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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: Grand Piano

Grand Piano has gained a reputation for producing high quality recordings of rare keyboard gems. Dedicated to the exploration of undiscovered piano repertoire, the label specializes in complete cycles of piano works by many lesser-known composers, whose output might otherwise have remained unknown and unrecorded.

This month, Grand Piano celebrates five years of exceptional piano music with a special 3-CD sampler. Arranged in chronological order, the sampler takes the listener on an auditory journey around the world over the course of 3 centuries. From Beethoven to Bowen, from Glinka to Glass, experience the evolution of piano music!

For more information, please visit Grand Piano's new website www.GrandPianoRecords.com.

GRAND PIANO - THE KEY COLLECTION: 3 Centuries of Rare Keyboard Gems
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GRAND PIANO - THE KEY COLLECTION:
3 Centuries of Rare Keyboard Gems

Various Artists
Grand Piano GP753-55 [3 CDs]

The Grand Piano label is dedicated to exploring undiscovered piano repertoire by unfamiliar composers, producing high quality, often world première recordings, performed by virtuoso authorities in their chosen field. Marking the label's 5th anniversary, this collection is a comprehensive guide through the history of keyboard music from the invention of the fortepiano to today's living composers, as well as taking the listener on a musical adventure through a geographically global range of rare musical gems, with all of their new and exciting sounds and fresh perspectives.

CD 1
18TH AND 19TH CENTURIES: THE CLASSICAL AND ROMANTIC ERAS
NEEFE • TÜRK • KOŽELUCH • VAŇHAL • HOFFMEISTER • BEETHOVEN • CRAMER
BUSONI • SZYMANOWSKA • VOŘÍŠEK • GLINKA • HENSELT • SAINT-SAËNS
BALAKIREV • RAFF • GOUVY • CARREÑO • GRIEG • EVJU • SATIE • GODARD
HOFMANN • VIANA DA MOTA
CD 2
1900 – 1950s: DIVERGENCE IN A NEW CENTURY
CORTOT • ROGER-DUCASSE • SAMAZEUILH • MEDTNER • LE FLEM • SCHMITT
PONCE • FRIEDMAN • ENESCU • TCHEREPNIN • NIEMANN • SCHULHOFF
ROSLAVETS • OSWALD • GERSHWIN • KOMITAS • KHACHATURIAN • LOURIÉ
MOSOLOV • AUBERT • NENOV • FROMMEL • KAPRÁLOVÁ • GRAINGER
BOWEN • KVANDAL • SUCCAR • NØRGÅRD • WEINBERG
CD 3
1960s – TODAY: LATTER-DAY TRENDS
KAZHLAEV • ABRAMIAN • BAGDASARIAN • BAZ • ARUTIUNIAN • BABADJANIAN
GELALIAN • RÄÄTS • GLASS • FULEIHAN • B. TCHAIKOVSKY • LYKKEBO
SOLAL • BISGAARD • MAČEK • EVJU • RIOTTE • SILVESTROV • HAMMOND
H. KHOURY • EKANAYAKA • JABERI
Other Exciting New Releases:
Selected CDs

Capriccio

EISLER, H.: Film Music - Hangmen also Die / 400 Millionen /
The Grapes of Wrath

Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Kalitzke
Capriccio C5289

The 1943 film Hangmen Also Die! was the result of the collaboration of three German exiles in America who were refugees from the Nazi regime: director Fritz Lang, playwright Berthold Brecht and composer Hanns Eisler. Eisler's Oscar-nominated score can be heard here with two other examples of his music for film. Born in Leipzig, Eisler moved to Vienna in 1901, where he subsequently became a student of Arnold Schoenberg. The two orchestral pieces that complete the programme were composed before Hitler's rise to power and the subsequent ban on Eisler's music in 1933. Eisler saw his Kleine Sinfonie as "a protest against bloated, hollow neo-classical music", offering instead “sharp, precise music that touches on emotions but tries to purify them." Hörfleissübung is a movement taken from Eisler's most extensive work, the Deutsche Symphonie, originally appearing as the fourth movement of his Orchestral Suite No. 1, written in 1930.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Cedille

BRAHMS, J.: Piano Quintet / SCHUMANN, R.: String Quartet No. 1
Pressler, Pacifica Quartet
Cedille CDR90000-170

The Grammy Award-winning Pacifica Quartet joins forces with the legendary pianist Menahem Pressler of the Beaux Arts Trio for Johannes Brahms’s Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34, a pillar of German Romanticism that opens with one of the most recognizable melodies in classical music. Pressler, a consummate chamber artist, performs the virtuosic piano part with a clarity and transparency that makes the piano seem like a fellow member of the string ensemble.

