SWR Classic is the label of the Southwest German Broadcasting Company (SWR) with a mission of documenting the artistic output of internationally renowned SWR orchestras and ensembles, including outstanding archive recordings of legendary musicians. The label has released recordings in cooperation with Naxos Germany since 2015. It celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2020 and is now a well-established competitor in the market; the numerous awards and prizes it has received attest to its success. Initially known as SWRmusic, the label was renamed SWR Classic in 2017, following the merging of two big orchestras – RSO (Radio Sinfonieorchester) and SO (Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden & Freiburg) – into the new SWR Symphony Orchestra based in Stuttgart.
The SWR ensembles are the SWR Symphony Orchestra, the SWR Vokalensemble (considered to be one of the best a cappella choirs for modern music in the world), the SWR Big Band, and the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie.
A main focus of SWR Classic is its series of re-mastered historic recordings of famous musicians and conductors, including Michael Gielen, Fritz Wunderlich, Hans Rosbaud and Friedrich Gulda. All these series are accompanied by detailed liner notes, written by leading musicologists.
Major back-catalogue artists who have enriched both the SWR archives and private collections of classical music fans include solo artists Svjatoslav Richter, Claudio Arrau, Wilhelm Backhaus, Ida Haendel, Lola Bobesco, Johanna Martzy and Henryk Szeryng; the Tokio String Quartet, Alban Berg Quartet, Melos Quartet and La Salle Quartet; and conductors Sir Roger Norrington, Carl Schuricht, Kirill Kondrashin and Carlos Kleiber. Conductors of the younger generation whose recordings are well documented by SWR CLASSIC are Stéphane Denève, Francois-Xavier Roth, Andrey Boreyko, Marcus Creed and Pietari Inkinen.
Pietari Inkinen was appointed chief conductor of the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbruecken in September 2017. He also serves as the chief conductor of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and the Prague Symphony Orchestra; he was chief conductor of the orchestra of the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele until the summer of 2019.
In the coming season, and in addition to his intensive concert activities with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Pietari Inkinen will continue his studio recordings of the symphony cycles of Sergey Prokofiev and Antonin Dvořák. He also continues to focus on the works of Jean Sibelius – notably his repertoire rarities – and music by Finnish composers such as Kaija Saariaho, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Magnus Lindberg.
Pietari Inkinen also specialises in the music of Richard Wagner; he was invited to conduct the upcoming new production of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festival (director: Valentin Schwarz). In the autumn of 2018 Inkinen returned to Opera Australia in Melbourne to conduct Die Meistersinger, following his acclaimed performances in 2016 of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, directed by Neil Armfield. This is the production which in August 2014 inspired Australia’s Helpmann Awards to name Inkinen as the winner of the Best Music Direction category for Opera Australia’s Ring Cycle. He has also appeared with the Finnish National Opera, La Monnaie in Brussels, the Staatsoper in Berlin and the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. He has conducted Wagner’s Walküre and Das Rheingold in Palermo's Teatro Massimo, and performances of a highly successful new production of Eugene Onegin at the Dresden Semperoper.
During his tenure as music director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Inkinen recorded the Sibelius Symphonies for Naxos. Other Naxos recordings include the premiere recording of Rautavaara’s Manhattan Trilogy and a further live Sibelius cycle recorded with the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in Suntory Hall.
This is the fifth instalment in the series dedicated to the complete recordings of Dvořák’s symphonies, together with his concert and opera overtures. Dvořák’s Sixth Symphony in D major, composed in the late summer and autumn of 1880, is often referred to as Dvořák’s 'First' because it was the first one to be published by Simrock and is considered the first of his brilliant masterpieces in the genre. His contemporaries were in agreement that Dvořák had not only mastered the large-scale form of four-movement symphonies but had also developed his individual, distinctive style. ‘This symphony reflects the cheerfulness, humour and passion of the Czech people’, said the early Dvořák biographer Otakar Šourek. This release also includes the Hussite Overture and the overtures to Selma sedlák and Vanda.
Naxos was among the winners of this year’s International Classical Music Awards (ICMA), announced on 30 April. Ondine, one of Naxos’ affiliated labels, was also the recipient of an award.
Of the nineteen citations in the audio and video categories, Naxos received two awards, both of which went to its box set of Beethoven’s complete symphonies, featuring the Danish Chamber Orchestra under Adam Fischer. The collection won the Symphonic Music category and was also named ICMA Recording of the Year.
The jury considered the edition 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 and expressive rubato let Beethoven ‘speak’ in a most persuasive way.’
Ondine won the Choral Music category for its recording of Tchaikovsky’s Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and Nine Sacred Pieces, performed by the Latvian Chamber Choir under Sigvards Kļava. The jury praised the choir’s ‘…angelic purity and brightness that emphasise the universality of the music. The harmonies seem to glow and the melodies create a long, intense arc that combines beauty, spirituality and passion.’
