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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

HAGEN, D.A.: 21st-Century Song Cycles – After Words • Songs of Experience • Phantoms of Myself • 4 Irish Folk Songs • 4 Dickinson Songs
Lyric Fest
Naxos 8.559714


‘Hagen traverses the centuries fluidly and coherently, at one point evoking Sondheim. Justine Aronson and Joseph Gaines (members, as are all the soloists, of the Philadelphia-based song festival Lyric Fest) have the flexible, immediately engaging quality of the best cabaret singers.’ – Opera News


BARTÓK, B.: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2
C. Tetzlaff • Finnish Radio Symphony • Lintu
Ondine ODE1317-2


‘From the fierce rhythms to the moments of great fragility, Christian Tetzlaff, a supreme soloist, and Hannu Lintu take us on a thrilling journey through Bartók’s two violin concertos.’ – Gramophone



NAXOS RELEASES (in alphabetical order)

BERNSTEIN, L.: Orchestral Music (Complete Naxos Recordings) (8-CD Boxed Set)
Marin Alsop • Various Artists
Naxos 8.508018

‘An outstanding centenary collection of Bernstein both familiar and unfamiliar. His devoted protégée Marin Alsop keeps his eternal flame burning bright.’ – MusicWeb International


CZERNY, C.: Piano Concerto in D Minor (1812) • Introduction, Variations and Rondo, Op. 60
Tuck • English Chamber Orchestra • Bonynge
Naxos 8.573688


‘The first Concerto of 1811/12, is expansive and dramatic; the exposed horn solos are beautifully played by High Seenan, Tuck plays her own brilliantly inventive cadenza’ – Classical Music


DAUGHERTY, M.: Dreamachine • Trail of Tears • Reflections on the Mississippi
Glennie • A. Porter • Jantsch • Albany Symphony • D.A. Miller
Naxos 8.559807

‘Glennie’s is breathtaking. This is an unusually strong Daugherty release.’ – AllMusic.com


DIAMOND, D.: Symphony No. 6 • Rounds • Music for Romeo and Juliet
Indiana University Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras • Fagen
Naxos 8.559842

‘Music and readings that are telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded.’ – MusicWeb International

‘This may well be the finest single collection of Diamond’s music, and surely one played by a great interpreter who understands his aesthetic. You need to hear it, particularly the symphony!’ – The Art Music Lounge


GRAINGER, P.: Complete Wind Band Music, Vol. 2
Royal Norwegian Navy Band • Engeset
Naxos 8.573680


‘The complete cycle of Grainger’s music for wind band by the Royal Norwegian Navy Band is cause for celebration. The intonation is flawless, and conductor Bjarte Engeset has a feel for Grainger’s music.’ – AllMusic.com


HOVHANESS, A.: Suite for Band • October Mountain • Ruins of Ani
Central Washington University Wind Ensemble • Gookin • Brion
Naxos 8.559837

‘The value of the Naxos label’s ongoing American Classics series has never been so aptly demonstrated as with the success of this release’ – AllMusic.com


PROKOFIEV, S.: Romeo and Juliet [Ballet]
Baltimore Symphony • Alsop
Naxos 8.573534-35


‘Marin Alsop’s finely differentiated and nuanced interpretation with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra floods the music with a pleasantly warm evening light and always seems to remind us that this piece is a ballet.’ – Pizzicato


REALE, P.: Cello and Piano Works (Chopin’s Ghosts)
K. Cook • C. Guzman
Naxos 8.559820

‘The performances by cellist Kim Cook and pianist Christopher Guzman are keenly alive to Reale’s vivid sound world.’ – Gramophone


ROSSINI, G.: Piano Music, Vol. 8 – Péchés de vieillesse: Chamber Music and Rarities, Vol. 1
Alessandro Marangoni
Naxos 8.573822

‘Pianist Alessandro Marangoni and his collaborators present an eclectic cross-section of the Sins’ – WQXR (New York)


SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Piano Concertos, Vol. 3 – Nos. 4 and 5
Descharmes • Malmö Symphony • Soustrot
Naxos 8.573478


‘With the Piano Concertos Nos 4 & 5 Romain Descharmes and Marc Soustrot complete a highly successful series with lively and genuinely French piano playing as well as a finely shaped and richly detailed orchestral accompaniment.’ – Pizzicato


‘There is absolutely no reason these concertos, especially the Fourth, should not be as common as Schumann’s on concert programs, and Descharmes and Soustrot have advanced the music toward this goal. Highly recommended.’ – AllMusic.com

INDEPENDENT LABELS RELEASES (in alphabetical order)

