OehmsClassics, the independent German record label, was founded in 2003 by Dieter Oehms. The label, which has been part of the Naxos Music Group since 2018, focuses on productions from opera houses such as the Frankurt Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Aalto Theater Essen. Among the label's extensive roster of well-known artists are Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Dimitri Kitaenko, Simone Young, Sebastian Weigle, Ivor Bolton, Markus Stenz and Bertrand de Billy. Identifying promising young artists and helping them develop their careers was at the core of the label's philosophy when it was launched.
Today, OehmsClassics is one of the world’s most renowned classical record labels that boasts a catalogue of some 800 entries, including numerous debutants, rarities and important work cycles by great composers.
Detlev Glanert (b. 1960) is a contemporary German composer who found early success with his opera Der Spiegel des großen Kaisers (The Big Emperor’s Mirror), which won the Rolf Liebermann Opera Award in 1995. His newest stage work, Oceane, was premiered on 28 April 2019 at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. It enthused both the audience and critics and was hailed as “one of the most exciting new operas of recent times” by the Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel. The world premiere recording was recorded by the Orchestra and Choir of the Deutsche Oper Berlin under the baton of Donald Runnicles.
Gustav Mahler’s Sixth Symphonywas written between 1903 and 1904, mostly in Vienna, during a period of professional success and private happiness. But musically the ‘Tragic’, as the symphony is sometimes called, seems like a bizarre reversal of Mahler’s life events and an anticipation of future tragedies: the death of a daughter; the diagnosis of Mahler’s heart disease; and his profound occupational crisis at the Vienna Court Opera. They would soon bring to an abrupt end Mahler’s short spell of good fortune.
In mid-May 2019, the Essen Philharmonic’s general music director Tomáš Netopil conducted the orchestra in two acclaimed performances of the Sixth Symphony. The work was performed almost exactly 113 years earlier, on 27 May 1906, by the same orchestra under the composer’s direction.
It's never too early to start on a life-long, magical journey of discovery in the world of classical music. We hope our Classical Music for Children catalogue will help parents in their selection of music for younger members of the family. It features all our new releases, including the live performances from Snape Maltings Concert Hall conducted by Marin Alsop, and the New Orchestral Hits 4 Kids presented by Mr. E and Me and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.
From individual discs to compilations, from Renaissance works to contemporary sounds, and from first experiences to a maturing interest in classical music – this catalogue provides a generous list of suggestions for future pleasures to take root.
These live performances from Snape Maltings Concert Hall present some of the most popular classical works for younger audiences. Their perennial appeal is a result of vivid melodies, witty instrumental characterisation and, in three works, the use of spoken texts to illuminate the narrative. Whether composed to amuse, entertain or educate, each possesses marvellous vitality, lyricism and bravura. The performances are conducted and narrated by Marin Alsop, one of the world’s most inspirational musical communicators.
Catchy contemporary music for children performed by an orchestra is a rarity. New Orchestral Hits 4 Kids aims to open ears, new 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 the acclaimed songwriter, artist and lyricist). The orchestra is The Norwegian Radio Orchestra directed by Anders Eljas of Chess and ABBA fame and the eloquent 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. Enjoy!
The Naxos World label was re-launched in late 2019 and the catalogue is growing rapidly. This month we’ll explore some of these recordings. The occasion of Chinese New Year affords the first spotlight to fall on Naxos World’s Chinese music series.
Folk Music from China
Chinese folk music has a charm all of its own, even down to its evocative song titles, such as What is the Most Beautiful Flower? and Missing My Lover Boy (featured in the albums below). The sounds associated with Chinese music, particularly its string and wind instruments, have become instantly identifiable. Yet much of Chinese traditional music is not heard outside the country, and many of the folk songs of non-Han Chinese peoples are unknown even within China.
The Folk Songs of China series from Naxos World aims to correct this by exploring China’s rich and diverse musical heritage, with recordings of folk songs from all 55 of the country’s ethnic minority groups. The first four albums in the series focus on the many ethnic groups living in Qinghai & Gansu; Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang; Yunnan; and Guangxi.Upcoming albums will include explorations of the folk tunes of Taiwan, and China’s minority Russian and Tajik populations.