Special ICMA honours went to two other recording artists who are well represented in the Naxos catalogue: the Orchestra Award went to guitarist Pepe Romero (‘…an almanac of musical knowledge’); and conductor John Axelrod received a Special Achievement Award, the jury acknowledging his ‘probing, rigorous and richly characterised interpretations.’
For the full list of ICMA winners, please visit icma-info.com.
The winners of the 15th annual BBC Music Magazine Awards have been announced. DVD of the Year went to Glyndebourne’s staging of Barber’s Vanessa (Opus Arte), directed by Keith Warner. The awards ceremony was due to take place this month at Kings Place in London but was cancelled as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Enjoy this clip which includes a few words from the magazine editor Oliver Condy, and an acceptance speech from soprano Emma Bell, who plays the title role.
During the past few weeks, when people have been obliged to stay at home and musicians have had to face up to the reality of all their performances being cancelled, an initiative has been spearheaded by a group of internationally acclaimed artists based in Berlin, the award-winning film producer Jan Schmidt-Garre, and Naxos Audiovisual. Their aim was to set up a series of concerts performed and filmed at Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin.
Visit Naxos Music Youtube channel for the latest Schinkel Pavillon concerts featuring cellist Gabriel Schwabe, soprano Jacquelyn Wagner, baritone Roman Trekel, clarinetist Sharon Kam, and pianists Francesco Piemontesi, Nicholas Rimmer, Iddo Bar-Shaï, Zlata Chochieva and Matan Porat. The concerts from Schinkel Pavillon distinguish themselves by an excellent roster of artists and a high-end level of production quality.
The Schinkel Pavillon concerts are produced by Jan Schmidt-Garre’s PARS Media and Naxos Audiovisual Division, the Berlin branch of Naxos Music Group.
With every concert, a donation will be made to Deutsche Orchester-Stiftung to support artists suffering from loss of income during the coronavirus crisis.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel and watch the full concerts.
Naxos UK has teamed up with cartoonist and illustrator Rosie Brooks to create musically themed colouring pages. Visit the Colour Me website and download the pages now for free!
For a chance to be featured on the Naxos UK page, upload your creations on social media with the hashtag #colourme.
|The Ultimate Colouring playlist for your kids to listen to! A mixture of calming and energetic background tracks for colour therapy and imagination. A great introduction to the best of classical music for kids.|
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This opera was recorded at the 2019 Festival Verdi in a new co-production from Teatro Regio di Parma and Teatro Comunale di Bologna. I due Foscari, a tragedia lirica in three acts based on a work by Lord Byron, was premiered in 1844. It proved quite popular for the next fifty years, thanks in part to its brevity and ease of staging; in fact it’s Verdi’s shortest opera. The composer also revised the libretto by the rather inexperienced Francesco Maria Piave. From the musical point of view, this work is characterised by extreme simplicity of form and by the use of distinctive themes for each character, reminiscent of the Leitmotiv technique. The effectiveness of this recording stems from both the cast of singers (notably Vladimir Stoyanov in the role of Francesco Foscari) and the orchestra under Paolo Arrivabeni’s direction.
‘The audience paid a tribute of ten minutes applause to all the artists, with a triumph for Stoyanov.’ – The Opera Critic
‘The baritone Vladimir Stoyanov gave an absorbing portrayal of Francesco… Stefan Pop sang with ringing tone and strongly projected Jacopo’s volatile emotions… Paolo Arrivabeni’s conducting was a mixed blessing. He showed affection for the work in the way he brought out details.’ – The New Criterion
GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813–1901)
I DUE FOSCARI
Tragedia lirica in three acts
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
based on the play The two Foscari by Lord Byron
|Francesco Foscari||Vladimir Stoyanov|
|Jacopo Foscari||Stefan Pop|
|Lucrezia Contarini||Maria Katzarava|
|Jacopo Loredano||Giacomo Prestia|
|Pisana Erica||Wenmeng Gu|
|Attendant on the Council of Ten||Vasyl Solodkyy|
|Servant of the Doge||Gianni De Angelis|
|Set Designer||Andrea Belli|
|Costume Designer||Silvia Aymonino|
|Light Designer||Alessandro Verazzi|
|Orchestra||Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini Orchestra
Giovanile della Via Emilia
|Chorus||Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma|
|Chorus Master||Martino Faggiani|
|Video Directors||Matteo Ricchetti, Adriano Figari|
|Theater||Teatro Regio di Parma –
Festival Verdi 2019
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.
At the time of his death in 2010, José Antônio Rezende de Almeida Prado was one of Brazil’s most internationally admired composers, one who created music of unique sonority and colour, rooted in his native country. In Aurora (‘Dawn’) he employs his newly developed ‘transtonality’ to radiant effect, while the Concerto Fribourgeois features a collage technique. In his Piano Concerto No. 1 Almeida Prado explores a cogent structure in which the soloist opens up, rips apart or transforms the theme and variations, in a work that is both grandiose and luminous.
