Sign up for newsletters, get FREE downloads, exclusive offers and more.
Critics Choice November 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
M. Strauss • S. Stoyanov • Houston Symphony • Spano
Orchestral Choice | BBC Music Magazine

‘A spectacular recording and performance.’
BBC Music Magazine

Latvian Radio Choir • Kļava
Choral Award | Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2023

‘The Latvian Radio Choir chirp and croak and baa and buzz away in a glorious earthly firmament that could have defined the term ‘immersive sound experience’ years before it was ever coined.’

Audio Releases
Naxos Releases
Zgraggen • Basel Sinfonietta • Brönnimann

‘This is extraordinary music, fearlessly, dazzlingly performed, a testament to the raw, dynamic power of Ammann’s slow, intuitive compositional process.’
5 against 4

Andrea De Vitis

‘The challenge for the guitarist is to make the most out of every opportunity for expression, and De Vitis does just that! In each of these pieces we are listening to two master storytellers, a composer of great skill and a performer in command of his instrument.’
American Record Guide

Fine Arts Quartet • Bickard • G. and F. Witkowski

‘The Fine Arts Quartet is impressive, with finely honed phrasing and good characterisation, while the two pianists offer elegant support.’
The Strad

Max Barros

‘It is wonderfully relaxing music to listen to: never formulaic, always genuine, and deeply felt. ’

Danish Chamber Orchestra • A. Fischer
Supersonic | Pizzicato

‘As in the first instalment of this Naxos edition, the music is, to a truly exceptional degree of rhetoric, exactly what one would ideally imagine a Haydn performance to be.’

Christopher Mallett

‘These are charming works, splendidly performed, in a fine tribute to an influential American musician.’

Buffalo Philharmonic • Falletta

‘The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra led by the renowned Kodály interpreter JoAnn Falletta gives a superbly idiomatic performance of all three of these works.’
All About the Arts

Han Chen

‘[Han] Chen finds real beauty here, in a study that in its sheer beauty of sonority recalls Debussy.’
Classical Explorer

Brek • Hsiao Ling Hsin • Guerrier • Kuls • Hayoung Choi • A. Wit

‘Antoni Wit succeeds in a fascinating interpretation. He knows how to make the music very spacious and transparent, and to bring out the characteristic moods of the songs clearly.’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

Hungarian Symphony Orchestra Budapest • Petitgirard

‘This superb performance…will probably be definitive for a long time to come.’
Classical Lost and Found

Needleman • Ji Su Jung • Baltimore Symphony • Alsop

‘Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony play the entire program with vitality and a brilliant level of execution’

Hong Kong Philharmonic • van Zweden

‘Van Zweden and his orchestra kick up their heels with relish and come the eleventh-hour arrival of the Red Army Band…the result is vulgar, hilarious and unsettling at one and the same time. This has to be one of the best accounts of the piece on disc – and there’s enough about van Zweden’s Fifth to merit a serious listen.’

A. Meneses • São Paulo Symphony • Karabtchevsky

‘Antonio Meneses and conductor Karabtchevsky give these three magnificent works very colourful and dynamic performances.’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

‘The São Paolo Symphony Orchestra projects all this vividly, but what really seizes the ear is the Brazilian cellist Antonio Meneses… Meneses throws off the dizzyingly high passages and athletic fast runs with ease…’
Daily Telegraph (UK) ★★★★

Independent Label Releases (in alphabetical order)
Bamberg Symphony • J. Hruša
Supersonic | Pizzicato

‘Hrusa’s interpretation thrives on both lyrical and passionate expressivity and its great arcs of tension.’

Munich Opera Horns
Editor’s Choice | Gramophone

‘…this album from the Munich Opera Horns is captivating.’

