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In addition to its own wide-reaching monthly new releases (see http://www.naxos.com/newreleases.asp), Naxos also distributes several leading labels in many countries around the world. Here is a choice selection of recent releases from some of these distributed labels.

LABEL OF THE MONTH: Accentus Music

Founded in 2010 and based in Leipzig, a center of classical music, Accentus Music produces high profile concert and opera recordings worldwide, as well as feature-length documentaries and portraits. Both artistically and technically, Accentus Music meets the highest expectations of music lovers around the world.

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, N.A.: Scheherazade
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RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, N.A.: Scheherazade
Nizioł, Philharmonia Zürich, Luisi
Accentus Music PHR0106

Scheherazade symphonic suite is undoubtedly one of Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s greatest musical creations. The work, based on the famous tales of Princess Scheherazade of the Arabian Nights, is interpreted by the Philharmonia Zurich with its general music director Fabio Luisi at the rostrum. One of its Zurich Opera House performances with the ensemble “in top form” has finally been committed to recording.

“Concertmaster Bartlomiej Niziol, who, with his solo violin, embodies the figure of Scheherazade as she tells her life story, plays his prominent part with impeccable intonation and great creative freedom; and Fabio Luisi conducts with a keenly emotional air and, with deftly-varied drive and restraint, brings the whole tale to outstanding dramatic life.” – Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Other Exciting New Releases:
Selected CDs

ArcoDiva

SCHUMANN, R.: Studies for Pedal Piano - Abendlied / BRAHMS, J.: Piano Trio in E-Flat Major (Piano Trios)
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SCHUMANN, R.: Studies for Pedal Piano - Abendlied /
BRAHMS, J.: Piano Trio in E-Flat Major (Piano Trios)

Petrof Piano Trio
ArcoDiva UP0186

Petrof Piano Trio is one of the best Czech ensembles in chamber music as well as the ensemble in residence of the famous company Petrof, which has been producing quality pianos for almost two centuries. Since 2011 the ensemble has also been resident trio at the International Chamber Music Course in Zábřeh na Moravě, where the members are also instructors. The ensemble was created in 2009 by violist Jan Schulmeister. All three of the members are renowned chamber-music players, and together bring over thirty years’ experience of concert activity to the ensemble. This recording includes works of German romantic music and interesting arrangements of works by Robert Schumann.

Other Exciting New Releases:

BR-Klassik

STRAUSS, R.: Eine Alpensinfonie / Tod und Verklärung
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STRAUSS, R.: Eine Alpensinfonie / Tod und Verklärung
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Jansons
BR-Klassik 900148

The 100th release of BR-KLASSIK Label

At the age of just fifteen, the budding composer Richard Strauss (1864-1949) lost his way during a summer hike on the Heimgarten in the Bavarian Alps, and ended up in a thunderstorm. The next day, he fantasized about the experience on the piano. Twenty years later, that memory had matured into a concept describing a one-day hike in the form of a symphonic poem, and in 1915 – a further fifteen years later – Strauss finally completed his masterpiece.

An Alpine Symphony is probably Strauss' most famous symphonic poem. Its content is easily understandable, and the work became especially well-known for its gigantic orchestra. The music is far from heavy-handed, however, with many of the passages orchestrated like chamber music.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Capriccio

DOPPLER, F. and K.: Complete Flute Music, Vol. 1
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DOPPLER, F. and K.: Complete Flute Music, Vol. 1
Arimany, Bálint, Branch, Espina, Griminelli, Gulyás, Kudo, Wagemans,
Orquesta Sinfónica Ciudad de Elche, Martínez

Capriccio C5295

The Doppler brothers played a significant role in the Austro-Hungarian Empire's musical life, both as performers, conductors and composers. They maintained close connections with Franz Liszt, Ferenc Erkel and Jozsef Bajza, the director of the Budapest Opera. This is the first release in a set of 10 CDs comprising the Dopplers' complete music for flute(s), including various arrangements. Flautist Claudi Arimany spent decades researching this project, inspiring many famous musicians to become involved in its realisation.

Other Exciting New Releases:

CD Accord

ŚWIDER, J.: Music for Wind Instruments
ŚWIDER, J.: Music for Wind Instruments
Barański, Grochowska, Knapik, Palacz, Pyc, Widaszek, Ziętek
CD Accord CDAccordACD228

In Polish music, the name of Józef Świder has been strictly connected with choral music, though the composer wrote three operas, a number of oratorian-cantata works, nine masses, numerous songs and more than 80 instrumental pieces of music, about 20 of them for wind instruments. Many of the last were composed especially for the definite performers–outstanding musicians of Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (previously WOSPR) and the Silesian Philharmonic, being at the same time lecturers of Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice (previously the State Higher School of Music in Katowice), and privately the composer’s friends.

