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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!

HIGHLY REVIEWED ALBUMS OF THE MONTH

RACHMANINOV, S.: Piano Concerto No. 2 / Études-tableaux, Op. 33
RACHMANINOV, S.: Piano Concerto No. 2 / Études-tableaux, Op. 33
Giltburg • Royal Scottish National Orchestra • Prieto
Naxos 8.573629



‘Boris Giltburg faithfully observes Rachmaninov’s marks of expression in the concerto and the Op 33 études, but there is a fluid imagination at work here tied to an enquiring musical intelligence.’ – Gramophone

‘Without doubt Giltburg’s playing is kaleidoscopic, colorful, and full of élan.’ – Fanfare


Bach’s Goldberg Variations and its Predecessors [BD]
Bach’s Goldberg Variations and its Predecessors [DVD]
Kit Armstrong performs Bach’s Goldberg Variations and its Predecessors
Kit Armstrong
C Major 741704 [BD] | 741608 [DVD]



‘Kit Armstrong’s sound is pearly, highlighting the Goldbergs’ lyricism…’ – BBC Music Magazine

NAXOS RELEASES (in alphabetical order)

BAKER, C.: Piano Concerto, “From Noon to Starry Night” / Aus Schwanengesang
BAKER, C.: Piano Concerto, “From Noon to Starry Night” / Aus Schwanengesang
M.-A. Hamelin • Indianapolis Symphony • Varga • Mena
Naxos 8.559804

‘Marc-Andre Hamelin’s playing is, as usual, sui generis, and the Indianapolis Symphony under the sure baton of Gilbert Varga is stunning as well.’ – Fanfare


BOLCOM, W.: Piano Solo Music
BOLCOM, W.: Piano Solo Music
Oppens • Taylor • Finehouse • Olevsky
Naxos 8.559832-34

‘This three-CD set of his piano works contains both the entertaining and the meaty.’ – The Art Music Lounge


DUTILLEUX, H.: Symphony No. 2, “Le double” / Timbres, espace, movement / Mystère de l’instant
DUTILLEUX, H.: Symphony No. 2, “Le double” / Timbres, espace, movement / Mystère de l’instant
Orchestre National de Lille • Darrell Ang
Naxos 8.573596

‘I thought Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony said nearly everything that could be said about this composer. Enter Darrell Ang and Orchestre National de Lille in some of the most exciting and vibrant accounts this music has yet received.’ – MusicWeb International


DYSON, G.: Choral Symphony / St Paul’s Voyage to Melita
DYSON, G.: Choral Symphony / St Paul’s Voyage to Melita
E. Watts • Hulcup • Ellicott • R. Williams • The Bach Choir • Bournemouth Symphony • D. Hill
Naxos 8.573770


‘Beautifully colourful, fresh and atmospheric choral tone poems in vivid and expert performances. A significant release for people who like choral music.’ – Pizzicato


HAMILTON, T.: Requiem
HAMILTON, T.: Requiem
Domnich • J. Johnston • N. Spence • Stout • Tindale • Cantoribus • Rosenau Sinfonia • T. Hamilton
Naxos 8.573849

‘I have not heard any other works by him [Timothy Hamilton], but if this work is anything to go by, his style is traditionally tonal and melodic. …and I hope that this requiem will become popular—it certainly deserves to be.’ – MusicWeb International


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

‘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


PROKOFIEV, S.: Symphony No. 7 / Lieutenant Kijé Suite / The Love for Three Oranges (excerpts)
PROKOFIEV, S.: Symphony No. 7 / Lieutenant Kijé Suite / The Love for Three Oranges (excerpts)
São Paulo Symphony • Alsop
Naxos 8.573620

‘…this release is probably the strongest in Alsop’s entire cycle. There’s verve and animation to lift mediocre inspiration to a higher level of enjoyment.’ – Fanfare


SCARLATTI, D.: Keyboard Sonatas (Complete), Vol. 19
SCARLATTI, D.: Keyboard Sonatas (Complete), Vol. 19
Goran Filipec
Naxos 8.573590

‘A brilliant and live Scarlatti to be fully enjoyed.’ – La Voce del Popolo


SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Ovod (The Gadfly) (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald)
SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Ovod (The Gadfly) (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic • Fitz-Gerald
Naxos 8.573747

‘For avid admirers of Shostakovich and his film music, this is a very welcome, valuable and fascinating release. …certainly fascinating and fun.’ – MusicWeb International


STRAUSS, R.: Bourgeois Gentilhomme Suite (Le) / Ariadne auf Naxos Symphony-Suite
STRAUSS, R.: Bourgeois Gentilhomme Suite (Le) / Ariadne auf Naxos Symphony-Suite
Buffalo Philharmonic • Falletta
Naxos 8.573460

‘The suite Richard Strauss extracted from his incidental music to a German-language production of Moliere’s comedy serves as an attractive disc mate for the first recording of the 35-minute Symphonic Suite that D. Wilson Ochoa created from Ariadne auf Naxos. The result is so smoothly stitched together and so warmly played that you hardly miss the voices.’ – in “Ten classical recordings that made 2017 a very good listening year”, Chicago Tribune


TSONTAKIS, G.: Anasa / True Colors / Unforgettable
TSONTAKIS, G.: Anasa / True Colors / Unforgettable
Krakauer • E. Berlin • Luosha Fang • Eunice Kim • Albany Symphony • D.A. Miller
Naxos 8.559826

‘The Albany Symphony Orchestra, led by David Alan Miller, specializes in American music, but in Anasa the players deftly maneuver melismatic riffs of East European klezmer music and inspirations from the composer’s Greek roots.’ – “NPR Music’s Top 10 Classical Albums of 2017”, NPR Music

