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In addition to its own wide-reaching monthly new releases (see, 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.


The award-winning label CD Accord was established in 1995 and records the most distinguished Polish composers, soloists, chamber ensembles, symphony orchestra and choruses. Important repertoire for the company includes music by Jarzebski, Chopin, Wieniawski, Moniuszko, Karlowicz, Szymanowski, Bacewicz, Lutosławski, Panufnik, Penderecki, Kilar, Górecki and Szymanski.

Tarcholik, Piotr - PROKOFIEV, S. / SZYMANOWSKI, K. /
BARTÓK, B.: Gems of Eastern Europe (Violin Recital)

M. and P. Tarcholik
CD Accord CDAccordACD229

The socio-political situation in Europe in the second half of the 19th and the early 20th centuries facilitated the development of national identities and distinctiveness of individual nations. A significant role in this field fell to music. Historians of music differentiate between two distinct trends: the mainstream current and the peripheral trend (the latter being also labelled 'national'), in which the social role of music was fundamental. References to a nation’s past, its heroes, literature, customs, language and folklore resulted in the development of national schools (styles) of composition such as: Spanish (Sarasate, Albéniz), Scandinavian (Gade, Grieg), English (Parry, Stanford), Czech (Smetana, Dvorák), Hungarian (Erkel, Mosonyi), Russian (‘The Mighty Handful’), and Polish (Chopin, Moniuszko). This new release from violinist Piotr Tarcholik and pianist Monika Wilimska-Tarcholik explores the nationalistic music of Eastern Europe, including works from Prokofiev, Bartók, Szymanowski, and Lepianka.

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Selected CDs and LPs

Accentus Music

BACH, J.S.: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (2-LP set)
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BACH, J.S.: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (2-LP set)
Xiao-Mei Zhu
Accentus Music ACC-40372 [LP]

Zhu Xiao-Mei’s name is inextricably linked to that of Johann Sebastian Bach. For her, the special quality of the Goldberg Variations lies in the fact that all human emotions and feelings find expression here. Since her first pioneering recording of the Goldberg Variations more than twenty years ago, Zhu Xiao-Mei has played the work several hundred times at recitals all over the world. Through the encounter with her audiences, she has evolved a new version of the work, which she is now presenting to listeners in the form of this new recording.

“It is the cyclical character of the work that I believe affects listeners the most. It begins and ends in the same way. And when we again hear the Aria, we have the impression that we have understood something. It is about life and death. The Chinese will quote Lao Tzu: “The return is the movement of Tao.” Christians will talk about eternal life. It is also about the idea that there is no ending. And so there is hope. “

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RAVEL, M.: L’Heure espagnole [Opera] / CHABRIER, E.: España
Arquez, Behr, Duhamel, Lhote, Vidal, Munich Radio Orchestra, Fisch
BR-Klassik 900317

The thought of Spain filled many French composers of the 19th and early 20th century with musical yearning. Ravel was already inspired by things Iberian when he composed his first stage work L’heure espagnole, a one-act comic opera set in Toledo and premièred in Paris on May 19, 1911. Here, he combined fantasy and comedy with ‘spoken music’ filled with local Spanish colors. [Ravel's utilization with the percussion section of the orchestra was a success.] He masterfully and wittily integrates clocks chiming into the score, [making it distinctive for this opera.]

Emmanuel Chabrier's España was composed in 1883 and premièred in Paris. This rhapsody for orchestra was inspired by his Spanish journey the year before, during which he had noted down many original motifs and rhythms. Spanish folklore is ever-present. In addition to the melodies, it is above all the rhythmic motifs and movement patterns that, when combined, achieve a complexity that was still unknown in art music at that time.


DVOŘÁK, A.: Svatební košile (The Spectre's Bride)
Breslik, Plachetka, Šaturová, Wiener Singakademie, Vienna Radio Symphony, Meister
Capriccio C5315

The Spectre’s Bride tells the story of a girl whose dead lover returns to lead her from her home, forcing her to leave behind her prayer book, rosary, and cross. When she is led to his open grave, she flees and is eventually saved by some churchgoers.