Dacapo

NIELSEN, C.: Organ Music
NIELSEN, C.: Organ Music
Sieden, Skovhus, Helsinki Academic Male Voice Choir,
Sällskapet Muntra Musikanter, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Storgårds

Dacapo 6.220635

Carl Nielsen (1865-1931) began writing for the organ only late in life. Starting with the 29 Little Preludes for Organ, Nielsen invented a personal organ style both Baroque and very Nielsenesque, refined in his last major work, the monumental Commotio. On this release, Professor Bine Bryndorf performs Nielsen’s organ works on the ideally suited organ at Nikolaj Kunsthal in Copenhagen, adding a selection of hymns and spiritual songs with baritone Torsten Nielsen.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Delos

GRANADOS, E. / CASSADÓ, G. / MONTSALVATGE, X. / TURINA, J. / FALLA, M. da: Spanish Music for Cello and Piano
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GRANADOS, E. / CASSADÓ, G. / MONTSALVATGE, X. / TURINA, J. / FALLA, M. da: Spanish Music for Cello and Piano
Montero, Smith
Delos DE3492

Distinguished cellist Andrew Smith’s interest in Spanish music was awakened by his collaboration with Spanish pianist and conductor Alfredo Oyágüez Montero beginning in 1999. This artistic partnership led to a program of all-Spanish works, which they have performed to great acclaim on tour worldwide. The album features music by several of Spain’s greatest composers, including Manuel de Falla, Enrique Granados, Joaquin Turina, and Xavier Montsalvatge. Perhaps less familiar is Gaspar Cassado, who after the great Pablo Casals (his teacher) was Spain’s most famous 20th century cellist. Prime examples of both his original compositions and his many arrangements are heard here, along with a lovely folk song transcription from Casals.

This glowing release promises to be a rare treat for cello fans and Spanish music aficionados alike, and will convincingly demonstrate the cello’s affinity with the unique spirit and piquant flavors of the Spanish musical idiom.

Dynamic

PAISIELLO, G.: La Grotta di Trofonio [Opera]
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PAISIELLO, G.: La Grotta di Trofonio [Opera]
Caoduro, Colaianni, Mazzucato, Mazzucato, Mezzaro, Nisi, Scandiuzzi, Tonno, Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia, Grazioli
Dynamic CDS7754.02

La grotto di Trofonio is an opera buffa by Giovanni Paisiello, staged to celebrate the bicentenary of his death. First performed in 1785, this opera enjoyed a resounding and long-lasting success. The cavern of the philosopher-sorcerer Trofonio was well-known in ancient Greece; those who were granted to question the oracle were given two types of water to drink: one made one forget all one’s worries, the other made one remember what he had seen in the cavern.

In the libretto of this opera, those who enter the cavern are transformed in their character; this artifice throws the lives of two young sisters into confusion, when their lovers accidentally enter the cavern and come out radically changed. The version here proposed is interpreted by a cast of specialists of this repertoire, which includes Domenico Colaianni, Daniela Mazzucato and Giorgio Caoduro.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Grand Piano

ARUTIUNIAN, A.: Complete Piano Works
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ARUTIUNIAN, A.: Complete Piano Works
Hayk Melikyan
Grand Piano GP718

Alexander Arutiunian was one of the most prominent composers in the USSR, one of the representatives of the Armenian ‘Mighty Handful’ and much admired by Shostakovich. An accomplished pianist, Arutiunian created virtuoso piano works that are rooted in Armenian folk traditions while expressing, in the words of Hayk Melikyan, “a rich palette of emotions reflecting both his time and the history of his nation”.

The works on this recording which is the first complete edition span Arutiunian’s entire compositional career, from the Armenian Dance of 1935, with its delicate, transparent texture and strong rhythmic drive, via the more dissonant, neo-classical Polyphonic Sonata, the descriptive Musical Pictures, and the almost Debussyan approach to tonality in the Six Moods, to the simple and beautifully crafted Album for Children of 2004.

