Concerto (Stravinsky, Vol. 8)

This new recording of the 1967 edition of The Rite of Spring, a major landmark of twentieth century music, is released in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the birth of Stravinsky. The Violin Concerto is widely considered to be Stravinsky's most perfect orchestral work. The Symphonies of Wind Instruments is now seen as a shorter companion opus for The Rite of Spring . It is, in any case, the last of his pre-neoclassic creations. Dedicated to Claude Debussy, Zvezdolikiy (‘The Star-Faced One') for unaccompanied male chorus and orchestra is unique in Stravinsky's music for its uncontrasted slow tempo and the absence of a motoric rhythm. The second half is written in homage to the French composer and includes actual imitations of his melodic rhythmic and instrumental styles.
Jennifer Frautschi (violin), Twentieth Century Classics Ensemble, Orchestra of St Luke's and Gregg Smith Singers, Philharmonia Orchestra, Robert Craft

New Releases

Naxos | Naxos Historical Recordings  | Naxos American Classics | Naxos Nostalgia | Naxos Jazz Legends

Some releases may not be available on CD in all countries – please contact the Naxos distributor
in your territory. For a complete list of new releases available, click here


8.557991 GRIEG: Orchestral Music, Vol. 3 - Symphony in C minor / Old Norwegian Romance with Variations

Few symphonies can have been the subject of so many reservations as the 20-year-old Grieg's ‘forbidden' Symphony in C minor of which the composer himself wrote, on the score, "must never be performed". This is a remarkably assured work filled with positive, youthful energy, and many fresh musical ideas. The popular orchestral suite Three Orchestral Pieces from ‘Sigurd Jorsalfar', Op. 56, was often taken by Grieg on his concert tours abroad. The concluding Homage March develops into a brilliant, almost barbaric festive march.

Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Bjarte Engeset

8.555312-13 MONTEVERDI: Madrigals, Book 6 (Il Sesto Libro de Madrigali, 1614)

Monteverdi's Sixth Book of Madrigals was conceived as his final, though highly significant contribution to the stile antico . Two masterpieces within Book Six show that the five-part madrigal was still a force to be reckoned: the Sestina, Monteverdi's heartrending tribute to his wife, who had died in 1607, and the Lamento d'Arianna, a polyphonic transcription of his best-known solo operatic piece. The 1623 solo version of the Lamento can also be heard on this album, as well as twelve rarely performed madrigals published between 1593 and 1634.

Delitiæ Musicæ, Marco Longhini

8.557695 CLEMENTI: Early Piano Sonatas, Vol. 2

Clementi's keyboard sonatas were immensely popular and influential, and his legacy as a performer and teacher was of considerable importance in the development of piano technique. The sonatas in this recording are about extending the limits of the piano and making an emotional impact. The Sonata in G minor, Op. 7, No. 3 is a fine example: the first and second movements are quite extraordinary for their cantabile legato lines while the third movement, with its exciting array of octaves, is full of fortissimos, sforzandos and exhilarating effects.

Susan Alexander-Max (fortepiano)

View all Naxos new releases

  Naxos Historical Recordings

8.111311-12 GILBERT AND SULLIVAN (The Best of)

Gilbert's fantastical plots together with Sullivan's inventive settings have come to epitomise much of what we consider to be British culture in the 19th century. Indeed, so great was this institution that The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company is still performing the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan today, and so are many other companies, both amateur and professional. These excerpts, from 1948–1954, are recorded as they were originally intended, in the great tradition of The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company.

The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company Chorus & Orchestra, The New Promenade Orchestra, The New Symphony Orchestra, Isidore Godfrey

Not Available in the United States due to possible copyright restrictions

8.110998 BRAHMS: Symphony No. 1 / Haydn Variations (Furtwangler, Commercial Recordings 1940-50, Vol. 5)

Furtwängler, in his writing and interpretative stance, sought to attain the heart of Brahms's idiom through the imagery of its connections with nature, just like in the introduction to the Finale of the First Symphony . Having wound down the tempo of the preceding movement using the tonal possibilities of Brahms' instrumentation to reflect a decidedly autumnal sunset, Furtwängler allows the music to emerge as though from darkest night with the Finale's horn-call resounding with all the warmth and reassurance of a shaft of morning sun breaking through the mists.

