Naxos Bestsellers April 2023

CAVALIERI, E. de’: Rappresentatione di Anima et di Corpo [Opera] (Theater an der Wien, 2021)
Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0161V)
Fritsch • Schmutzhard • Nigl • Boesch • Vistoli • Auvity • Arnold Schoenberg Choir • Il Giardino Armonico • Antonini • Carsen

‘Carsen martials his forces with discipline and incorporates dance and movement (Lorenda Randi) to great effect… Giovanni Antonini’s conducting has pace, and he sustains tension through the more discursive moments.’ – Opera Now ★★★★

RACHMANINOV, S.: Complete Symphonies – The Isle of the Dead • Symphonic Dances • Vocalise (3-Disc Boxed Set)
Detroit Symphony Orchestra • Slatkin

‘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. The Detroit Symphony plays with terrific sound, and the sound recording is hard to beat for presence and spaciousness.’ – Pizzicato ★★★★

KORNGOLD, E.W.: String Quartets Nos. 1–3
Tippett Quartet

‘…all of [Korngold’s music] is immensely enjoyable and inventive. The three string quartets are yet to make their mark, but they are well worth the attention of those who have admired earlier discs of Korngold music – particularly performances as committed as these.’ – Classical CD Choice

GOMES, C.: Opera Overtures and Preludes
Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra • Mechetti

‘The Minas Gerais Philharmonic play with precision and flair for their founding director and conductor Fabio Mechetti – and, crucially, they make magic in the many hushed moments.

This is yet another edifying entry in Naxos’s Music of Brazil series.’ – Gramophone

LEVAY, S.: Elisabeth [Musical] (Vereinigte Bühnen Wien, 2022)
Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0164V)
Orchester der Vereinigten Bühnen Wien • Römer • Mehmert

Treading a tightrope between death, life and intense romance in the opulent world of 19th-century Habsburg royalty, Elisabeth tells the story of the beautiful Empress of Austria, from her wedding, to her tragic assassination by the hand of the Italian anarchist Luigi Lucheni. Ongoing dark obsessions and inner turmoil are undercurrents as family schisms flare up amidst a crumbling empire. These powerful themes and a potent score brimming with fabulous music have combined to establish Elisabeth as the most successful German-language musical of all time. This spectacular open-air event presents Elisabeth at the fabled empress’s real-life home – Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.

AUERBACH, L.: 24 Preludes for Violin and Piano, Op. 46
Christine Bernsted • Ramez Mhaanna

‘Violinist Christine Bernsted and pianist Ramez Mhaanna explore the various sides and expressions of technique and moods with unwavering energy and stylistic breadth. They succeed in wonderfully colourful studies as well as harsh, attacking scenes.’ – Pizzicato ★★★★★

ELFMAN, D.: Violin Concerto, ‘Eleven Eleven’ • HAILSTORK, A.: Piano Concerto No. 1
S. Cameron • Goodyear • Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra • Falletta

‘Stewart Goodyear, the indefatigable pianist, who has recorded all the big Romantic concertos, throws himself into the prolix keyboard-writing, aided and abetted by the Buffalo Philharmonic with their conductor JoAnn Falletta, than whom there is no one better in relaying the warmhearted and exuberant nature of this concerto. I loved it.’ – Gramophone

OFFENBACH, J.: La vie parisienne [Operetta] (Palazzetto Bru Zane, 2021)
Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0163V)
Devos • Briand • Mauillon • Leguérinel • Buendia • Namur Chamber Choir • Les Musiciens du Louvre • Dumas • Lacroix

‘Jodie Devos brings a delightfully bright, fruity soprano to the glovemaker Gabrielle (every inch the soubrette, in her pink ankle-boots) and Aude Extrémo sounds dangerously smoky and ripe as the dominatrix-like courtesan Métella.’ – Gramophone

SINIGAGLIA, L.: Complete String Quartet Works, Vol. 2
Szymański • Archos Quartet

‘The Archos Quartet reprises the qualities of its excellent earlier disc and those looking for light-hearted, romantically ripe and conversational generosity will find much to enjoy in this latest, finely recorded volume.’ – MusicWeb International

LANE, P.: Sleighbell Serenade • Diversions on a Theme of Paganini • Cotswold Dances
Butler • Royal Ballet Sinfonia • Sutherland

‘This delightful recording provides an excellent survey of [Lane’s] concert works and the music is consistently colourful, expressive and full of swagger, particularly the dances.’ – Classical Music Daily