Other Exciting New Releases:

OehmsClassics

BRUCKNER, A.: Symphony No. 2 (1872 first version, ed. W. Carragan)
BRUCKNER, A.: Symphony No. 2 (1872 first version, ed. W. Carragan)
Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, Bolton
OehmsClassics OC447

There are at least four versions of Anton Bruckner's Second Symphony; the last one was written in 1892. Frequently, however, this CD recording – the original version is preferred and as usual with Bruckner, this 1872 version is bolder and longer. Very early on, the composer changed the order of movements in this work, which was felt by many to be a response to the dramaturgy of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

The Scherzo, as the second movement, has changed places with the ensuing Adagio. In the later version, he also almost completely eliminated the most striking characteristic of this creation, probably due to the urging of his friends and supporters, especially Johann Herbeck. Eight of the nine famous tutti rests in the first movement disappeared completely. Another special characteristic of the original version is the solo horn passage in the Adagio, written in an extremely difficult register for the instruments of that time – but also of moving beauty.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Ondine

GLANERT, D.: 4 Praludien und Ernste Gesange (after Brahms) / BRAHMS, J.: Clarinet Sonata No. 1 (arr. L. Berio)
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GLANERT, D.: 4 Praludien und Ernste Gesange (after Brahms) /
BRAHMS, J.: Clarinet Sonata No. 1 (arr. L. Berio)

Kriikku, Nagy, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Elts
Ondine ODE1263-2

This recording includes a fascinating program: Luciano Berio's iconic adaptation of Johannes Brahms' Clarinet Sonata No. 1 combined with Detlev Glanert's recent arrangement of Brahms' late vocal masterpiece, Four Serious Songs. Glanert's new orchestral work Weites Land written in the spirit of Brahms is also included. This disc features award-winning clarinetist Kari Kriikku and German baritone Michael Nagy as its soloists. This is the second release of Estonian conductor Olari Elts together with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra.

Orfeo

MOZART, W.A.: Opera Arias
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MOZART, W.A.: Opera Arias
Fritsch, Munich Radio Orchestra, De Marchi
Orfeo C903161A

On this recording, Anett Fritsch demonstrates the great diversity of Mozart’s female roles, beginning with the Contessa’s complex first aria Porgi amor alongside Cherubino’s ecstatic Non so più cosa son and the heartfelt canzona, followed by Susanna’s rose aria. Then from Don Giovanni we hear Donna Elvira’s passionate Ah fuggi il traditor together with In quali eccesi that was added later for the Vienna production. Anett Fritsch considers Donna Elvira to be the most emotionally all-encompassing character in the opera, and contrasts her portrayal with the emotionally (and musically) quite different, Zerlina in her efforts to win back Masetto.

Fiordiligi’s first two great arias are next, from the apparently comic, yet in truth highly cryptic Così fan tutte; they are separated by the frivolous and unintentionally comic erotic advice given by Despina (the first Mozart role that Anett Fritsch ever performed, in 2006) in Una donna a quindici anni. It is certainly remarkable how flexibly she does vocal justice to the diverse roles, starting from her lyrical base and then adjusting her voice to the challenges of each character, using a higher level of coloratura or adding her own embellishments, placing emotional emphasis where it is needed.

Orlando Records

Kouzmanova-Vladar, Bojidara / Purgina, Julia - PURGINA, J. / BACH, J.S. / AMANN, M. / SÁNCHEZ-CHIONG, J.: enSuite (Violin and Viola Recital)
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Kouzmanova-Vladar, Bojidara / Purgina, Julia - PURGINA, J. /
BACH, J.S. / AMANN, M. / SÁNCHEZ-CHIONG, J.: enSuite
(Violin and Viola Recital)

Kouzmanova-Vladar, Purgina
Orlando Records OR0026

For their new release enSuite, violinist Bojidara Kouzmanova-Vladar and violist Julia Purgina selected their favorite pieces from Johann Sebastian Bach’s music for solo violin and then presented them to contemporary composers. The objective was to engage with the music of Bach in such a way that the new compositions could be combined with the Baroque works to create a “timeless” suite.

Bojidara Kouzmanova-Vladar is a native Bulgarian who began studying violin at the age of 5. She has gone on to study at the University of Music and Arts in Vienna, win many national and international violin competitions in Europe and the United States, and performs as a soloist alongside the world’s best ensembles. Austrian composer and violist Julia Purgina holds a double Master’s degree in viola and composition from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.