‘Almost exclusively a capella, and largely for solo voice, many of the songs are pastoral in nature, evoking mountains and wild grasslands, and the deep connection with nature that arises from an agricultural lifestyle. Some serve as epic ancestral narratives, steeped in history and legend. Also present are hua’er love songs, wedding songs, as well as ruminations on old age and the passage of time. For the most part, the songs are melodically pentatonic and the narrative is conveyed through soaring melismas and stunning falsetto flips. The liner notes provide ample historical and anthropological context, as well as complete lyrics.’ – Songlines ★★★★
‘The Naxos World label comes through with music of regions not as familiar to non-local listeners… We hear unaccompanied vocal renditions of songs sung by ethnic minorities from the tribes of Tu, Bonan, Dongxiang, Yugur and the Salar. That fact alone makes this release notable... a valuable addition to one’s folk-ethnic library … Fascinating.’ – Gapplegate Music Review
‘This … exciting new series from Naxos explores China’s rich and diverse musical heritage. … This second volume in the Naxos series features recordings of folk songs from five minority ethnic groups of Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang Mongol, Daur, Oroqen, Evenki and Hezhen. As with Chinese traditional visual arts, song titles such as the majestic ‘Vast Grasslands’, the plaintive ‘Fishing Song (Missing My Lover Boy)’, ‘My Dear Horse’ and the lovely ‘Green Oasis’ explain their mood and origin.’
‘This is …more interesting than some of the modern rock/pop releases we listen to… this is proper singing. It’s rather beautiful, and certainly distinctive.’ – Review Corner
The songs featured in this recording are folk songs of three of the minority ethnic groups of Yunnan province—Wa, Blang, and De’ang.
The series continues in February with the fourth volume, exploring the folk songs of Guangxi.
A useful overview of the diversity of Chinese folk music is available in DISCOVER MUSIC FROM CHINA – with ARC Music (EUCD2616). This enchanting and charming collection of Chinese music presents instrumental solo and ensemble pieces in a variety of arrangements from traditional to contemporary, as well as sung pieces from various regions of China and in different styles. All the main traditional Chinese instruments are represented, as well as arrangements with Western instruments.
Lunar New Year Music
There are numerous celebrations and festivals that take place in China. Of these, the Spring Festival, also known as the Lunar New Year, is perhaps the most important. The annual celebration follows the lunar calendar (based upon the monthly cycles of the moon’s phases), and so there is no fixed date, although festivities usually take place sometime between January and February; this year the celebrations take place between the 24th of January and the 8th of February. Music is an integral part of these celebrations, especially accompanying lion dances and other street performances that take place throughout the New Year period. Several albums from the ARC Music catalogue celebrate the beauty of this music:
A special album dedicated to the Chinese New Year. Popular and traditional Chinese New Year’s music from different parts of mainland China as well as Taiwan, Hong Kong and overseas. The album including new compositions especially composed for Chinese New Year celebrations.
For those of you who wish to explore more Chinese festival music, this collection includes not only tunes for Chinese New Year, but also from the Lantern, Dragon Boat and Harvest festivals.
If you’d like to discover even more great Chinese music, listen to the Naxos playlist Journey to China.
BBC Music Magazine has announced the shortlist for its 2020 Awards. Ondine received two nominations appearing in seven categories.
The recording of Lutosławski’s Symphonies Nos. 1 and 4 with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Hannu Lintu received the nomination in the Orchestral category.
‘You could hardly wish for a more rounded portrait of the modernist Polish master than this exciting release, which contrasts a young man’s energy in the First Symphony with muscular maturity in the Fourth. Nor could you reasonably wish for more powerfully played performances of these works than is delivered here.’ – BBC Music Magazine
Hornist Markus Maskuniitty's release of concertante horn works together with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Sakari Oramo has been nominated in the Concertos category.
