Naxos Bestsellers January 2024

Top 20 Audio Releases
Double You
Catrin Finch • Aoife Ni Bhriain

‘None of this music is what one might expect of a Celtic harp-and-fiddle duo; all of it is wonderful.’ – Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist

MOZART, W.A.: Piano Concertos No. 9, ‘Jeunehomme’ and 24
L. Vogt • Orchestre de Chambre de Paris

‘Immersing myself in Warner Classics’ 27-disc collection of Lars Vogt’s early recordings was a lovely way to remember this wonderful musician. Even more special was his coupling of Mozart piano concertos – the vivacious Jeunehomme and the brooding C minor – in what must have been among his very last studio sessions.’ – Gramophone

SCHUBERT, F.: Piano Trios Nos. 1 and 2 • Notturno • Rondo brillant • Arpeggione Sonata
C. and T. Tetzlaff • Vogt
ICMA Award

‘The musicians really take their time here – a poignant reminder that our musical journeys are meant to be savoured.’ – Gramophone

SGAMBATI, G.: Piano Concerto • Ouverture festiva
Damerini • Rome Symphony Orchestra • La Vecchia

‘The present recording stems from live performances that took place at Rome’s Auditorium Conciliazione in 2013, featuring the late Massimiliano Damerini, who handles the daunting piano part brilliantly and confidently. …he positively opens up and thrives in front of an audience.’ –

MOZART, W.A.: Piano Concertos Nos. 19 and 25 (arr. I. Lachner for piano, string quartet and double bass)
Goldstein • Fine Arts Quartet • L. Burns

‘These interpretations are played in the best Mozart tradition. The performers remain true to themselves and represent their Mozart style in the most beautiful way: melodic, bright in sound, bouncy in articulation and with the necessary drive, but also sensitive where appropriate.’ – Pizzicato

BACH, J.S.: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (arr. J.G. Rheinberger)
Elena Valentini • Matteo Liva

‘Elena Valentini and Matteo Liva play this expansion of the original with charm and ease. …The two musicians are also very familiar with their individual rhythmic sensibilities, so that there are no shortcomings in their coordination.’ – Pizzicato ★★★★★

Catalan Cello Works – CASABLANCAS, B. • CASALS, P. • CASSADÓ, G. • GRANADOS, E. • MOMPOU, F.
Dmitry Yablonsky • Laia Martín

‘The performers offer these works with a light touch and without any artificial heaviness. The cellist [Yablonsky] develops his parts with a sure hand and is able to present the music, which sometimes leads to heights that are unusual for a cello, without any technical compromises. Laia Martin offers the piano part in a cultivated and carefully rehearsed manner.’ – Pizzicato

NOSKOWSKI, Z. • ŻELEŃSKI, W.: Violin Sonatas
Laurence Kayaleh • Bernadene Blaha

‘…[Laurence Kayaleh and Bernadene Blaha] know how to translate these experiences into very appealing interpretations that show the two artists as sensitive players. …they offer powerful, expansive passages, so that the music both finds its resting points and is actively driven forward.’ – Pizzicato ★★★★★

LIGETI, G.: Complete String Quartets
Verona Quartet

‘…the genius of Ligeti is his unclassifiable oeuvre comprising a singular musical vision that looked forward while nodding to the past. The works on this disc (superbly played by the Verona Quartet) bare this out.’ – The Flip Side

Piccolo Concertos (20th–21st Centuries) – BAKSA, A. • HIDAS, F. • KREK, U. • PAPANDOPULO, B.
Viola • Mannheim National Theatre Orchestra • Percacciolo

‘…I very much enjoyed the obscure Piccolo Concertos played by Francesco Viola.’ – Doctorjohn Cheaptubeaudio: Audio Reviews and More

Seidel • Atlanta Symphony Chorus and Orchestra • R. Shaw

‘…an intriguing glimpse of the work of Robert Shaw and his Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus from nearly fifty years ago.’ – Classical Music Daily

BRUCKNER, A.: Symphony No. 5 (1878 version, ed. L. Nowak) (Complete Symphony Versions Edition, Vol. 10)
ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra • M. Poschner
Editor’s Choice | Gramophone

‘…this is one of the finest recordings of the Fifth to have come my way for some time. …from the start, one feels an impressive sense of conviction in the reading. …The playing is extremely fine, transparent and expressive in quieter passages while maintaining energy in the symphony’s extended tutti passages.’ – Gramophone

BRAHMS, J.: Complete Songs, Vol. 4
Wunderlin • Carrel • Eisenlohr

Brahms’ early songs express an exuberance that may surprise those who are unfamiliar with this element of his music making. The Op. 6 set includes a Mediterranean-flavoured song in bolero rhythm and songs of hope and joy, displaying an apparent simplicity that was hard-won and the product of constant refinement. Based on folk songs, the Op. 14 collection is astonishingly varied, ranging from folk melodies to medieval harmonies and Baroque-styled richness. Elsewhere Brahms charts more melodious, elegiac settings in the Op. 19 set and confronts melancholy and loss in Op. 48.

