In addition to its own wide-reaching monthly new releases (see 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.
Launched in 2011, ICA Classics has established a reputation as a high quality record label, dedicated to releasing both archive and more recent material from such sources as the BBC, WDR Cologne, SWR Stuttgart, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, The State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia ‘Evegeny Svetlanov’ with Vladimir Jurowski and rare archives held by the Richard Itter Collection. ICA Classics also specialises in anthologies of great artists, the most recent being A Tribute to Rudolf Barshai (20 CDs). The ICA team has also been instrumental in the success of many audio productions including the origination of the BBC Legends archive label launched in 1998 and revived again with two recent boxes BBC Legends Vol. 1 (20 CDs) and Vol. 2 (20 CDs). In the digital domain ICA Classics partners the world’s leading digital platform for broadcasting live concerts via the internet – medici.tv – in proving artistic services and programming.
This previously unreleased live recording of Jacqueline du Pré playing the Schumann Cello Concerto is her first public performance of the work, given in the Royal Festival Hall on 12 December 1962, and praised by Mstislav Rostropovich as the ‘most perfect Schumann’ he has ever heard. The 1962 Edinburgh Festival live performance of the Dvořák Cello Concerto by Rostropovich, also previously unreleased, was described by The Times as an ‘exciting’ and ‘emotionally supercharged interpretation’ with Giulini’s conducting ‘full of finely wrought points of detail’.
More New Releases and Bestsellers from ICA Classics
ICA Classics is offering you FREE Download of Herbert von Karajan’s historic recording of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony, conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Please scroll down to the end of this page for details.
Zhi-Jong Wang and the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Thomas Sanderling, dedicate themselves to the violin concertos by Jean Sibelius and Igor Stravinsky, composed almost thirty years apart. In the contrasts of these two concertos, the virtuoso and inspiring interpretation of the Chinese violinist reveals something amazingly unifying. Wang is considered one of the most promising violinists of her generation and continues to receive increasing international attention.
Ivan Repušic made his debut as chief conductor of the Münchner Rundfunkorchester on September 2017 with a concert performance of Verdi’s opera Luisa Miller. This operatic masterpiece was written in Paris and Busseto, and premiered in Naples in 1849. After its successful premiere, the work soon established itself and has remained a fixed part of the international opera repertoire. This performance, recorded in Munich’s Prinzregententheater, features Marina Rebeka in the challenging title role – sung with technical perfection, giving it a sparkling vocal splendour.
Il Tabarro was the first work in Puccini’s operatic triptych known as Il Trittico, the other two operas being Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. This year marks the centenary of Il Tabarro’s first performance, in December 1918. Redolent of the French settings of Puccini’s two previous successes, La Bohème and Manon Lescaut, the action is centered on a barge on the River Seine in Paris: the atmosphere, dark and brooding, leads to violence and a murderous conclusion. Conductor Bertrand de Billy knows how to make the score come alive with a fantastic cast on his side.
This disc exudes a kaleidoscope of colours and moods while showering listeners with attractive melodies in a program of music by James M. Stephenson. The title track, Liquid Melancholy (concerto for clarinet and orchestra), explores the instrument’s fluid lyricism and vast tonal and expressive range. Colors, for the novel palette of clarinet, oboe and string quartet, evokes an angry Red, bluesy Blue, rustic Green and brilliant White. Stephenson’s virtuosic four-movement Sonata for Clarinet and Piano is dedicated to John Bruce Yeh, who gave its concert premiere.
Bent Sørensen’s music can feel like the product of a dream, at once vague and precise, present and intangible. With Rosenbad and Pantomime, the recording of Sørensen’s trilogy Papillons is complete. This is music filled with the ebb and flow of fear, hope and nostalgia and unified by common musical material through the same anchoring piano part across its movements. All works including the Fantasia Appassionata for solo piano are written for Katrine Gislinge, one of the most significant pianists in Scandinavia, here accompanied by Esbjerg Ensemble and the Stenhammar Quartet.
This delightful and lighthearted album features virtuoso clarinetist David Shifrin performing Carl Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto in a newly arranged accompaniment for chamber orchestra. The dramatic work unfolds unpredictably in short, contrasting episodes that allow the soloist to explore a range of moods and colors. Written for his children, the 6 Humorous Bagatelles radiate good humor and adventure. Nielsen’s early Fantasy Pieces with their varying moods and harmonic twists reveal his romantic side, and the Serenata in Vano for wind quintet shows off Nielsen’s affinity for wind instruments and his quirky, playful sensibility.
