During 2009 Naxos marks several important composer anniversaries, including those for Handel (died 1759), Haydn (died 1809), Martinů (died 1959), Mendelssohn (born 1809) and Purcell (born 1659).
Visit the biography and discography pages of these composers for information about recordings of their timeless music on Naxos and the other labels which Naxos distributes in various countries around the world. Links to selected titles are given below.
Naxos commemorates Haydn’s 200th Anniversary with several special box sets of his Complete Concertos, Oratorios, Piano Sonatas, String Quartets & Symphonies. Read more
Famous the world over for his oratorio Messiah and for orchestral pieces such as the Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks, and his delightful concertos, Handel remains one of the most popular composers 250 years after his death. Below are some shortcuts to selected titles that are available via download, or on CD or DVD:
Water Music & Fireworks Music
Born in a church tower in the Bohemian village of Policka, Bohuslav Martinů was an immensely prolific and varied composer. The approach of the German armies in 1940 forced him to flee to the United States and political events in Czechoslovakia prevented his return home after World War II. Despite this exile, his music glows with an abiding love for the music of his Czech homeland. 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of his death in Switzerland in 1959. Among many recordings on Naxos, Giorgio Koukl’s highly acclaimed series devoted to his Complete Piano Music (which include several previously unknown or unrecorded works) and his six remarkable symphonies may be of particular interest:
Further volumes are also forthcoming.
Prolific and precocious, Mendelssohn had many gifts as composer, conductor and pianist. His style of composition combined something of the economy of means of the classical period with the romanticism of a later age and shines with a highly polished charm. During 2009 we celebrated the 200th anniversary of his birth. Naxos boasts an extensive number of recordings of his music, including these selected titles:
8.570213 Lieder ohne Worte (Songs Without Words) (arranged for violin and piano)
8.554433 A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Overtures
8.570001 String Quartets, Vol. 1 – Nos. 1, 4, 6
8.570488 Complete String Quintets
8.550957 Symphonies Nos. 1 & 5 ‘Reformation’
8.553522 Symphony No. 2 ‘Hymn of Praise’
8.553200 Symphonies No. 3 ‘Scottish’ & 4 ‘Italian’
A special box set of Mendelssohn’s piano music is forthcoming.
Henry Purcell was one of the greatest English composers, flourishing in the period that followed the Restoration of the monarchy after the Puritan Commonwealth period. Purcell spent much of his short life in the service of the Chapel Royal as a composer, organist and singer. With considerable gifts as a composer, he wrote extensively for the stage, the church and for popular entertainment, and is still renowned as a master of English word-setting. He died in 1695, a year after composing funeral music for Queen Mary. 2009 is the 350th anniversary of his birth. Selected recordings include:
8.553108 Dido and Aeneas
8.553444 Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day, Te Deum
8.553982 Suites and Transcriptions for Harpsichord
8.570149 Theatre Music, Vol. 1 – Amphitryon, Sir Barnaby Whigg, The Gordian Knot Unty’d, Circe
The Naxos CD and DVD catalogues feature wonderful recordings of countless other composers. You can browse through our comprehensive Composer Index to discover many more, both famous and less well known.