On the performance at the Birmingham Festival in 1885, Dvořák conducted a 400-voice choir and a 150-member orchestra. It was a huge success. Dvořák was honored and loved by the English people, labeled him as the Lion of the 1885 London Musical Season. Many performances across Europe and in the United States followed. Here, the work is performed by the Wiener Singakademie and the Orf Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Cornelius Meister.

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GADE, N.W.: Piano Music
Marianna Shirinyan
Dacapo 8.226122

His instrument may have been the violin, but Niels W. Gade (1817-90) was a great admirer of piano virtuoso Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann. In fact, the great Danish-Romantic composer left behind a collection of piano works that inspired both professionals and amateurs. Breathing new life into a selection of these, Armenian-Danish pianist Marianna Shirinyan performs Gade's poetic Aquarel, the almost orchestral piece Piano Sonata in E Minor, four Chopinesque Fantasy Pieces and the little Chanson danoise, here in its first recording.


POLDOWSKI: Vocal Music (Art Songs)
Angelique Zuluaga
Delos DE3538

Poldowski is the pseudonym of Lady Dean Paul. She was born in Belgium as Irène Régine Wieniawska, the youngest daughter of the celebrated Polish violinist and composer Henryk Wieniawski. Beginning in 1900, she became firmly established in London as a pianist and composer. She enjoyed success in major cities on both sides of the Atlantic.

From the 26 art songs heard here, four of which are world première recordings. The songs eloquently attest to Poldowski's remarkable originality and ability as a composer. Revealing a range of color, mood and emotion that make listeners wonder why these beautifully crafted gems ever fell into obscurity.

Soprano Angelique Zuluaga's rich, dark-hued voice and supremely sensitive interpretations plus pianist Gwendolyn Mok's superb collaborations combine to create irresistible renditions of music that is ripe for rediscovery.


Transcriptions for Mandolin Orchestra: BACH, J.S. / VIVALDI, A.
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Transcriptions for Mandolin Orchestra: BACH, J.S. / VIVALDI, A.
Tenchini, Mauro and Claudio Terroni Mandolin Orchestra, Frati
Dynamic CDS7787

The programme presented here proposes some of the most well-known works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivaldi in original transcriptions for mandolin orchestras. They are mostly concertos originally written for one or more violins accompanied by a string orchestra and basso continuo. In these transcriptions, both the solo part and the orchestra have been replaced by mandolins. The resulting tone colors are quite peculiar and truly fascinating. The technical skill of the soloists, who often tackle lively, virtuosic tempos, and the elegance and good taste of the arrangements make this album a unique experience.

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Grand Piano

RÄÄTS, J.: Complete Piano Sonatas, Vol. 1 - Nos. 1-4, 9-10
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RÄÄTS, J.: Complete Piano Sonatas, Vol. 1 - Nos. 1-4, 9-10
Nicolas Horvath
Grand Piano GP765

Jaan Rääts has written prolifically for the piano. His ten sonatas, spanning half a century, reveal his sophisticated control of expressive gestures. The composer himself has said, "I don't like rigid systems. I like absorbing musical material, filtering it, emotionally developing it as needed. Using it as a springboard for my imagination..."

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MARTINŮ, B.: The Greek Passion [Opera]
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MARTINŮ, B.: The Greek Passion [Opera]
Butter, Zelinka, Graz Opera Chorus and Philharmonic Orchestra, Kaftan
OehmsClassics OC967

The style of the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů was enriched by numerous influences which are reflected in The Greek Passion. Magnificent choirs contrast vividly with intimate chamber music. Folkloristic elements are placed next to complex classically worked-out orchestral movements. A highly emotional mixture of oratorio and dramatic opera abducts the listener/spectator into a world in which catastrophes abound. Lorenzo Fioroni, who has directed operas in Nuremberg, Augsburg and Heidelberg, has produced this dramatic contest against fear in Graz.

