Critics Choice August 2022

This month brings you another bumper crop of great reviews from the leading music magazines, quality dailies and online review sites. There’s no doubt about it: Naxos releases and distributes some of the best music and audiovisual albums!

Highly Reviewed Albums of the Month
Naxos 2.110709
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Ernman • Maltman • van Wanroij • Summers • Les Arts Florissants • Christie • Warner

‘Beautifully filmed and recorded in state-of-the-art sound, this is a magnificent reminder of what music lost with the death of Purcell.’

‘Hilary Summers, in the role of the Sorceress, practically steals the show with her intense stage presence and powerful, text-driven delivery.’
American Record Guide

‘This beautiful, chic production of Purcell’s masterpiece is highly recommended.’

BelAir Classiques BAC165
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Schager • Kampe • Milling • Gubanova • Daniel • Staatsopernchor • Staatskapelle Berlin • Barenboim • Tcherniakov

‘Tcherniakov’s staging features exceptional physical energy and movement and intense, detailed and personal acting…’

‘A satisfying, gripping and enlightening production, that helped change my perception of Wagner’s epic.’
British Theatre Guide

Audio Releases
Naxos Releases
M. Blennerhassett • RTÉ Sinfonietta • D. Lloyd-Jones

‘Cheerful and effervescent, light in touch but also precise.’
MusicWeb International

Ramsl • Schütz • Wallisch

‘Despite the richness of the field, this album is certainly one of the best I’ve heard this year.’
American Record Guide

C. Prégardien • Eisenlohr

‘Terrifically compelling start’
Opera News

Slovak Radio Symphony • A. Penny

‘All credit to Naxos for presenting this wonderful opportunity to all aficionados of this music to enjoy and assess afresh some of the best melodies ever composed in this genre.’
Classical Music Daily

Tarara • M. Carr • Eun-Sun Hong • Solaun

‘Exquisitely crafted performance by a team of well-matched players are captured in a luminous acoustic on this recording of chamber works.’
BBC Music Magazine ★★★★★

Hyejin Chung • Warren Lee

‘One could not dream of better interpreters to discover these pages.’
Classica ★★★★★

Buosi • Schaefer • Pinto • Kopylova • São Paulo Symphony • Tibiriçá

‘The soloists and the orchestra play with virtuosity and devotion.’
Record Geijutsu

Goiás Philharmonic • N. Thomson

‘If you’re looking for a new discovery that you’ll play and enjoy often, then you’ll definitely want to get this terrific disc forthwith.’

Aquinas Piano Trio

‘I have never enjoyed Haydn trios as much as in these performances. Aquinas’s easy-going spirit is captivating…’

Brahms Trio

‘Brahms Trio continues its meritorious edition of “History of the Russian Piano Trio”. Very rewarding!’
Fono Forum ★★★★

Chiavacci • Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma • La Vecchia

‘[Chiavacci’s] luminous tone is exactly what is needed for this music to grip the listener from the very first. Deeply impressive, with a recording to match.’

Lenormand • Gomar • Komitès • Gasse • Orchestre des Frivolités Parisiennes • Corlay

‘A truly exciting discovery’
Classical Music Daily

Janáček Philharmonic • Salvi

‘This CD represents an enjoyable trip in itself…back in time, and to a type of stage work that was characteristic of the 19th century but is little-known today.’ ★★★★

‘This is super Suppé, wrapped in a must-get disc for your collection.’
Classical Music Daily

Ralph van Raat

‘Ralph van Raat plays all these pieces with great sensitivity and a sure sense of Tan Dun’s fine sense for the piano sound.’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

Naxos 8.508021
(8-CD Boxed Set)
Various Artists

‘Vaughan Williams’ chamber works are performed by the Maggini Quartet, his greatest contemporary champions; while the sublime Mass in G minor is a solid addition.’
Classical CD Choice

Independent Label Releases (in alphabetical order)
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra • Blomstedt

‘Throughout, the attention given to expression, dynamics and detailing is of the highest order: superb; life-enhancing.’
Colin’s Column

Kühmeier • Bavarian Radio Chorus and Symphony • M. Jansons

‘Jansons’s forces do complete justice to this apotheotic vision, with absolutely no sense of pushing back against the slow tempo, and the shining clarity of the recording quite simply makes it one of the best recordings of this work I have ever heard.’

