Critically Acclaimed

This month brings you another bumper crop of great reviews from the leading music magazines, quality dailies and online review sites. There’s no doubt about it: Naxos releases and distributes some of the best music and audiovisual albums!

Highly Reviewed Albums of the Month
Naxos 2.110759
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Behle • Kulchynska • Wagner • Soffel • Dutch National Opera Chorus • Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra • Albrecht • Loy
Diamant d’Opera | Opéra (France)

‘The overall quality of the performance…proves ideal both for (re)discovering the score, and for deepening one’s knowledge of it.’
Opéra (France)

‘This performance should be snapped up for its rarity and for the quality of the singing of the two leads.’

Altomonte Orchester St. Florian • Ballot
Clef du Mois |

‘Rémy Ballot deepens the vision while choosing different versions, and certainly delivers the most personal and interesting interpretation among the numerous recordings of this bicentennial.’

‘…Ballot’s complete cycle ranks among the most interesting, and his approach will captivate those who wish to deepen their understanding of Bruckner.’
Diapason ★★★★★

Audio Releases
Naxos Releases
ORF Vienna Radio Symphony • Alsop

‘The “Spider Dance” of Lola Montez…is a delightful piece… [Alsop] brings it to life with great gusto and sparkle.’
Rondo ★★★★★

‘Alsop’s new take [on Fearful Symmetries] is downright invigorating. The conductor brings a strong sense of drive to the music, drawing out a beautiful blend of colours – from invitingly swooning saxophone quartet playing to unexpected synthesizer colours – from her forces.’
The Arts Fuse

Fort Smith Symphony • John Jeter

‘These delightful works, very well presented by John Jeter and the Fort Smith Symphony, will win this composer many fans. …Highly recommended.’

Wunderlin • Carrel • Eisenlohr

‘[Wunderlin and Carrel] bring wonderful vitality and spontaneity to the songs, with prudent rhythmic flexibility and occasional modest embellishment. Their beautiful shaping of the line with scrupulous attention to key words and appropriate vocal colouring makes each song come alive.’
American Record Guide

Landim • Goiás Philharmonic • N. Thomson
Recommended | MusicWeb International

‘Once again they play with impressive virtuosity and just sheer flair.’
MusicWeb International

Kayaleh • Blaha

‘…Laurence Kayaleh…presents a soaring interpretation in the powerful sonata by Noskowski, and a captivating romantic charm in the one by Zelenski, accompanied skillfully by Canadian pianist Bernadene Blaha.’
Diapason ★★★★★

Cotik • Martingale Ensemble • Selden

‘…Cotik has Piazzolla’s music in his blood. …he knew how to capture the spirit of the music, from subtle sensuality and longing to fierce passion and supreme virtuosity.’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

Viola • Mannheim National Theatre Orchestra • Percacciolo

‘The playing is delightful, flawless, and varied enough in expression to imbue each phrase with direction, distinction, and contrast. Percacciolo and the Mannheimers supply sympathetic support that doesn’t seem like it could be improved.’
American Record Guide

Wawrowski • Karnavicius • Lithuanian National Symphony • Lyndon-Gee

‘…quite captivating…’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

‘If you don’t know the 86-year-old composer’s music, a new album by conductor Christopher Lyndon-Gee and the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra makes a sonically satisfying place to start.’
NPR Music

Staatskapelle Halle • Bollon

‘Fabrice Bollon’s performance is a lyrical and involving one, with excellent playing from the orchestra. …anyone hearing Bollon’s fine performance is unlikely to be disappointed.’

S. Gaul • D. Johannsen • K. Simon

‘[Tenor Daniel Johannsen] can adapt his flexible voice well to these changing moods and their narrative. Samantha Gaul brings her charming soprano to two of the Wunderhorn songs. Klaus Simon’s strong, incisive rhetoric at the piano contributes just as much to the listening experience as Johannsen. ’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

Independent Label Releases (in alphabetical order)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales • J. Berman

‘Berman’s approach I find quite marvellous… The playing of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales meanwhile, is splendid, a real achievement.’
Dvořák Society Newsletter

Fischer-Dieskau • M. Price • Seibel • Städtischer Musikverein zu Düsseldorf • Bavarian State Orchestra • Sawallisch
Choc de Classica

‘Served by a divine cast, Elijah, the composer’s masterpiece, reaches new heights.’