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KÕRVITS, T.: Moorland Elegies
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Joost
Ondine ODE1306-2

Ondine continues its series of works by Baltic composers with a new exciting release. This album features Moorland Elegies, a nine-part cycle for mixed choir and string orchestra by Estonian composer Tõnu Kõrvits. The work was premièred by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra at Tallinn's St. John's Church in October, 2015.

Tõnu Kõrvits works belong to the repertoire of the most important Estonian orchestras, choirs and artists. In recent years, his music has been performed more and more outside of his native Estonia. Beside Beljo Tormis' shamanistic spells, Erkki-Sven Tüür's energetic explosions and Arvo Pärt's religious contemplations, Kõrvits' sound world stands out as highly poetic, full of visionary fantasies. His music carries the listener along on hypnotic journeys through the landscapes of nature and folk tradition, human soul and subconscious. His oeuvre includes all traditional genres from orchestral and instrumental music to choral music and operas.


Botha, Johan - BEETHOVEN, L. / WAGNER, R. /
STRAUSS, R.: Wiener Staatsoper Live (1997-2014) (Tenor Opera Arias)

Botha, Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Bychkov, Ozawa, Runnicles, Sinopoli, Thielemann, Welser-Möst, Young
Orfeo C906171B

Johan Botha’s unfailingly radiant and yet powerfully carrying voice established him over many years as a Strauss and Wagner singer par excellence, but most of all as a youthful hero, and not as a weighty heroic tenor. In fact, Tannhäuser was something of a marginal role for him, but what a role! The recording of the Rome episode in the Vienna State Opera première of June 16, 2010, with which the release’s four-part Wagner portrait begins with excerpts from Vienna Staatsoper productions, movingly reveals how as a suffering yet passionate pilgrim he returns from Rome dejected and unredeemed. The bridal-chamber scene from the third act of Lohengrin looks back to Botha’s early years at the Staatsoper.

Fifteen years later, he is an ideal Walther von Stolzing, who after a night of dreams reveals his Prize Song to cobbler-poet Hans Sachs, who in turn refines it and writes it down. The most moving scene comes perhaps at the close of Ariadne auf Naxos, when a figure hailed as Hermes, the divine messenger of death, proves to be Bacchus, the god of love. The recording captures one of Botha’s last appearances at the Vienna Staatsoper.

Other Minds

BOWLES, P. / HARRISON, L. / CAGE, J.: Composer-Critics of the New York Herald Tribune (Vocal and Chamber Music)
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BOWLES, P. / HARRISON, L. / CAGE, J.: Composer-Critics of the
New York Herald Tribune (Vocal and Chamber Music)

Barab, Lawrence, Bussotti, New York Percussion Ensemble, Surinach
Other Minds OM1024-2

The vibrant and inventive music in this compilation was written by composers who once made their livings as music critics. How could composers of music as eccentric as this have been entrusted with reviewing classical music, from medieval times to the present, for a major metropolitan daily? Yet, for a brief period from 1940-1954, the New York Herald Tribune maintained a staff of music reviewers who were hired for their ability to comment on music from the inside out, not for an abstruse musical journal, but in clear and plain language for a general audience. Paul Bowles, Lou Harrison, Peggy Glanville-Hicks and John Cage were not mainstream academic figures, but rebellious “other minds,” gathered to his side by the paper’s brilliant and worldly chief critic, composer Virgil Thomson. They were selected for their intellectual curiosity, originality of insight, and powers of articulation to comment upon the daily musical life of their nation’s artistic capital. These traits are just as evident in their writing of music as their writing of columns.