The Rosary Prayer (Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries) circulated in the Middle Ages in Europe inspired the greatest artists to create works that are admired to this day, including Zieleński’s own. The founder and conductor of the ensemble La Tempesta, Jakub Burzyński has undertaken a most remarkable musicological feat, with the intention of optimally reconstructing the richness of the texture and the style of Zieleński’s music, while at the same time preserving the sound of the epoch as faithfully as possible.
The Bach Choir Salzburg was founded in 1983 and soon came to prominence as one of Austria’s leading vocal ensembles. During the last decade it has additionally acquired an international reputation. Since 2003 its artistic director has been Alois Glaßner. With this release, Rejoice, featuring organist Wolfgang Kogert, the Bach Choir presents selected works for choir and organ, including the eponymous Rejoice with the lamb, Op. 30 by Benjamin Britten, O sacrum convivium by Olivier Messiaen, Charles Ives’ Psalm 135, and more. The great stylistic diversity of one of the leading Austrian vocal ensembles comes into its own with this release.
This is the final volume of Kemp English’s pioneering world premiere recording of Leopold Koželuch’s complete solo keyboard sonatas. It is played, once again, on appropriate authentic instruments and charts just how profoundly Koželuch’s style changed over the decades, from the charming early Sonata No. 47 for harpsichord to the three late romantic sonatas. The virtuosic Sonata No. 49, with its pedal effects and extended compass, shows techniques derived from the English Piano School and in the final sonata he encapsulates to perfection the sound world of early 19th-century Vienna.
San Teodoro 8 was inspired by the Italian composer Giancinto Scelsi. The majority of his work is based on self-recorded tapes, which he later had transcribed. Those until now rarely explored recordings are the source and also part of San Teodoro 8. Uli Fussenegger has put them together to a new many-voiced composition. In a live-performance, Ernesto Molinari, Martin Siewert, Mike Svoboda, and Uli Fussenegger himself have generated an unexpected perspective out of this historic sound material.
The two violin concertos of Béla Bartók, completed thirty years apart in 1908 and 1938 respectively, celebrated relationships with two Hungarian violinists. The First Concerto was published posthumously after the composer’s death in 1956, but Bartók reused the opening movement as the first of his Two Portraits for orchestra. He completed two movements that portray the character of Stefi Geyer to whom the work was written to. Completed towards the end of 1938, Bartók’s three-movement Second Concerto was much more substantial than the first and it was dedicated ‘to my dear friend Zoltán Székely’.
A drama otherwise reserved for the concert hall comes across admirably here: the well-known early-19th-century works sound like new, which is a compliment to their interpreters. Widmann’s two early works, now a part of his own history, turn out to be good, even exhilarating, listening. Inspired by the young composer’s disco nights, 180 Beats goes well with the fascinating Fantasie, played by the composer himself, which effortlessly surmounts the limits seemingly set on the harmonies of a monophonic wind instrument.
The GRAMMY®-nominated, ECHO Award-winning Danish National Vocal Ensemble under the direction of Marcus Creed have selected a program showcasing the works of Frank Martin and Bohuslav Martinů. The centerpiece of this album is Martin’s Mass for Double Choir. Originally completed in 1926, Martin did not allow the work to be performed until 1963. After its premiere he explained: ‘I felt that a personal expression of religious belief should remain secret and hidden from public opinion.’ Thankfully Martin decided to share his secret, and his Mass has become one of the most powerful works composed for a cappella choir.
Pianist Biliana Tzinlikova interprets pieces by Louise Farrenc, a genius composer of the nineteenth century. Farrenc’s music contains the classical spirit, the feelings of Romanticism, and the ‘Esprit de France.’ These first recordings allow encounters with the great art of entertaining variation, which Madame Farrenc mastered perfectly. Tzinlikova was born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1974. She has been a professor at the University Mozarteum Salzburg since 2001.
As a composer Hans Sommer became well known for his songs and especially for his operas. His final compositions, which are centered mainly on Goethe’s texts, serve as a message to posterity, advocating an intellectual mindset that, throughout his life, was rooted in Naturphilosophie, a philosophical approach to nature that flourished in the German-speaking world in the early 19th century. The selection of texts furthermore bears eloquent testimony to Sommer’s loneliness in his final years and the unwavering “optimism of an incorrigible idealist”.
