Critics Choice July 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 2.110707
Also available on Blu-ray Video
van Mechelen • Benoit • Brunet-Grupposo • Degout • Pygmalion Choir and Orchestra • Pichon • Candel

‘Compelling and beautiful work from Raphaël Pichon’s ensemble Pygmalion, and François Roussillon’s film direction is admirable.’
Opera News

‘This is a welcome opportunity to see enjoy an extraordinary opera by one of the most important Baroque composers.’

Dynamic DYN-37927
Also available in Blu-ray Video
and Disc
Workman • Galou • Accademia Bizantina • Dantone • Carsen

‘Monteverdi’s opera is brought vividly to life by director Robert Carsen and an impressive cast.’

‘This is a performance of high calibre, rightly celebrated by the audience at the Maggio Musicale in Florence.’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

Audio Releases
Naxos Releases
Giltburg • Royal Liverpool Philharmonic • V. Petrenko

‘Awesome music-making, brilliantly supported by Vasily Petrenko and his Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’
Classical Music Daily

Partridge • Vorster

‘A welcome and highly entertaining release from these two able performers.’
Lark Reviews

Naxos 8.660480–82
M. Miller • J. Kohl • Irina Jae-Eun Park • A. Jung • Theater Freiburg Choirs • Freiburg Philharmonic • Bollon

‘…None of the performers is demerited from a musical point of view, in particular Meagan Miller and Joshua Kohl, each one possessing the character and the solid vocal style that suit these heroes. Fabrice Bollon with a fine vigour and a dramatic tension is never lacking.’

G. and C. Fuga • Voghera

‘The performances are thoughtful and highly expressive…a fascinating programme of a composer I want to hear more.’

Teale • Buckland • Navarra Quartet

‘These are convincing renditions by the Navarra Quartet, whose violinist Benjamin Marquise Gilmore…of bristling virtuosity…anyone curious as to Gregson’s exploratory side should certainly investigate this excellently recorded and annotated release. ’

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

‘The soloists and the orchestra play with virtuosity and devotion.’
Record Geijutsu, Critic’s Choice

‘Performances throughout are thoroughly idiomatic and the four soloists genuinely seem to revel in the music. Roberto Tibiriçá guides them through it with the sureness of one who knows the scores inside out.’

‘Spirited and compelling performances of instantly attractive music.’
MusicWeb International

Banse • Hakhnazaryan • ORF Vienna Radio Symphony • Alsop

‘With Juliane Banse shining with a rich bell-like sound, [an anarchic belief that poetry can be reawakened as a human space of expression] takes on flesh and blood.’
Klassisk ★★★★★

Baird • De Ryke • Mengelkoch

‘A special CD with songs by a special composer!’
Opera Nederland

Lille National Orchestra • Darrell Ang

‘Darrell Ang’s meticulous conducting highlights Pierné’s orchestral refinement and energetic texture, and once again we can only admire the fine form of the Orchestre National de Lille.’
Classica ★★★★

Spaendonck • Lefèvre • Joulain • Groben • Tharaud • F. Chaplin

‘A superb five-disc set of Poulenc chamber music with Alexandre Tharaud as the mainstay pianist, which is recommended without reserve. It’s a gem of a set, very well recorded.’

Z. Schiff • Royal Scottish National Orchestra • Eisenberg

‘Schiff and Eisenberg, do an exemplary job of bringing this music to the ear in rhetorical and tasteful interpretations.’
Pizzicato ★★★★

Janácek Philharmonic • Salvi

‘Dario Salvi makes a welcome return to the Naxos catalogue with this most unusual and engaging release. ’
The Light Music Society

R. Seidel • D.V. Marx

‘An enjoyable disc of music for this unusual but highly successful combination of instruments.’
MusicWeb International

Francesco Nicolosi

‘Nicolosi conquers these works—saying he “plays” them seems inadequate—and presents them in all their superficial-but-highly-engaging glory.’ ★★★★

