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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 music and audiovisual albums!


HIGDON, J.: All Things Majestic • Viola Concerto • Oboe Concerto
Díaz • Button • Nashville Symphony • Guerrero
Naxos 8.559823

‘Guerrero guides his ensemble through a performance in which both details and arching statements are set forth to resplendent effect.’ – Gramophone

‘This disc presents three of her [Jennifer Higdon] most satisfying works in dazzling performances by the Nashville Symphony conducted by its brilliant music director, Giancarlo Guerrero.’ – Fanfare

BERG, A.: Wozzeck [Opera]
Trekel • Schwanewilms • Molomot • N. Berg • Houston Symphony • Graf
Naxos 8.660390-91

‘This Wozzeck is more sung, and evenly so, than most rivals on record’ – Gramophone

‘…this is a terrifically imposing performance that grips from the very first.’ – Fanfare

‘The singing is gripping: baritone Roman Trekel is one of today’s top Wozzecks, full-on and volatile, his violence cracked with frailty, and Anne Schwanewilms plays Marie with devastating dignity.’ – The Guardian

SIBELIUS, J.: Tapiola • En Saga • Songs (arr. A. Sallinen for voice and orchestra)
Otter • Finnish Radio Symphony • Lintu
Ondine ODE1289-5

‘The music’s roots in ancient Finnish chant have never been clearer—even at the height of the storm the forest still sings.’ – BBC Music Magazine

NAXOS RELEASES (in alphabetical order)

21st Century Spanish Guitar, Vol. 2 - BALADA, L. • TORRES, J. • LÓPEZ GODOY, M. • GARCÍA ABRIL, A. • PABLO, L. de • SOUTULLO, E.
Adam Levin
Naxos 8.573409

‘His [Adam Levin] performance cannot be faulted—huge dynamic and timbral range, deeply moving phrasing, committed virtuosity.’ – American Record Guide

Brass Septet Music, Vol. 5 - FAURÉ, G. • RAVEL, M. • DEBUSSY, C.
Naxos 8.573619

‘This fifth volume is one of the strongest, filled with songs and orchestral pieces that one would not immediately associate with a brass ensemble, and the fun is in seeing how the arrangers do it.’ –

DVOŘÁK, A.: Piano Trios, Vol. 2 - Nos. 1 and 2
Tempest Trio
Naxos 8.573723

‘This is an album that I approached with high expectations: The Tempest Trio have been compared to the “Million Dollar Trio” of Arthur Rubinstein, Jascha Heifetz, and Gregor Piatigorsky… But does it measure up? It most certainly does!’ – American Record Guide

LAITMAN, L.: Scarlet Letter (The) [Opera]
Claycomb • D. Armstrong • MacKenzie • Belcher • Opera Colorado Chorus and Orchestra • Pelto
Naxos 8.669034-35

‘Laitman writes riskily for her heroine, with important text couched in high-flying lines. It’s difficult to know if other, less nimble sopranos would be as intelligible, but Claycomb is always clear, affecting and sympathetic. The choral singing is particularly strong, and the orchestra, led by Ari Pelto, is polished and precise.’ – Opera News

LAJTHA, L.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 6
Pécs Symphony • Pasquet
Naxos 8.573648

‘An orchestra clearly committed to the cause, and a conductor completely at home with this Francophile composer’s personal idiom, collectively bless these recordings.’ –

OFFENBACH, J.: Overtures
Orchestre National de Lille • Darrell Ang
Naxos 8.573694

‘The album provides many examples of the infectious tunes that prompted Rossini to call Offenbach “the Mozart of the Champs-Élysées”’ –

PIAZZOLLA, A.: Violin and Piano Arrangements (Legacy)
Cotik • Tao Lin
Naxos 8.573789

‘Cotik and Lin are to be applauded for demonstrating ways in which Piazzolla’s music can, in the right hands, retain its core genius in a variety of instrumental settings.’ – DownBeat Magazine

RILEY, T.: Palmian Chord Ryddle (The) • At the Royal Majestic
Silverman • Wilson • Nashville Symphony • Guerrero
Naxos 8.559739

‘Engineering kudos go to producer Tim Handley and engineer Gary Call for maintaining clarity in an extremely diverse set of materials. Highly recommended.’ –

SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Violin and Orchestra Works
SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Violin and Orchestra Works
Also available with Slipcase
SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Violin and Orchestra Works
Tianwa Yang • Gabriel Schwabe • Malmö Symphony • Soustrot
Naxos 8.573411

‘I think these two discs are rather good. No. Rephrase that. I think they are exceptional. …it is rare to find a disc with almost all of Saint-Saëns’s works for violin and orchestra (apart from the concertos) on a single disc; and I have not found another anywhere that has his complete works for cello and orchestra.’ – Gramophone

‘Delightful in every respect.’ – MusicWeb International

WAGNER, R.: Siegfried [Opera]
O’Neill • Goerne • Cangelosi • Mechelen • Melton • Hong Kong Philharmonic • van Zweden
Naxos 8.660413-16

‘Van Zweden, et al, prove their mettle, taste, and polish here’ –

INDEPENDENT LABELS RELEASES (in alphabetical order)

BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphonies Nos. 1-9
Šaturová • Mihoko Fujimura • Elsner • Gerhaher • Leipzig Gewandhaus Choir and Orchestra • Blomstedt
Accentus Music ACC-80322

ELEGANCE - GLAZUNOV, A.K.: Raymonda (La Scala Ballet, 2011) (Blu-ray, HD)
Novikova • Vogel • Zeni • Corps de Ballet and Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala • Jurowski • Vikharev
Arthaus Musik 109269

