‘A treasure island of piano music.’
– Spiegel Online
Launched in 2012, the Grand Piano label quickly gained a reputation for producing high quality recordings of rare keyboard gems, a reputation the label continues to enjoy. Dedicated to the exploration of undiscovered repertoire for piano, the label’s speciality is complete piano-music cycles of lesser-known composers, whose works might otherwise have remained unknown and unrecorded. Such composers include Alexander Tcherepnin, Mieczsław Weinberg, Joachim Raff, Leopold Koželuch and many more. Grand Piano artists are very often authorities on these composers and the chosen repertoire, making their performances uniquely distinguished.
Recent additions to the catalogue include acclaimed pianist Giorgio Koukl’s recordings of the complete piano music by Witold Lutosławski and world premieres of rare piano works by Alexandre Tansman; two multi-composer collections of delightful piano miniatures from Poland and the United Kingdom, featuring pianists Anna Szałucka and Duncan Honeybourne; and a stylistically diverse and compelling programme of tangos that were commissioned by American pianist Yvar Mikhashoff and composed between 1983 and 1991 by some of the world’s leading composers at the time, including Michael Nyman, Frederic Rzewski, Milton Babbitt, Nils Vigeland and Tom Johnson. Performed by pianist Hanna Shybayeva, who managed to find 70 of the 127 commissions, this album features an introductory programme of seventeen tangos, so stay tuned for more!
Grand Piano also expanded its borders with music from Hungary, exploring piano music composed between 1800 and 1920 by seven members from the noble Széchényi family; it also released the first of three volumes comprising the complete piano works by distinguished living composer Sándor Balassa.
In addition, Grand Piano’s Overtone sub-label features pianists performing their own compositions. Exciting recent releases include Tanya Ekanayaka’s Twelve Prisms for Piano, Roberto Esposito’s Piano Concerto ‘Fantastico’ and Mikael Ayrapetyan’s A Whole in 12. Please check them out!
Drawing from a deep pool of talent around the globe, Grand Piano can boast that most of its 150-plus recordings to date are world premieres. Its striking album covers are adorned with figurative paintings by the award-winning artist Gro Thorsen, atmospheric images by international photographers Tony Price and Annabel Lee, and witty and original illustrations by graphic artist Alastair Taylor.
to download or view the 2019 catalogue now!
Visit Grand Piano’s profile on Spotify now, with various playlists on different themes, related to geography, period, composers, and artists. These will be updated regularly to help you discover new and exciting piano music. Follow the page on Spotify to get regular updates on classical piano gems from around the globe:
Naxos is delighted to announce a new joint initiative with the UK's Royal Birmingham Conservatoire to produce a series of internationally-released debut albums for six outstanding students at the conservatoire.
Conservatoire Principal Julian Lloyd Webber commented: ‘I am delighted that the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is able to offer our talented students this extraordinary opportunity to record for one of the world’s leading record labels at the very start of their careers. I am certain that they will make the most of this unprecedented agreement.’
The students, all chosen for their exceptional musicianship are pianists Daniel Lebhardt, Roman Kosyakov, Pascal Pascaleff, Andrey Ivanov and Domonkos Csabay together with violist Yue Yu. They will record music by a range of composers, including Liszt, Scarlatti and Schumann, together with world premiere recordings of music by Holst, Britten and York Bowen.
Born in the south-east of Turkey, Olcay Bayır is a new generation of singer-songwriter who performs songs in Turkish and Kurdish with powerful, contemporary arrangements. Olcay has refashioned the soul of Anatolian musical tradition in her new album, Rüya – Dream for Anatolia, which was praised by The Guardian as ‘uplifting and exquisite.’
Olcay Bayır’s album launch concert was held on April 12 at the St John's Music Hall in London.
The new album – Rüya – showcases Olcay’s own compositions for the first time. Rüya – the poignantly hopeful title track meaning ‘dream’ – speaks of Olcay’s dream for a better world which, fittingly, came to her while she slept. Olcay says she became a child again in that moment, innocently putting forth her wish for love and peace in the world.
This album, arranged and produced by Al MacSween and Giuliano Modarelli, exemplifies this and bears the musical stamp of their world-jazz collective Kefaya – a lilting west African feel somehow sits comfortably with the Kurdish song Ferzê, and the traditional Cypriot dance song Dolama is restructured with a catchy melodic hook and a groove that builds to an ecstatic climax.
JoAnn Falletta, music director and principal conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, has been named Classical Woman of the Year by Performance Today (American Public Media). The award, being given for the first time, honours the women who have made a lasting impact on classical music or on those who love music. The inaugural award for this classical music industry honour was selected from more than 120 nominees by the staff of Performance Today based on listener feedback.
