The Classical era in music stretched from the second half of the eighteenth century to around the first decade of the nineteenth and was a time of extraordinary creativity. Dominated by composers from the German-speaking countries, the period witnessed the creation of masterpieces by two classical giants, Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791).
The downside of giants is that they cast shadows, but this Naxos catalogue of music from that era illuminates the plethora of excellent works written by other composers, whose music is happily becoming increasingly appreciated by today’s music lovers. In the A–Z index, for example, you’ll find some one hundred discs before you reach Haydn’s name, and a further eighty after you’ve finished with Mozart.
We hope you will enjoy not only browsing the catalogue for its consolidated recordings of music by the giants, but also discovering new names, their winning works and some memorable music.
To view the complete catalogue, click here.
The ‘Discover’ series opens the door to key areas of classical music. Through a combination of illustrative music tracks and a richly filled booklet, the exploration is both revealing and enjoyable.
Includes music by Mozart, Haydn, Stamitz, J.C. Bach, Boccherini, Gluck, Gossec, C.P.E. Bach and others.
Author: Stephen Johnson
2 CDs with 100-page booklet:
In music, the period from the middle of the eighteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth is usually referred to as the ‘Classical’ Era. This was a period in which the art, literature and architecture of Ancient Greece and Rome were being rediscovered and re-evaluated, which in turn strongly influenced the ‘modern’ art of the time. But this was also a period of immense social change and political unrest, with challenges to the old established order culminating in the French Revolution of 1789. Discover Music of the Classical Era, comprising 2 CDs and a 100-page booklet, shows how all this was reflected in the music written during those turbulent but also intensely creative years.
“…conductor Marek Štilec leads with well-judged tempos and brings plenty of life to the music—energy without crudeness. This release will give a great deal of pleasure to anyone interested in the best symphonic works of the early classical period.”
“Among the many new discs of forgotten music by Mozart’s contemporaries this Naxos issue stands out. These four compact Symphonies are all winningly colourful and inventive, often bringing surprises that defy the conventions of the time.”
– Penguin Guide ★★★★
“These performances are perfect—original instrument and original performance practice informed, but smoothly, richly, and gracefully played.”
– MusicWeb International
“All these fine works deserve to be better known.”
“Indeed, this is one of the finest single discs of Boccherini cello concertos in the catalogue. The performances are peerless and the recording excellent in every way.”
– Penguin Guide ★★★
“Stylistically, these works resemble the concertos of Haydn and the young Mozart, from the formal structure down to the ornamentations, and Japanese violinist Takako Nishizaki’s sympathetic readings will win them new friends.”
– The Straits Times
“If you want an introduction to delightful, thought-provoking keyboard works of great eloquence and elegance, then this is a good place to start.”
– Classical Net
“Marangoni is to be congratulated for bringing us into contact with this extraordinary body of works. His playing is imaginative and, as expected, technically brilliant.”
– American Record Guide
“… these are well-crafted, elegant, melodious, generally optimistic pieces … Victor Sangiorgio gives a faithful, cogent and infectious account of the music … sound quality is pretty much ideal.”
– MusicWeb International
“This is very fine quartet playing and immensely endearing music; one can hardly ask for more.”
“Naxos is, in truth, doing music lovers a real favor in making so much music of the Classical period available on disc … the Enso Quartet plays with great confidence and verve, not to mention excellent rhythm and admirably accurate intonation. This is good music, and in these performances the players have you believing in its quality at every point.”
“It is not everyday that one gets to hear music that one has never heard before—music that immediately captures the ear and makes one sing inside. Even rarer is the opportunity to witness a little-known composer receiving such royal treatment from a group of top-notch musicians.”
“Diego Fasolis and his Swiss-Italian forces give a committed, full-blooded performance, with accomplished work from chorus and soloists. Recommended to the adventurous, who will be rewarded by some fascinating and – in the Requiem – loftily imposing music.”
– BBC Music Magazine
“Here with New Zealand forces, including the brilliant professional chamber choir, Tower Voices, we have the longest of Hummel’s five Masses in coupling with an electrifying setting of the Te Deum. A thrilling issue.”
– Penguin Guide
“Thuri’s superb new Naxos [recording] provides an outstanding performance with the finest sound the work has had.”
“Naxos’s superb recording of Gluck’s Italian Alceste, one of the seminal operas of all time, is probably the best we will ever have—a great achievement by all, especially the conductor, Arnold Östman, and the soprano, Teresa Ringholz.”
“This was a truly delightful surprise for me: an unknown opera by a (for me) unknown composer, which turned out to be absolutely marvelous. I can heartily recommend this recording. It’s truly a gem.”
“Opera Lafayette’s exceptionally idiomatic approach to this and the other works recorded by Naxos shows that the opera world has far more to it than most opera-goers realize.”