Critics Choice July 2023

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
Tippett Quartet
Chamber Choice | BBC Music Magazine
Discos Recomendados | Ritmo

‘With this exemplary ideal, the defined character of each work shines out, without anything exaggerated or forced.’
BBC Music Magazine

‘It is the best so far.’
kulturradio vom rbb ★★★★★

Buszewski • Miyus • Brull • Graz Opera Chorus • Graz Philharmonic • Squeo
Opera Choice | BBC Music Magazine
Editor’s Choice | Limelight Magazine

‘This 2021 recording stems from Graz, with all participants matching the style of the piece to a nicety.’
BBC Music Magazine

‘Daniele Squeo leads the Grazer Philharmoniker and the excellent Graz Opera Chorus in a perky reading with bags of character. A fine, resonant recording does the rest.’

Audio Releases
Naxos Releases
B. Jacobs • Kalisvaart

‘…rewarding and full of impressive musicianship, constantly perceptive and idiomatic.’
MusicWeb International

Sofia Philharmonic • Salvi

‘Dario Salvi’s intense advocacy for the piece is all too evident in his vibrant conducting, and the Sofia Philharmonic respond with some really arresting playing full of joy and rhythmic beauty.’
Classical Music Daily

C. Bernsted • R. Mhaanna

‘There’s a wide range of moods, dynamics and colours here that exploits the full registers of the instruments, all of it superbly portrayed by the duo in a wonderfully resonant recording.’
The WholeNote

R. Tuck • English Chamber Orchestra • Bonynge

‘Rosemary Tuck rides on an apex of unsurpassed eloquence. Spectacular and highly recommended for pianists and classical music enthusiasts alike! Not to be missed.’ ★★★★

S. Cameron • Goodyear • Buffalo Philharmonic • Falletta

‘The Buffalo Philharmonic continues to thrill as they skilfully move through these difficult pieces, and under the baton of the redoubtable Falletta, the large ensemble moves as one creature – embracing every dynamic, subtlety and nuance.’
The WholeNote

Orchestra New England • James Sinclair

‘To say that I recommend this recording would be an understatement. Every admirer of Charles Ives needs to own it.’
The Art Music Lounge

Royal Ballet Sinfonia • Sutherland

‘Every work here shows craftsmanship, orchestral finesse and an obvious love of the genre. Each is satisfying and thoroughly enjoyable.’
MusicWeb International

Bendix-Balgley • Canterbury Voices • Oklahoma City Philharmonic • Mickelthwate

‘This is never routine or boring music but reeks of passion and commitment both on the part of the composer and the performers.’
MusicWeb International

Han Chen

‘Overall, it’s a superb, fresh take on one of the most significant contributions to the piano repertoire of the last century.’
5 against 4

Naxos 8.574252–53
Tom Winpenny

Christus is an amazing composition and Tom Winpenny brings it vividly to life; he makes the music fairly leap off the page, even when the dynamics are subdued.’
MusicWeb International

Detroit Symphony • L. Slatkin

‘…first-class interpretations of Rachmaninov’s symphonies and gives them all their emotive due while minimizing their inescapable tendency toward bloat.’ ★★★★

‘Slatkin conducts without any showmanship, exciting, impulsive, and emphasizing the composer’s art of orchestration with a carefully balanced, melodious and always very vital drive that does not exclude the lyrical flow in the slow movements.’

E. Jaworski Koriath • T. Koriath
Critic’s Choice | Opera News

‘Both Koriaths make a strong case for the ongoing vitality of the American art-song tradition and these four imaginative, worthy composers in particular.’
Opera News

Independent Label Releases (in alphabetical order)
Philharmonia Zürich • Noseda

‘It takes a really outstanding performance to make you listen afresh to an over-familiar work. Such is the case with Gianandrea Noseda’s sparkling live account of Dvořák’s Eighth.’
BBC Music Magazine ★★★★

‘The combination of Štilec conducting the Janáček Philharmonic in these works by Foerster is a winning one.’

Lazic • Munich Radio Orchestra • Repušic

‘Dejan Lazic proves himself not only an imaginative composer, but also a gripping and at the same time sensitive soloist in his own work.’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

Cabell • Agpalo • Govertsen • Schuller • Haymarket Opera Orchestra • Trompeter

‘…the orchestra under Craig Trompeter gives a marvellous performance, its precision, colours and well-weighted phrases quite superb.’