SIBELIUS, J.: Violin Concerto • STRAVINSKY, I.: Violin Concerto
Buy/Stream
SIBELIUS, J.: Violin Concerto • STRAVINSKY, I.: Violin Concerto
Zhi-Jong Wang • Philharmonia Orchestra • T. Sanderling
Accentus Music ACC-30430


‘Winning performances of both the Violin Concertos by Sibelius and Stravinsky. Wang’s approach of the Sibelius Concerto is deep and communicates in the first two movements the sense of atmosphere and mystery of the work, while the last movement is truly joyous.’ – Pizzicato


Love’s Embrace – MARX, J. • BRAUNFELS, W. • KORNGOLD, E.W. • PFITZNER, H.
Banse • Müncher Rundfunkorchester • Weigle
BR-Klassik 900322

‘Juliane Barnes is a thoroughly accomplished interpreter, and she is greatly aided on this album by the intelligent musical direction of Sebastian Weigle.’ – American Record Guide


PUCCINI, G.: Il Tabarro [Opera]
Botha • W. Koch • Heever • H. Brunner • Reid • Monarcha • Marin • Wiener Singakademie • ORF Vienna Radio Symphony • de Billy
Capriccio C5326


‘Bertrand de Billy conducts a poignant and dramatic version of Il Tabarro. The Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra delivers an opulent sound and the cast is excellent. Highly recommended.’ – Pizzicato


BACH, J.S.: Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord, BWV 1014-1019a
Barton Pine • Vinikour
Cedille CDR90000-177

‘These interpretations, performed with such clarity and care—in true partnership—make a good case for hearing them more prominently and more often.’ – ClassicsToday.com


GUNGE, B.: 12 Studies
Stærk • Duo Askou//Andersen • Pihl & Schelling
Dacapo 8.226599

‘This is a refreshing record with a well-executed concept.’ – American Record Guide


BEETHOVEN, L. van: Piano Sonatas Nos. 21, “Waldstein” and 29, “Hammerklavier” • Andante favori
Rodolfo Leone
Gramola99160


‘A lot of enthusiasm characterizes Rodolfo Leone’s performances. The Italian pianist, winner of the Vienna Beethoven Competition, shows a strong, generous, and imaginative personality and thus proves a very good Beethoven performer.’ – Pizzicato


RÄÄTS, J.: Complete Piano Sonatas, Vol. 1
Nicolas Horvath
Grand Piano GP765

‘A recording that will please both connoisseurs of Estonian music and amateurs seeking new discoveries’ – Crescendo (France)


FAURÉ, G.: Barcarolles Nos. 1-13
Michael Endres
OehmsClassics OC466

‘Michael Endres brilliantly captures the gentle elegance and sublimity of these character pieces, and because he plays with a refinement that stops well short of preciosity, the performances convey sentiment without a trace of sentimentality, and exude a sophistication that at times seems quite modern, suggestive of Poulenc avant la lettre.’ – AllMusic.com


MOZART, W.A.: Così fan tutte [Opera] (Royal Opera House, 2016)
Buy
MOZART, W.A.: Così fan tutte [Opera] (Royal Opera House, 2016) (NTSC)
Winters • Brower • Behle • Arduini • Kränzle • Puértolas • Royal Opera Chorus • Orchestra of the Royal Opera House • Bychkov • Gloger
Opus Arte OA1260D [DVD]

Also available on Blu-ray (OABD7237D)

‘The singers, mainly young and comparatively unfamiliar, are all personable and all have attractive voices’ – BBC Music Magazine


WAGNER, R.: Opera Highlights for Soprano
Stemme • Vienna State Opera Orchestra • Welser-Möst • Seiji Ozawa
Orfeo C937171B

‘This disc is a master class in singing Wagner with great tonal beauty and lyricism, never sacrificing dramatic power.’ – Opera News


The Secret Mass – MARTIN, F. • MARTINU, B.
Danish National Vocal Ensemble • Creed
OUR Recordings 6.220671


‘The excellent Danish National Vocal Ensemble under its director Marcus Creed illuminates the four works with a sensitive and committed singing.’ – Pizzicato

‘This is one of the most enjoyable discs I have reviewed in some time. With exemplary performances and recorded sound, the SACD should be in the collection of anyone who cares about twentieth-century choral music.’ – MusicWeb International


Mother: A Musical Tribute – DVOŘÁK, A. • MERCURY, F. • RACHMANINOV, S. • SIMON, P • GRIEG, E.
Anderson & Roe
SWR Classic SWR19058CD

‘The rich complexity of motherhood inspires this musical tribute from the piano duo of Anderson & Roe.’ – KDFC Radio



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