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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!

Naxos Releases

BACH, J.S.: English Suites Nos. 1-3
(arr. Montenegrin Guitar Duo for 2 guitars)

Montenegrin Guitar Duo
Naxos 8.573473

‘These are very fine realizations that lovers of Bach and the guitar will appreciate.’ –

BALADA, L.: Concerto for Piano, Winds and Percussion /
Cello Concerto / Viola Concerto

Graf, Premo, Pillai, Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble, Colwell, Story, Thompson, Vosburgh
Naxos 8.573064

‘An appealing program with contemporary music by Leonardo Balada, superbly played by the Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble.’ – Pizzicato

Tianwa Yang, Hadulla, Nashville Symphony Orchestra,
Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra, Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä, Gallois, Guerrero, Martínez-Izquierdo

Naxos 8.578317

‘[Ysaÿe’s Solo Violin Sonata 2] is one of the finest interpretations of this work...’ – American Record Guide

Naxos 8.573475

‘The march from Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges is deliciously witty, the Scriabin preludes full of contrast, Rachmaninov’s lovely Vocalise Op 34 No 14 poetic and cup-muted, with two trumpets and two trombones “singing” the vocal line winningly. ’ – The Guardian

CAMILLERI, C.: Piano Concerto No. 1, "Mediterranean" /
Accordion Concerto / Malta Suite

Farrugia, Božac, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Vaupotić
Naxos 8.573373

‘The Malta Philharmonic, superbly recorded in Valletta, plays with pizzazz and transparency: Naxos presents us with yet another undervalued composer and orchestra. ’
American Record Guide

DVOŘÁK, A.: Requiem
Libor, Wolak, Kirch, Monarcha, Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, Wit
Naxos 8.572874-75

‘Dvořák’s Requiem is quite powerful. And when it’s performed as well as it is here it touches the soul many times and in many ways.’
American Record Guide

Guitar Recital: Buono, Emanuele - MILANO, F. da / AGUADO, D. / RODRIGO, J. / CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO, M. / JOSÉ, A.
Emanuele Buono
Naxos 8.573362

‘Mr Buono and his performance here is simply outstanding—technically impeccable, tasteful and exciting (two qualities not often found together), imaginative and moving.’ – American Record Guide

HÉTU, J.: Chamber Works for Strings (Complete)
New Orford String Quartet, Dann, Carr, Hutchins
Naxos 8.573395

‘Absolutely splendid. My response to them goes far past admiration; and find them more moving and more impressive each time I hear them.’
American Record Guide

MOMPOU, F.: Songs (Complete), Vol. 2 - Becquerianas / Comptines
Mathéu, Masó
Naxos 8.573100

‘Mathéu’s voice is not too big for these intimate pieces, and Masó, who has also recorded Mompou’s piano music, has the touch and expertise in this milieu that make him an ideal accompanist.’
Culture Catch Best Classical Albums of the Year

Opera Arias (Soprano): Borsi, Maria Luigia - PUCCINI, G. /

Borsi, London Symphony Orchestra, Abel
Naxos 8.573412

‘Maria Borsi’s gorgeous debut solo album from Naxos is outstanding in every respect.’ – Music & Vision

PENDERECKI, K.: Magnificat / Kadisz
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Wit
Naxos 8.572697

‘Antoni Wit’s impeccable renderings of the composer’s complex and challenging music, especially excelling in the choral works, as here.’
Culture Catch Best Classical Albums of the Year

PROKOFIEV, S.: Symphony No. 3 / Scythian Suite / Autumnal Sketch
São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Alsop
Naxos 8.573452
Also available in Blu-ray: Naxos Blu-ray NBD0047

‘Breathtaking—both the performances and the sound. Along with everything else Naxos is now also an audiophile label!’ – American Record Guide

SARASATE, P. de: Violin and Orchestra Music (Complete)
Tianwa Yang, Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra, Martínez-Izquierdo
Naxos 8.504046

‘Tianwa Yang accompanied by the Orchestra of Navarre, plays most beautifully a lot of attractive pieces.’ – Classic FM

SCHMITT, F.: Antoine et Cléopâtre Suites Nos. 1 and 2 /
Le Palais Hanté

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Falletta
Naxos 8.573521

‘Delicious harmonies conveyed with finesse by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under JoAnn Falletta.’ – BBC Music Magazine

