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This month brings you another bumper crop of great reviews from the leading music magazines, quality dailies and online review sites. There’s no doubt about it: Naxos releases and distributes some of the best CDs and DVDs available!

International Classical Music Award – ICMA 2011

ICMA winner, Symphonic Category:

SHOSTAKOVICH Symphonies Vol 3 - Symphony No 8
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Petrenko
Naxos 8.572392

Previous awards:


“A totally convincing performance, intensely eloquent with overwhelming climaxes. The playing of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra - which has been transformed under Petrenko's leadership - is superb.” - ICMA Jury

“Petrenko is a conductor who should remain in the international forefront for the next several decades.” - Fanfare
ICMA winner, DVD Documentaries Category:

Tchaikovsky's Women / Fate (Films)
Cynthia Harvey, Mark Silver
Helen Field, Clarry Bartha
Swedish Radio Symphony, Ashkenazy
Christopher Nupen A10CND

“Christopher Nupen - with the superb musical support of Vladimir Ashkenazy - rightly presents Tchaikovsky as an outsider in the Russian society. One simply must see this film to understand the sources of inspiration for the composer's music.” - ICMA Jury

Tchaikovsky … constant delight and variety” – The Times
ICMA winner, DVD Performance Category:

WAGNER Der Ring des Nibelungen
Palau de les Arts "Reina Sofia", 2007-2009
C Major 703808

“The coherence of Padrissa and La Fura’s overall conception goes hand and hand with an excellent cast and a fabulous orchestra, which has rapidly acquired a genuinely Wagnerian sound, with Zubin Mehta at the helm for an unforgettable performance.” - ICMA Jury

“It looks like a landmark Ring cycle, it is outstanding.” – BBC Music Magazine

“Quite a spectacle, brilliantly sung.” – The Sunday Times

“CHOC” de Classica & “Maestro” de Pianiste

F SCHMITT Piano Music - La Tragédie de Salomé, Ombres, Mirages


Gramophone Editor's Choice

SAINT-SAËNS Music for Wind Instruments
Canada's National Arts Centre Wind Quintet, Lemelin
Naxos 8.570964

“What was Saint-Saën’s state of mind during the last year of his life? If music gives us a way into such things, then this is as good an indicator as any. As with so much of this composer’s music, these works are warm and astonishing melodic. But it also seems as though he would have moved into a new, more economical style had he had the time. Fine performances.” – Gramophone

Naxos Blu-ray Audio

CORIGLIANO Symphony No. 3 ‘Circus Maximus’, Gazebo Dances
University of Texas Wind Ensemble, Junkin

“An incredible sonic experience that may change your outlook in terms of the level of visceral excitement achievable with large-scale repertoire in a home listening environment.” – Fanfare

Naxos DVD

M ADAMO Little Women
Houston Grand Opera, 2000

“As a calling-card for Mark Adamo…this release is also a convincing demonstration that Little Women could be an audience-pleaser wherever it plays.” – Gramophone

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who starred as Meg in this recording of Little Women, has won the 2010 Gramophone Artist of the Year award.

Naxos CDs

SCHUMANN Scenen aus Goethes Faust
(Scenes from Goethe’s Faust)

Warsaw Boys’ Choir, Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, Wit
8.572430-31 Disc of the Month, Mar 2011

“Antoni Wit’s new version concedes little or nothing to Harnoncourt…and improves on his interpretation with less mannered, more natural pacing.” – BBC Music Magazine
Sykes, Wulfman, Morgan State University Choir,
Peabody Children's Chorus, Baltimore Symphony, Alsop


“This recording, one of the most important issues of the past decade, proves beyond all doubt the power of this Mass to move, to inspire, to break and remake hearts.” – MusicWeb International

Previous award:
2010 Gramophone Editor’s Choice Award
R FUCHS Serenades Nos 1 and 2, Andante grazioso and Capriccio
Cologne Chamber Orchestra, C. Ludwig

“The performances are perfect: flowing, rhythmically clean and snappy, immaculately tuned, and affectionately phrased. It just doesn’t get any better, and the sonics are pristine.” –
KREUTZER Violin Concertos Nos 17-19
A. Strauss, San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, Mogrelia

“Those who consider Kreutzer’s studies mere drudgery that a violinist has to endure on the way to the Paganini caprices should discover in these concertos … Strongly recommended” – Fanfare
HAYDN Masses Vol 7 – Missa brevis (1805 revision), Creation Mass
Trinity Choir, Rebel Baroque Orchestra, Burdick, Glover

“This is exemplary Haydn—that it happens to be church music only serves to remind us that here is a composer who could not only make sacred music cheerful, but cheerful music sacred.” –
REGER Clarinet Sonatas Opp 49 & 107
J. Hilton, J. Fichert

“The sonatas sound at home here in a relatively intimate acoustic. Janet Hilton revels in the Art Nouveau tendrils of Reger’s melodic lines, and Jakob Fichert in the intricate cross-rhythms of his piano parts; and their teamwork is exemplary.” – BBC Music Magazine
R JOHNSON Lute Music