Paladino Music

MANCUSI, G.: Johannespassion
Bahk, Bleiberschnig, Eduard, Krügl, Liener, Nagl, Sitka, Strobl, Tonauer, Wey, Chorus Duplex Wien, Louie's Cage Percussion
Paladino Music PMR0082

This work reflects the preoccupation with death, anxiety, love and transcendence; the meaning of existence in the life of a man; the attempt to walk along familiar paths anew; a sharp, clear and critical look at one’s own religion; and the perception of life, neighborly love, friendship, hope, love and sacrifice, when one takes a philosophical journey into the depths of one’s inner self.

Guido Mancusi was soprano soloist at the Vienna Boys’ Choir. He graduated from the Vienna Music School and studied afterward at the Vienna Conservatory of Music and at the Wiener Musikhochschule. He has won multiple prizes at international composition competitions. At present, Mancusi serves as the conductor of the Wiener Volksoper. He also works as a freelance conductor and teaches at a private university for Music and performing arts in Vienna.

Solo Musica

KUNETS, Y.: Orchestral Music (Dedication)
KUNETS, Y.: Orchestral Music (Dedication)
Haufa, Wrocław Score Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia,
Warsaw Philharmonic Choir, Holdridge

Solo Musica SM260

Yury Kunets is a prominent Russian composer, musician, and producer. From the late 1980s on, he wrote numerous songs for different bands and solo artists. From 2004, Yury was involved in several musical TV projects as a producer. Along with author and director Maxim Kapitanovsky, he created two music films: Blame it All on The Beatles and Don’t Shoot the Musicians.

By 2011, Yury Kunets had accumulated a considerable repertoire of instrumental pieces. In collaboration with award-winning American conductor Lee Holdridge and British recording producer Christopher Alder, Yury began recording a series of symphonic music works. The first pieces were recorded in Kraków with the Wroclaw Score Orchestra. By the end of 2014, he had recorded several new compositions in Warsaw. Yury Kunets’ music combines elements of classical music, jazz and pop music. In his symphonic compositions, melody and romance work to reflect the author’s inner energies.

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SWR Classic

LES VENDREDIS - Collection of Pieces for String Quartet from Belaieff's Friday Concerts
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LES VENDREDIS - Collection of Pieces for String Quartet from Belaieff's Friday Concerts
Szymanowski Quartet
SWR Classic SWR19034CD

Les Vendredis is a collection of string quartets by several Russian composers, who played a key role at the famous Friday evening concerts, organized by the music publisher Belaieff at the end of the 19th century. Alexander Glazunov, Anatoli Liadov and Rimsky-Korsakov are among the illustrious names that formed that musical society.

Belaieff, son and heir of a wealthy wood trader, was a music enthusiast and an excellent violist. Thus, it was only natural that he hosted string quartet concerts in his house, and commissioned composers for new string quartet works. Some of these works were published in 1899 by Belaieff’s own publishing house, which he had founded in the 1880s.

The Szymanowski Quartet, who are known for their exciting and cleverly compiled concert programs, perform this repertoire with both pleasure and passion. Their technical perfection suits the musical challenges and their soulful performance highlights the lyrical emotions of these Russian musical treasures.


CORTELLINI, C.: Complete Masses
Gentilini, Leonzi, Malachin, Marchetti, Pineider, Scattolin, Tullio, Vannelli
Tactus TC560380

The grandeur of the Italian Renaissance polyphonic school does not need an introduction, but this release focuses on the work of a very little known and performed composer from Bologna: Camillo Cortellini. The complete collection of his masses gives listeners a correct understanding of the historical reassessment of the Bologna music school, as compared to the celebrated Roman or Venetian schools. Messa Bolognese is an important link between the late Renaissance and the Baroque. The edition of this album was made possible, thanks to the participation of Bolognese choirs, and other highly qualified Italian choirs that completed this huge work with great variety of organic sound.