The album offers the unusual, perhaps unprecedented, pairing of Brahms’s early piano quintet with a string quartet by his champion Robert Schumann. In this case, it is the String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 41, No.1 in which Pacifica Quartet has been performing since early in its career. Dedicated to Mendelssohn, this buoyant, sprightly Romantic quartet showcases Pacifica’s virtuosity and exuberant performance style while offering a contrast to Brahms’s moodier masterwork. This is the Quartet’s first recording of a Schumann work.

Dacapo

OLSEN, P.R.: Vocal Music (Songs)
E. and S. Bruun, Miilmann, Bruun Hyldig Duo
Dacapo 8.226078

Poul Rovsing Olsen wished for his music to be as close as possible to its listeners. Evident on this intimate recording of his songs for solo voice, featuring the successful Bruun Hyldig Duo is the fulfillment of that desire. Rovsing Olsen’s songs contain both French and Danish influences which reveal the significant impact of his French professor Oliver Messiaen, and his own traditional musical culture in his music. The lyrics, on the other hand, come from all over Europe, including poems by William Blake, Ranier Maria Rilke, Charles Baudelaire, Par Lagerkvist and many more. Gramophone commends Rovsing Olsen as a composer of refined sensibility.

Delos

Koornhof, Piet / Hecht, Thomas - DVARIONAS, B. / KANCHELI, G. / VASKS, P. / PÄRT, A.: Baltic and Beyond (Violin and Piano Recital)
Hecht, Koornhof
Delos DE3529

Among the most notable regional sources of soulful and spellbinding new music have been the Baltic nations with Arvo Pärt (Estonia), Peteris Vasks (Latvia) and Balys Dvarionas (Lithuania) among the region’s most prominent composers. Works for violin and piano by all three of these Baltic voices as well as by Giya Kancheli (from Georgia, another former Soviet republic) are featured in this hypnotically beautiful album. It celebrates, in part, the composers’ new-found freedom from a repressive Soviet regime.

Distinguished South African violinist Piet Koornhof, one of Delos’s most prolific recording artists, is partnered here by the renowned American pianist Thomas Hecht in a program largely characterized (as Koornhof puts it) by “stillness and closeness to the heart,” as well as “strong meditative and spiritual overtones.”

Other Exciting New Releases:

Divox

SAGYRBAYULY, K. / GAZIZA, Z.A. / TOLEGEN, M. / ARMAN, Z. / QAZANGAPULY, T.: Kazakh Classical Music (Chamber Music)
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SAGYRBAYULY, K. / GAZIZA, Z.A. / TOLEGEN, M. / ARMAN, Z. / QAZANGAPULY, T.: Kazakh Classical Music (Chamber Music)
Kazakh State String Quartet
Divox CDX-21501-6

The Kazakh State String Quartet, named in honor of Gaziza A. Zhubanova, was founded in 1988. It has won numerous prizes from the international competitions and was elected Best Ensemble of the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid. Its members have earned their Master of Arts in Musical Performance and Chamber Music from the Music Academy in Basel, Switzerland in 2012 and was taught by Professor Rainer Schmidt.

The two string quartets of the foremost composer and music teacher Faziza Zhubanova, as well as the quartet debut of the highly promising up-and-coming composer Arman Zhaiym, are the focus of this new cultural bridge-building production—realized on the 25th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan in December 2016. These works are framed by the important original compositions of Kazakh composers, significantly arranged for string quartets.