‘Schumann’s exuberant Konzertstück introduces us to Maskuniitty and fellow Stockholm horn players, before he performs Saint-Saëns and Glière with a sound like a smooth malt: warm, smoky, with a hint of fire. Consummate artistry; superb recording.’ – BBC Music Bagazine
The full list of nominees can be found at classical-music.com. The 15th annual BBC Music Magazine Awards are the only classical music awards voted for by the public. Visit the BBC Music Magazine website to vote: classical-music.com/awards (Voting ends 16 February)
The winners will be announced at a ceremony at Kings Place, London on Wednesday 22 April.
The Jury of the International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) announced the Awards for 2020 which mark the tenth anniversary of this prestigious musical recognition. Two releases and two artists from the Naxos Music Group are among the winners:
The Beethoven’s complete symphonies recording with the Danish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Ádám Fischer won the Symphonic Music category (8.505251). The jury stated: ‘Adam Fischer and the Danish Chamber Orchestra present a very convincing, coherent and meaningful set of Beethoven’s symphonies whose main characteristic is the rhetorical diversity showing all Beethoven’s various facets. This eloquence is achieved with a consistently slender, low-vibrato music-making and a wide range of tempi, rhythm and dynamics. Exciting contrasts, powerful accents, expressive rubato let Beethoven ‘speak’ in a most persuasive way.’
The award in the Choral Music category went to Ondine’s recording of Tchaikovsky’s sacred works (ODE1336-2), performed by the Latvian Radio Choir under their director Sigvards Kļava. This impressive recording has received acclaim: ‘This CD highlights Tchaikovsky’s role as an innovator of Orthodox music. The Latvian Chamber Choir sings Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and other sacred works with an angelic purity and brightness that emphasizes the universality of the music. The harmonies seem to glow and the melodies create a long, intense arc that combines beauty, spirituality and passion.’
In celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, we've curated a special Celebrate Beethoven playlist that will be refreshed each month with various themes based on his life, compositional periods, types of works, and more. The tracks will be sourced from the Naxos Complete Beethoven 90-disc box set.
Follow this playlist as we celebrate Beethoven's 250th birthday with monthly updates throughout 2020! This month we focus on his SYMPHONIES AND ORCHESTRAL MUSIC.
Each month, we also have corresponding digital albums that you may download and enjoy again and again. Please click on the cover image to your left to download this month's release and remember to come back and visit our mini-site each month for more amazing music!
Beethoven’s monumental contribution to Western classical music is celebrated here in this definitive collection marking the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Surveying the totality of his career and achievement, the Complete Edition spans orchestral, concerto, keyboard, chamber, choral and vocal works, not forgetting music for the stage, encompassing his most familiar and iconic masterpieces alongside rarities and recently reconstructed fragments and sketches in world premiere recordings.
Visit and bookmark the mini-site for this release, which will be regularly updated.
The Naxos licensing team is happy to be part of the humorous and uplifting story of two ingenuous Greek cousins, who tackle the world market with their organic tomato products.
With a little help from Wagner’s music – which they use to help their tomatoes grow – the team succeeds in exporting little jars with organic tomato recipes across the world. The film follows the protagonists of this unlikely quest, as they struggle to survive and make their dream come true.
Humorous and bittersweet, this is a story about the importance of reinventing oneself in times of crisis and the power of human relationships.
The documentary was submitted by Greece for the Best International Feature Film Award at the 2020 Academy Awards. The music used in the film includes Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, III. Allegro, and overtures from Wagner’s The Mastersingers of Nuremberg and Rienzi.
Need to license some music for a project and don’t know where to start? Visit Naxos Licensing to find out how!
Born in Parma, Ferdinando Paer wrote more than 50 operas. He composed Agnese in 1809 for a private entertainment and a company of amateur singers. In 1824, with a few changes to the score, this opera semiseria in two acts reached the Théâtre-Italien in Paris where it gained international success. Among its early admirers were Berlioz, Chopin and Victor Hugo (who mentioned it in his Les Misérables) but a few decades after its premiere it fell into oblivion. It was first revived in modern times in concert form by conductor Diego Fasolis. Finally, in 2019, with the benefit of a critical revision, it was staged at the Teatro Regio di Torino.