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Selected DVDs

Arthaus Musik

SHAMANS OF THE BLIND COUNTRY (Documentary, 2017) (5 DVD + 2 CD Box Set) (NTSC)
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(5 DVD + 2 CD Box Set) (NTSC)

Bal and Bedh Bahãdur
Arthaus Musik 109294 [DVD]

Shamans of the Blind Country is an epic documentary on faith healing in a remote region of North West Nepal. Over a period of eighteen months, the film follows the basic traits of a local religious practice. It is kindred in spirit to the many variations of the great inner-Asian tradition of shamanism characteristic for the Siberian part of Northern Asia, and the entire Himalayan region. Part I, pursues the various types of healing rituals enacted by the shamans of the northern Magar of the Dhaulagiri region (in North West Nepal) for the benefit of their clients. Part II of the film is focused mainly on the transmission of shamanic knowledge from master to pupil. This is a long process of increasing intensity.

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C Major

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BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphony No. 9, "Choral" / Coriolan Overture / JOST, C.: Fanfare / An die Hoffnung
Nylund, Pape, Vogt, Zhidkova, Yutaka Sado
C Major 740304 [Blu-ray, HD] | 740208 [DVD]

Freedom, fraternity and humanity – this is what Beethoven’s 9th Symphony stands for. It opens the 10th Grafenegg Festival, performed by the Tonkunstler Orchestra, joined by 24 alumni of the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) and “a soloist quartet which no one could possibly imagine to be more prestigious” (Die Presse). “Vogt’s tenor and the Wiener Singverein were especially moving” (Wiener Zeitung) and “the vocal performance by excellent bass René Pape, the fabulous soprano Camilla Nylund and the brilliant mezzosoprano Elena Zhidkova … in Beethoven’s Ninth was just sensational. Bravo!” (Kurier) Composer in Residence Christian Jost’s new work also centers around Beethoven, featuring the song “An die Hoffnung” (“To Hope”), and “convincingly used an impressive orchestra” (Der Standard), with “tenor Klaus Florian Vogt as a well-cast soloist” (Salzburger Nachrichten).

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VERDI, G.: Otello [Opera] (Sferisterio Opera Festival, 2016)
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VERDI, G.: Otello [Opera] (Sferisterio Opera Festival, 2016)
Frontali, Giusti, Neill, Nuccio, Coro Lirico Marchigiano V. Bellini,
Pueri Cantores D. Zamberletti, Complesso di palcoscenico Banda "Salvadei", Marchigiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Frizza

Dynamic DYN-37767 [DVD]

The winner of the Compoamor Prize as Best 2015 Production, this Otello - a Macerata Opera Festival and Festival Castell de Peralada coproduction - was entrusted to a star of the current direction firmament, the Spanish director and set designer Paco Azorin, and conducted by Riccardo Frizza. Frizza gives back to this Verdi score all its beauty, its refined orchestral and harmonic writing, while leading the singers with confidence: the solid Othello of the American tenor Stuart Neill, an imposing figure and a very interesting voice, rich in nuances; the lyrical Desdemona of Jessica Nuccio, debuting in this role; and the excellent Jago of Roberto Frontali, a fine singer and charismatic actor. Azorin's direction cleverly employs the length and breadth of the great stage of the Arena Sferisterio, also thanks to an inspiring use of lighting and projections.

Opus Arte

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SHAKESPEARE, W.: King Lear (Royal Shakespeare Company, 2016)
Various Artists
Opus Arte OABD7203D [Blu-ray] | OA1232D [DVD]

King Lear has ruled for many years. As age begins to overtake him, he decides to divide his kingdom amongst his children, living out his days without the burden of power. A proud man, he allows vanity to cloud his judgement, believing that he can relinquish the crown, but enjoy the same authority and respect he has always known. Misjudging his children's loyalty, he soon finds himself stripped of all the trappings of state, wealth and power he had taken for granted. Alone in the wilderness he is left to confront the mistakes of a life that has brought him to this point. Following his performance as Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's great 20th century American tragedy Death of a Salesman, Antony Sher returns to play King Lear, one of the greatest parts written by Shakespeare.

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