“As always, North’s playing is a wonder, an easy, natural musicality and an impeccable technique complemented by a real ear for colour and nuance of expression … Superb.” – Gramophone
BIZET Clovis et Clotilde, Te Deum
Soloists, Pas-de-Calais North Regional Choir,
Lille National Orchestra, J.-C. Casadesus


“Naxos assembled a particularly outstanding team of performers for this one … This release is essential listening for any fan of Bizet or French music of his time.” – American Record Guide
H OTTE Das Buch der Klange (The Book of Sounds)
van Raat

“Ralph van Raat’s impressively controlled performance does justice to the work’s subtle nuances … This is an excellent introduction to the work” – Gramophone
BAX Piano Quintet in G minor / BRIDGE Piano Quintet in D minor
Wass, Tippett Quartet

“Wass and the Tippett Quartet play with edge-of-the-seat intensity … the energy created leaves one breathless” – American Record Guide

See all Naxos Recordings


MAHLER Symphony No 9
Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Abbado
Accentus ACC-10214 (DVD) / Accentus ACC-20214 (Blu-ray)

“Compelling and intrinsic account of the Ninth Symphony, superbly played with power and transparency and a wide dynamic range”
The Classical Review

See all Accentus Recordings

Arthaus Musik

Los Angeles Opera, 2009
Arthaus Musik 101529 (DVD) / Arthaus Musik 101530 (Blu-ray)

“An essential acquisition for those interested in the byways of early-20th century opera” – MusicWeb International

See all Arthaus Musik Recordings

BR Klassik

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Russian Easter Festival /
FRANCK Symphony in D minor

Bavarian Radio Symphony, Kondraschin
BR-Klassik 900704

“A memorable reading, combining precision with a high degree of excitement” – Fanfare

See all BR Klassik Recordings

C Major

BEETHOVEN Symphonies Nos 4, 5 & 6 (with documentaries)
Vienna Philharmonic, Thielemann
C Major 704908

“Magnificent … powerfully articulated, though sensitive Beethoven with earthy good humour in the right places” – La Scena Musicale

See all C Major Recordings

Carpe Diem

De Profundis
Tre Bassi
Carpe Diem CD-16274

“A most unusual disc that grew on me—recommended” – Fanfare

See all Carpe Diem Recordings


VIVALDI Oboe Concertos
Klein, New Brandenburg Collegium, Newman
Cedille CDR7003

“Breathtaking in their daredevil virtuosity … sensational” – Fanfare

See all Cedille Recordings


BUXTEHUDE Scandinavian Cantatas
Theatre of Voices, Hillier
Dacapo 6.220534

“Dacapo’s stunning sound engineering, Kerala Synder’s expert essay and the superb musicianship … make this easy to recommend enthusiastically.” – Gramophone

See all Dacapo Recordings

Dorian Sono Luminus

JS BACH Motets
The Bach Sinfonia, Abraham
Dorian Sono Luminus DSL-92119

“finely detailed, blissfully free of eccentricities, and sung beautifully and confidently” – Fanfare

See all Dorian Sono Luminus Recordings


MAHLER Symphony No 6
Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Abbado
EuroArts 2055644

“A top choice for anyone looking to expand, or begin, a Blu-ray orchestral collection” – Fanfare

See all EuroArts Recordings

ICA Classics

VERDI La Traviata (1958)
Callas, Valletti, Zanasi, Covent Garden Opera, Rescigno
ICA Classics ICAC5006

“You’ve got an ideal Violetta … it’s the only Traviata you’ll ever need.” –

See all ICA Classics Recordings

Idéale Audience

R STRAUSS Metamorphosen, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme /
RAVEL Piano Concerto

Grimaud, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, V. Jurowski
Idéale Audience 3078734

“As rewarding a listen as it is well worth a watch” – Gramophone

See all Idéale Audience Recordings

Newton Classics

RACHMANINOV Symphony No 3, Vocalise
National Philharmonic, Stokowski
Newton Classics NC8802024

“I don’t know any recording of this piece (including Rachmaninov’s own) that is as consistently imaginative, or as dazzling at climaxes.”
International Record Review

See all Newton Classics Recordings

Opus Arte

PUCCINI La Fanciulla del West
De Nederlandse Opera, 2009
Opus Arte OA1039D

“One of the cleverest updates around and a must-see DVD of the year” – La Scena Musicale

See all Opus Arte Recordings

Solo Musica

CHOPIN Piano Sonata No 3 / LISZT Piano Sonata
Solo Musica SM147

“Her playing exhibits an amazing transparency and flawless articulation in performances that maintain high electricity and momentum” – The WholeNote

See all Solo Musica Recordings

Visit selected websites that review our recordings

See all the CD and DVD labels that Naxos distributes

Naxos recordings and those from the labels we distribute globally consistently receive critical acclaim for their fascinating repertoire, outstanding performances and audio quality.

See previous months’ Critics Choices:

April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009


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