The plot presents several fairy-tale elements, which are convincingly realised through the stage setting. The set design for the world premiere video of this wonderful opera comprises a series of movable boxes which are similar to carillons and open to display different environments.
‘María Rey-Joly, in the eponymous role, showed a mellow, lyrical soprano… She was particularly effective in the larmoyant style, but she also approached the last difficult aria (“Da te solo”) with boldness, receiving great acclaim.’ – Bachtrack
|Agnese, Count Uberto’s daughter||María Rey-Joly|
|Uberto, Agnese’s father||Markus Werba|
|Ernesto, Agnese’s husband||Edgardo Rocha|
|Don Pasquale, manager of the mental hospital||Filippo Morace|
|Don Girolamo, chief physician||Andrea Giovannini|
|Carlotta, Don Pasquale’s daughter||Lucia Cirillo|
|Vespina, Uberto’s maid Giulia||Della Peruta|
|A six-year-old girl, Agnese’s daughter||Sofia La Cara (mime)|
|Set Designer||Federica Parolini|
|Costume Designer||Silvia Aymonino|
|Light Designer||Alessandro Verazzi|
|Chorus Master||Andrea Secchi|
|Video Director||Tiziano Mancini|
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.
Nino Rota embraced neo-Classical, neo-Romantic and even neo-Baroque affiliations. His music prized melodic directness and communicative generosity, so it's not surprising that he should be best known for his epochal film scores – pre-eminently the music for The Godfather.
Nino Rota’s 15 Preludes utilise melodic and harmonic explorations to chart music that is agitated and melancholic, but also joyous and comedic. The Fantasia in G comprises seven themes – folkloric, droll and ultimately heroic. A late work, the 7 Pezzi difficili per bambini is generous in its emotional directness.
‘My introduction to the concert music of Nino Rota initially came through performing his trio for piano, cello and clarinet. There are few works written for this combination of instruments and I was interested in the trio’s unusual mixture of evocative melody lines, driving rhythms and striking harmonic colours. Whilst I was familiar with some of Rota’s iconic film scores, I was unaware there was a substantial body of piano works, some only recently published. The piano pieces show a different side to Rota; it is wonderful to perform them to the surprised delight of audiences who only know the screen music.’ – Eleanor Hodgkinson
RECOMMENDED RECORDINGS OF PIANO MUSIC BY FILM COMPOSERS
‘Naxos Works Database is a valuable reference tool for librarians, performers, conductors, and musicologists and I look forward to watching its continued growth.’ – Music Library Association
Researching a composer for college? Preparing a concert? Looking for new music to perform? The Naxos Works Database is your reliable source for classical music information.
This new Naxos service meets the needs of artists and performing arts organisations, a place where you can find all the most important information about classical musical works: instrumentation, duration, year of composition, composer biographies, music notes and much more.
The entries in the Naxos Works Database are largely derived from the vast amount of information included in the Naxos Music Library, augmented by information from many other sources and through our close cooperation with music publishers.
The new service offers sophisticated search capabilities: by playing time, year of composition, country of birth of the composer, category, featured instrument and many other criteria, either on their own or combined.
We’re adding new works all the time, and working closely with classical music publishers to make sure we have up-to-date records.
Sign up for a free trial now and enjoy the benefits of one of the most trusted names in classical music.
Leoš Janáček (1854–1928) composed the song cycle The Diary Of One Who Disappeared at a time when many people already considered him on a par with the other two masters of Czech national music, Smetana and Dvořák. The inspiration for the autobiographical Diary came from a few enigmatic lines of poetry in two editions of the Lidove noviny (People’s Newspaper) published in May 1916.
Although this work is Janáček’s most important original song cycle, his keen interest in the folk songs and dances of his Moravian homeland resulted in a plethora of arrangements, making this music accessible also for the classical concert hall. These include the Six folksongs sung by Eva Gabel (Šest národních písní jež zpívala Gabel Eva) and the Songs from Detva (Písně detvanské). Quite unlike the songs of the Diary, which chiefly make reference to the Moravian dialect, the arrangements evince the typically ethnic-sounding music that Janáček refined, so to speak, by adding a sophisticated piano part to adaptations of the existing melody lines, reflecting the tradition of the great song compositions of the 19th century..
