Naxos is delighted to announce an outstanding result at this year’s Grammy® Awards, where Naxos won six awards, more than any other classical label:
Inspired by the fiftieth anniversary of Superman’s first appearance in the comics, Metropolis Symphony has been performed by orchestras all over the world. Hailed by the London Times as a “Symphonie Fantastique for our times,” Metropolis Symphony is a musical response to the myth of Superman, expressing the energies, ambiguities, paradoxes, and wit of American popular culture. Deus ex Machina is a piano concerto inspired by trains of the future and past: Fast Forward re-creates the machine-like rhythms of modern trains admired by the Italian futurists; Train of Tears recalls Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train; Night Steam evokes O. Winston Link’s historic photographs of steam locomotives rumbling and whistling their way into extinction.
Livre du Saint-Sacrement (The Book of the Blessed Sacrament) is Messiaen’s last and longest organ work, a thematic cycle based on the sacrament of Communion comprising eighteen movements, many based on his recorded improvisations, arranged into three thematic groups. Hailed for his prodigious technique, vivid interpretive imagination and charismatic showmanship, Paul Jacobs is widely acknowledged for reinvigorating the American organ scene with a fresh performance style and ‘an unbridled joy of music-making’ (Baltimore Sun). He has performed the complete organ works of Olivier Messiaen in nine-hour marathons in eight American cities.
György Ligeti’s choral and orchestral music hit the mainstream when it was featured in the soundtrack of 2001: A Space Odyssey, but his equally remarkable chamber works remain less well known. While indebted to his compatriot Bartók for its folk-inflected passages, Ligeti’s First Quartet, subtitled Métamorphoses nocturnes, is nonetheless a work of striking originality. The Second Quartet, composed around fifteen years later, abounds in contrasts between glacial stillness and manic activity, mechanistic pizzicatos and gentle oscillations. His early Andante and Allegro is richly expressive and easily accessible.
A graduate of the Juilliard School, where he earned a Doctorate in Composition, and a protégé of John Corigliano and Zubin Mehta, award-winning Avner Dorman is emerging as one of the leading composers of his generation. His music has been championed by many of the world’s finest conductors. The diverse concertos presented here combine the excitement and spontaneity associated with jazz, rock or ethnic music within an engaging neo-baroque idiom. Dorman writes: ‘I have always loved baroque music…the clear rhythms, the strong reliance on the bass, and the extreme contrasts.’ Avner Dorman’s piano music is available on Naxos 8.579001.
Congratulations to all concerned – composers, performers, engineers, and everyone involved!
For more information about the GRAMMY Awards, please visit www.grammy.com.