WHITBOURN, J.: Living Voices • Son of God Mass • Requiem canticorum
Powell • Cowan • Westminster Williamson Voices • Jordan

‘…well worth hearing—and repeating. Highly recommended.’ –

RACHMANINOV, S.: Symphony No. 1 • Prince Rostislav
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra • L. Slatkin

‘…I have been impressed by Slatkin and the St Louis forces before… This recording is equally fine.’ – Classical Music Daily

ARNOLD, M.: The Roots of Heaven • David Copperfield
Moscow Symphony Orchestra • Stromberg

‘A magnificent gift to the late composer…and a treat for Arnold fans and movie buffs alike—this is a must for film music collectors.’ –

MESSIAEN, O.: Méditations sur le Mystère de la Sainte Trinité
Tom Winpenny

‘For a long period the composer considered it his favorite work, representing a summation of his first compositional period.’ – American Record Guide

WHITBOURN, J.: Choral Works – Luminosity • Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis • He carried me away in the spirit
Commotio • Matthew Berry

‘The music on this disc reveals a composer with a fine ear for vocal writing. The music sounds well conceived for the voices and the accompaniments are, without exception, effective and complement the singing very well.’ – MusicWeb International

ARNESEN, K.A.: Infinity • Choral Works
Kantorei • Joel Rinsema

‘Arnesen creates an atmosphere of rapt spirituality, of peace, and of angelic exaltation.’ – Fanfare

MESSIAEN, O.: Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum • Le tombeau resplendissant • Hymne
Lyon National Orchestra • Markl

‘Tombeau Resplendissant…[is] a terrific piece with a remarkable ending of quiet unison line fading out into oblivion.’ – American Record Guide

HERRMANN, B.: Jane Eyre [film score]
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra • Adriano

‘The Naxos recording of Jane Eyre…is probably the best of Adriano’s…film music series. The music is brooding, eerie, melodramatic, and abundantly melodic. Tempos are well judged, and the Slovak ensemble does well capturing the composer’s unique sound…warmly recommended.’ – American Record Guide

MESSIAEN, O.: La Nativité du Seigneur
Tom Winpenny

‘The recording is…exemplary, with wide dynamic range and good detail, allowing us to enjoy the characterful treble sounds and the well-extended and very ‘present’ quiet bass sounds.’ – MusicWeb International

SAINTON, P.: Moby Dick (restored by J. Morgan and W. Stromberg)
Moscow Symphony Orchestra • Stromberg

‘This complete recording brings the music to the forefront in excellent sound and is beautifully played by the Moscow Symphony. The addition of the cut music brings cohesiveness to the score, allowing for a better assessment of the music.’ – American Record Guide

YOUNG, V.: The Uninvited • Gulliver’s Travels
Moscow Symphony Chorus and Orchestra • W.T. Stromberg

‘William Stromberg conducts all the music; the playing and the sound are excellent.’ – American Record Guide

MESSIAEN, O.: Organ Works – L’Ascension • Diptyque • Offrande au Saint-Sacrement • Prélude • Le Banquet Céleste
Tom Winpenny

‘…Winpenny delivers a fine performance and lets Messiaen’s intensely personal expression of faith speak through the music without getting in the way.’ – Choir & Organ

MESSIAEN, O.: Livre d’orgue • Verset pour la Fête de la Dédicace
Tom Winpenny

‘…fascinating in its abstraction…The recommendation is all the more warm because the Livre d’orgue is accompanied by an attractive verse that Winpenny imbues with Gregorian elegance, and a Tristan and Isolde Love Theme, the signature of this period of Messiaen, which is a discovery.’ – Diapason

MESSIAEN, O.: Visions de l’Amen • DEBUSSY, C.: En blanc et noir
Ralph van Raat • Håkon Austbø

‘We are fortunate to have some of the best piano sounds I’ve heard from Naxos here—and they are normally very good. Capturing this kind of dynamic range with clarity and fullness is a rare feat. At the price this is indispensable for anyone with a liking for this kind of music.’ – American Record Guide

TULEV, T.: Magnificat • Summer Rain • Legatissimo • Tanto gentile
Latvian Radio Choir • Tallinn Chamber Orchestra • Putniņš

‘…Tulev, himself once a singer in the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, writes for chorus with confidence and creativity.’ – Fanfare

NORDGREN, E.: The Bergman Suites
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra • Adriano

