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!
‘New music to me, but what a delight to discover! This is the opening volume of a series devoted to the Croation composer Blagoje Bersa’s, and one couldn’t ask for a better champion than Goran Filipec.’ – Jed Distler, Gramophone
‘Keith Phares, who created Elmer Gantry, sings Hurstwood with charisma. Mezzo Ariana Zabala, as Carrie, shows remarkable vocal and dramatic versatility. That, along with the luxuriant playing by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra under William Boggs and the considerable contributions by the Florentine Opera Chorus, is more than enough for a thoroughly successful new opera.’ – Opera News
‘Mironov sings with breathtaking vocal beauty and sensitivity, and dispatches the florid writing and stratospheric high notes with ease. This is bel canto tenor singing of the absolute highest order and on its own justifies purchase of this set.’ – Fanfare
‘Van Raat’s virtuosity and physical endurance carry him through his gripping performances, and these solo piano transcriptions of both Le Sacre du printemps and La Mer are as convincing as the two-piano versions’ – AllMusic.com
‘The vocal soloists are all excellent, fairly extrovert whether in a mode of declamation or confession; Benno Schachtner’s alto and Benedikt Kristjánsson’s Evangelist are most vividly drawn and sung.’ – Gramophone
‘Cyril Auvity is ardent and glowing right to the top of his extraordinary range, first as Valère and then as Tacmas. Ana Quintans and Anna Prohaska share the female laurels, and the dramatic interplay between them offers some of the production’s most touching moments.’ – Gramophone
‘This programme brings together some of the most seductive songs of Joseph Marx, Walter Braunfels, Korngold and Pfitzner in a nicely balanced selection. All are lovingly wrapped in orchestral garb, which is a particularly attractive proposition with the Pfitzner songs…an enjoyable programme, lovingly performed.
’ – Gramophone
‘I was so overwhelmed by their reading that it took me a long time to get back to normal again. I suspect that most readers with an interest in art songs already have at least one recording of Winterreise. However good that recording is, I urge you to listen to Skovhus and Vladar as well.
’ – MusicWeb International
‘The McGill brothers boast stunningly clear and resonant woodwind timbres, exquisite balance and blend, sensitive phrasing, and expert technique; and McHale matches them with superb touch, voicing, pedal work, and musical instinct, including a good sense of when to go for broke.’ – American Record Guide
‘This fascinating new two-disc set of Debussy, superbly recorded by Ondine, presents the bona fides of the Finnish pianist Paavali Jumppanen as a musician of keen intelligence and almost preternatural sensitivity. ’ – Gramophone
‘This is a generally valuable production of Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma from London’s Royal Opera House. Antonio Pappano’s conducting is powerful and very supporting for the excellent orchestra and a handpicked cast of singers.’ – Pizzicato
‘To say that the conductor gives his all would be an understatement. This is a performance of Toscanini-Rodziński-Carlos Kleiber-like intensity. …the Südwestfunk Orchester Baden-Baden responds with crisp, dynamic, spot-on playing, reveling in the music’s wry wit and grotesqueries. All in all, a splendid disc. ’ – The Art Music Lounge
‘Playing under Jeanne Lamon is superb. Violist Patrick G. Jordan is wonderful in the Telemann concerto; violinist Aisslinn Nosky is stunning in Torelli. Trio Arabica is no less impressive in its musical world.’ – La Scena Musicale