The World's Leading Classical Music Label
Newsletter 122  
July 2007  
July at

July at

This month at starts with our highly-acclaimed series, Wind Band Classics. Hear band music performed by some of the world’s greatest ensembles such as the ‘President’s Own’ United States Marine Band. Explore works of classic greats like Giannini, Persichetti, Sousa, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Copland, as well as compositions of new-school contemporaries such as John Mackey, David Gillingham, John Colgrass, David Holsinger and David Maslanka.

In time for celebration of Bastille Day, we have come up with a fine range of French albums from the Naxos catalogue to offer you our own special French Extravaganza.

Maria Kliegel, one of the leading cello-virtuosi of our time, is also on feature. Listen to a cross-selection of her recordings for Naxos, which includes the latest release, 8.557613 Virtuoso Cello Showpieces.

Concluding our special features for the month is The Music of Edward Elgar, in celebration of the English composer’s 150th Anniversary this year. Explore Elgar’s works and enjoy such perennial favourites as the Enigma Variations, Pomp and Circumstance Marches, Salut d’amour (Love’s Greeting), among others.

Please take time also to enjoy our July new releases, all available for streaming.

Featured CD of the Month

8.570259 BLOCH: Four Episodes / Two Poems / Concertino

Born in Geneva, Ernest Bloch moved to the United States in 1916. Although Bloch’s name is indelibly associated with his ‘Jewish works’ such as Schelomo (Naxos 8.550519), Suite hébraïque (Naxos 8.557151) and the Israel Symphony, his music underwent several changes of compositional style, exploring a varied melodic and harmonic language. The early, neo-romantic diptych Hiver-Printemps was Bloch’s first important work to be performed. Scored for string quintet, wind quintet and piano, Four Episodes consists of four short, highly individual and virtuosic movements. Concertino for flute, viola and strings and Suite Modale for flute and strings, written towards the end of Bloch’s life, provide a masterly demonstration of contrapuntal technique.

Noam Buchman (flute); Yuri Gandelsman (viola); Soloists of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Slovak Radio Symphony and Atlas Camerata Orchestra, Dalia Atlas

New Releases

Naxos | Naxos Historical Recordings  | Naxos American Classics

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


8.557602 PETITGIRARD: Concertos for String Instruments

This disc contains three of Laurent Petitgirard’s concertos for string instruments. Dialogue for Viola and Orchestra is conceived as a chamber music piece, but with a large symphony orchestra. Cello Concerto aims to demonstrate the extraordinary qualities of this marvellous instrument. Le Légendaire, a concerto for violin, chorus and orchestra in one movement, concentrates on the confrontation, and then on the communion, between the violin on one side and the chorus (who sings in Esperanto) and orchestra on the other.

Gérard Caussé (viola); Gary Hoffmann (cello); Augustin Dumay (violin); Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine; Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra; Polish Radio Choir, Kraków; Classical Polish Philharmonia, Laurent Petitgirard
8.570340 ALWYN: Chamber Music and Songs

William Alwyn composed prolifically in virtually all genres, orchestral, chamber, vocal and instrumental. The works presented here, five of which are recorded for the first time, cover a period of fifty years from the Two Songs for Voice, Violinand Pianoof 1931 to the Chaconne For Tom for recorder and piano from 1982. In each of these pieces Alwyn’s compositional gift and technical mastery of his chosen medium are immediately apparent.

Madeleine Mitchell (violin); Roger Chase (viola); Andrew Ball (piano); Lucy Wilding (cello); Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone); Iain Burnside (piano); Bridge String Quartet; John Turner (treble recorder)
8.570600 MA SICONG: Music for Violin and Piano, Vol. 1

Ma Sicong is remembered today as a leading violinist, composer and teacher who devoted his life to creating a new national identity for Chinese music. He pioneered the use of folk idioms, often adopting fragments or motifs from folk tunes and crafting them into his own musical writing. Of his extensive output, Ma’s violin music is widely regarded as one of his most important contributions. This is the first release in the Naxos Chinese Classics series.

