The World's Leading Classical Music Label
Newsletter 123  
August 2007  
August at

Our special features in August begin with Naxos’ Japanese Classics series, which provides a unique window into Japanese classical music. Many of the works featured are world-première recordings. Toru Takemitsu, Humiwo Hayasaka, Akio Yashiro, Koscak Yamada, Hisato Ohzawa are among the key composers represented. Each album comes with informative, authoritative liner notes, with top-class performances from orchestras and conductors as the RTE Orchestra and Takuo Yuasa, the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra and Dmitry Yablonsky.

We give you a sampler selection from the Naxos Organ Encyclopedia, which covers an impressive span of some 500 years of organ music history. Listen to the works by composers such as Sweelinck, Scheidermann, Mendelssohn, Frank, Reger, Alain and Langlais – all performed by leading organists on the finest instruments.

We extend your listening pleasure with our British Light Music collection. This delightful collection contains works by light music composers as Ernest Tomlinson, Edward German, Haydn Wood, Richard Addinsell, Eric Coates, among others.

Finally we offer a fine selection of albums from the Naxos Early Music Collection. Included are musical treasures from the Medieval to the Renaissance periods, including Gregorian chants, lute songs and sacred music.

Featured CD of the Month

8.559300 HEADLEY: The 100th Anniversary Recording

During the 1940s Hubert Klyne Headley became internationally known as a composer, concert pianist and conductor. Given the former popularity of Headley’s music – Howard Hanson described the California Suite as a “brilliant score” – and its immediate emotional accessibility, its disappearance from the concert hall is to be greatly regretted. Throughout all of Headley’s compositions one can sense beneath the veneer of romantic impressionism an undercurrent of greater depths that leads the listener to, as Headley himself put it, “The way I have always felt inside”. A fitting tribute to a uniquely talented American composer, this recording of four major works brings Headley’s music back from undeserved obscurity.

Anna Bogolyubova (piano), Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, Dmitry Yablonsky

New Releases

Naxos | Naxos Historical Recordings  | Naxos American Classics | Milken Archive

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


8.557971 YAMADA: Nagauta Symphony

Kósçak Yamada was the first great composer to emerge from Japan after it had begun to accept western classical music. His Nagauta Symphony combines western music and nagauta, Japanese traditional vocal music performed with instruments including the three-stringed shamisen, fues (Japanese flutes) and percussion. Sinfonia ‘Inno Meiji’ is a symphonic poem, which depicts Japan on the way to westernisation from the latter half of the 19th century through to the early 20th century. The sumptuous Maria Magdalena, influenced by the symphonic poems of Richard Strauss, was first performed in Carnegie Hall in 1919.

Touon Tetsuo Miyata, Touon Toshimitsu Muraji, Touon Taro Yamaguchi, Touon Jun Ajimi, Touon Keizo Miyata (nagauta vocalists); Touon Toru Ajimi, Touon Takehisa Takahashi, Touon Shiro Minoda, Touon Yutaka Miyata, Touon Gojiro Sakamoto (shamisen); Sataro Mochizuki, Satatoshiro Mochizuki, Tatsuyuki Mochizuki, Roei Tosha, Toru Fukuhara (hayashi); Yumiko Mizoiri (hichiriki); Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Takuo Yuasa
8.570508 CIMAROSA: Overtures, Vol. 1

Domenico Cimarosa was the most famous and popular Italian composer of the second half of the 18th century. He composed more than 65 operas, which were performed all over Europe, both in Italian and in translation. His most famous work, Il matrimonio segreto, is one of only a handful of operas of the period never to have left the repertory. Cimarosa’s overtures are remarkable for their melodic invention, assured handling of the orchestra and sheer vitality

Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia, Alessandro Amoretti
8.570298 MEDTNER: Violin Sonata No. 3 / Nocturnes

This first of two discs of Medtner’s five violin and piano works opens with his last and greatest work for these instruments, Sonata No. 3, ‘Epica’, completed in 1938. Unashamedly Romantic and distinctly Russian with its frequent allusions to folk dances and Orthodox liturgical chants, the Sonata reflects both Medtner’s recent conversion to the Orthodox faith and his bitter acceptance of permanent exile from his homeland. The sombre yet impassioned Three Nocturnes were inspired by Goethe, one of the composer’s favourite poets.

Laurence Kayaleh (violin), Paul Stewart (piano)
8.570559 IVES: Variations on ‘America’

Charles Ives, like his elder contemporary John Philip Sousa, was born and raised amid military quicksteps and medleys of patriotic songs. While Sousa held steadfastly to the regularity of America’s military pulse, Ives began to blaze the trail toward a uniquely American music. Beginning with the remarkable Variations on ‘America’, described by Ives as “but a boy’s work, partly serious and partly in fun”, all of the works heard on this disc are to a greater or lesser degree transcriptions or adaptations for the modern American concert band.