‘All the performances are exceptional, from the soloists and from David Alan Miller’s Albany Symphony, which has become America’s beacon for new music.’ – Fanfare


VIARDOT, Paul: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1-3 / VIARDOT, Pauline: Violin Sonatina
VIARDOT, Paul: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1-3 / VIARDOT, Pauline: Violin Sonatina
Kuppel • Manz
Naxos 8.573607

‘Kuppel and Manz make heavenly music together.’ – Fanfare


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

‘Confident singing and powerful orchestral playing give this recording a solidity that is impressive, and taken with the previous releases of Das Rheingold in 2015 and Die Walküre in 2016, it gives compelling evidence that van Zweden’s Ring is competitive with other productions, including some Bayreuth recordings.’ – AllMusic.com

NAXOS AUDIOBOOKS

NAIPAUL, V.S.: House for Mr Biswas (A) (Unabridged)
NAIPAUL, V.S.: House for Mr Biswas (A) (Unabridged)
Sam Dastor
Naxos AudioBooks NA0286

‘Naipaul fans will certainly enjoy this, while listeners who know nothing of his literary status will be just as delighted to discover his fiction through this vibrant performance.’ – AudioFile

INDEPENDENT LABELS RELEASES (in alphabetical order)

BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphony No. 9
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphony No. 9
Stoyanova • Braun • Schade • Volle • Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks • Jansons
BR-Klassik 900156

‘Great occasions do not always make for great recordings but this one deserves the accolade, because Jansons has a clear vision of the symphony, as achieving triumph despite confronting darkness. His team do him proud. The soloists and chorus cover themselves with glory.’ – MusicWeb International


ADAMS, J.: Chamber Symphony / Son of Chamber Symphony
ADAMS, J.: Chamber Symphony / Son of Chamber Symphony
Alarm Will Sound • Pierson
Cantaloupe Music CA-21128

‘Highly charged readings under Alan Pierson’s direction’ – in “Ten classical recordings that made 2017 a very good listening year”, Chicago Tribune


MAHLER, G.: Klagende Lied (Das)
MAHLER, G.: Klagende Lied (Das)
S. Schneider • T.A. Baumgartner • Kerl • Eröd • Wiener Singakademie • Vienna Radio Symphony • Meister
Capriccio C5316

‘Coming as it does from a live event, Meister’s account feels involved and immediate. There’s really nothing to complain about. This is an exciting hour of storytelling.’ – Fanfare


NIELSEN, C.: Organ Music
NIELSEN, C.: Organ Music
Bine Bryndorf
Dacapo 6.220635

‘These are remarkable pieces, played with authority and style by the Danish organist Bine Bryndorf.’ – MusicWeb International


VERDI, G.: Rigoletto [Opera]
VERDI, G.: Rigoletto [Opera]
Hvorostovsky • N. Sierra • Demuro • Mastroni • O. Volkova • Šidlauskaite • Kaunas State Choir • Kaunas City Symphony • Orbelian
Delos DE3522

‘He [Dmitri Hvorostovsky] tackles the most monumental Verdi assignment of all and, on his own terms, magnificently succeeds.’ – Opera News


PONCE, M.M.: Piano Works (Complete), Vol. 2
PONCE, M.M.: Piano Works (Complete), Vol. 2
Álvaro Cendoya
Grand Piano GP764

‘The quality of Manuel Ponce’s piano music surprised me: both music and performance are lusty, voluptuous, colorful, dazzling, and soulful.’ – American Record Guide


SCHUMANN, R.: Symphony No. 4 / BRAHMS, J.: Symphony No. 1
SCHUMANN, R.: Symphony No. 4 / BRAHMS, J.: Symphony No. 1
Philharmonia Orchestra • Cantelli
ICA Classics ICAC5143


‘These performances of Rossini, Schumann and Brahms have engrossing flair and fizzing energy.’ – The Guardian


CARTER, E.: Late Works
CARTER, E.: Late Works
Aimard • Currie • I. Faust • Queyras • Birmingham Contemporary Music Group • BBC Symphony • O. Knussen
Ondine ODE1296-2



‘Featuring dedicated exponents such as pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard and conductor Oliver Knussen, with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, it embodies the highest standards of composing, performance and production.’ – Gramophone


HANDEL, G.F.: Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 6 / BRUCKNER, A.: Symphony No. 9
HANDEL, G.F.: Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 6 / BRUCKNER, A.: Symphony No. 9
Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks • R. Kubelík
Orfeo C550011B

‘This is great conducting and playing’ – ClassicsToday.com


BJARNASON, D.: Qui tollis / CERRONE, C.: Memory Palace / MCINTOSH, A.: I Hold the Lion’s Paw (Beyond)
BJARNASON, D.: Qui tollis / CERRONE, C.: Memory Palace / MCINTOSH, A.: I Hold the Lion’s Paw (Beyond)
Los Angeles Percussion Quartet
Sono Luminus DSL-92214

Beyond, a collection of contemporary pieces played by the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, is one of the most immersive recordings I’ve heard in ages. The passion and commitment of this group is beyond doubt, and Sono Luminus have done them—and the music—proud.’ – MusicWeb International

‘Some albums carry that roll-down-the-car-window-and-blast-it kind of vibe. Beyond is the opposite. It’s a late night, lights down, headphone-friendly adventure into fascinating musical landscapes. Beyond is an immensely satisfying place to jump in.’ – “NPR Music’s Top 10 Classical Albums of 2017”, NPR Music


BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3
Vienna Symphony • P. Jordan
Wiener Symphoniker WS013

‘The Finale is played with such energy and sprightliness, it could pass as a historically informed performance. The Symphony No. 3 is also performed with a strong period feeling, and despite occasional fluctuations of tempo and touches of rubato’ – AllMusic.com



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