Kairos

TSAO, Ming: Mirandas Atemwende [Opera] /
STOCKHAUSEN, K.: Plus Minus

Ensemble Ascolta, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, Kalitzke, Schreiber
Kairos 0015014KAI

Karlheinz Stockhausen’s composition Plus Minus, 2 x 7 pages for realization was written in 1963, then revised in 1974. The length of the performance varies depending on the version worked out from the given materials. One or several performers can perform the work. It is a “polyvalent process composition,” which was designed as a project for the composition students of the first Cologne Courses for New Music, held in 1963. Ming Tsao realizes this composition on his new release in its entirety, perhaps the first entire recorded realization that exists. Also featured on this album is Ming Tsao’s two-part act Mirandas Atemwende, which is the second part of the composer’s chamber opera, Die Geisterinsel (The Ghost Island).

OehmsClassics

Singer Pur - CAGE, J. / RENNER, J. / KERSCHEK, W. / MOODY, I. / VEIT, W.H. / LIGETI, G.: Sagenhaft! (Vocal Ensemble Concert)
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Singer Pur - CAGE, J. / RENNER, J. / KERSCHEK, W. / MOODY, I. /
VEIT, W.H. / LIGETI, G.: Sagenhaft! (Vocal Ensemble Concert)

Singer Pur
OehmsClassics OC1853

The vocal ensemble Singer Pur will celebrate its 25th performing jubilee in 2017. The first public performance of the ensemble on March 8, 1992 at a benefit concert at the Cologne Philharmonie laid the cornerstone for an international career. So far, the sextet has sung in over 50 countries and is considered one of Europe's leading a-cappella formations. Its high ranking is reflected by numerous honors, including the Bavarian State Prize for music, the Caeciliaprijs and three Echo Klassik prizes. At the jubilee concert on March 8, 2017 at the Prince Regents' Theatre in Munich, the ensemble will present a programme showing the entire spectrum of its activities, ranging from works performed during the ensemble's early years to a world première.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Ondine

SCHUBERT, F.: String Quartet No. 15 / HAYDN, J.: String Quartet No. 26
Tetzlaff Quartet
Ondine ODE1293-2

In this new recording, the prestigious Tetzlaff Quartet presents a program of string quartets by Franz Schubert and Joseph Haydn in exemplary performances. Praised by The New York Times for their “dramatic, energetic playing of clean intensity”, the Tetzlaff Quartet is one of today’s leading string quartets.

Franz Schubert’s String Quartet No. 15 in G major, D. 887 was completed in 1826. In this work, nearly symphonic in its epic scale, Schubert is touching new musical landscapes after the success of his Rosamunde and Death and the Maiden Quartets. It is the last work in the impressive series of string quartets that Schubert wrote during his lifetime. The String Quartet in G minor, Op. 20 No. 3 by Joseph Haydn was written in 1772 when he was at the height of his creative powers at the Esterházy Court. In this revolutionary work, the composer explores the limits of the genre through unusual choices of structure and style.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Sono Luminus

SHAW, C. / MAZZOLI, M. / GOSFIELD, A. / GREENSTEIN, J. / LANG, D. / DENNEHY, D. / HEARNE, T.: Unbound (Chamber Music)
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SHAW, C. / MAZZOLI, M. / GOSFIELD, A. / GREENSTEIN, J. / LANG, D. / DENNEHY, D. / HEARNE, T.: Unbound (Chamber Music)
The Jasper String Quartet
Sono Luminus DSL-92212

Winner of the prestigious CMA Cleveland Quartet Award, Philadelphia’s Jasper String Quartet is the professional quartet-in-residence at Temple University’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians. The Jaspers record exclusively for Sono Luminus, and have released three highly acclaimed albums in addition to this one. This new release features music by some of America’s leading composers, including Caroline Shaw, Missy Mazzoli, David Lang, Ted Hearne, and Annie Gosfield.