This album presents a fantastic journey around the globe, featuring solo violin works inspired by the composers’ own ethnic heritage and expresses a variety of musical cultures and performance techniques. Popular pieces include J.S. Bach’s Chaconne and Paganini’s 24th Caprice, as well as two new works commissioned for this program by Indian composer Shirish Korde and Native American composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate. Irina Muresanu received the ‘Creative and Performing Arts Award’ by the University of Maryland in 2016 for this programme.
This album features musical compositions that pay tribute to the diverse aspects of motherhood, from the sacred Ave Maria to the saucy Mrs. Robinson, and everything in between. Motherhood, perhaps the prototype of creation, has compelled us to utilize our full creative potentialities as arrangers and interpreters. Queens and saints, homemakers and lawmakers, scientists and artists, goddesses and mortals: the rich complexity of motherhood inspires this musical tribute.
Herbert Joos has called his orchestra suite, which he premiered on the occasion of being awarded the 2017 Baden-Wurttemberg Jazz Prize for Lifetime Achievement, Change of Beauty – an insight to his dazzling career as a musician. The trumpeter, flugelhorn player and composer appeared on the jazz scene at a time when certainties were crumbling. Born in 1940 and influenced by musical individualists like Miles Davis, Chet Baker, and Billie Holiday, Joos first learned the craft of imitation in ensembles such as the Modern Jazz Quintet Karlsruhe, but at the same time experienced the beginnings of the aesthetic resistance.
Italian composer and violinist Virgilio Ranzato was a prolific and multifaceted musician. He composed symphonic poems, chamber and orchestra music, danceable songs, soundtracks, one opera and twenty operettas. In this album Paolo Mora and Milo Martani address the composer’s vast repertoire for violin and piano duet – delivering a cross-section of the most interesting themes in music literature during Ranzato’s lifetime.
These are digital remasters of original analogue recordings made in 1979 and 1980. The Bells was inspired by a free translation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Bells by Russian poet Konstantin Balmont. Rachmaninov initially referred to it as his Third Symphony and he never stopped regarding it as his finest and favourite work. The tone poem The Isle of the Dead was inspired by Swiss symbolist artist Arnold Böcklin’s best-known painting of the same title. The common thread that can be heard throughout both pieces is the use of the Gregorian plainchant, Dies Irae, used as an allusion to death.
Nijinsky is the title of this “choreographic approach” to a dance phenomenon that has been part of Neumeier’s life ever since the beginning of his career. During his approximately ten years as a dancer, Vaslav Nijinsky set a new standard both technically and expressively, while in his choreographic work he pointed the way towards modern dance. Neumeier, who as early as 1979 presented a short ballet Vaslav, is regarded as one of the leading Nijinsky experts worldwide. Nevertheless, it was not without reluctance that he took up the task of honouring a dance legend.
Premiered in 1827, Donizetti’s opera Il Borgomastro di Saardam enjoyed initial success with its Naples audiences, but subsequently failed to establish itself in the repertoire. It fell into oblivion following performances in Budapest in 1839 and was revived only in 1973. This recording is of a performance staged at Bergamo’s Teatro Sociale as part of the 2017 Donizetti Festival in a new critical edition made for the Donizetti Foundation by Alberto Sonzogni. Stage direction is in the hands of the internationally-renowned film director Davide Ferrario, while conductor Roberto Rizzi Brignoli leads a strong cast headed by the celebrated bass Andrea Concetti.
Also available on CD (CDS7812.02) and Blu-ray (DYN-57812).
This collection showcases Marianela Nuñez’s exceptional mastery in four quintessential roles. In Swan Lake, she brings to life the beautifully tragic Odette and her rival Odile. She perfectly portrays the young lover Lise in La Fille mal gardée, and brings bravura and vivacity to the role of Kitri in Carlos Acosta’s production of the classical Don Quixote. She is transcendent as Giselle, one of the most challenging and demanding roles in the repertory. With peerless technical skill and compelling performances by the whole company, this collection celebrates an exceptional dancer in her prime.
ICA Classics is offering Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 conducted by Herbert von Karajan, excerpts of the 2-CD set of the exact concert that took place at the Royal Festival Hall on 6 April 1962. The Bruckner symphony received great acclaim with critic Donald Mitchell writing, “London has not heard a Bruckner performance of this quality for years.” He went on to add that the music-making was “undoubtedly touched by interpretative genius.”
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