Bavarian Radio Symphony • Rattle
Quarterly Critic’s Choice | German Record Critics’ Award

‘With fervent intensity and passion, [Rattle] has made a benchmark recording… The BR Symphony Orchestra creates a breathtakingly grandiose aural landscape, with the support of excellent sound engineering.’
Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics’ Award)

R. Collett • H. Saemundsson • S. Gornik • Aachen Opera Chorus and Symphony Orchestra • C. Ward
Critic’s Choice | American Record Guide
Critic’s Choice | Opera News

‘The entire cast, under Ward’s careful direction, is refreshingly artless and idiomatic, as if they’ve been singing this worthy rarity their whole lives.’
American Record Guide

‘Musically, everything is first rate here, with the Sinfonieorchester Aachen delivering a thoroughly idiomatic reading… the cast is uniformly strong.’
Opera News

Jorge Federico Osorio
Critic’s Choice | American Record Guide

‘…They are all lovely, and Osorio plays them to perfection. …This is a beautiful recording, guaranteed to give much pleasure.’
American Record Guide

Builder • Nielsen • Crush String Collective

‘Denmark-based Aussie’s exploratory work for pipe organ is a winner.’
Limelight ★★★★

Koukl • V. Rossetti

‘This is wonderful music that even listeners familiar with the mid-20th century American scene will not know; all are world premiere recordings.’ ★★★★

Mannheim National Theatre Orchestra • Soddy
Recommended | MusicWeb International

‘Soddy’s slightly more animated speeds lend the music more lift and a sense of forward momentum without compromising its grandeur.’
MusicWeb International

‘Soddy’s interpretation has verve, power and bright colours.’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

Latvian Radio Choir • Kļava
Recording of the Month | BBC Music Magazine
Excepcional | Scherzo

‘…assured and lovingly committed performances…’
BBC Music Magazine

‘All in all, the best thing about this fantastic album is the expressiveness displayed throughout this dazzling repertoire. You should not miss it.’

Vejzovic • M. Egel • Hollweg • Bunger • Sandu • ORF Vienna Radio Choir and Symphony • Märzendorfer

‘The dramatic mezzo-soprano Dunja Vejzovic…sings the title role beautifully, with a powerful and expressive voice.’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

Fredens • Rastogi
Recommended | MusicWeb International

‘I am hugely impressed with… Fredens and Rastogi who bring the music to fizzing, fiery life. They bring balance, temperament, engagement, supreme virtuosity and passion by the bucket load…’
MusicWeb International

Chaos String Quartet

‘…this sounds like a real performance… an impressive debut recording.’
BBC Music Magazine ★★★★★

Skylark Vocal Ensemble • Guard

‘Part of the pleasure of reviewing Skylark’s performances was to spread the word: this vocal ensemble is nothing short of amazing.’
The Arts Fuse

Mosca • Goy
Choc de Classica

‘Liana Mosca displays a beautiful tone, impeccable intonation, and a variety of bow techniques that wonderfully bring out the eloquent and delicate writing. […] Pierre Goy pleasantly highlights the novelty of playing in octaves…’

German Radio Saarbrücken-Kaiserslautern Philharmonic • Inkinen

‘The result is an overall energetic, vital, colourful and at times almost bucolic interpretation of the Seventh Symphony.’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

‘Inkinen comes…with a fresh, dramatic take on both works.’


‘…there’s a feast of listening here, but the momentum never flags, and it’s often hard to remember that this is just a quartet, the sound is so full and the interaction so complete… this sounds like no other group in jazz.’
Jazzwise ★★★★

Mostacci • Bologna Baroque

‘Cellist Mostacci performs these pieces with a dazzling intensity… his interpretation of the phrasing, often tortuous, as well as his compass of the range of the cello, provides for a wonderful and sometimes even thrilling performance.’