T. Riley • Bang on a Can All-Stars

‘Riley’s multidimensional musical dream diary is finally available as he envisioned it.’
Stereophile ★★★★★

Berlin Radio Choir • Berlin Radio Symphony • Strobel

‘A special trust during Schnittke’s lifetime and loving service to his estate, reflecting a fascinating personality: warm-hearted, ironic, playful, unique film music series.’
Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics’ Award)

Cedille CDR90000-208
Klein • Bush

‘Delivered with dexterity and conviction in beautifully rounded tone with acidity by Alex Klein… with Philip Bush a vigorous and resourceful accompanist.’
BBC Music Magazine ★★★★

Nightingale String Quartet

‘The brilliant Nightingale Quartet continue their exploration and advocacy of Holmboe’s music with this beautifully performed programme’

‘The Nightingale Quartet plays with fervour and commitment as well as an astounding technique.’
The Art Music Lounge

Eleonor Bindman

‘A fascinating album.’
Rondo ★★★★★

Giulio Mercati

‘Giulio Mercati has chosen two very fine instruments whose tone colours match the music perfectly, and his playing displays a refined command of expression.’
Choir & Organ ★★★★

Irnberger • Geringas • Zilberstein

‘Everything is just right in this complete recording. The three musicians form an inspiring unit in terms of balance, momentum and joy of music-making. One could go on raving. Therefore only one word: Listen! ’
Rondo ★★★★★

Gottlieb Wallisch

‘The pianist strikes exactly the right balance between hard rhythm and the more often than expected soft cantabile, with which he lends the supposedly “roaring” 1920s a reflective and meditative note. …A whole musical epoch opens up.’
Piano News ★★★★★

Tandl • Jöbstl

‘This is one of those rare recitals that takes one risk after another – with handsome pay-offs…a consistently absorbing whole.’

Vaitkevicius • Giunter • Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra • Variakojis

‘Performance and recording are everything a composer could dream of: committed, imaginative and with a palpable sense of excitement which I found infectious.’
MusicWeb International

‘Wonderfully transmitted by the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra in Ondine’s crystal-clear but never too-resonant recording.’

The WholeNote

Magdalen College Choir Oxford

‘A simply adorable disc.’
MusicWeb International

S. Kam • A. Weithaas • J. Steckel • E. Pace • Frankfurt Radio Symphony • D. Cohen

‘In the Hindemithian sense enriched with brilliance, virtuosity, but also with soulfully beautiful singing and lively musicality. A musical pleasure in a class of its own…’
Klassik heute

Danish National Vocal Ensemble • Creed

‘A performance of great virtuosity and breathtaking subtlety from the Danish Vocal Ensemble under Marcus Creed.’
BBC Music Magazine ★★★★★

‘Superbly recorded in DXD…the recording makes a convincing case for high-resolution engineering.’
Stereophile ★★★★

Boyd Meets Girl

‘I’ve now listened four times through this album, each time finding new bits of interest, new nooks and crannies to explore. I do not doubt that I will be listening to it many more times in the months to come.’
Positive Feedback Online

G. Shaham • South West German Radio Symphony • McGegan

‘Shaham is now my top choice on disc.’

Marzadori • L. Mancini • Maestrucci

‘This is an extraordinary if difficult to describe disc, and I certainly recommend it to your listening.’
The Art Music Lounge

Audiovisual Releases
Naxos Releases
Naxos 2.110670
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Pérez • Rachvelishvili • Chaieb • Zilio • Jovanovich • Ciaponi • Jagde • Burdenko • Olivieri • Chorus of Dutch National Opera • Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra • Viotti • Carsen

‘The prize goes to the star-crossed lovers, Anita Rachvelishvili, exceptional in every way as Santuzza, and Brian Jagde, Turridu of great class.’
Classica ★★★★★

Independent Releases (in alphabetical order)
Accentus Music ACC-20555
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Collegium 1704 • Luks

‘…enjoyable and celebratory performances’

C Major 760708
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Lindsey • Clementi • Jurenas • Melrose • Bond • Hauman • Eichenholz • Chor und Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper • Pintscher • Graham

‘Neuwirth bends more than just gender in her bold new Woolf work.’

Dynamic DYN-37907
Also available on Blu-ray Video
and Disc
Frontali • Remigio • Stroppa • Albelo • Orchestra e Coro Donizetti Opera • Frizza

‘A very enjoyable package.’
BBC Music Magazine ★★★★

Opus Arte OA1334D
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Davidsen • Philip • Tritschler • Forsythe • Neal • Siliņš • Royal Opera Chorus • Royal Opera House Orchestra • Pappano • Kratzer

‘In total harmony with the spirit of the work, Tobias Kratzer delivers a powerful reading of Beethoven’s only opera.’

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