Catrin Finch • Aoife Ni Bhriain

Double You is a delightful melting pot of classical mastery and proud traditional culture…’
FolkWales Online Magazine ★★★★★

O’Neill • Hoare • Volle • Nigl • Selig • Kampe • Bavarian Radio Symphony • Rattle

‘How Rattle seamlessly combines inner tension, orchestral virtuosity, sound staging, transparency and melodic flow is simply magnificent.’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

Recommended | MusicWeb International

‘The breadth and depth of Martinaitytė’s imagination bring all of these procedures to vivid musical life but also take us to the extreme of human experience in an electrifying way.’
MusicWeb International

Bokun • Meccore String Quartet

‘If anyone needs convincing that Penderecki’s most violently brutalist phase was also beautiful, here is the proof. Add the String Trio and Clarinet Quartet and this may be a new benchmark.’
The Strad

Barton Pine • Royal Scottish National Orchestra • Muñoz
Recommended | MusicWeb International

‘…A performance worthy of standing alongside the most famous and best.’
MusicWeb International

Nordic String Quartet
The Strad Recommends

‘…elegantly revived by the Nordic Quartet in this well-aired studio recording… the members of the Nordic Quartet, with a period-aware palette of vibrato and a sensibility for those individual touches (…) that make Heise distinctively Nordic. Bring on Volume Two.’
The Strad

Ekaterina Siurina
Recommended | MusicWeb International

‘…Siurina’s singing is of a calibre that can stand comparison with the best of her predecessors.’
MusicWeb International

A. and M. Ganz

‘The artists play with intense commitment, arresting precision, and strikingly rich and focused tone. …This is a superb disc.’

Bindman • Sobolewski

‘…only pianists of the highest calibre could deliver these performances with perfect ensemble. It will give you a fresh look at some of Bach’s greatest works in piano arrangements…’
American Record Guide

Arcis-Vocalisten Munich • L’Arpa festante • Gropper
Decouverte | Crescendo

‘The singers bring both words and music to vivid life.’

Kristoffer Nyholm Hyldig

‘…Kristoffer Hyldig’s Vingt Regards deserves nothing less than our highest possible rating.’

Stuttgart Radio Symphony • Norrington

‘…this strikes me as being among the finest digital accounts of this uplifting work currently available.’

Audiovisual Releases
Naxos Releases
Naxos 2.110752
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Byströ • Guerrero • Hakobyan • Dutch National Opera Chorus • Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra • Viotti • Kosky
Critic’s Choice | Opera News

‘Malin Byström is an unusual Tosca… her Floria is every inch the prima donna…she moves with such assurance that she commands the stage. …Her portrayal is thoroughly convincing.’
Opera News

Independent Releases (in alphabetical order)
C Major 763508
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Theorin • Merritt • Vinogradov • de León • Jaho • Gran Teatre del Liceu Chorus and Symphony Orchestra • Pons • Aleu
Critic’s Choice | Operea News

‘A spectacular light show and Turandot’s adoration of Liù make this production of Puccini’s problematic opera special.’
Opera News

Dynamic DYN-37983
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Vistoli • Protsenko • Petrone • Lippo • Hoxna • Baroque Orchestra Modo Antiquo • Sardelli • Muscato

‘Thanks to Muscato’s direction, Giovanna Fiorentini’s decisive costuming, and the remarkable vocal and dramatic talents of the cast, each character has an appealing individuality that propels the story with effortless clarity.’
American Record Guide

Opus Arte OA1368D
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Bullock • DiDonato • Orlinski • Lyon • Royal Opera House Chorus and Orchestra • Bicket
Choice | Opera Now
Discos Recomendados | Ritmo

‘Mitchell’s trademark directorial tropes appear but are used to stunning effect… The orchestral playing is tense and immaculate, the choral singing likewise, with much radiance.’
Opera Now

UNITEL Edition 807308
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Vienna Philharmonic • Thielemann

‘The performance of the Symphony No. 6 is…near the very top for versions I have heard. Firmly recommended, with anticipation of good things to come.’

View all Features »