‘Nordgren’s music is consistently interesting, and the various musical styles match the atmosphere of the films. It is quite different from anything you might think of as film music, but is definitely worth your time.’ – American Record Guide

DOVE, J.: The Passing of the Year
Convivium Singers • Cromar • Ferris

‘A wide-ranging survey of Dove’s shorter secular choral works, including the title work written in memory of his mother, Deirdre.’ – Gramophone

MESSIAEN, O.: Poèmes pour Mi • Vocalise-Étude • Chants de Terre et de Ciel
Hetna Regitze Bruun • Kristoffer Nyholm Hyldig

‘The songs are brilliant, harmonically ambitious, melodically difficult, and captivating. Hyldig is terrific. I like Bruun’s energy and wish her high notes had more shimmer. It’s noticeably lacking from an otherwise great recording.’ – American Record Guide

FILSELL, J. • BRIGGS, D.: Choral Music
Vasari Singers • Jeremy Backhouse

‘I enjoyed this disc enormously and would urge music-lovers to buy it at once…’ – MusicWeb International

MESSIAEN, O.: Les Corps Glorieux • Messe de la Pentecôte
Tom Winpenny

‘Winpenny again gives wonderful performances’ – American Record Guide

DICKINSON, P.: Mass of the Apocalypse • Larkin's Jazz • 5 Forgeries • 5 Early Pieces
Dickinson • Flinders • Nash Ensemble • Bolton • Friend

‘This selection of vocal and instrumental works centres on the telling contrast between the highly dramatic Mass (juxtaposing the liturgy with the Book of Revelation) and the secular world of Philip Larkin’s poetry (spoken rather than sung, but given musical backing and commentary evoking jazz legend Sidney Bechet).’ – Gramophone

BLOCH, T.: Missa Cantate • Sancta Maria • Cold Song • Christ Hall Blues
Waschinski • T. Bloch • Coulter • Paderewski Philharmonic Orchestra • Quattrocchi

‘Thomas Bloch is a good composer and no slouch when it comes to playing these odd and very interesting instruments. His music won me over right away – it’s beautiful music that you can lose yourself in.’ – American Record Guide

POTT, F.: Choral Music (In the Heart of Things)
G. Davidson • Commotio • M. Berry

‘A small-scale, a cappella Christmas piece for soprano solo and four-part divided choir. It’s a hidden gem of Pott’s music, with a gentle beginning broadening out into a soaring soprano solo that sits over a clever set of variations on that opening material.’ – Gramophone

DELIUS, F.: Appalachia / Sea Drift (arr. T. Beecham)
Williams • Tampa Bay Master Chorale • Florida Orchestra • S. Sanderling

‘Sanderling’s interpretation of [Appalachia] is sympathetic, especially in the protracted evocation of the dawn. The tempi are well chosen and the handling of Delius’s poetic orchestration, not least in its richer Straussian garb, is nicely poised. The chorus also evinces a sense of quasi-informality in its ‘free’ sound and delivery, ideal for the choral conclusion.’ – Gramophone

DELIUS, F.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 (1927–1934)
London Select Choir • London Philharmonic Orchestra • Royal Philharmonic Orchestra • Beecham

Ernest Newman, senior among London music critics, writing in the Sunday Times, spoke for everyone: ‘Nothing so electrifying has been heard in a London concert-room for years,’ he declared, ‘The tone was magnificent, the precision perfect, the reading a miracle of fire and beauty’ …and more in similar vein echoed through other music pages.

Not available in the United States due to possible copyright restrictions

DELIUS, F.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 (1927–1936)
London Select Choir • London Philharmonic Orchestra • Royal Philharmonic Orchestra • Beecham

Dear Thomas, I am quite delighted with your last record which has just been sent to me … the three best records of my work are your Cuckoo, Summernight & Walk to the Paradise Garden …’ – Frederick Delius

Not available in the United States due to possible copyright restrictions

DELIUS, F.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 3 (1928, 1938)
London Philharmonic Orchestra • Beecham

‘There always was a unique alchemy between the art of Sir Thomas Beecham and the music of Frederick Delius, and you can detect it in every bar of this remarkable January 1938 recording of Appalachia.’ – Gramophone

Not available in the United States due to possible copyright restrictions

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, N.A.: Christmas Eve [Opera]
G. Vasiliev • Muzychenko • A. Popov • Shkoza • Tikhomirov • Frankfurt Opera Chorus and Orchestra • Weigle

‘Loy masses his choral scenes with gusto, and draws the characters with compassion and wit. It’s the mixture of cheerfulness and melancholy that makes this opera sing, and Loy walks the line without compromise to his own aesthetic.’ – Gramophone

