This year sees the 25th anniversary of the inception of Naxos AudioBooks, the leading audiobook label for the classics.
The company was founded in 1994 by Klaus Heymann, founder and Chairman of the Naxos Music Group, and journalist Nicolas Soames with the purpose of providing classic literature in an audio format.
The catalogue is 950 titles strong, and the label regularly continues to expand its list of quality unabridged recordings, with recent highlights including The Story of My Life by Giacomo Casanova, The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell, and a cast recording of Clarissa by Samuel Richardson.
A plethora of household names can be found on Naxos AudioBooks recordings, including Juliet Stevenson, Kenneth Branagh, Michael Sheen, Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Derek Jacobi, Anton Lesser, Bernard Cribbins and the late Paul Scofield.
Take a look at the following highlights showreel to hear a selection of clips from the label’s first 25 years:
NEW AND UPCOMING RELEASES
Mr. E and Me present New Orchestral Hits 4 Kids - magical orchestral music that can bring out the kid in anyone! The album New Orchestral Hits 4 Kids will be released worldwide on Naxos in September 2019.
Catchy contemporary music for children performed by an orchestra is a rarity. New Orchestral Hits For Kids aims to open ears, young and old, to the wonderful sounds of the orchestra. The songs are written, arranged and performed by two highly accomplished musicians, Mr. E. (aka Erik Johannessen of Jaga Jazzist fame) and Me (aka Martin Hagfors an acclaimed songwriter, artist and lyricist). The orchestra is the Norwegian Radio Orchestra directed by Anders Eljas, of Chess and ABBA fame, and Ingar Bergby.
The orchestra is augmented by the internationally renowned Sami artist, Mari Boine, the Norwegian Girls Choir and percussionist Heming Valebjørg of the Oslo Symphony Orchestra.
The Martin Brandqvist Quartet is a Swedish jazz group playing original compositions by the composer, drummer and multi-instrumentalist Martin Brandqvist. The music is lyrical Nordic jazz coloured by influences from film music and African roots music. The band includes, in addition to Brandqvist on drums, Inge Petersson Lindbäck (saxophone), Mattias Hjorth (Bass) and Johan Ohlsson (Piano).
Martin Brandqvist grew up in a home characterised by jazz. Martin’s father, Håkan Brandqvist, is a composer and a jazz musician. While aged only 17, Martin played at the legendary jazz club Nefertiti in Gothenburg. Later he became an experienced percussionist, both in Sweden and New York. Martin has toured with Vusi Mahlasela in South Africa and with Simbi at festivals in Haiti, Canada and France. As a composer, Martin has also written music for TV series and movies.
In 2016 Martin formed his own jazz quartet with some of the most skilled and committed improvisers in Sweden today. Their debut album Reflections was released in the same year and received critical acclaim. It also became the Top 2 album of Orkesterjournal’s Golden Disc 2016.
RECENT JAZZ RECORDINGS ON PROPHONE
Gramophone Magazine launches the public vote for its annual Orchestra of the Year Award. The award will be voted on by Gramophone’s readers and visitors to its website, based on a shortlist drawn up by the magazine’s editors.
This Award celebrates ensembles that have made significant contributions and achievements to classical recordings in the past year, and once again reflects the excellence of music-making across the globe. Some of the shortlisted ensembles have recently released critically acclaimed recordings on Naxos and its affiliated labels. They are the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. Click on the following link to view the full list and vote: www.gramophone.co.uk.
The Award will be decided by public vote, and the voting campaign starts now until September 7. The winner will be revealed at a ceremony at London’s De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms on October 16.
HONG KONG PHILHARMONIC
LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
ROYAL LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
GOTHENBURG SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
On May 13–15, Naxos Music Group returned to Rotterdam to hold its annual conference. Around a hundred people from the Naxos group companies, distributors and labels participated in a range of workshops, meetings and other events. During Naxos Day, Naxos and its affiliated labels presented the exciting new releases they have scheduled for the second half of the year, while other Group companies introduced updates about digital services, audiobooks and presentations of best practices and creative new ideas from different markets.