Paladino Music

FRANÇAIX, J.: Works for Clarinet
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FRANÇAIX, J.: Works for Clarinet
Ashkenazy, Glemser, Lang, Meinich, Cincinnati Philharmonia Orchestra, Mueller
Paladino Music PMR0074

In collaboration with Yvonne Lang, Ada Meinich, Bernd Glemser and the Cincinnati Philharmonia Orchestra, Dimitri Ashkenazy presents some of the most exciting works for clarinet by French composer Jean Francaix. Ashkenazy writes of Jean Francaix’s music: “I have been a fan of Franciax’s music since the first time I heard one of his pieces, which was sometime in my youth at the old Kunsthaus in Lucerne. Hans-Rudolf Stalder played his Tema convariazioni (the second piece on this release) in the version with string orchestra accompaniment. I loved the spirit, the subtle use of harmony, the humor, but also the introspection.”

Other Exciting New Releases:

Prophone

NORRBOTTEN BIG BAND Featuring Georg "Jojjie" Wadenius (70)
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NORRBOTTEN BIG BAND Featuring Georg "Jojjie" Wadenius (70)
Brostrom, Dahlgren, Garberg, Ingberg, Johansson, Lindeborg, Nordmark, Olofsson, Onuszkiewicz, Wadenius, Norrbotten Big Band
Prophone PCD163

The eight composers honoring Jojje Wadenius with their work are Monica Dominique, Helge Albin, Peter Danemo, Anne Mette Iversen, Geir Lysne, Johan Lindström, Maggi Olin and Joakim Milder. In addition to these compositions, the album includes Jojje Wadenius’ classic tune from 1969, Snake in a Hole, performed as an encore on the tour with Norrbotten Big Band.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Solo Musica

THUILLE, L.: Sextet / POULENC, F.: Sextet / FRANÇAIX: L'Heure du berger
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THUILLE, L.: Sextet / POULENC, F.: Sextet / FRANÇAIX: L'Heure du berger
Höhenrieder, Dresden Staatskapelle
Solo Musica SM251

Margarita Höhenrieder’s artistic career has led her to many of the world’s major music centers. She has played many concerts as soloist with conductors like Kirill Petrenko, Claudio Abbado, Lorin Maazel, James Levine, Riccardo Chailly, and Fabio Luisi, and with such orchestras as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. She has been a friend of Harald Genzmer for many years. Among other works, he dedicated the Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Strings to her, which she premièred together with Guy Touvron and the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn. Genzmer composed his last major work for Margarita Höhenrieder, Wie ein Traum am Rande der Unendlichkeit (Like a Dream on the Edge of Infinity) for piano and flute.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Sono Luminus

WATRAS, M. / ARAD, A. / KNOX, G. / LIM, J.: Chamber Music (26)
WATRAS, M. / ARAD, A. / KNOX, G. / LIM, J.: Chamber Music (26)
Arad, Knox, Lim, Watras
Sono Luminus SLE-70007

26 centers around the concept of violists performing and sharing their own compositions. As a violist/composer, I am inspired by the legacy of others who have picked up both bow and pen to create music. 26 was my way of gathering some of my favorite musicians who share a love of the viola, and a love for the new. This album features performances and works by violists Atar Arad, Garth Knox, and myself. Our trio of violists/composers is joined by composer Richard Karpen and violinist Michael Jinsoo Lim. The title of the recording comes from the number of strings on the instruments used: four strings each for the violas of Arad and myself and Lim’s violin; and 14 strings (seven playing and seven sympathetic) for Knox’s viola d’amore. As a student of Atar Arad’s, I had the opportunity to experience his artistry through his teaching, viola playing and his compositions. It was, indeed, Atar’s example that helped lead me to composing myself, along with the experiences culled from my performing career filled with new music and improvisation. I first got to know Garth Knox as an admirer of his work as violist of the Arditti Quartet. Richard Karpen’s sense of experimentation was one of the initial draws for me to join the faculty at the University of Washington, where I am very happy to be his colleague. As co-founders of the Corigliano Quartet and members of Frequency, Michael Jinsoo Lim is the musician I most often perform with." – Melia Watras

SWR Classic

STRAUSS, R.: Tone Poems, Vol. 5 - Symphonia domestica / Metamorphosen
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STRAUSS, R.: Tone Poems, Vol. 5 - Symphonia domestica / Metamorphosen
SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Roth
SWR Classic SWR19021CD

This is the fifth and final installment of the Strauss Complete Tone Poems Cycle performed by the Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg under their chief conductor Francois-Xavier Roth. The other volumes in this cycle have been positively reviewed all over the world. The orchestra and conductor are a perfect match for Richard Strauss’ lively and ecstatic music. Completed on New Year’s Eve, 1903, Strauss’ Symphonia domestica, like his ensuing final tone poem, Eine Alpensinfonie, are paradoxically termed ‘symphonies.’

