Naxos Bestsellers January 2023

Camilla Nylund Sings Masterpieces from The Great American Songbook (Concert Film, 2021) (DVD + CD set)
A concert film-project by André Heller, directed by Robert Neumüller
Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0162V)
Finnish opera star Camilla Nylund sings masterpieces from the Great American Songbook in this unique collaboration with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra under their music director Marin Alsop. The classic songs in this film were specially arranged to suit Nylund’s performance, style, vocals and personality, as if they had been written for her. This special edition includes a DVD of the concert film-project by André Heller in black and white, plus an audio CD of the recordings.

SGAMBATI, G.: Symphony No. 2 (reconstructed by R. Trübger, 2011 version) • Sinfonia epitalamio
Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma • La Vecchia
It [Symphony No. 2] is an imaginative, varied work that begins with a romantic Andante sostenuto but becomes quite lively, light, and upbeat thereafter…

…The Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma, under Francesco La Vecchia, offers a accurate interpretation of a work [Sinfonia epitalamio] that I ca admittedly also imagine being a bit more characteristic and exciting. – Pizzicato ★★★★
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, N.A.: Christmas Eve [Opera] (Frankfurt Opera, 2022)
Vasiliev • Shkosa • Muzychenko • Tikhomirov • Popov • Frankfurt Opera Chorus • Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra • Weigle • Loy
Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0154V)
Recommended | MusicWeb International
The importance of this release, obviously the first, and possibly only version that will make it onto home video, is almost beyond having a critical viewpoint because of its value as a document of the opera. What so easily could have become a hit-and-miss affair actually turns out to be a fairly splendid account of Rimsky-Korsakov’s sensuous and glittering score. – MusicWeb International

HOWELLS, H.: Piano Music, Vol. 2 – Country Pageant • A Little Book of Dances • Comme le cerf soupire…
Matthew Schellhorn
Beautiful performances of this well crafted music in what are, incredibly, almost exclusively world premiere recordings. – Lark Reviews

MARSCHNER, H.A.: Overtures and Stage Music, Vol. 1
Czech Chamber Philharmonic Pardubice • Salvi
Dario Salvi launches a complete recording of Marschner’s overtures and other pieces from his stage works. He does so very stylishly, with a stimulating alternation between relaxed and more dramatic music-making, and the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice responds at a high technical level. – Pizzicato ★★★★

RUBINSTEIN, Anton: Piano Music – 3 Caprices, Op. 21 • 6 Pieces, Op. 51 • 3 Pieces, Op. 16 • 2 Pieces, Op. 28
Sergio Gallo
Gallo’s performance is beautifully nuanced, nudging notes where needed, yet retrenching where critically needed. …[He] exquisitely unfolds the thoughts with delicate discernment. Brilliant. – ★★★★

BRAHMS, J.: Complete Songs, Vol. 2 – Deutsche Volkslieder, WoO 33
Wunderlin • Valentin-Fieguth • Carrel • Ingenpaß • Eisenlohr
Brahms was opposed to the Lied cultivated by the ‘New German’ circle of composers around Franz Liszt who developed it into a highly artifical art form. In the books of the 49 Deutsche Volkslieder Brahms discovered a repository of dialogue songs, narrative ballads, laments, and songs of disputation and love, some tragic, others comic, that appealed to his need for authencity. The book from which he sourced the songs had a printed text and melody, so Brahms’ artistic contribution lay in his richly varied piano accompaniments which subtly comment, heighten, inflect or expand on the texts. The first volume in this series is on Naxos 8.574268.

PRICE, F.: Songs of the Oak • Concert Overtures Nos. 1–2 • The Oak • Suite of Dances
Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen • Jeter
The rediscovery of Florence Price’s music has revealed one of the most significant bodies of work by an African American composer in the 20th century. The variety of genres represented on this disc place Price’s immense artistic imagination on full display. – The Northern Echo

MOZART, W.A.: 30 of the Best
Various Artists
Mozart was a childhood prodigy, composing from the age of five and performing at royal courts by the age of 10, becoming famous throughout Europe. As an immensely influential composer, his music sits at the very centre of Western musical culture and today casts its spell over the hearts and minds of music lovers throughout the world. This substantial collection presents the cream of Mozart’s imperishable contribution to music through his piano concertos, symphonies, chamber music, operas and choral works.