This year, the Naxos Music Group also hosted its own Music Market, setting aside a full day for bilateral meetings between labels and sales organisations and distributors. To kick off the day, representatives from select Naxos regional offices presented updates on activities and trends in their regional markets. Naxos Music Group also had a presence at the Classical:NEXT conference, and the Naxos booth at the Classical:NEXT venue proved a popular meeting place and saw a steady stream of visitors.
Naxos’ presence in Rotterdam reinforces the leading role that the group is taking to strengthen the position of the vibrant and diverse world of independent classical labels. Naxos a major industry player on its own with its vast catalogue, related products and services, and by managing a number of other independent labels; it has become the backbone of the independents. As the market becomes increasingly focused on digital distribution and consumption of music, the Naxos Music Group is fully embracing the shift, offering a range of physical and digital distribution, sales, licensing and marketing services.
Featuring over 400 tracks on 10 discs, The Complete National Anthems Of The World boxed set on Marco Polo is the most up-to-date collection available right now.
Arranged and conducted by Peter Breiner, this set is recorded by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Slovak State Philharmonic Košice and the Razumovsky Symphony Orchestra. The 2019 Edition sees the inclusion of new anthems for Mauritania, Montserrat, Seborga and Somalia.
‘When I started arranging and recording national anthems some 18 years ago, nobody expected the project would become so big and popular. In the meantime, it has been an important part of two Summer Olympics and numerous other sporting, cultural and social events. This is an extraordinary project and no other existing anthem collection comes close to its stature in terms of completeness, quality of research, or size of the orchestral forces used. Every time this album is updated, the reactions are overwhelming – from press articles and radio/TV shows all the way to special archbishops’ blessings. I hope this latest version, with its unprecedented number of anthems, will be no less appreciated.’
– Peter Breiner, arranger/conductor
SCORE RENTAL AND PURCHASE
Full score and orchestral parts of National Anthems arranged by Peter Breiner are available for rent and purchase. Please contact email@example.com.
The Naxos team is excited to be a part of the trailer of XBOX Gamepass, a new way to access game content, similar to Netflix. Check out this trailer where a remix version of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is used to boost the epic quality of the video!
Need to license some music for a project and don’t know where to start? Visit Naxos Licensing to find out how!
From 17 to 22 June, the Frost School of Music of the University of Miami hosts the 2019 Guitar Foundation of America Competition, one of the most prestigious guitar competitions in the world. Inaugurated in 1982, the competition has produced some of the leading guitarists of today, including Adam Holzman (First Prize, 1983), Marc Teicholz (First Prize, 1989), Jeffrey McFadden (Second Prize, 1992), Antigoni Goni (First Prize, 1995), Goran Krivokapić (First Prize, 2004), Johannes Möller (First Prize, 2010) and GRAMMY® Award-winner Jason Vieaux (First Prize, 1992), all of whom have featured in the Naxos Laureate Series.
The latest release in the series features the 2018 competition First Prize winner Raphaël Feuillâtre, performing original guitar pieces by Barrios, Llobet and Villa-Lobos, as well as transcriptions of works by Rameau, Scriabin and Rachmaninov. Also included in this album is Feuillâtre’s own arrangement of Enrique Granados’ 8 Valses poéticos. Watch his award-winning performance in the video below:
This year’s convention includes performances and workshops by competition laureates Zoran Dukic, Petrit Ceku, Irina Kulikova and more, as well as a special concert featuring the Brasil Guitar Duo. Visit the Guitar Foundation of America website for the complete schedule.
RECITAL ALBUMS BY GFA COMPETITION LAUREATES
|Browse through our Guitar, Lute and Vihuela segment catalogue to see all titles from the series.|
Samuel Barber’s Pulitzer Prize-winning first opera boasts one of the 20th century’s most beautiful scores. Poised constantly on the edge of song, Vanessa unfolds in generous swathes of melody, rich in filmic strings and soaring brass, with echoes of Puccini, Berg and Strauss. It climaxes in a final quintet of Mozartean poignancy – one of the great ensembles of the contemporary repertoire.