Independent Label Releases (in alphabetical order)
Zlata Chochieva

‘Everything is captivating.’
American Record Guide

Veverka • Schelingerová • Wranitzky Kapelle • Štilec

‘Most enjoyable, high-quality performances, expertly conducted by Marek Štilec. I certainly recommend this CD to brighten your spirits.’
Dvořák Society Newsletter

I. Faust • M. Kožená • Bavarian Radio Symphony • P. Rundel • S. Rattle

‘Quite remarkable from first minute to last.’
MusicWeb International

Vicky Chow

‘Highly recommended to lovers of crossover piano; a standout in the field.’ ★★★★

Linz Bruckner Orchestra • M. Poschner

‘Played and conducted like this, the work’s unity becomes much clearer, and it emerges, at least for me, as the greatest of all symphonies.’
BBC Music Magazine

‘This is without a doubt one of the finest versions of this epic symphony available’

Beck • Tødenes • Reuter • Danish National Concert Choir • Danish National Symphony • Schønwandt

‘The composition becomes a melodically sustained event.’

‘Scintillating operatic rarity in sumptuous sound quality and eyecatching presentation.’
Classical Music Daily

Irnberger • Geringas • Zilberstein

‘All in all, a new reference recording of this repertoire is to be welcomed here.’
Klassik heute

Nicolas Horvath

‘Nicolas Horvath has embarked on an invaluable project… The Monaco-born Horvath’s versatility…lends itself to the chameleon Tailleferre: she switches from neoclassical to radical, tonal to bitonal, rhythmic and familiar to irregular and dissonant. Horvath is a great advocate.’
The Guardian

Helge Iberg

‘Gently beautiful Beatles interpretations’
The Guardian ★★★★

Peter Jablonski

‘There’s a sense of Bacewicz’s compositional imagination really taking wing in these pieces, and Jablonski commits to her vision.’
BBC Music Magazine

‘All of the music on this splendidly played disc is worth hearing.’

Müller-Schott • Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin • A. Bloch

‘A work full of brilliance that Danie Müller-Schott interprets with panache’
Classica ★★★★

C. Nylund • K.F. Vogt • Finnish National Opera Children’s Chorus • Chorus and Orchestra • M. Franck

‘Franck offers us a tonal, nuanced, emotionally-expressive, detailed performance of the ingenious score’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

‘A glorious operatic triumph that should grace any collector’s musical shelf.’
Classical Music Daily

Esfahani • Aarhus Symphony • Segerstam

‘An exciting and intensive interpretation.’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

‘I emerged from listening feeling refreshed and very clean.’
The Times (London) ★★★★

Carrettín • Gajic

‘A catchy confluence’

‘A novel album that is enjoyable from start to finish.’ ★★★★

Various Artists

‘Michael Gielen was one of the champions of the second 20th century. Here is a testimony.’

Audiovisual Releases
Naxos Releases
Naxos 2.110693
Also available on Blu-ray Video
van Mechelen • Blondeel • de Negri • Mauillon • Les Arts Florissants • Christie • Twist

‘The imaginative staging is matched by William Christie’s polished direction at the helm of an enthusiastic cast.’

Naxos 2.110711
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Jakubiak • Tetelman • Inverardi • Workman • Deutsche Oper Berlin Chorus and Orchestra • Rizzi • Loy

‘A theatrical as well as vocal masterpiece.’

Independent Releases (in alphabetical order)
A film by Martin Mirabel

‘This documentary is an invitation to discover a skilful and lively music, well-anchored and the exceptional personality of its composer.’

C Major 760408
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Nylund • Herlitzius • Skelton • Elgr • Schwarz • Staatsopernchor • Staatskapelle Berlin • Rattle • Michieletto

‘Evelyn Herlitzius’s astonishing Kostelnička, a portrayal of visceral dramatic force…this version is worth seeing for that alone.’

View all Features »