The quartet has shared some insights about the music on this recording, “The seven pieces on this album represent a collection of treasures we’ve discovered from this century. One of these pieces, Annie Gosfield’s The Blue Horse Walks on the Horizon, was written expressly for our quartet. The rest we unearthed as we sifted through the vibrant and varied landscape of music being created today… ”

SWR Classic

RAVEL, M.: Piano Concerto for the Left Hand /
BOULANGER, N.: Fantaisie variée / FRANÇAIX, J.: Piano Concerto

Uhlig, González
SWR Classic SWR19027CD

In 2013, Florian Uhlig released a recording of French piano concertos, and it received excellent reviews from critics all over the world, and became one of that year's bestsellers. Uhlig is here again, accompanied by the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Pablo Gonzales—a collaboration which has brought massive success to his first recording.

This album contains again, piano concertos by Ravel and Françaix, which supplement the concertos of the 2013 album along with the rarely performed and very imaginative works for piano and orchestra by the concert characters Germaine Tailleferre and Nadia Boulanger. Tailleferre's Ballad for Piano and Orchestra passed through different phases from 1920 to 1922, starting as a pure orchestral work then becoming a solo piece, and then as a work with concerto character in its final version. Noticeably delightful, among the concertos on this album, is Boulanger’s Fantaisie variée for Piano and Orchestra. It is inspired by her idols Cesar Franck and Sergei Rachmaninov. Boulanger originates from a musical family and is famous for her pedagogical passion.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Tactus

FASOLO, G.B.: Missa in Dominicis diebus / Missa Beatae Mariae Virginis (Annuale Opera Ottava)
Presazzi, Scandali, E. and S. Sorini, Bella Gerit Ensemble
Tactus TC590701

Giovanni Battista Fasolo most probably composed its Annuale simultaneously to the famous Fiori Musicali by Girolamo Frescobaldi. The Annuale, however, was delivered to printing only ten years later, in 1645, possibly for editorial reasons. The goal pursued by Fasolo with his Annuale was to provide everything that an organist has to do, responding to the choir throughout the year. More than an artistic stand-alone product, the collection is an example of the repertoire suitable to the liturgical service of Fasolo’s time. On this album organist Luca Scandali is performing three complete masses at the historic Luca di Bernardino da Cortona Organ accompanied in alternatim by the ensemble Bella Gerit.

Other Exciting New Releases:
Selected DVDs

Bel Air Classiques

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BAC412
BAC112
1789 (Film, 1974)
Various Artists
Bel Air Classiques BAC412 [Blu-ray, HD] | BAC112 [DVD]

Following the Champ de Mars massacre on July 17, 1791, some comedians decide to reenact the main events of the previous years: from the summoning of the Estates-General to the proclamation of the martial law, through the Storming of the Bastille, the Great Fear, and the abolition of feudalism. With intense zest and enthusiasm, they try to show the dashing of hopes, the bursting of joy quickly followed by the collapse of the dreams of equality. To this end, the comedians use all the theatrical forms they have at hand, pantomime, tragedy, puppetry, opera buffa, and they incarnate the people, the rich and the poor, who made 1789 such a decisive year, all the while illustrating what Saint just once said, “The Revolution stops when perfect happiness is reached.”

BR-Klassik

BACH, J.S.: St. John Passion, BWV 245
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BACH, J.S.: St. John Passion, BWV 245
Bruninghaus, Burkhart, Hirtreiter, Landshamer, Lichdi, Nazmi, Oh, Schmitt, Stražanac, Vondung, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Concerto Köln, Dijkstra
BR-Klassik 900515 [DVD]

The music of J.S. Bach's St. John Passion still retains all its freshness and vitality nearly 300 years later. It is a true Baroque delight which the composer wrote for Holy Week in 1724, immediately after his appointment as cantor of St. Thomas's Church in Leipzig. The two main choruses, Herr, unser Herrscher and Ruht wohl, ihr heiligen Gebeine form the beginning and culmination of a large-scale orchestral and vocal structure in which Bach reveals his absolute mastery of polyphony.

Inwardly reflective chorales are as much interwoven into the events of the Passion as the haunting arias which comment on the biblical texts of the Gospel of St. John. Throughout this solemn Passion oratorio, there is a constant emphasis on Baroque musical magnificence. What makes this live recording of the concert version in March 2015 so special are the fresh voices of the young and excellent vocal soloists, the regularly praised "astonishing three-dimensionality" and "crystalline clarity" of the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks under the direction of Peter Dijkstra and, of course, the renowned period instrument ensemble Concerto Köln.

