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Naxos Bestsellers October 2023

Top 20 Audio Releases
MOZART, W.A.: Piano Concertos No. 9, ‘Jeunehomme’ and 24
L. Vogt • Orchestre de Chambre de Paris
Editor’s Choice | Gramophone

‘A wonderful Mozart concertos album from the late Lars Vogt – a moving tribute to the joy and love he brought to music-making.’ – Gramophone

SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Symphonies Nos. 5 and 9
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra • van Zweden

‘Van Zweden and his orchestra kick up their heels with relish and come the eleventh-hour arrival of the Red Army Band…the result is vulgar, hilarious and unsettling at one and the same time. This has to be one of the best accounts of the piece on disc – and there’s enough about van Zweden’s Fifth to merit a serious listen.’ – Gramophone

VILLA-LOBOS, H.: Cello Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 • Fantasia for Cello and Orchestra
A. Meneses • São Paulo Symphony Orchestra • Karabtchevsky

‘Antonio Meneses and conductor Karabtchevsky give these three magnificent works very colourful and dynamic performances.’ – Pizzicato ★★★★★

BRUCKNER, A.: Complete Symphony Versions Edition, Vol. 9 – Symphony No. 2 (1877 version, ed. P. Hawkshaw)
Linz Bruckner Orchestra • M. Poschner

‘There is no doubt that Poschner sets off at a tremendous pace which is very engaging; his strings have no trouble articulating cleanly and the depth of the recorded sound adds to the sense of occasion.’ – MusicWeb International

RESPIGHI, O.: Roman Trilogy – Pines of Rome • Fountains of Rome • Roman Festivals
RAI National Symphony Orchestra • R. Treviño

‘Once more, Trevino shows his acute sense of pacing, not just in this final build-up, but in the shaping of the whole piece …’ – BBC Music Magazine ★★★★★

Friedemann Eichhorn • Fazıl Say

‘They [Friedemann Eichhorn and Fazil Say] offer a dialogue-rich, clear and balanced interpretation.’ – Pizzicato ★★★★★

SACCHINI, A.: L’abbandono delle ricchezze di S. Filippo Neri [Oratorio]
Yeree Suh • Chuntishvili • Markus Schäfer • Concerto de Bassus • F. Hauk

The oratorio L’abbandono delle ricchezze di S. Filippo Neri narrates the spiritual trials of St Philip Neri as he is hounded by the personifications of Splendour and Deception on his journey, assisted and defended by Poverty, towards God and virtue.

HENZE, H.W.: Das Floss der Medusa
Wegener • Henschel • Bechtolf • Vienna Boys Choir • Arnold Schoenberg Choir • Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra • Meister

‘All three soloists (Sarah Wegener as La Mort, Dietrich Henschel as Jean-Charles and Sven-Eric Bechtolf as Charon) are excellent. They are very well backed up by the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Arnold Schoenberg Chor and the Wiener Sängerknaben with Cornelius Meister conducting.’ – operaramblings

RAFF, J.: Symphony No. 5, ‘Lenore’ • Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra Košice • U. Schneider

The imposing nature and sweeping expressive range of Joachim Raff’s Fifth Symphony has seen it become one of his most popular works in the genre. Its subtitle ‘Lenore’ refers to a lurid and macabre poem by Gottfried August Bürger in which the forlorn heroine forsakes God to join her dead lover on a wild ride through an ultimately horrific night. With its delicately scored and touching love music, celebrated march and brutal finale, this is a spirited and memorable symphony. The overture Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott uses Martin Luther’s famous melody to commemorate the drama of the Thirty Years’ War.

NOSKOWSKI, Z.: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2
Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra • Wit

‘The performances are generally strong and in style. The recording is vivid and clear. …there is much that is appealing and worth studying.’ – MusicWeb International

BRUCKNER, A.: Symphonies (Organ Transcriptions), Vol. 7 – Symphony No. 7
Hansjörg Albrecht

This series marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Anton Bruckner, which falls in 2024. It’s dedicated to Bruckner’s symphonies, most of them recorded in new transcriptions for organ by Hansjörg Albrecht. The 8th recording was made on the organ at Gewandhaus in Leipzig with the transcription of Bruckner’s 7th Symphony by Erwin Horn.

TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: Manfred • Marche slave
Utah Symphony Orchestra • Abravanel

Tchaikovsky’s unnumbered ‘Manfred’ Symphony has always defied easy categorisation, either as a symphony or a four-movement symphonic poem. Based on a poem by Byron and sharing some similarities with Berlioz’s Harold in Italy, it charts the tempestuous journey of Manfred towards the long-sought peace of death. The rousing Marche slave is a long-established concert favourite.

TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: Symphony No. 3, ‘Polish’ • Francesca da Rimini
Utah Symphony Orchestra • Abravanel

Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3 in D Major, ‘Polish’ is cast, uniquely for the composer, in five movements. There is nothing particularly Polish about the piece (the subtitle was added by the coductor Sir August Manns six years after Tchaikovsky’s death) but it does display some characteristically German touches with echoes of Mendelssohn, Schumann and Schubert. The tragic and tempestuous symphonic poem Francesca da Rimini is based on scenes from Dante’s Divine Comedy.

MOZART 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

CHIHARA, P.: Complete Piano Works – Concerto-Fantasy • Bagatelles • 4 Reveries • Ami
Quynh Nguyen • Rieko Aizawa • London Symphony Orchestra • S. Barlow

‘Some of these haikus were inspired by popular songs as well as Chihara’s film themes, but also include homage to Bach, Brahms, and Prokofiev. They are played brilliantly by Quynh Nguyen, as are the sweetly playful Four Reveries on Beethoven.’ – Pizzicato ★★★★

SCHUBERT, F.: Piano Trios Nos. 1 and 2 • Notturno • Rondo brillant • Arpeggione Sonata
C. and T. Tetzlaff • Vogt
Quarterly Critic’s Choice | Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics’ Award)

‘Tanja and Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt put their symbiotic friendship on the line for Schubert’s piano trios, it seems; together they are able to create something that would be separately unattainable.’ – Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics’ Award)

HAYDN, J.: Late Symphonies, Vol. 1 – Nos. 93–95
Danish Chamber Orchestra • A. Fischer

‘The Danish Chamber Orchestra has a very bright, varied and energetic playing style…’ – MusicWeb International

SCARLATTI, D.: Complete Keyboard Sonatas, Vol. 28
Sang Woo Kang

‘Kang’s entry in Naxos’ ongoing complete Scarlatti survey has much to recommend it.Kang’s entry in Naxos’ ongoing complete Scarlatti survey has much to recommend it.’ –

GRAU, E.: Concertos for Soloists and String Orchestra
Jarkovská • Reitmaier • Valderrama • Fons • Banegas • Anima Musicæ Chamber Orchestra • Varela

The music of Spanish-Argentine composer Eduardo Grau is imbued with Hispanic elements. His Concerto of ‘Yuste’ for Violin, Piano and Timpani was inspired by the Spanish monastery of its title and is notable for its rhythmic drive, lyricism and mystical atmosphere. The Concertino for Viola and Piano is deeply expressive and intimate, while folkloric dances from Argentina are used in the Concerto for Clarinet including the vivacious chacarera. The verses of Spanish Golden Age poet Garcilaso de la Vega provided the inspiration for Grau’s To the Flower of Gnido for Flute and Piano.

SAINT-GEORGES, J.B.C. de: Violin Concertos, Opp. 2 and 7
Fumika Mohri • Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra • Pardubice • M. Halász

‘…these showcases for Saint-Georges’ virtuoso technique are attractive and engaging works… Performances are beautifully judged throughout a delightful CD.’ – The WholeNote

JOHNSON, J.P.: De Organizer • The Dreamy Kid (excerpts)
R. Davis Dunn • O. Duval • E. Gray • L.C. Hicks • University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra • Kiesler

‘The opera [De Organizer] is compact, just over thirty minutes, and packed with drama. The music is permeated with jazz rhythms and blues feeling – it is really A Swingin’ Affair!’ – MusicWeb International

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

RACHMANINOV, S.: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 4 • Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Giltburg • Brussels Philharmonic • Sinaisky

‘A breathless Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini, full of panache and wit, closes a virtually flawless disc in which, it must be emphasized, the Brussels Philharmonic is absolutely sumptuous!’ – Classica

Top 10 Audiovisual Releases
SCHREKER, F.: Der Schatzgräber (Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2022)
Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0173V)
Johansson • Strid • Laurenz • Berlin Deutsche Opera Chorus and Orchestra • Albrecht • Loy

‘Daniel Johanson and Michael Laurenz are excellent as the male leads, but it’s Elisabet Strid’s portrayal of the heroine that makes this so tragically memorable. Marc Albrecht persuasively conducts the Berlin Opera Orchestra.’ – The Flip Side

BEETHOVEN, L. van: Complete Symphonies
Also available on Blu-ray (DYN-57950)
Fiorentino Maggio Musicale Chorus and Orchestra • Z. Mehta