‘JoAnn Falletta succeeds extremely well in realizing the mixture of brilliance and sensuality which characterizes Schmitt’s music, and her readings are intense and expressive as well.’ – Pizzicato

TANSMAN, A.: Violin and Piano Music - Violin Sonata No. 2 /
Sonata quasi una fantasia / Violin Sonatinas Nos. 1 and 2 / Fantaisie

Sahatçi, Koukl
Naxos 8.573127

‘Highest recommendation for Sahatçi’s sensuous and sexy violin, recorded forward relative to the pianist, who also plays wonderfully.’
American Record Guide

VILLA-LOBOS, H.: Symphony No. 12 / Uirapuru / Mandu-çarará
São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, São Paulo Symphony Children's Choir,
São Paulo Symphony Chorus, Karabtchevsky

Naxos 8.573451

‘This CD came in the mail and impressed me. It seems like I’ve been missing out on some very colorful composing all these years. ’
Culture Catch Best Classical Albums of the Year

WAGNER, R.: Rheingold (Das) [Opera]
Goerne, DeYoung, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, van Zweden
Naxos 8.660374-75

‘Abundance of gold!…one appreciates the theatrical sense here…and although the orchestra is exotic (only on paper), the cast is wholly European and of quality’ – La Libre Belgique

STOKER, B.: Dracula (Unabridged)
Naxos AudioBooks NA0190

‘Brilliantly performed by an exceptional assemblage of British actors.’
RUSA (A Division of the American Library Association)

GODOWSKY, L.: Piano Music, Vol. 13 (Scherbakov)
6 Pieces for the Left Hand Alone / Transcriptions

Konstantin Scherbakov
Marco Polo 8.225367

‘The finest of the series in content, performance and sound. All in all, if you haven’t sampled Godowsky before, this is as good a place as anywhere to start.’ – Gramophone

See Naxos catalogue

Accentus Music

BEETHOVEN, L. van: Piano Sonatas Nos. 21 and 29
Sunwook Kim
Accentus Music ACC-303551

‘Powerful and passionate performances. Sunwook Kim shows Beethoven as a rebel, battling against his own fate.’ – Pizzicato

‘This first solo CD confirms that [Sunwook Kim] is a force to be reckoned with.’ – Gramophone

See Accentus Music catalogue


BARTÓK, B.: Piano Sonata / Out of Doors / Allegro Barbaro / Dances
Phillip Evans
Artek AR-0064-2

‘This is a wonderful Bartók program that I will spend a lot of time with.’
American Record Guide

See Artek catalogue

Arthaus Musik

SIBELIUS, J.: Symphonies Nos. 1-7
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Lintu
Arthaus 101797 [Blu-ray] | 101796 [DVD]

‘To describe this as an important snapshot of orchestral Helsinki in 2015 is to belittle the touching gift that is Finns offering us their greatest music with such undemonstrative heart and soul. …Here we get psychology, psychiatry, philosophy, graphology, toxicology and even mixology: a delightful sequence in which two professional alcohol pundits attempt to drink like Sibelius did. In a word, unparalleled. ’ – Gramophone

See Arthaus Musik catalogue


HANDEL, G.F.: Messiah
Doyle, Zazzo, Davislim, Davies, B'Rock Belgian Baroque Orchestra Ghent, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Dijkstra
BR-Klassik 900510

‘Delivered with such clear beauty, heartfelt simplicity, and again, naturalness, that we truly hear them anew.’ –

‘Listeners will find this to be one of the most exciting performances available on disc.’ –

See BR-Klassik catalogue

C Major

MAHLER, G.: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 (Blu-ray, HD)
Meier, Kühmeier, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Järvi
C Major 719204

‘This is lovely, vibrant Mahler playing very much worth hearing.’
American Record Guide

See C Major catalogue

Cantaloupe Music

ENO, B.: Discreet Music
Cantaloupe Music CA-21114

‘Every bit as beautiful and relaxing as the original, with the added tonal richness of live instruments.’ – Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist

See Cantaloupe Music catalogue


KORNGOLD, E.W.: Lieder (Complete)
Jarnot, Pieczonka, Mees
Capriccio C5252

‘Capriccio’s project must be judged a major success. Strongly recommended and an important step in the composer’s rehabilitation.’