Hsiao-mei Ku (violin), Ning Lu (piano)
8.570139-41 BYRD: My Ladye Nevells Booke

My Ladye Nevells Booke is a collection of 42 keyboard pieces by the greatest English composer of his day, William Byrd. It includes dances, variations, contrapuntal fancies and battle-pieces, and was compiled seemingly from the composer’s manuscripts for Lady Nevell, half-sister of Francis Bacon and third wife of Sir Henry Nevell of Billingbere, who was her second husband. The volume, dated 1591 and handsomely bound, was acquired by the British Library in 2006.

Elizabeth Farr (harpsichord)

View all Naxos new releases

  Naxos Historical Recordings

8.111038 KARAJAN: BRAHMS: Ein deutsches Requiem

This radiant and justly famous 1947 recording of Brahms’ A German Requiem, a tribute to the composer’s mother who had died four years earlier, was the first complete studio version. It was made in Vienna two years after the end of World War II. The result was a remarkable and poignant achievement by soloists, chorus and orchestra alike, working in extremely difficult circumstances and acutely aware of the meaning and relevance of the Lutheran sacred texts primarily intended to reconcile the living to their loss.

Hans Hotter (baritone); Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano); Choral Society of the Friends of Music, Vienna; Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan

Not Available in the United States due to possible copyright restrictions
8.111259 TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto

Of Milstein’s four recordings of the Tchaikovsky Concerto, the rarest up to now has been this 1953 version recorded in Boston, which, outside the USA, was released only in France. Milstein plays beautifully and the performance also benefits from fiery conducting by Munch, himself a distinguished former violinist. The disc concludes with two rarities in which Milstein also performs as a vocalist, in effect both playing the violin and duetting with the Italian bass Ezio Pinza in Calm as the night and None but the lonely heart.

Nathan Milstein (violin); Boston Symphony Orchestra, Charles Munch; RCA Victor Orchestra, Arthur Fiedler; Artur Balsam (piano)

Not Available in the United States due to possible copyright restrictions
8.111117 MOISEIWITSCH: Chopin Recordings

This eleventh disc in the Naxos Moiseiwitsch Edition is devoted specifically to acoustic and electrical recordings of music by Chopin. It begins with his first published recording, Chopin’s Berceuse, Op. 57, made on 10th May 1916. His first recording sessions using the superior electrical process were made in October 1925 but nothing was issued. From the session of 10th December, however, come his first electrical recordings of Chopin in the form of the Scherzo in B flat minor, Op. 31. Of note is the improvement in sound quality.

Benno Moiseiwitsch (piano)

Not Available in the United States due to possible copyright restrictions
8.111140 PONSELLE: American Recordings, Vol. 3

Without any previous experience of the operatic stage, Rosa Ponselle made her Metropolitan début in Verdi’s La forza del destino opposite Caruso in 1918 and then became the Metropolitan’s leading soprano. This third disc of Ponselle’s 1923-1929 American recordings features solo arias from the great Verdi operas, the complete ‘Tomb Scene’ from Aida and a number of songs that often appeared in her recital programmes. Schubert’s Ständchen is a composite of two takes unpublished on 78rpm found by a collector in Cincinnati.

Rosa Ponselle (soprano); Studio orchestra, Rosario Bourdon and Giulio Setti (conductors)

Not Available in the United States due to possible copyright restrictions

View all Naxos Historical new releases

  Naxos American Classics

8.559305 Q. PORTER: String Quartets Nos. 1-4

Although his orchestral works attracted considerable attention in his lifetime, Porter’s posthumous reputation rests more on his chamber output – specifically the series of nine string quartets that stretches across the greater part of his composing career. This disc features the first four of these quartets, all of them written in less than a decade. They demonstrate Porter’s idiomatic and inventive writing for strings.

Ives Quartet
8.559342 BERGER: Miracles and Mud

Jonathan Berger’s music is deeply spiritual and hauntingly evocative. These works for string quartet and solo violin include Eli Eli, an adaptation of a beloved Hebrew melody written in memory of journalist Daniel Pearl; Miracles and Mud, a plea for coexistence; for amos, a reflection on the fragility of life; Sink or Swim, a set of variations on a Scottish love song; Doubles, described as “a quartet of profound depth and beauty”.

Livia Sohn (violin), St Lawrence String Quartet

View all Naxos American Classics new releases

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