Nina Kotova

Solo Cello is intelligent and exciting music-making.’
The Audio Beat

Dindo • Orchestra della Toscana • Rustioni

‘This is a deeply satisfying Dvořák recording…’ ★★★★

Irnberger • Korstick

‘Irnberger always maintains a beautiful, luminous sound, and both he and Korstick bring out their fine melodies magnificently.’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

Aleyson Scopel

‘This is an interesting, illuminating album… Prado’s music has a sensitive and sympathetic interpreter in Scopel.’
American Record Guide


‘Grønseth are offering something so box fresh that it is substantially novel and measurably extends the parameters of jazz, taking traditions into previously uncharted territory.’
All About Jazz ★★★★

Hansjörg Albrecht

‘With a sumptuous palette of orchestral colours available, this performance is an essay in symphonic organ transcription with utterly seamless dynamic shifts and spatial effects.’
Choir & Organ ★★★★★

P. Jablonski • Brauss • Finnish Radio Symphony • N. Collon
Editor’s Choice | Gramophone

‘Altogether this is a disc as thought-provoking as it is engaging.’

‘If you haven’t discovered Grażyna Bacewicz yet, this is not a bad place to start. If you have already discovered her, you will want to hear this album as well.’
Kulturdelen ★★★★★

Kristoffer Nyholm Hyldig
Recommended | MusicWeb International

‘This is an outstanding traversal of Messiaen’s searing, large scale masterpiece. There’s certainly much to admire.’
MusicWeb International

‘Messiaen’s epic Vingt Regards sur L’Enfant Jésus shines in Kristoffer Hyldig’s new CD… In all this is a magnificent achievement.’
Daily Telegraph (UK) ★★★★★

Na’ama Goldman
CD of the Month | Opera Nederland

‘Na’ama Goldman is an eloquent singer and constantly gives direction to the songs. A beautiful debut album!’
Opera Nederland

South West German Radio Vocal Ensemble • Y. Weinberg
Excepcional | Scherzo
Discos Recomendados | Ritmo

‘It’s as ambitious an undertaking as it is a rewarding listening experience.’
5 against 4

Pueri Cantores Málaga • Coro Catedral Málaga • Romero

‘…the hallmark of this extraordinary recording is its untroubled blend of the ordinary and the terrifyingly sublime. Glorious music.’
Choir & Organ ★★★★

Prakash • Sundaram • Swaminathan • Vinjamuri

‘The more I listen to this album, the more I enjoy it. It becomes addictive.’
Positive Feedback Online

Audiovisual Releases
Naxos Releases
Naxos 2.110756
Also available on Blu-ray Video
D’Oustrac • Talbot • Huchet • Christoyannis • Peintre • Choir Les éléments • Orchestre de chambre de Paris • Leroy • Lesort
Joker Absolu | Crescendo

‘Shows like this are a dime a dozen! It would be impossible to describe it all at length, for it is all conceived with the utmost joy.’

‘Offenbach enthusiasts will love this production. Exquisite and entertaining. ’ ★★★★

‘The cast, led by Stéphanie d’Oustrac are are all experts in this kind of French comedy and gobble it up. D’Oustrac is hilarious and sings beautifully.’

Independent Releases (in alphabetical order)
Taddei • Panerai • Araiza • Ludwig • Kabaivanska • Perry • Schmidt • Konzertvereinigung • Wiener Staatsopernchor • Karajan
Recommended | MusicWeb International

‘The cast here is superior to many other versions, and in the case of Taddei, Panerai and Ludwig, is just about unbeatable.’
MusicWeb International

Opus Arte OA1361D
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Ränzlöv • Volungholen • Enticknap • Malmberg • Confidencen Opera & Music Festival Orchestra • Boman • Relton
Critics’ Choice | Record Geijutsu

‘Technically flawless, texturally lush and dramatically compelling, Ränzlöv unleashes the roiling passions of her two title characters.’
BBC Music Magazine ★★★★

UNITEL Edition 807308
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Vienna Philharmonic • Thielemann
Recommended | MusicWeb International

‘[Thielemann] is a straightforward and unfussy, yet dynamic, Bruckner interpreter.’
MusicWeb International

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