‘The President’s Own’ United States Marine Band, Colonel Timothy W. Foley (Director)

View all Naxos new releases

  Naxos Historical Recordings

8.111264 PURCELL: Dido and Aeneas

When this recording of Dido and Aeneas first appeared in January 1953, a reviewer from The Gramophone found Elisabeth Schwarzkopf “a vivacious Belinda”, Arda Mandikian’s Sorceress “sufficiently spiteful” and Thomas Hemsley “a dignified and slightly diffident Aeneas, but I imagine Dido gave him a strong inferiority complex”. Geraint Jones, who enjoyed a highly successful career as an organist, harpsichordist, conductor and recording producer, was praised for his “musicianly playing and a lack of that lumpy rhythm that is fatal in Purcell’s music”.

Kirsten Flagstad (soprano); Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano); Eilidh McNab (soprano); Arda Mandikian (mezzo-soprano); Thomas Hemsley (baritone); David Lloyd (tenor); Mermaid Singers; Mermaid Orchestra, Geraint Jones; Philharmonia Orchestra, Walter Susskind and Warwick Braithwaite (conductors)

Not Available in the United States due to possible copyright restrictions
8.111262 CASALS: Beethoven / Brahms

Along with Casals’ 1927 London Symphony disc of Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture (Naxos Historical 8.110976), these recordings constitute the cellist’s complete pre-war recordings as a conductor. The Barcelona sessions made with Casals’ own orchestra, formed in 1919, were set down in a concentrated period of work over five days in early July 1929. In Brahms’ Variations on the St Anthony Chorale, the London Symphony Orchestra plays with beauty of sound, excellent ensemble and characterful wind solos. Casals’ temperate direction stresses the lyrical and eloquent aspects of Brahms’ writing.

Pablo Casals Orchestra of Barcelona; London Symphony Orchestra, Pablo Casals

Not Available in the United States due to possible copyright restrictions
8.111261 CORTOT: Encores

This collection brings together pianist Alfred Cortot’s complete electrical recordings for the Victor Talking Machine Company. This includes the March 1925 recordings of the second half of Chopin’s G minor Ballade, which here receives its first CD release outside Japan, and Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 11, transferred for this Naxos release from a vinyl test pressing for the unissued twelve-inch 78rpm. All these early electrical recordings are notable not only for the improved quality of sound, but for the way the microphone captured Cortot’s huge palette of tonal colours, on a Steinway piano rather than his preferred Pleyel.

Not Available in the United States due to possible copyright restrictions
8.111089 SEGOVIA 3: American Recordings, Vol. 1

Andrés Segovia was entirely self-taught, playing his first public recital at the age of 14. He is credited with elevating the guitar from a folk instrument to the highest levels of the international concert stage. This third release in the Naxos Segovia Edition is the first of six discs devoted to his 1950s American recordings. It focuses on his transcriptions of the works of J. S. Bach and Handel, such as the brilliant Courante from the Cello Suite No. 3, the Gavotte en Rondeau from the Suite in E major and the Chaconne from the Violin Partita No. 2, one of the most deeply loved items of the guitar repertoire.

Not Available in the United States due to possible copyright restrictions

View all Naxos Historical new releases

  Naxos American Classics

8.559337 LOCKLAIR: Symphony of Seasons

A professional organist by the age of fourteen, Dan Locklair’s prolific output includes symphonic works, a ballet and an opera. His compositions have been influenced by a wide variety of traditions, ranging from medieval to modern music. Kirk Trevor, the conductor on this recording, has written, “After the first read-through of In Memory – H.H.L. I realized we had found a worthy successor to the Barber Adagio ... After recording it, I was even more convinced that [the work] has a real place in the standard string orchestra literature”.

Janeanne Houston (soprano); Jacquelyn Bartlett (harp); Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Kirk Trevor
8.559350 COOMAN: Piano Music

This disc presents a survey of the piano music of American composer Carson Cooman, performed by pianist Donna Amato, for whom the virtuosic Fourth Piano Sonata was composed. The works range in character – from the passionate, landscape-inspired drama of Seascape Passion: Midday Brightness (Third Piano Sonata), to the mystical contemplation of Dream-Tombeau: Crucifixus, to a light-hearted and celebratory treatment of “God Save the King / My Country ’Tis of Thee” in Kayser Variations. Dream Etudes, Book II explores the piano’s ringing sonic possibilities, while Postcard Partita consists of short movements originally written as brief musical gifts for the composer’s friends and colleagues.

All works are world première recordings.

Donna Amato (piano)

View all Naxos American Classics new releases

  Milken Archive


Acclaimed worldwide as the largest Jewish music project ever undertaken, the Milken Archive is making musical history by rediscovering this vast and important repertoire. Spanning 300 years of Jewish music, and honoured at the Grammy Awards, the Milken Archive CDs feature the best of klezmer, cantorial, opera, choral, liturgical, orchestral, concerto and chamber music, as well as popular Yiddish songs, and much more, performed by world-famous soloists and ensembles. The 50 CDs are presented in a beautiful, gold-embossed display box, ideal for study or library. Comprehensive, fascinating, ASCAP award-winning liner notes with texts and translations complete this essential collection.

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