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Critics Choice September 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
Dubois • Gillet • Leguérinel • Bou • Martin • Chœur Les Éléments • Orchestre des Champs-Élysées • Langrée • Podalydès

‘…Pure enchantment from start to finish.’

Basel Symphony • Matiakh

‘The Basel Symphony Orchestra under Ariane Matiakh illuminates this in an exciting way: curtains up and lights on! ’
Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics’ Award)

‘An elegant performance to match the beauty and refinement of this bafflingly neglected master of 20th-century music’
The Guardian ★★★★★

‘…It has been no surprise to see this album ascend classical best-seller charts… The performances here are precise and quietly radiant… A major find indeed.’ ★★★★

‘Ariane Matiakh’s performance of the symphony is beautifully done and can be recommended alongside James Judd’s 1995 account for RCA. Her performance of Vers la voûte étoilée similarly holds its own alongside the fine recording by Heinz Holliger for Hänssler.’

Audio Releases
Naxos Releases
C. Prégardien • Eisenlohr

‘Prégardien brings to all these pieces his impressive musical expertise and a deep understanding of the genre.’
Classica ★★★★★

Rodolfo Leone

‘[Leone] plays [Clementi’s] “piano jewels” in such a charming, fresh and pointed manner that he ennobles even the simplest Clementi idea.’
Piano News ★★★★★★

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

‘It’s [Choros] truly vivacious music with a great sense of drama, while the additional Flor de Tremembé is a celebratory treat.’
BBC Music Magazine ★★★★★

‘Spicy Latin-flavoured concertos, warmly played.’
Limelight ★★★★★

Goiás Philharmonic • N. Thomson

‘This very well recorded CD with excellent interpretations is an attractive portrait of Brazilian musical culture and the composer’s own life story. ’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

Giuseppe Buscemi

‘A display of brilliant virtuosity… First class sound.’
Yorkshire Post ★★★★★

Tippett Quartet

‘Monumental achievement and magnificent musical triumph in every conceivable way.’
Classical CD Reviews

Naxos 8.551460–61
Bästlein • Djeddikar

‘Bästlein’s performance with his excellent storytelling singing is delightful.’
American Record Guide

Naxos 8.669050–51
Wolverton • Mykkanen • Parks • Wilkowske • Jeremiah • Thurston • Minnesota Opera Chorus and Orchestra • C. Lewis

‘The singers are terrific, the conductor sweeps you away.’
Classica ★★★★★

Naxos 8.660512–13
Urru • Angelini • E. Franco • Sill • Cracow Philharmonic • Pérez-Sierra

‘Performances full of delectable charm and infectious pleasure…’
Classical Music Daily

Arabella String Quartet

‘This is wonderful advocacy of enchanting music.’
BBC Music Magazine ★★★★

Galatenko • Bezborodko • Lithuanian National Symphony • Lyndon-Gee

‘A very fine disc to explore Silvestrov’s work.’
Classica ★★★★★

Z. Schiff • Royal Scottish National Orchestra • Eisenberg

‘This is a thoroughly delightful and musically enriching CD.’
Classical CD Reviews

Naxos 8.660434–35
R. Davidson • Kunkle • Bortolotti • Sofia Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra • Salvi

Blindekuh is a charmingly fizzy pastoral comedy…music is full of delights’
Planet Hugill

Novosibirsk Academic Symphony • Russian Philharmonic • T. Sanderling

‘Do acquire this set for the sake of the many musical riches that it has on offer.’

‘The performances are engaged and vibrant.’
Classical CD Choice

Fedorov • East-West Chamber Orchestra • Krimer

‘Magnificent performance by Igor Fedorov…’
Classica ★★★★★

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

‘Everything sounds as lively, fresh and detailed as ever, and [Blomstedt] has the rare gift of making music glow from within.’
Rondo ★★★★★

‘This album is a welcome addition to the rich discography of the prestigious conductor Herbert Blomstedt.’

Bavarian State Orchestra • V. Jurowski

‘Backed by an orchestra of superb artistry, this reading surpasses that of Sebastian Lang-Lessing at the helm of the Tasmanian Orchestra (ABC Classics) and even that of the composer at the head of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra (BIS).’