Symphonic poems are usually based on an extra-musical programme, while the genre of the symphony embodies the concept of absolute music, intended as a counter-world to reality. Strauss disregarded this separation and designed the Symphonia domestica as a symphony, but with a programme, namely “a symphonic self-and family-portrait.” The composer depicts both himself, his wife, and his son in various musical tableaux. Revolving around the banalities of everyday life, the music has a twinkle in its eye.

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SWR Jazzhaus

SWR New Jazz Meeting 2015
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SWR New Jazz Meeting 2015
Almazan, Realm of Possibilities
SWR Jazzhaus JAH-466

“For me jazz music is without bounds, a sanctuary for creativity,” says the Cuban-born and New York-based pianist Fabian Almazan. This is apparent in all the exciting aspects of his double album. Almazan made use of the time during the SWR New Jazz Meeting to create music that he cannot under conventional conditions. In 2015 when the jazz department of the broadcasting station SWR gave him a blank check for the SWR New Jazz Meeting, he spontaneously assembled for the improvisation sound lab of the band Realm of Possibilities. It is comprised of six ambitious performers who are the spearhead of the young New York scene but who worked together for the first time in the band: Anna Webber (tenor sax, flute), Ryan Ferreira (guitar), Chris Dingman (vibraphone), Linda Oh (bass) and Henry Cole (drums). All of them are strong creative personalities, with extremely different musical backgrounds.

Tactus

GUERNIERI, M.: Contemporary Vocal and Instrumental Music (Bicinium)
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GUERNIERI, M.: Contemporary Vocal and Instrumental Music (Bicinium)
Zanetti, Coro and Orchestra Euridice di Bologna, Latinobalcanica Ensemble, Mirus String Quartet, Pas de deux, Guernieri, Scattolin
Tactus TC940091

The sacred and the profane, the human voices and the instruments, tradition and innovation, poetry and dance–all these elements contribute to the construction of the music contained in this ‘bicinium’, where the two ‘voices’ of the composers Maurizio Guernieri and Pier Paolo Scattolin face a wide variety of themes and musical forms, from the Mass to the fairy tale with music, along to the more classical forms like the quartet the chorus, to the use of symphonic orchestras or electric guitar. The result is an intense world of colors, lights and sound landscapes coming from a musical language that, despite its novelty, is rooted in the increasingly fertile ground of tradition, showing in this way that music can be written without falling into banality of the many contemporary proposals that have nothing to leave beyond their pure commercial result.

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Wiener Symphoniker

BEETHOVEN, L. van / SCHÖNHERR, M. / STRAUSS, E. / STRAUSS, R. / SUPPE, F. von: Frühling in Wien (Orchestral Music)
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BEETHOVEN, L. van / SCHÖNHERR, M. / STRAUSS, E. / STRAUSS, R. / SUPPE, F. von: Frühling in Wien (Orchestral Music)
Wiener Symphoniker, Honeck
Wiener Symphoniker WS011

Manfred Honeck leads the prestigious Wiener Symphoniker's on a musical journey through Austria on this release. For more than 40 years the orchestra's traditional Springtime in Vienna concert has been one of the great highlights of the Austrian capital's musical calendar. Broadcasted on live TV, featuring renowned conductors and a bouquet of spirited melodies, the orchestra has driven out the winter and rang in the arrival of the new, spring season. For the first time ever, the 2016 edition conducted by one of Austria's greatest present-day conductors Manfred Honeck, has been recorded and will be released worldwide. This album contains a colorful program, including the Third Movement from Beethoven's Pastoral as well as special "delicacies" from Max Schronerr, Carl Michael Ziehrer and excerpts from Richard Strauss' rarely performed ballet Schlagobers.

Selected DVDs

Arthaus Musik

TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: The Tchaikovsky Cycle
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TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: The Tchaikovsky Cycle
Meneses, Nenadovsky, Pletnev, Shernikh, Tretyakov,
Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, Fedoseyev

Arthaus Musik 109318 [6-DVD Box Set]

Featuring a wonderful collection of Tchaikovsky’s best works, including all of the Symphonies, the two spectacular Piano Concertos and his Violin Concerto. Hailed by the press as "the definitive video production" of Tchaikovsky’s music, The Tchaikovsky Cycle presents an exceptional concert series, recorded live at the Alte Oper Frankfurt. Fedoseyev’s perceptive reading of the works of his fellow countryman, the masterly playing of the orchestra and guest soloists combine to produce performances which are revelatory in their execution and understanding of Tchaikovsky’s music and the Russian heritage.