Vox VOX-NX-3035CD
R. Ricci • Firkušný • St. Louis Symphony • Susskind

‘Susskind and the St Louis players provide a Brahmsian breadth and wonderful support. The immediacy of their interplay is captivating.’
BBC Music Magazine ★★★★

Assad • Labro • Takács Quartet

‘Offering seven accessible, beguilingly fresh works…it brings together stellar artistic forces… then this is a must listen.’
Stereophile ★★★★

Audiovisual Releases
Naxos Releases
Naxos 2.110712
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Cook • López • Sabata • Gran Teatre del Liceu Chorus and Symphony Orchestra • Pons • Portaceli

‘A bleak industrial setting, from director Carme Portaceli and set designer Paco Azorín, frames a mythical narrative and music of great sensitivity and expressive power.’

Naxos 2.110756
Also available on Blu-ray Video
d’Oustrac • Talbot • Christoyannis • Huchet • Peintre • Les Éléments • Orchestre de Chambre de Paris • Leroy • Lesort

‘…a whimsical and poetic Périchole by Offenbach, full of movement. Once again, Stephanie d’Oustrac dazzles us in the title role, stunning in both her stage presence and vocal prowess.’
Diapason ★★★★★

Independent Releases (in alphabetical order)
BelAir Classiques BAC224
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Brownlee • Fuchs • Teitgen • Mauillon • di Pierro • Vidal • van Mechelen • Bounazou • Lesca • Paris National Opera Chorus • Les Musiciens du Louvre • Minkowski • Pelly
Absolu | Crescendo
Discos Recomendados | Ritmo

‘There’s an obvious scenic, dramatic, vocal and choreographic quality to this show that the audience, won over, greets with expressions of intense joy. We join them in applauding this well-filmed show, which has become a benchmark in Platée’s videography.’

‘An absolute collector’s item in any library of lovers of baroque opera, French repertoire or good music in general.’

‘…Brownlee’s thrilling performance here is little short of a revelation.’
American Record Guide

C Major 765308
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Flórez • Berzhanskaya • Dupuis • Bordogna • Abdrazakov • Vienna State Opera Chorus and Orchestra • Mariotti • Fritsch

‘On the stage of the Vienna Opera, adorned with sliding panels in vibrant colours, the singers display a delightfully exaggerated whimsy that matches their rococo costumes and wigs. It is joyful, full of life, and supported by a cast united in excellence.’
Diapason ★★★★★

‘Juan Diego Flórez has been the pre-eminent bel canto tenor for the last 20 years and he remains that way for this performance.’
American Record Guide

Dynamic DYN-37972
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Meli • Frontali • Kowaljow • Siri • Fiorentino Maggio Musicale Chorus and Orchestra • Conlon • Muscato

‘Francesco Meli is able to give the title hero Ernani the right character with a solid, well-managed, lyrical but also strong voice in the high register.’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

‘This performance is nothing short of stellar’
The WholeNote

Baker • Speiser • Gale • Glyndebourne Chorus • London Philharmonic Orchestra • Leppard • Hall
Recommended | MusicWeb International

‘The singing cast is headed by Dame Janet Baker as Orfeo, a landmark performance which it would be hard to imagine ever being bettered by any mezzo-soprano in history. …Her heartfelt acting skills simply serve to reinforce one of the great interpretations of all time.’
MusicWeb International

UNITEL Edition 806108
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra • Blomstedt
Want List | Fanfare
Discos Recomendados | Ritmo

‘…a must for any lover of great orchestral music-making.’

Rupert Degas
Earphones Award | AudioFile

‘Degas performs this landmark genre buster in an expressive and robust British bark that highlights Symons’s meticulous research and fertile prose.’

Naxos recordings, and those from the labels we distribute globally, consistently receive critical acclaim for their fascinating repertoire, outstanding performances and audio quality.
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