Zara • Loetzsch • Chum • Eröd • Munich Radio Orchestra • P. Hahn

‘Stellar cast’
BBC Music Magazine ★★★★★

‘A gripping interpretation of Ullmann’s opera.’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

Cedille CDR90000-210
Third Coast Percussion • Flutronix

‘This album, appealing for anyone, could easily serve as material for discussions, educational or otherwise, of new directions in contemporary music and its relationship to popular and global traditions.’ ★★★★

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

‘The orchestra…plays powerfully and superbly throughout under the direction of Michael Schønwandt, who displays all the energetic involvement and sense of panache required. ’
MusicWeb International

Paganini Ensemble Vienna

‘…Crisp and elegant sensibility’
BBC Music Magazine ★★★★★

‘A fun CD, nothing too heavy for the mind, but clearly well played and very well recorded.’
The Art Music Lounge

Altomonte Orchester St. Florian • Ballot

‘Ballot knows how to deal with these acoustics and use them to advantage in his interpretation which has space and breath.’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

Biljana Urban

‘Biljana Urban plays a piano of rare elegance, nuanced as possible, with refined resonances; in short, everything that is needed to arouse interest in this music and this composer who is still largely unknown.’
Classica ★★★★

‘Biljana Urban’s interpretation is perfect in every way. The delicate alchemy between the simplicity and subtleties of this music suits her delightfully.’

Hansjörg Albrecht

‘Albrecht creates a wonderfully evocative soundworld with the two Klais organs.’
Choir & Organ ★★★★★

‘Albrecht…brings out the symphony’s many nuances and complexities with tremendous skill.’ ★★★★

Finnish Radio Symphony • N. Collon

‘A Sibelius programme prepared with deep thought, a powerful reading of the final symphony sitting perfectly with the two accompanying suites.’

Baiba Skride

‘[Skride] is a master of the violin and knows how to perform excellently in various repertoires.’

Åstrand • Teyssier • Thomsen • Salo

‘Their interpretation is truly appealing.’
Pizzicato ★★★★★

‘Magnificent performance, committed from first to last, a more convincing and optimistic account of the quartet than you will hear on record from many more famous soloists.’
Ludwig van Toronto ★★★★

Þorbergsson • Bernharðsson • Aarnink • Caput Ensemble • Duo Harpverk • Nordic Affect

‘Who can fail to be fascinated by these evocative and unique soundscapes?’
Kulturdelen ★★★★★

Remigio • Simeoni • Zeffiri • Alberghini • Teatro la Fenice Chorus and Orchestra • Molina

‘A missing monument to modernism rediscovered.’
Limelight ★★★★

Stuttgart Radio Symphony • Denève

‘This is a terrific performance with tons of character’

Audiovisual Releases
Naxos Releases
Naxos 2.110712
Also available on Blu-ray Video
A. Cook • Sabata • J.A. López • Gran Teatre del Liceu Symphony Orchestra and Chorus • Pons • Portaceli

‘Recorded in more than serviceable sound and well directed for video, this Naxos presentation proves L’enigma di Lea is a contemporary opera that deserves a future life.’
Opera News

Naxos 2.110693
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Blondeel • De Negri • Van Mechelen • Mauillon • Les Arts Florissants • Christie • Twist

‘A fabulous performance of an opéra that is a real discovery. Try this: you won’t regret it.’
Classical Explorer

Naxos 2.110677–78
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Sadé • Boecker • Akzeybek • Köninger • Kurt • Lindenberg • Orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin • Souza • Kosky

‘Everything inscribes the work in a successful and invigorating mix of genres. Delightful.’
Classica ★★★★★

Independent Releases (in alphabetical order)
C Major 759308
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Hubbard • Hunold • Relyea • Tómasson • Gazheli • Tanovitski

‘This is one of the most beautifully sung of Parsifals.’

Opus Arte OA1350D
Also available on Blu-ray Video
Nureyev • Helpmann • Aldous • The Australian Ballet • Lanchbery

‘This extravagant spectacle of glorious dance is absolutely unmissable, and belongs in the personal library of every lover of ballet—indeed, every lover of music in general. Highest possible recommendation.’

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