‘Olesia Novikova dances the very difficult choreography perfectly. She glides across the stage with excellent technique. The very large cast, including children, dances impressively and with perfect coordination. The sets and costumes are bright and beautiful, shown to their best advantage in the excellent, amazingly clear 16:9 Bluray disc.’ – American Record Guide

BELLINI, V.: Puritani (I) [Opera] (Teatro Real, 2016)
Damrau • Camarena • Tézier • Testé • Stroppa • Teatro Real de Madrid Chorus and Orchestra • Pidò • Sagi
Bel Air Classiques BAC442 [Blu-ray, HD] | BAC142 [DVD]

‘This performance sent me into raptures, mainly thanks to the committed performances of Diana Damrau and Javier Camarena. I also liked (very much) the symbolic production and its design, though many would question certain aspects of it. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that I look upon it with a degree of indulgence.’ –

BRUCKNER, A.: Symphony No. 6
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks • Haitink
BR-Klassik 900147

‘The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra plays magnificently, the warmly burnished brass riding a rich cushion of strings–noble, expressive, grand but never crude. It’s the genuine Bruckner sound, while the engineering does the interpretation full justice. A great release.’ –

FACCIO, F.: Amleto (Hamlet) [Opera] (Bregenz Festival, 2016) (NTSC)
Černoch • Sgura • Dan • Kaier • Wiener Symphoniker • Carignani • Tabosi
C Major 740608

‘The 2016 Bregenz Festival production documented here was mostly cast from strength. The role of Amleto, as it’s billed, is demanding both dramatically and vocally…Pavel Černoch projects the part in full, brilliant, ringy tones’ – Opera News

ADAMS, J.L.: Canticles of the Holy Wind
The Crossing • Nally
Cantaloupe Music CA-21131

‘In this recording of Adams’s Canticles of the Holy Wind the composer presents a masterpiece of sound, harmony, and rhythm inspired by nature. The recording features a flawless Philadelphia-based chamber choir, The Crossing, conducted by Donald Nally and joined by the versatile percussionist Amy Garapic.’ – Opera News

MARTINŮ, B.: Symphonies Nos. 1-6
Vienna Radio Symphony • C. Meister
Capriccio C5320

‘Cornelius Meister has a refreshing vision of Martinů’s symphonies.’ – Pizzicato

MIRKOVIC, Nataša • GODARD, Michel • CAGWIN, Jarrod: En El Amor
Mirković • Godard • Cagwin
Carpe Diem CD-16313

‘Bosnian singer Nataša Mirković gives new directions to this traditional music, finding a modern artistic expression for it ’ – Pizzicato

Opera Arias (Tenor): Secco, Stefano - PUCCINI, G. • VERDI, G. • BIZET, C. • HALÉVY, F. • DONIZETTI, G. • BOITO, A. • GOUNOD, C.-F. (Crescendo)
Stefano Secco
Delos DE3482

‘This is a very welcome introduction to a tenor whom all lovers of excellent singing will be happy to get to know; and a convenient way to get some of the best-loved tenor arias in a single disc.’ – Opera Today

KALOMIRIS, M.: Solo Piano Work (Complete)
Olivier Chauzu
Grand Piano GP748

‘Olivier Chauzu overcomes the challenges in these virtuoso works with great ease. A very beautiful discovery.’ – Diapason

Harpsichord Recital: Chylek, Friederike - BYRD, W. • DOWLAND, J. • FARNABY, G. • JOHNSON, R. • PURCELL, H. • TOMKINS, T. (Time Stands Still)
Friederike Chylek
OehmsClassics OC1864

‘The performances by harpsichordist Friederike Chylek are delightfully elegant and sensitive.’ – American Record Guide

BERLIOZ, H.: Béatrice et Bénédict [Opera] (Glyndebourne, 2016)
D’Oustrac • Appleby • Sly • Caton • Lhote • Bradić • Karthäuser • Glyndebourne Chorus • London Philharmonic Orchestra • Manacorda • Pelly
Opus Arte OABD7219D [Blu-ray, HD] | OA1239D [DVD]

‘The overture starts rather timorously, but Manacorda soon shows himself to be a master of color and pace: he and Pelly know the value of well-considered pauses. The LPO players are top-notch.’ – Opera News

Vocal and Chamber Music - BOWLES, P. • HARRISON, L. • CAGE, J. (Composer-Critics of the New York Herald Tribune)
Vocal and Chamber Music - BOWLES, P. • HARRISON, L. • CAGE, J. (Composer-Critics of the New York Herald Tribune)
Barab • L. Lawrence • C. Bussotti
Other Minds OM1024-2

‘All of this is played with enjoyable conviction by these fine musicians.’ – American Record Guide

BORUP-JØRGENSEN, A.: Marin (Film, 2017) (DVD + SACD set) (NTSC)
Lorentzen • Danish National Symphony Orchestra • Søndergård
OUR Recordings 2.110426

‘Thomas Søndergård presides over an intense and clear reading of the score…’ – Gramophone

BACH, J.S.: Cello Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV 1007-1012 • CAGE, J.: One8 (excerpts) • Chorales
Julius and Immanuel Jun Berger
Solo Musica SM270

‘echnically flawless, intensive performances of immaculate beauty, superbly captured by the microphones’ – Pizzicato

Opera and Operetta Recital: Wunderlich, Fritz (Romantische Arien) (1957-1965)
Fritz Wunderlich
SWR Classic SWR19032CD

‘This will tell you why Wunderlich is considered one of the greatest singing actors. There is not one note that is not carefully thought out and sung with beauty and commitment to character.’ – American Record Guide

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