Outstanding performances are a-plenty in this rare opportunity to see one of the 20th century’s great operas. This world premiere recording from Glyndebourne gives centre stage to Emma Bell who performs the titular role with an amazing intensity, with rising star Viginie Verrez and the legendary Rosalind Plowright giving equally engrossing performances in this far too little-known masterpiece, in a new production by award- winning director, Keith Warner.
‘It’s magnificent… these are wonderful performances, and this is a beautiful, thought-provoking production.’ – The Spectator
‘Glyndebourne may have turned its attention to Barber’s opera belatedly, but they have done him proud.’ – The Independent
|Rosalind Plowright||The Old Baroness|
|Donnie Ray Albert||The Old Doctor|
|William Thomas||Nicholas, the Major-Domo|
Extra Features: Vanessa: An Operatic Thriller; Cast Gallery
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.
Featuring a comprehensive collection of classic audiobooks and high quality independent publisher productions, the Naxos Spoken Word Library (NSWL) provides an online and offline streaming service in English, German and French for both individual and institutional subscribers.
Naxos AudioBooks is an award winning audiobook publisher producing unique literary classics and educational themed productions. NSWL offers the complete Naxos AudioBooks catalogue, many items available with text on screen and print features.
Also included are Naxos Educational products, with a unique audiobook focusing on classical music, reflecting our affiliation with Naxos, the world’s leading classical music group. These titles cover lighthearted introductions to opera as well as biographies of composers and a survey of orchestral instruments.
Visit www.naxosspokenwordlibrary.com and get free 15-minute preview!
Recording sessions for pianist Sofja Gülbadamova’s Capriccio production took place in Ludwigshafen, Germany. Following the success of her debut solo album featuring Dohnányi’s solo piano works, Gülbadamova's upcoming album now adds Dohnányi’s Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2, performed with the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz under Ariane Matiakh.
Sofja Gülbadamova was the winner of the 2008 International Piano Competition in Aix-en-Provence and International Francis Poulenc Piano Competition. She also won the Grand Prix at the Rosario Marciano International Piano Competition and second prize at the André Dumortier International Piano Competition in 2010. Referencing her latest recording on Capriccio, Gramophone described Gülbadamova’s playing as ‘elegant and warm’.
RECORDINGS FEATURING ARIANE MATIAKH
MORE RECORDINGS OF ERNO DOHNÁNYI’S WORKS
Looking for new classical music? Our selection of curated playlists has you covered with music to complement the season, moment, or activity! For June, celebrate Classical Guitar Month with iconic works from all over the world, maximize your productivity with Focus Fuel, and find the perfect dinner music soundtrack with unCLASSIFIED’s Supper Club. Then, in Grand Piano’s latest playlist, discover the mastery of Philip Glass’ solo piano works with mesmerizing performances from Nicolas Horvath!
Juliet Stevenson, one of the UK’s leading actresses, has worked extensively for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre. She received an Olivier Award for her role in Death and the Maiden at the Royal Court, and a number of other awards for her work in the film Truly, Madly, Deeply. Other film credits include The Trial, Drowning by Numbers and Emma. For Naxos AudioBooks she has recorded Lady Windermere’s Fan, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Stories from Shakespeare, To the Lighthouse, Bliss and Other Stories, The Road Home, Middlemarch and many more.
TITLES READ BY JULIET STEVENSON
Following a violent and messy divorce, young Maisie Farange floats back and forth between her parents, Beale and Ida, who use her as a weapon to torment each other in their ongoing, internecine war. Eventually the parents both remarry, and it becomes clear that the new spouses care more for Maisie than her own parents. Beale and Ida soon embark on a series of extramarital affairs, leaving Maisie in the care of the new stepparents, who begin their own affair with each other. What Maisie Knew is a remarkable tour de force from James’s late-middle period, and an insightful look at the psyche of a child who is thrust into the adult world of drama and failed relationships.
Visit naxosaudiobooks.com to view more titles read by Juliet Stevenson.