Top 10 Audiovisual Releases
MENOTTI, G.C.: Amahl and the Night Visitors [Opera] (Sung in German) (Theater an der Wien, 2022)
Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0175V)
Ishijima • Kaiser • Schweinester • Borchev • Schwinghammer • Arnold Schoenberg Choir • Vienna Symphony Orchestra • Loddgard • Herheim

‘In terms of performance, it is hard to imagine a better account. Tempu Ishijima is the boy soprano from the Vienna Boys Choir who takes the title role, brilliantly. His mother, the mezzo Dshamilja Kaiser, is strong of voice and acts perfectly… Norwegian conductor Magnus Loddgard conducts with great sensitivity, his tempi just perfect throughout with plenty of space for the vocal lines to breathe.’ – Classical Explorer

PROKOFIEV, S.: Cinderella [Ballet] (Royal Ballet, 2023)
Also available on Blu-ray (OABD7316D)
Nuñez • Muntagirov • Royal Opera House Orchestra • Kessels • Ashton

A timeless classic story is presented in a brand new production full of fairy-tale magic and superb dancing.

TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: The Nutcracker [Ballet] (Royal Ballet, 2018)
Also available on Blu-ray (OABD7259D)
Nuñez • Muntagirov • O’Sullivan • Sambé • Avis • Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden • Wordsworth • Wright

‘When it comes to Nutcrackers, there is simply nothing to beat it.’ – The Times

TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: The Nutcracker [Ballet] (Royal Ballet, 2016)
Also available on Blu-ray (OABD7229D)
Cuthbertson • Bonelli • Avis • Hayward • Campbell • Royal Ballet • Royal Opera House Orchestra • Gruzin • Wright

‘Fresh and reinvigorated – Nutcrackers come and Nutcrackers go but the Royal Ballet’s version is a hardy perennial.’ – The Stage

DELIBES, L.: Lakmé [Opera] (Opéra Comique, 2022)
Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0177V)
Devieilhe • Antoun • Degout • Bré • Pygmalion Chorus and Orchestra • Pichon • Pelly

‘Conductor Raphaël Pichon, soprano Sabine Devieilhe – and that’s just the start of an impressive list of creative collaborators, making this Lakmé a thrilling watch.’ – Gramophone

TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: The Nutcracker [Ballet] (Royal Ballet, 2009)
Also available on Blu-ray (OABD7072D)
Miyako Yoshida • Cervera • McRae • Avis • The Royal Ballet • The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House • Kessels • Wright

Tchaikovsky’s ravishing score, period designs by Julia Trevelyan Oman (including an ingenious magical Christmas tree), an exquisite Sugar Plum Fairy (Miyako Yoshida) and chivalrous Prince (Steven McRae), the mysterious Drosselmeyer (Gary Avis) and vibrant dancing by The Royal Ballet make for a captivating performance.

TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: Classic Ballets – Swan Lake • The Nutcracker • Sleeping Beauty (Royal Ballet, 2006, 2009)
Also available on Blu-ray (OABD7131D)
Royal Ballet • Royal Opera House Orchestra • Ovsyanikov • Kessels • Dowell • Wright • Petipa

‘Filming is good in all three ballets and the helpful notes are by Dowell, Tim Scholl, and Wiley.’ – Ballet Review

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.

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, N.A.: Christmas Eve [Opera] (Frankfurt Opera, 2022)
Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0154V)
Vasiliev • Shkosa • Muzychenko • Tikhomirov • Popov • Frankfurt Opera Chorus • Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra • Weigle • Loy

‘Loy masses his choral scenes with gusto, and draws the characters with compassion and wit. It’s the mixture of cheerfulness and melancholy that makes this opera sing, and Loy walks the line without compromise to his own aesthetic.’ – Gramophone

 TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: The Nutcracker [Ballet] (Bolshoi Ballet, 2010)
Also available on Blu-ray (BAC473)
Kaptsova • Ovcharenko • Savin • Loparevich • Suvorova • Dmitrichenko • Litvinova • Ivata • Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra • Klinichev • Grigorovich

Yuri Grigorovich deals with Hoffmann’s fantastic imagery and takes ideas from the Marius Petipa’ scenario : battle of the mice, snowflakes flurry, characters dances executed by little doll that came to life… The most talented soloists of the Bolshoi Ballet appear in this production as Nina Kaptsova (Marie) and Artem Ovcharenko (the Nutcracker Prince) or Denis Savin (Drosselmeyer). The Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra is conducted by Pavel Klinichev.

THE ROYAL BALLET COLLECTION (2005–2016) (15-Disc Boxed Set)
Also available on Blu-ray (OABD7292BD)
Various Artists

Over a decade of dance is represented here with no fewer than 22 ballets in this magnificent 15-disc collection of stunning performances by The Royal Ballet, including spectacular stagings of well-known narrative ballets, era-defining abstract works and show-stopping shorter ballets.

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