Launched in 2012 Grand Piano Records was established with the mission to explore and discover unknown and neglected repertoire for the piano. The label’s specialty is complete piano cycles of lesser-known composers, whose works might otherwise have remained unknown and unrecorded. Such composers include Leopold Koželuch, Hélène de Montgeroult, Alexander Tcherepnin, Blagoje Bersa, Mieczysław Weinberg, and many others. Grand Piano artists are often authorities on these composers and experts on the chosen repertoire, giving their performances a unique stamp of authority. Drawing on such a rich resource, the label is able to boast that the majority of its 250-plus releases to date include world premiere recordings.
Nimrod Borenstein’s music has become ever more prominent and popular in recent years and his piano works exemplify his communicative and vitalising spirit. The two sets of Études, inspired by Chopin, some of which are based on a culture, country or myth, employ Borenstein’s personal use of polyrhythms which allow melodies to float and glide in new, virtuosic and colourful ways. Reminiscences of Childhood is a suite exploring the innocence, playfulness and drama of early childhood. Acclaimed British-Vietnamese pianist Tra Nguyen describes Borenstein’s music as ‘inspirational and rewarding’.
Highly respected in the 19th-century Parisian music scene, Louise Farrenc was acclaimed as a pianist and admired by Robert Schumann for her compositions. The Theme and Variation sets are among her most significant works for piano. Their content ranges from the humour and playfulness of the Op. 7 set, to the intimacy and melancholy of Op. 6 on the popular aria ‘O ma tendre musette!’ Maria Stratigou’s recording of the Études (GP912-13) was considered ‘beguiling piano music’ by BBC Music Magazine, confirming once again that Farrenc has been unjustly neglected as a composer.
The piano was a constant presence throughout Luciano Berio’s life, from the charming early Petite Suite to the compelling drama of the Piano Sonata, one of his last works. Berio’s profound exploration of this instrument’s timbres and possibilities is further in evidence in the Webern-like concision of Cinque variazioni and the famously virtuoso Sequenza. The obsessiveness of Rounds and the deeply personal Six Encores complete a recording that marks the 20th anniversary of Berio’s death.
Explore Grand Piano’s Spotify profile filled with captivating piano music that will transport you to a world of tranquility and elegance. From classical compositions to contemporary masterpieces, this collection of playlists offers a diverse range of piano music genres, ensuring there’s something for every listener’s taste.
Born in Vienna, Gottlieb Wallisch first appeared on the concert platform when he was seven years old, and at the age of twelve made his debut in the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein. A concert directed by Yehudi Menuhin in 1996 launched Wallisch’s international career: accompanied by the Sinfonia Varsovia, the seventeen-year-old pianist performed Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ Concerto.
Since then Wallisch has received invitations to appear at the world’s most prestigious concert halls and festivals, including Carnegie Hall in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, the Cologne Philharmonie, the Tonhalle Zurich, the NCPA in Beijing, the Ruhr Piano Festival, the Beethovenfest in Bonn, the Festivals of Lucerne and Salzburg, December Nights in Moscow, and the Singapore Arts Festival.
Gottlieb Wallisch is a Steinway Artist.
– kulturradio vom rbb ★★★★★
– The New York Times
– American Record Guide
For the full list of Gottlieb Wallisch’s discography, visit Naxos.com.
All at Naxos were saddened to learn of the recent passing of composer Gloria Coates, one of the most startlingly individual figures on the contemporary music scene and one of the most prolific female symphonists.
Born in Wausau, Wisconsin, Gloria Coates began composing and experimenting with overtones and note clusters at the age of nine. Both Alexander Tcherepnin and Otto Luening were important mentors. Since 1969 she lived principally in Europe, where she continued to champion American music. Her oeuvre includes 17 symphonies, a variety of chamber music works, together with solo, vocal and electronic compositions. She was an educator, a poet and a painter, who often used her own paintings as the artwork for her recordings.
Naxos issued their first recordings of Gloria Coates’ music in 2002, including her string quartets performed by the Kreutzer Quartet. One of the ensemble’s members, violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved, commented:
‘We met in 1990, and the conversation, the music, the poetry, the painting, the laughter never stopped. The joy of collaborating on the performance of premieres, recording a universe of music – ten quartets, two sonatas, the concerto, piano trio, piano quintet and the chamber opera – is ever present. But Gloria was an artist filled with love, and that burns ever brighter.’