C Major

Buy now
739104
739008
PROKOFIEV, S.: Romeo and Juliet [Ballet] (San Francisco Ballet, 2015)
Karapetyan, Kochetkova, San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, West
C Major 739104 [Blu-ray, HD] | 739008 [DVD]

With passionate choreography, spine-tingling swordsmanship, and a celebrated score by Sergei Prokofiev, San Francisco Ballet’s passionate retelling of the Bard’s greatest tragedy has packed houses around the world. Romeo and Juliet is one of the company’s most popular and widely toured ballets and has been seen by more than 200,000 people since it premiered in 1994. Choreographed by Helgi Tomasson, with sets and costumes by Jens-Jacob Worsaae, this visually stunning production and the brilliant dancers of SF Ballet bring this powerful and touching tragedy – and Renaissance-era Verona – vividly to life.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Dynamic

Buy now
DYN-57758
DYN-37758
CDS7758.02
DONIZETTI, G.: Olivo e Pasquale [Opera] (Fondazione Donizetti, 2016) (Blu-ray, HD)
Adaini, Beltrami, Giordano, Macchioni, Milletti, Morace, Romeo, Taddia, Bergamo Donizetti Teatro Chorus, Accademia d'Arti e Mestieri dello Spettacolo Teatro alla Scala Orchestra, Sardelli
Dynamic DYN-57758 [Blu-ray, HD] | DYN-37758 [DVD] |
CDS7758.02 [2 CDs]

This sparkling opera buffa, recorded for the first time at the 2016 Donizetti Festival of Bergamo, has the part of Pasquale performed in the Neapolitan dialect. It is the story of two rich merchant brothers from Lisbon, Olivo and Pasquale, who habitually weigh everything against its bargaining power. The marriage of Olivo’s daughter and Pasquale’s niece Isabella is also a “bargain” to them: she must marry another merchant, so as not to break with family tradition. The gags between the various characters are hilarious especially those between the two brothers, who have completely different characters – creating an almost surreal atmosphere.

The show is very colorful, thanks to the rich sets and costumes. Olivo, performed by Bruno Taddia, is the real protagonist: as Isabella’s father, he portrays a gruff, inflexible man, and does so with self-assurance and ease, without going over the top. No less convincing is Filipppo Morace as his brother Pasquale, histrionic and exhilarating as an actor, musically precise and excellent in his Neapolitan dialect performance. Laura Giordano, thanks to her physique du rôle, is perfect as Isabella, the heartbroken girl torn between love for the young Camillo and obedience towards her grumpy father.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Opus Arte

Buy now
OABD7211BD
OA1225BD
HANDEL, G.F.: Giulio Cesare / Rinaldo / Saul [Operas]
(Glyndebourne, 2005-2015)

Glyndebourne Chorus, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Bolton, Christie, Dantone
Opus Arte OABD7211BD [4-Blu-ray Disc Box Set] |
OA1225BD [5-DVD Box Set]

This set brings together three of Handel's most compelling works for the stage in lavish Glyndebourne productions featuring period-instrument accompaniment from the renowned Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. David McVicar directs an all-star cast in Giulio Cesare, combining serious insight with entertainment to bring the masterpiece to life, aided by vivid playing from the OAE under William Christie.

In Robert Carsen's fun-filled transformation of Rinaldo, lacrosse sticks and flying bicycles lend the fantasy's warriors and witches contemporary chic, with conductor Ottavio Dantone leading a youthful cast from the keyboard in Handelian fashion. Director Barrie Kosky's Glyndebourne debut, Saul, stole the 2015 Festival season and had critics raving. The Glyndebourne chorus plays an outstanding role, and the OAE sparkles under Ivor Bolton, as the Old Testament story is retold in Handel's time with witty anachronisms from costume designer Katrin Lea Tag.

Other Exciting New Releases:



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