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Wilhelm Furtwängler

Not Available in the United States due to possible copyright restrictions

8.111095 LEHMANN, Lotte: Lieder Recordings, Vol. 4 (1941)

Volume 4 of Lotte Lehmann's Lieder recordings made in America focuses on three composers – Brahms, Wagner and Wolf – all particularly suited to the soprano's velvet and sensuous tone. In her book More than Singing (1945) Lehmann makes revelatory comments about much of the repertoire to be heard in performances on this disc, recorded four years earlier. For instance, of Wagner's Wesendoncklieder, she wrote : “You must yourself feel deeply what you are singing, must draw your audience with you into the flow of emotion.”

Lotte Lehmann (soprano), Paul Ulanowsky (piano)

Not Available in the United States due to possible copyright restrictions

View all Naxos Historical new releases

  Naxos American Classics

8.669014-15 HARTKE: Greater Good (The)

Stephen Hartke's The Greater Good was commissioned by Glimmerglass Opera, and is a strikingly original contribution to the operatic repertory. Based on an iconic short story by Maupassant set during the immediate aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War, The Greater Good is notable for its sure-footed dramatic pacing and astute use of different techniques and subtle references to a variety of musical styles in order to portray the characters in a variety of moods and situations. This is the opera's world première recording.

Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra, Stewart Robertson

8.559314 ARLEN / GERSHWIN / WEILL / SCHWARTZ: Classic American Love Songs

“In researching libraries and publishers' basements for materials for this project, I found some of the greatest American love songs ever written, a richness of music that made it difficult to choose. It was exhilarating to find unknown songs by Kurt Weill, and record them for the first time. For this recording,… I chose George Gershwin, Kurt Weill, Harold Arlen and Arthur Schwartz who were friends, living in Hollywood during a specially creative period in their lives.” – Carole Farley

Carole Farley (soprano), John Constable (piano)

8.559321 WUORINEN: Tashi / Percussion Quartet / Fortune

Charles Wuorinen's music, from his earliest pieces through the more recent masterworks, is a body of work as significant as one is likely to encounter. Both Tashi and Fortune were written for the ensemble Tashi, and although the rate at which events unfold in Fortune is more gradual than the relentlessly intense Tashi, the two works share certain concerns and complement each other. Wuorinen seems especially in his element when writing for percussion instruments, as demonstrated here by the rhythmically exciting Percussion Quartet .

New Jersey Percussion Ensemble, The Group for Contemporary Music

View all Naxos American Classics new releases

  Naxos Nostalgia

8.120831 WEILL: Mack The Knife - Songs of Kurt Weill (1929-1956)

Songwriter Kurt Weill was a German Jew who following success in Berlin fled the Nazis to America where he penned Broadway musicals. These 20 tracks span both careers, and feature Weill’s wife, Lotte Lenya, Bertolt Brecht, Gertrude Lawrence and Danny Kaye. Weill’s own take on Mack the Knife is complemented by Louis Armstrong’s version and the disc includes Alabama Song and September Song.  

Not Available in the United States due to possible copyright restrictions

View all Naxos Nostalgia new releases

  Naxos Jazz Legends

8.120818 ARMSTRONG, Louis: Sing It, Satchmo (1945-1955) (Louis Armstrong, Vol. 8)

Already established as the definitive jazz trumpeter, in the decade after World War Two Louis Armstrong set about building a second career as a popular singer. Arranged chronologically, this release contains 20 songs from the period beginning with Jodie Man and ending with Fats Waller’s 1929 signature tune, Ain’t Misbehavin’. Also included are classics Blueberry Hill, Gone Fishin’ and Mack The Knife.

Not Available in the United States due to possible copyright restrictions

View all Naxos Jazz Legends new releases

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