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C Major

Buy now
BRUCKNER, A.: Symphony No. 6
Dresden Staatskapelle, Thielemann
C Major 738304 [Blu-ray, HD] | 738208 [DVD]

Since taking up his post as principal conductor of the Dresden Staatskapelle in 2012, Christian Thielemann has launched each new concert season with a Bruckner symphony. In autumn 2015, he chose the Sixth for the opening concert at Dresden’s historic Semperoper, and for the Sächsische Zeitung this performance marked “another Bruckner triumph for Dresden.” Thielemann once more “conjured up the most magical of sonorities” and “the orchestra played magnificently under him.” (Der Neue Merker)

Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony is an interesting work among the composer’s other repertoire, as it doesn’t bear his typical compositional style, which surprised both audiences and critics when it premièred. Robert Simpson wrote of the work: “Its themes are exceptionally beautiful, its harmony has moments of both boldness and subtlety, its instrumentation is the most imaginative that he had yet achieved, and it possesses a mastery of classical form that might even have impressed Brahms.”

Other Exciting New Releases:

Capriccio

BRAUNFELS, W.: Ulenspiegel [Opera]
BRAUNFELS, W.: Ulenspiegel [Opera]
Goltz, Horus, Jankowitsch, Kovacic, Ratzenböck, Scheidegger, Summer, EntArteOpera Choir, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Sieghart
Capriccio C9006

Charles de Coster’s novel Thyl Ulenspiegel provided the source for Braunfels’ opera of the same name. It narrates one of the darkest chapters in human history – the Spanish Inquisition in 16th-century Flanders – through the improbable voice of a word-famous buffoon. He depicts an apocalyptic panorama, in which the Seven Deadly Sins of the Bible, like the Riders of the Apocalypse, come to haunt the last remnants of mankind. Amid this doom and gloom, the composer Walter Braunfels sets his focus on the origins and general development of resistance.

Ulenspiegel becomes an incisive case study of an apolitical daredevil who undergoes a radical personal transformation as a consequence of the terror which befalls his family. Promoted to become the political leader of the resistance, his mind knows only one thing: all-encompassing revenge.

Dynamic

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ROSSINI, G.: Armida [Opera] (Opera Vlaanderen, 2015)
Bernad, McPherson, Romeu, Scala, Schmunck, Smith,
Vlaanderen Opera House Chorus and Symphony Orchestra, Ghent, Zedda

Dynamic DYN-57763 [Blu-ray, HD] | DYN-37763 [2-DVD Box Set]

Antwerp's Opera Vlaanderen continues its Rossini opera cycle with this production of his rarely performed Armida, conducted by Alberto Zedda. The work features no less than four tenors in the leading roles, taken here by the commanding voices of Enea Scala, Robert McPherson, Dario Schmunck and the young rising star, Adam Smith.

Stage director Mariame Clément teams up once more for Opera Vlaanderen with set designer Julia Hansen, building on their successful production of Cavalli's Il Giasone, which was also released on the Dynamic label (CDS663). Here they take a critical look at the world of the Crusades. Clément sees Armida as the incarnation of the magical concept of ‘love’, for which noble and heroic knightly ideals are cast aside, turning love into a destructive frenzy.

Opus Arte

Buy now
SCHOENBERG, A.: Gurre-Lieder (Staged Version) (DNO, 2014)
Ablinger-Sperrhacke, Fritz, Larsson, Magee, Marquardt, Melles,
Dutch National Opera Chorus, Kammerchor des ChorForum Essen,
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Albrecht

Opus Arte OABD7215D [Blu-ray, HD] | OA1227D [DVD]

Begun in the year 1900, amidst the art nouveau curlicues of Klmt and the Jugendstil, Schoenberg's grand cantata is written in a lush, late-romantic style indebted to Wagner and Mahler and pre-dating his pioneering atonal works. This setting of the medieval Danish legend of Gurre Castle - a love triangle between King Waldemar, his mistress Tove and a jealous Queen - gains an innovative new dimension in this first-ever staging of the work, directed by Pierre Audi. This album marks the first ever collaboration between DNO Artistic Director Pierre Audi and Music Director Marc Albrecht. This production was the first staging of Schoenberg's mammoth cantata with gargantuan orchestra, five soloists, speaker and multiple choruses.

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