Performance Today is an American syndicated classical music network that is programmed on more than 237 radio stations around the country and averages 1.2 million listeners.
LATEST RECORDINGS FEATURING JOANN FALLETTA
Visit naxos.com to view JoAnn Falletta’s complete discography.
Naxos recently launched its brand new series ‘The Music of Brazil’, an initiative of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote music by Brazilian composers dating back to the 18th century. Around 100 orchestral works from the 19th and 20th centuries will be recorded by the Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra, the Goiás Philharmonic Orchestra and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
In announcing this project, Naxos’ founding chairman Klaus Heymann commented: ‘This is a monumental, 5-year undertaking to produce around 30 releases of some 100 works by Brazilian composers, focusing mainly on orchestral repertoire. There will be many first recordings together with the publication of newly edited or first edition scores. Naxos is collaborating with the Cultural Department of Brazil's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, three of the country's leading orchestras and the Brazilian Academy of Music for this exciting development.’
Naxos celebrated this project with events around the world, including launch receptions at the Embassies of Brazil in Tokyo, London and Berlin and the Consulate General of Brazil in New York.
The very first release in our new ‘The Music of Brazil’ series features works by Alberto Nepomuceno, who was a herald of Brazilian musical nationalism. He was one of the first composers in his country to employ elements of folklore in his compositions; he encouraged younger composers in their careers, including Villa-Lobos; and his music was conducted by no less a figure than Richard Strauss. The Prelude to O Garatuja, an incomplete but truly Brazilian lyric comic opera, is one of his best-known works; Série Brasileira is a vivacious suite that employs maxixe rhythms and ends with the feverish batuque dance; and the Symphony in G minor is one of the earliest such examples by a Brazilian, a heroic and lyric structure revealing the influence of Brahms.
MORE RECOMMENDED RECORDINGS OF BRAZILIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC
Naxos had 2 placements in the last episode of Supergirl Season 4 on The CW! Listen for excerpts from Khachaturian's Spartacus Suite No. 2 and Shostakovich's Suite for Variety Orchestra in the episode!
Need to license some music for a project and don’t know where to start? Visit Naxos Licensing to find out how!
Nicola Vaccaj’s rare opera Giulietta e Romeo, first performed at the Teatro della Cannobiana in Milan in 1825, has long been unjustly neglected. In this world premiere video recording from last year’s Festival della Valle d’Itria, conductor Sesto Quatrini and director Cecilia Ligorio lead a strong cast of soloists whose performances were admired by Bachtrack: Leonor Bonilla (Giulietta) ‘an elegant and fluid soprano, and great acting skills’; Leonardo Cortellazzi (Capellio) ‘imposing ... refined phrasing and diction’; Paoletta Marrocu (Adelia) ‘great vocal talent and poignant expressiveness’; and Raffaella Lupinacci (Romeo) ‘currently one of the most appreciated mezzo-sopranos in Italy [who] possesses a beautiful vocal colour’
The costumes for Giulietta e Romeo were recently awarded the prestigious Franco Abbiati Prize, the most important Italian award for opera. Giuseppe Palella was named Best Costume Designer of the Year for the Valle d'Itria Festival productions.
‘Cecilia Lagorio's staging led to a beautiful, elegant and flawless performance. Ligorio’s reading got to the core of the story… The Orchestra of the Accademia Teatro alla Scala conducted by Sesto Quatrini conveyed precision of details along with dramatic strength and tension.’ – Bachtrack
‘It really was a well-paced and visually pleasing production that successfully captured the love and hatred which drives the narrative forward.’ – Operawire
Recorded in true Surround Sound.
|Orchestra/Chorus||Orchestra Accademia Teatro alla Scala
Coro del Teatro Municipale di Piacenza
|Set Designer||Alessia Colosso|
|Costume Designer||Giuseppe Palella|
|Light Designer||Luciano Novelli|
|Theatre||44th Festival della Valle d’Itria|
Extra content on DVD and Blu-ray:
INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR CECILIA LIGORIO
(subtitled in all languages)
More full-length videos? NaxosVideoLibrary.com brings you an extensive streaming video library of classical music performances, opera, ballet, live concerts and documentaries. Watch the world's greatest opera houses, ballet companies, orchestras and artists perform on demand! NaxosVideoLibrary.com offers over 2,800 full-length videos, accessible anytime, anywhere.
The focus here is on Liszt's three sets of Années de Pèlerinage. These ‘years of pilgrimage’ contain a total of 26 character pieces, representing a musical diary for Liszt’s years of travelling.