Gloria Coates’ final recording for Naxos was released in 2018. The programme comprised her Piano Quintet and the Tenth Symphony. The critical reception it received from Fanfare serves as an appropriate valediction: ‘Coates’ vision and conviction are a model for creative types everywhere, not just composers or painters.’
The Danish Chamber Orchestra presented its annual Haydn festival in Copenhagen under the direction of chief conductor Adam Fischer from 1 to 3 September. Now in its second year, it will continue until 2025. On each occasion, four Haydn symphonies are recorded and subsequently released on Naxos. This year’s highlights included the performance of Symphonies Nos. 99 to 104. In the final concert, the orchestra gave a very special performance of Leopold Mozart’s little-known Hunting Symphony, featuring three barking dogs performing live during the concert.
Adam Fischer and the orchestra have enjoyed a 20-year partnership, accounting for their unfailingly insightful and expressive performances. They continue their latest project for Naxos, which is to record all of Haydn’s late symphonies, following the critical acclaim received for their Naxos editions of the complete symphonies of Brahms and Beethoven.
‘For us, the musicians of the Danish Chamber Orchestra and myself, it is a great and beautiful artistic challenge to be able to re-record the last 25 symphonies of Franz Joseph Haydn. We can use all the experiences we have gained in recent years with the complete symphonic recordings of Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms to play this Haydn series in ways that are as exciting and colourful as possible.’
– Adam Fischer
This year, a decade after Marin Alsop made history as the first woman to conduct the renowned Last Night of the Proms, she made a return to the Royal Albert Hall to lead a celebratory end to the 2023 BBC Proms season. Alsop conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a varied programme that highlighted the evolution of classical music and the future of the genre.
[8-Disc Boxed Set]
[6-Disc Boxed Set]
– MusicWeb International
– Klassisk ★★★★★
– AllMusic.com ★★★★★
– BBC Music Magazine ★★★★
The early death of award-winning pianist and conductor Lars Vogt on 5 September 2022 profoundly shocked the international music world. Some 16 months earlier, already aware of his diagnosis and in the middle of his treatment sessions, the artist had an urgent desire to record a Mozart piano concerto album together with the Orchestre de chambre de Paris. He believed that performing these fantastic works that he so much admired would also be the best medicine for his condition.
For this Mozart album Lars Vogt coupled two concertos: the early, exuberant Piano Concerto No. 9, ‘Jeunehomme’, written by Mozart in his early 20s, together with the melancholic and nostalgic Piano Concerto No. 24, which is considered by many to be Mozart’s greatest piano concerto – a perfect closure to Lars Vogt’s final concerto album.
– Classic FM
– Pianist ★★★★★
– The New York Times
Winner of nine Emmy Awards, the All-Star Orchestra, under the direction of renowned conductor Gerard Schwarz, celebrates its 10th year and presents popular symphonic scores along with exciting new works by today’s leading composers. The series showcases top players from across the USA, performing and sharing insights on the music. Four new programmes will be broadcast nationally on American Public Television starting in late September 2023. Stay tuned to their social media channels for air dates!
THE ALL-STAR ORCHESTRA & GERARD SCHWARZ
– Audiophile Audition
Recipient of numerous notable awards and commissions, Paul Chihara is renowned for his film and television scores as well as for an extensive catalogue of orchestral, choral and chamber works. Composed for and in close collaboration with award-winning pianist Quynh Nguyen, recognised for her sensitive and poetic playing, the lyrical Concerto-Fantasy is inspired by traditional Vietnamese music, expressing a sense of longing for a peaceful past and projecting jazz-tinged possibilities for the future. From the haiku-like Bagatelles and the haunting intimacy of Ami, to the characters and inspired adaptations that emerge through the Four Reveries on Beethoven, Chihara’s delightfully approachable piano music is full of surprises and discoveries.
– Pizzicato ★★★★★
– Pizzicato ★★★★★
Browse more exciting American Classics titles on Naxos.com.
Swedish jazz vocalist Anna Lundqvist leads and composes for the Lisbon-based quintet, Anna Lundqvist Lisboa Cinco. The ensemble comprises some of the most captivating and innovative musicians from Portugal’s jazz scene. Their debut album, Sou Anna, meaning ‘I’m Anna’ in Portuguese, showcases a fusion of modern jazz that draws inspiration from the diverse backgrounds of the band members, Swedish hymns, and rock music. The result is a rich tapestry of musical interaction, encompassing traditional jazz and modern sounds across various genres.