See Capriccio catalogue

Carpe Diem

MNEME - Late Medieval and Traditional Music from the Mediterranean Countries
Ex Silentio
Carpe Diem CD-16306

‘The result is powerful, fervent, expressive, and compelling.’
American Record Guide

See Carpe Diem catalogue


Chamber Music - DESSNER, B. / MUHLY, N. / LOTT, R. /

eighth blackbird
Cedille CDR90000-157

‘Neatly done, with wit.’ – The Guardian

See Cedille catalogue

Contrastes Records

Guitar Recital: Garcia, Thibaut - BACH, J.S. / BERIO, L. / REGONDI, G. (Demain dès l'aube)
Thibaut Garcia
Contrastes Records Contrastes6201407

‘This is a remarkable performance from any artist of any age.’
American Record Guide

See Contrastes Records catalogue


GRAUGAARD, L.: Venus / Book of Throws / Layers of Earth /
Three Places

NYU Symphony Orchestra, NYU Contemporary Music Ensemble,
NYU Percussion Ensemble

Dacapo 6.220628

‘I find it positively riveting.’ – Culture Catch Best Classical Albums of the Year

See Dacapo catalogue


VERDI, G.: Simon Boccanegra [Opera]
Hvorostovsky, Frittoli, Abdrazakov, Secco, Orbelian, Kaunas City Symphony
Delos DE3457

‘A stunning achievement.’ – American Record Guide

See Delos catalogue

Grand Piano

KOŽELUCH, L.: Keyboard Sonatas (Complete), Vol. 5
Kemp English
Grand Piano GP646

‘The music proves vivacious and soulful, and English’s playing is always engaging, often brilliant and sometimes electrifying.’ – BBC Music Magazine


See Grand Piano catalogue


FINLAND Kimmo Pohjonen: Sensitive Skin
Kronos Quartet
Octopus OCTO413-2

Sensitive Skin is emotionally engaging, intellectually fascinating and demandingly exuberant.’ – Songlines


Violin and Harp Recital: Duo 47/4 - DINESCU, V. / ANDRÈS, B. / SCHAFER, R.M. / MASSENET, J. / IBERT, J.
Duo 47/4
OehmsClassics OC1825

‘Dramatic, engaging, quasi-gypsy work that is accessible, exhilarating, and wonderfully integrated.’ – American Record Guide

See OehmsClassics catalogue


MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 1, "Titan" / Blumine
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Lintu
Ondine ODE1264-5

‘Lintu presents a compellingly fresh and clear-eyed account of the definitive four-movement score. Everything is so precisely calibrated that we imagine the music plays itself.’ – Gramophone

See Ondine catalogue

Opus Arte

Kwiecień, Jarman, Pirgu, Royal Opera Chorus, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Pappano
Opus Arte OABD7162D [Blu-ray] | OA1161D [DVD]

‘An extremely lucid performance that somehow manages to be taut and lush at the same time.’ – BBC Music Magazine

See Opus Arte catalogue

OUR Recordings

CORELLI, A.: Violin Sonatas, Op. 5, Nos. 7-12
(arr. for recorder and harpsichord)

Petri, Esfahani
OUR Recordings 6.220610

‘The beauty of the sound adds value to this superb program played by two of the world’s greatest musicians.’ – American Record Guide

See OUR Recordings catalogue

Solo Musica

Cello and Piano Recital: Duo Arnicans - CHOPIN, F. / DOHNÁNYI, E.
Duo Arnicans
Solo Musica SM226

‘This program has personality and atmosphere. I enjoyed it very much.’
American Record Guide

See Solo Musica catalogue

Sono Luminus

String Quartet Recital: Del Sol String Quartet - BATES, M. /

Del Sol String Quartet
Sono Luminus DSL-92193

‘Bates provides a smorgasbord of colourful and pulsating interactions, including elements from the worlds of jazz and pop.’ – Gramophone

See Sono Luminus catalogue


IBERT, J.: Chevalier errant (Le) / Les Amours de Jupiter
Orchestre National de Lorraine, Mercier
Timpani 1C1230

‘This music is all completely enjoyable. It’s full of good tunes, smart jokes, and scoring by a master of the art.’ – American Record Guide

See Timpani catalogue


KORNGOLD, E.W.: Korngold Project (The), Vol. 1 - Suite / Piano Trio
Rowland, Mitchell, Arp, Magalhães
TwoPianists TP1039282

‘Magalhaes plays the raucous and extremely difficult opening passages easily, with excellent tone and expressiveness. …the playing is excellent.’
American Record Guide

See TwoPianists catalogue

Visit selected websites that review our recordings

See 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:

January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015


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Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group