The Complete Recordings (12-Disc Boxed Set)
Enrico Caruso

‘… anyone deeply interested in the career of Caruso (and there are people like that, judging from the Internet), will love the meticulousness of this elephantine set. The recordings are in chronological order, and the notes to each disc clue the listener in on exactly where Caruso was, personally and artistically, at the time the recordings were made. It makes it possible to follow Caruso’s voice over the years, note how it strengthens, darkens and deepens.’ – The Buffalo News

ZÁDOR, E.: Celebration Music • Chamber Concerto • Suite for Horn, Strings, and Percussion
Szőke • Budapest Symphony Orchestra MÁV • Smolij

‘[In Suite for Horn Strings and Percussion] the solo part is played by the current principal horn of the Budapest Festival Orchestra Zoltán Szőke. He plays splendidly and the vivid recording captures his sound very well.

Collectors who have been enjoying this series of discs to date can buy with confidence knowing that the qualities of music and performance are maintained in this seventh volume. …Very worthwhile world premiere recordings.’ – MusicWeb International

BRAHMS, J.: Hungarian Dances and the Hungarian Tradition
Miksch • Bándi • Szecsődi • Elek • Kassai

Brahms had long been immersed in the folk traditions and spirit of Hungary’s musical repertoire, not least through the famous violinist Ede Reményi, for whom he played as piano accompanist. Brahms employed melodies that he had heard, as well as those based on sheet music, and in this album his Hungarian Dances are presented alongside their source material and variants, as well as some elements that Brahms omitted from his settings. Contextualised in this way, the heroic strength and dynamism, as well as the melancholy of the Dances can be heard as never before.

RZEWSKI, F.: Late Piano Works – Dreams • War Songs • Winter Nights • Saints and Sinners
Bobby Mitchell

‘In addition to Mitchell’s outstanding technical abilities, what struck me about this recording is the almost unbelievable clarity and realism of the recorded sound—Mitchell comes across as if he’s playing “live”, right in your living room.

This is clearly an interesting and thoughtful tribute to a composer who Mitchell was close to and deeply admired. Well recommended for Rzewski fans, particularly the War Songs and the two excerpts from Dreams.’ – The Art Music Lounge

VIERNE, L.: Complete Piano Works, Vol. 2 – 12 Préludes • Solitude • Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra
Sergio Monteiro

‘Throughout these brilliant performances there is huge contrast, inventive and colourful writing and music that I certainly wish to listen to again and hopefully explore at the keyboard. A very welcome issue.’ – Lark Reviews

SCHUBERT, F.: Eine Winterreise (staged version by C. Loy) [Opera] (Theater Basel, 2022)
Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0165V)
von Otter • Bezuidenhout • Rado • Franciscus • Alm • Tornarolli • Gustafsson • Loy

‘Stand alone songs – the play opens with Die Sommernacht – and selections from the cycles Schwanengesang and Winterreise, are interspersed with solo piano works and text fragments taken from Schubert’s Mein Traum, often with dramatically choreographed accompaniment… A stunning performance.’ – The WholeNote

KAPUSTIN, N.: 8 Concert Etudes • 24 Preludes
Catherine Gordeladze

‘These études and preludes have real substance. Give Kapustin and Gordeladze your undivided attention.’ – Music & Vision

DOMENICONI, C.: Sindbad, ein Märchen (Sinbad, a Fairy Tale), Op. 49
Celil Refik Kaya

Renowned both as a guitarist and a composer, Carlo Domeniconi has written over 150 compositions, combining Eastern and Western elements in striking and individual ways. Sinbad, a Fairy Tale for Solo Guitar is a perfect example of his imaginative style and is one of the most remarkable works in the entire solo guitar repertoire, evoking the panoramic journey of the sailor and adventurer known from The Arabian Nights. The piece draws on diverse sources including Oriental-Persian scales, Arabic oud ornaments and extended techniques to chart, in three cycles, the Middle Eastern atmosphere through which Sinbad travels.

PENDERECKI, K.: Symphonies Nos. 1–5, 7, 8 • Orchestral Works (5-Disc Boxed Set)
Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra • Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra • Wit

‘Antony Wit’s Penderecki symphony cycle for Naxos is part of a comprehensive Penderecki project that has already generated over twenty releases. This is a one-box reissue of Symphonies 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8, along with several other works of orchestral music. As a package, it provides a rich and varied introduction to a modern composer some of us are just beginning to comprehend and admire. Great music, great music-making.’ – Positive Feedback Online

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