ALFVÉN, H.: Complete Symphonies • Suites • Rhapsodies (7-Disc Boxed Set)
Royal Scottish National Orchestra • Willén
Alfvén is definitely a composer worth knowing, and this boxed set…is an excellent way to make his acquaintance – or deepen it, for listeners who are already familiar with a smattering of his music. – ★★★★

WOLF-FERRARI, E.: Das Himmelskleid (The Garment of Heaven) [Opera]
Ruzzafante • Basa • Leisenheimer • S. Adam • Hagen Theater Opera Chorus • Hagen Philharmonic Orchestra • Markson
The finely woven and yet so powerful score is performed with all its richness. The then-general music director in Hagen, Gerhard Markson, draws everything necessary from his orchestra. The vocal team, too, can convince without any ifs and buts, as far as both the soloists and the chorus are concerned. To call the performance solid would be a gross understatement. Rather, all notes are right on the dot and let the work blossom colourfully. – Pizzicato ★★★★★

SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Symphony No. 10 • MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 10 (concert version edited W. Mengelberg, C. Dopper)
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra • van Zweden
Under the Dutch conductor, this orchestra has flourished; strings are perfectly moulded… van Zweden’s pace is forward-moving but not rushed, the sound and balances in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre superb. – BBC Music Magazine ★★★★★

SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Dances and Ballet Music – Étienne Marcel • Henry VIII • Parysatis • Samson et Dalila
Residentie Orkest The Hague • Märkl
The composer responds with his usual verve, vivacity and gift for atmosphere, and the performances sparkle. – BBC Music Magazine ★★★★

BOLLON, F.: Die Ungebornen Enkel • The Secret Garden of the Cordania
Irina Jae-Eun Park • Thammathi • J. Moser
…The two singers, the Korean soprano Irina Jae Eun Park and the Thai tenor Nutthaporn Thammathi sing with a maximum of expressiveness, so that one can deeply experience these Bollon songs together with the highly expressive and intense playing of the cellist Johannes Moser.

…The e-cello offers a tremendous variety of sound possibilities, resulting in a richly coloured, atmospheric work that explores the garden in a kind of nocturne with all the facets of the night. – Pizzicato ★★★★

JOYCE, A.: Caravan Suite • Toto • Dreams of You • A Thousand Kisses • Acushla
RTÉ Concert Orchestra • A. Penny
Archibald Joyce was known as ‘The English Waltz King’. The composer of delectable vignettes directed his own dance band which, depending on the size of the venue, sometimes numbered a hundred. Convinced that the Viennese waltz was not to British tastes he wrote smoother examples that included Dreaming, his most famous work, which sold over a million copies, and is a perfect example of the ‘hesitation’ waltz. His evocative music also included theatrical numbers, dramatic suites and the ‘concert valse’, designed for the silver screen.

DOWLAND, J.: Complete Lute Music
Nigel North
Supple, sensitive and warmly recorded, North’s artful set is a steal at budget price. – BBC Music Magazine

 BRAHMS, J.: Complete Symphonies
Danish Chamber Orchestra • Ádám Fischer
…it succeeds beautifully. With a sense of pace, excellent balance, high energy and a thoroughly dramatic expression. – Politiken

Hommage à Victor Babin – BABIN, V.: Piano Duo Arrangements • 3 Fantasies on Old Themes
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Babin’s death, Katerina Moskaleva and Alexey Pudinov, themselves two musical forces of nature, come together as Two4Piano, a duo perfectly suited for breathing new life into Victor Babin’s appealing and colourful repertoire. – WFMT (Chicago)

MOZART, W.A.: Complete Masses, Vol. 2 – K. 258, 427
Cologne West German Radio Chorus • Cologne Chamber Orchestra • Poppen
Poppen conducts the Missa Brevis without mannerisms. Choir and orchestra are very flexible in their articulation. The power and drama of the works grow out of the music. – Pizzicato ★★★★

FUOCO SACRO – A Search for the Sacred Fire of Song (Documentary, 2022)
Grigorian • Hannigan • Jaho • Leeuw • Piemontesi • Rubinova
Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0141V)
…the content is good, and anyone interested in the artistic process will find much to appreciate. Of the three singers, Jaho has impressed me considerably, and I intend seeking out some of her recordings. – MusicWeb International

SUPPÉ, F. von: Die Reise um die Erde in 80 Tagen [Incidental Music]
Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava • Salvi
Salvi’s conducting is much livelier and effective… The orchestra responds beautifully to some of Suppe’s most intricate orchestrations. The sound is excellent. – American Record Guide

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