‘Zubin Mehta conducts seated, but this does in no way affect the sound he elicits from the Florence musicians. His beat is clear, his conductor’s visual language communicative. The energy he possesses and transfers to his musicians is concentrated and not for a moment dissipated by theatrics.’ – All About the Arts

DONIZETTI, G.: Don Pasquale (Royal Opera House, 2019)
Also available on Blu-ray (OABD7274D)
Terfel • Hotea • Werba • Peretyatko • Royal Opera House Chorus and Orchestra • Pidò • Michieletto

‘The singing and acting is excellent. …Olga Peretyatko is a most spirited Norina. She has a lovely voice with killer coloratura, looks terrific and is a really good actor. …The ensemble work is all crisp and it comes off as a proper fast paced opera buffa. Orchestra, chorus and, especially, conductor Evelino Pidò all contribute to a genuinely fun performance.’ – operaramblings

Also available on Blu-ray (BAC616)
Zakharova • Bolshoi Ballet • Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra • Sorokin • Sinaisky • Sotnikov • Grigorovich • Lacotte

‘…the prima ballerina is the whole point of this set, and as a tribute to supreme classical dancer, this collection will not disappoint. It is also a fine document of the state of classical productions at one of the world’s great dance companies, its essentially conservative style, its reverence for its magnificent legacy, and the work it does to preserve it. The film and sound quality are very good, as is the video direction and editing.’ – MusicWeb International

MOZART, W.A.: Le Nozze di Figaro (Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, 2004)
Also available on Blu-ray (BAC517)
Pisaroni • Dasch • Spagnoli • Joshua • Kirchschlager • Concerto Köln • Jacobs • Martinoty

‘Everything about this production is excellent, so much so that is quickly become my favourite DVD version, and not just among the period performances, it not only offers an excellent singing cast, but it is well acted with all the participants actually looking the part as well as comfortable in bringing out he humour in their roles, something that some performances forget.’ – MusicWeb International

WAGNER, R.: Parsifal (Staatsoper unter den Linden, 2015)
Also available on Blu-ray (BAC428)
Schager • Kampe • Pape • Koch • Tómasson • Berlin State Opera Chorus • Berlin Staatskapelle • Barenboim • Tcherniakov

‘Wolfgang Koch’s Amfortas is acted with great courage and, barring a few effortful high notes, excellently sung. Tómas Tómasson, totally invested in Tcherniakov’s view of Klingsor, brings more variety of color to his vocalism than is usually heard in the role. Matthias Hölle, a former Gurnemanz now in his mid-sixties, sings an imposing Titurel.’ – Opera News

WAGNER, R.: Tannhäuser (Staatsoper unter den Linden, 2014)
Also available on Blu-ray (BAC422)
Seiffert • Petersen • Mattei • Pape • Prudenskaya • Berlin Deutsche Staatsoper Chorus • Staatskapelle Berlin • Barenboim

‘Staged by choreographer Sasha Waltz on a fantastic stage by Pia Maier Schriever with a circular tunnel of light in the manner of Hieronymus Bosch, the Berlin Tannhäuser deserves to be described as world-class’ – Süddeutsche Zeitung

BERG, A.: Lulu (Bavarian State Opera, 2015)
Also available on Blu-ray (BAC429)
Petersen • Skovhus • Klink • Sindram • Trost • Winkler • Bavarian State Orchestra • Petrenko • Tcherniakov

‘Berg’s ability to lend lyricism to otherwise prickly chromatic passages is what makes the nightmare bearable, elevating the drama beyond the abject misery endured by the characters.’ – Opera News

PARIS NATIONAL OPERA BALLET – Orfeo ed Euridice • Rain • Tribute to Jerome Robbins (2008–2014)
Also available on Blu-ray (BAC614)
Bausch • De Keersmaeker • Frohlich • Millepied

‘The clear highlight of this collection is Pina Bausch’s 2008 revival of her 1975 masterpiece Orpheus and Eurydice scored to Gluck’s full opera, masterfully led by Thomas Hengelbrock conducting the Balthasar-Neumann Ensemble and Choir. Veteran dance filmmaker Vincent Bataillon illuminates Bausch’s stunning sense of stage composition as well as the dynamic power and subtleties of the lead dancers and singers on stage together.’ –

STRAUSS, R.: Elektra (Aix-en-Provence, 2013)
Also available on Blu-ray (BAC410)
Herlitzius • Meier • Pieczonka • Petrenko • Randle • Orchestre de Paris • Salonen • Chéreau

‘Patrice Chéreau’s staging of Strauss’s famously chilling opera is a triumph for Aix’ – Financial Times ★★★★★

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