After the highly successful release of Vol. 1 (C944182) the talented young pianist Francesco Piemontesi presents the second, ‘Italy’. An attractive video again accompanies the pianist on his trip through the country, on the trail of Liszt. It not only reveals the beauty of the landscape but also includes interesting commentary by Francesco Piemontesi about the actual recording.
MORE RECORDINGS FEATURING FRANCESCO PIEMONTESI
Naxos Sheet Music Publishing is a new initiative to offer high quality sheet music editions from a fine collection of works, composers and arrangers, such as Debussy, Lehár, Brahms, Breiner, Janáček, Mussorgsky, Bériot, Kreutzer, Rode, Spohr and Vieuxtemps. From 19th-century violin concertos to contemporary Scandinavian piano music, the website presents music scores that may be downloaded as a PDF file to be printed later, purchased as a printed copy, or even rented. Naxos Publishing's catalogue is continuously expanding as more compositions and arrangements are added, and is yet another example of Naxos' dedication to every aspect of music.
Featured catalogues of sheet music published by Naxos:
Violin Virtuosos from the 19th Century
Concertos by the Great Composers
Visit publishing.naxos.com and browse our catalogue of high-quality sheet music editions!
This is an extraordinary recording of Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto and Double Concerto featuring three of Naxos’ top artists – violinist Tianwa Yang, cellist Gabriel Schwabe and conductor Antoni Wit – together with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. All three artists have a deep association with Brahms: the Violin Concerto is a significant part of Tianwa Yang’s concert repertoire; Gabriel Schwabe’s debut album featured the composer’s cello sonatas and songs; and Antoni Wit’s previous Brahms recordings have been highly acclaimed by leading critics and publications (‘Wit conducts with considerable insight and interpretative command’ – International Record Review on Ein Deutsches Requiem).
Brahms’ string concertos are indissolubly linked with the musicians for whom the works were written. He wrote his Violin Concerto for Joseph Joachim, and in it he combined what a contemporary critic termed ‘the great and serious’ with songful lyricism, melodic beauty, and a fiery Hungarian finale. To mend a breach with the violinist, Brahms later composed a concerto with the unusual combination of violin and cello, the latter played at the premiere by Joachim’s colleague Robert Hausmann. Neither instrument predominates in a work of reconciliation that perfectly embodies both drama and reflection.
Tianwa Yang and Gabriel Schwabe’s previous collaboration
in Saint-Saëns’ La Muse et le Poète
With the season of spring now in full swing, check out our playlists to find the perfect soundtrack for your day! Whether you’re reading your favourite book or just need to focus, we have you covered with our Classical for Reading playlist. Shake off those winter blues with unCLASSIFIED’s happy, high-energy collection of works from Copland, Sibelius, and more. Celebrate traditional Easter masterpieces from composers like Bach and Handel with our Easter playlist, and take a musical trip to Armenia with the latest playlist from Grand Piano! Happy listening!
Mikael Ayrapetyan is a pianist, composer and producer who is the founder and artistic director of the music project Secrets of Armenia, which aims to increase international awareness of Armenian classical music. He actively organises concerts featuring Armenian music in venues around the world, for which he is producer, artistic director and pianist. Born in 1984 in Yerevan, Armenia, he studied at the Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory and continues to uphold the performing traditions of the Russian piano school, of which Konstantin Igumnov, Samuel Feinberg and Lev Oborin are luminaries. His repertoire ranges from the Baroque to the contemporary and includes rarely performed works by Armenian composers.
This month, Mikael Ayrapetyan is presenting two new releases on the Grand Piano label:
In the latest instalment in the 'Secret of Armenia' series, Ayrapetyan has unearthed the treasures of piano music by Nikoghayos Tigranian, who belonged to the first generation of composers and folk song collectors who laid the foundation of an Armenian national style.
Tigranian’s piano transcriptions of folk dances is perhaps his most important legacy, emulating folk instruments and capturing and preserving colourful depictions of Armenian folk life that are simple in texture and rich with harmonic and melodic detail. His interest also extended to Persian improvisational vocal-instrumental poems or mugams; expressive pieces that influenced contemporaries and subsequent generations of composers.
Ayrapetyan also presents his own contemporary compositions of 12 miniatures for piano, under the Grand Piano Overtone imprint. The piano cycle, titled A Whole in 12, was written in the space of one year and these lovely pieces are a musical expression of a significant period in Mikael Ayrapetyan’s life.
Next month, Mikael will also release the world premiere recordings of his own arrangements of prominent Kabbalist Baal HaSulam's cycle Melodies of the Upper Worlds. Many of the melodies are composed to text fragments from Kabbalistic sources, and the music reflects deep spirituality and aspiration towards a higher state of enlightenment.
ACCLAIMED RECORDINGS FEATURING MIKAEL AYRAPETYAN