Having explored songs by Mozart and Schubert on previous acclaimed albums, Slovak tenor Pavol Breslik now presents works by Czech composer Leoš Janáček in his fourth album for the Orfeo label.
OTHER RECORDINGS FEATURING PAVOL BRESLIK
Happy New Year! As you journey into 2020, here is a curated selection of playlists to help start the year off right. First, discover the best new classical music in our New & Now playlist, explore the latest and finest piano compositions with our Contemporary Piano playlist, find some inner peace with our Reflection & Meditation playlist, and jump into your next project with unCLASSIFIED’s Brain Fuel playlist. Happy listening!
Sophie-Mayuko Vetter is one of the most versatile and remarkable pianists of her generation. With her comprehensive repertoire ranging from the early Baroque to the avant-garde, she has proven herself on many international stages. She has been a soloist with various renowned orchestras and a guest at well-known festivals such as the Salzburg Festival, Ruhr Piano Festival, Raderberg Concerts (Deutschlandfunk), Albert Concerts Freiburg, Munich Biennale, the Blackheath Halls Series in London, and the Opera City Hall Series in Tokyo.
Born in Japan in 1978, she received lessons in piano, violin and composition in Japan from the age of four and in the ensuing years wrote an extensive series of vocal overtone duets. Until 1996, she gave concerts together with her father Michael Vetter and masterclasses as an overtone singer – influences that have dominated her sensitivity to sound as a pianist in a very special way.
At the age of six, she moved to Germany and gave her debut piano recital in Salzburg. She then received lessons from Edith Picht-Axenfeld on historic keyboard instruments until 2001. This led to the formation of a partnership with Rainer Kussmaul in 1999 that remains an incredible inspiration to her.
Three years after her move to Germany, she was accepted into the preparatory class at the Musikhochschule Freiburg where she studied with Vitaly Margulis (piano), Robert Hill (historic keyboard instruments), Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht and Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf (music theory). After she completed her postgraduate studies with distinction, she moved to London to deepen her knowledge in studies with Peter Feuchtwanger.
Ever since WDR dedicated a programme to her piano compositions, she has been in demand for radio and television productions by DLF, SWR, BR, MDR, RBB, Tokyo FM, Radio Television Hong Kong, ORF, DRS and BBC London, both as an interpreter and composer. Her extensive radio project "The music and lyrics of Japanese modernity – a symbiosis" with Rainer Kussmaul for Bayerischer Rundfunk was well received internationally.
The artist herself now gives masterclasses for pianists, and works for renowned radio broadcasters and publishers as a musicologist; as such, she was a founding member of the Music & Aesthetics magazine.
She has worked with composers such as Stockhausen, Otte, Ruzicka and Pousseur and has premiered many of the works dedicated to her, such as the piano concerto by Mahnkopf with the RSO Vienna at the Salzburg Festival.
Sophie-Mayuko Vetter presents the world premiere recording of a reconstruction of around 70 pages of sketches for Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 6 in D major (fragment) by Nicholas Cook and Hermann Dechant. Another special feature of this release is that the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra ‘No. 0’ in E flat major, WoO 4 is heard in period style, performed on a fortepiano made by the London piano manufacturer John Broadwood in 1806.
‘The sound of the orchestra, Ruzicka’s conducting and Vetter’s brilliant playing let this extraordinary program become an important contribution to the Beethoven Year.’ – Pizzicato
In this album Sophie-Mayuko Vetter presents Mozart’s final piano concerto, K. 595, which is regarded as the composer's most mature work in this genre. The programme also features Piano Concerto No. 17, written by Mozart for his pupil Barbara Ployer. Encores also feature violinist Rainer Kussmaul, performing in both the unfinished Concerto in D major for Violin, Piano and Orchestra and Fantasia in C minor.
‘Naturally flowing, light and filigree performances of two Mozart piano concertos.’ – Pizzicato ★★★★★