The album was recorded and mixed in Portugal, and produced by Anna Lundqvist together with drummer Joel Silva. Anna has been one of the most progressive voices on the Swedish jazz scene for over two decades. During a short vacation, she fell in love with Portugal, and since 2016 it has become her second home.
Celebrated conductor Zubin Mehta and the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino joined forces to produce these exceptional performances of Beethoven’s complete symphonies, recorded live during their 2021/22 season. This ambitious project not only pays homage to Beethoven’s remarkable symphonic legacy but also serves as a tribute to Zubin Mehta’s lifelong achievements.
‘[Mehta’s] 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
|Mandy Fredrich, soprano|
|Marie-Claude Chappuis, mezzo-soprano|
|AJ Glueckert, tenor|
|Tareq Nazmi, bass|
|Zubin Mehta, conductor|
Recorded at Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, September–October 2021 and September 2022
More audiovisual productions available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video, either for rent or digital purchase! (Selected titles may be unavailable to stream in some locations.)
More full-length videos? NaxosVideoLibrary.com brings you an extensive streaming video library of classical music performances, opera, ballet, live concerts and documentaries. Watch the world’s greatest opera houses, ballet companies, orchestras and artists perform on demand!
Discover Naxos’ ‘The Music of Brazil’ series, developed in collaboration with the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is presenting around 100 orchestral, chamber, choral and vocal works from the 19th and 20th centuries that are recorded by the country’s top orchestras, ensembles and artists.
– The Art Music Lounge
– MusicWeb International
Elevate your concert season and enjoy a fantastic 20% discount on high-quality sheet music editions, available in both printed and PDF formats. Explore a wide range of symphonies, concertos, choral and theatre works. Click here to visit Artaria.com and use the promo code SeasonOpen20Off during checkout! (Valid until 30 September 2023)
Podcast: Jennifer Higdon. 2 Spectacular Concertos • 1 Sizzling Recording
September 15, 2023
This podcast features American composer Jennifer Higdon in a wide-ranging conversation with Raymond Bisha, during which she describes the long swathe of influences on her composing career. The musical spotlights comprise extracts from her latest recording for Naxos of two powerfully engaging works: the Concerto for Orchestra, written in 2002 and demanding virtuosity from principal players, individual sections and the entire orchestra alike; and her pyrotechnic Duo Duel, a concerto for two percussionists written in 2020, that boasts a killer cadenza (during which you should hold on to your hat) and a diaphanous opening (for which you should hold your breath, and with which this podcast begins…)
Probing the naughties
September 1, 2023
I was once asked what had been the seismic developments in the history of the development of music, equivalent to scientific discoveries that had opened up entirely new vistas for society. I heard myself replying that there hadn’t been any; that from the first Neanderthal sounds on animal bones until the present day, composers had only the same basic musical ingredients to work with (commonly called the ‘elements’ of music), but had mixed them in different proportions like ever-resourceful master chefs to produce a musical smorgasbord that has continued to evolve, endure and entertain.
Looking for new music? Our selection of curated playlists has you covered with music to complement the season, moment, or activity! This month from Naxos, let Baroque Study Hall create the perfect atmosphere for productivity, and discover Latin American composers both past and present. Then, from Naxos Moods, start your morning off right with Coffee & Gentle Jazz, and relax with tranquil melodies from Easygoing Acoustic. Finally, check out Grand Piano’s latest musical offerings through the highlight new release sampler playlist. Happy listening!
Discover the Naxos Atmosphere playlist, a spatial experience from the Naxos world of classical music featuring Dolby Atmos technology.
Based on Jonathan Stroud’s young adult supernatural novels, Netflix’s Lockwood and Co. combines ghostbusting with several murder mysteries. Lucy, a girl with psychic abilities, joins two boys, Anthony and George, at the ghost-hunting agency Lockwood and Co. to fight the deadly spirits plaguing London, doing their best to save the day without any adult supervision.
The Naxos recording of Edvard Grieg’s Solveig’s Song from the Peer Gynt Suite No. 2 is the only classical piece involved. It’s a ‘young adult’ series and the rest of the music included is quite diverse. Listen to the full soundtrack on Spotify.
Need to license some music for a project and don’t know where to start? Visit Naxos Licensing to find out how!