‘Almeida Prado is one of Brazil’s greatest composers. His works project an individual voice, full of life, light and extreme emotions. His musical language was built from deep national roots, enriched by his experiences with Nadia Boulanger and Olivier Messiaen, carrying the aesthetic traditions before him, and expanding them into a unique sound that defines this still relatively unknown artist.’ – Fabio Mechetti, conductor
‘I am honoured to bring my participation to the ‘Music of Brazil’ series with these monumental, and yet unknown concerti of the piano repertoire. I feel particularly close to these pieces, as well as to Almeida Prado, who was a lifelong friend and who dedicated many of his works to me. I am happy to bring these pieces to life with the invaluable collaboration of Fábio Mechetti and the Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra, in order to honour the memory of this great composer.’ – Sonia Rubinsky, piano
OTHER HIGHLY ACCALAIMED RECORDINGS OF BRAZILIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC
In This Land Sings, GRAMMY Award-winning composer Michael Daugherty has created an original musical tribute to the singer-songwriter and political activist Woody Guthrie (1912–1967). Traveling the backroads of America from coast to coast with a guitar and harmonica, Woody Guthrie performed folk songs of love, wandering and social justice during the Great Depression and the Second World War. Daugherty has composed his own original songs and instrumental interludes that give haunting expression, ironic wit and contemporary relevance to political, social and environmental themes from Guthrie’s era. Under the baton of GRAMMY Award-winning conductor David Alan Miller, the Albany Symphony’s new music ensemble Dogs of Desire, joined by soprano Annika Socolofsky and baritone John Daugherty, give a poignant and rousing performance.
AWARD-WINNING RECORDINGS OF MUSIC BY MICHAEL DAUGHERTY
Browse through the American Classics segment catalogue and discover many award-winning recordings of both well known works and rarely heard masterpieces.
This month, we’re featuring playlists that demonstrate the power of music to inspire hope and peace. Take a moment to relax with the tranquil tracks in our Lullaby Baby playlist, take a musical trip to the movies with Star Wars & John Williams, and lift your spirits with unCLASSIFIED’s Happy Vibes playlist.
Celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth
In celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birth year, we have curated a special Celebrate Beethoven playlist which is refreshed monthly according to various interesting themes based on his life, compositional periods, genre, and more. The tracks are sourced from the Naxos Complete Beethoven Edition, a new 90-disc boxed set also released to mark the anniversary year, hailed by the critics or being the most comprehensive set available.
This month we focus on his music for KEYBOARD.
Beethoven’s music for solo piano contains some of his most visionary, groundbreaking and memorable works. Drawn from the Complete Edition boxed set (Naxos 8.500250), the selected movements from Beethoven’s most well-known piano sonatas illustrate his dynamism as a composer and pianist, as well as his gift for flowing melodic beauty, with a wide range of variation and emotion. The smaller pieces highlight the composer’s command of variation form and, in the case of the Rondo a capriccio in G major (‘Rage over a Lost Penny'), his scintillating powers of bravura wit.
Follow the Celebrate Beethoven playlist on your favourite streaming platform to discover a wide range of works from one of the most influential composers in the history of classical music.
Themed Digital Album
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!
|This CELEBRATE BEETHOVEN catalogue contains an impressive collection of works by this master composer across the Naxos Music Group labels.|
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, music for the stage, choral and vocal works, 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.
Check out DeepDiscount.com’s unboxing video of the Naxos Beethoven Complete Edition:
The Licensing team is happy to be part of the British Gas ad campaign, Here to solve, which aimed to position the brand as more than just an energy supplier. Serving as the soundtrack is Offenbach’s Can-can from Orpheus in the Underworld. The company's latest film, Helping every way we can, puts a positive spin on the heroism of key workers by documenting how British Gas employees have adapted to working during the pandemic.
Need to license some music for a project and don’t know where to start? Visit Naxos Licensing to find out how!
Naxos Music Library Jazz is one of the most comprehensive collections of jazz music available online. It offers over 219,000 tracks from more than 19,200 albums. It boasts a wide range of jazz music, from jazz legends to contemporary jazz. Recordings of over 32,000 artists are represented. Naxos Music Library Jazz comprises the catalogues of over 250 labels, including Warner Jazz, EMI, Fantasy and others.
Visit www.naxosmusiclibrary.com/jazz and get free 15-minute preview!
Take the world of jazz wherever you go with mobile applications for Apple devices. Login the NML Jazz app with your member playlist account and listen to the playlists that you have created. Scroll through the categories list to find the style you want to listen to. Play on a Bluetooth speaker while practicing, relaxing, exercising, or eating dinner.