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.
The award-winning label CD Accord was established in 1996 to create a Polish phonographic label of the highest artistic quality both in terms of recording and editorial content. CD Accord records the most distinguished Polish chamber ensembles, choruses, and symphonic orchestras. Important repertoire of the label includes music by Jarzebski, Chopin, Wieniawski, Moniuszko, Karlowicz, Szymanowski, Bacewicz, Lutoslawski, Panufnik, Penderecki, Kilar, Górecki, and Szymanski. The label has also released Music of the first Commonwealth series featuring Gorczycki, Mielczewski, Pekiel, Szarzynski, Zebrowski, and Zielenski.
CD Accord recordings have received prestigious national and international awards and distinctions, such as the Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry Fryderyk Award, Studio Magazines Record of the Year as well as nominations from leading foreign phonographic magazines including BBC Music Magazine, Gramophone, Diapason, Les Disques, and the Choc de Monde de la Musique Award.
The Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, who passed away at home in Krakow on 29 March at the page of 86, was one of the most esteemed composers of our time. Presented in this programme are two of his large-scale compositions—his Symphony No. 6 and Clarinet Concerto. His views concerning the desacralisation of nature gave rise to the idea of Symphony No. 6, which originally received the subtitle Elegy for a Dying Forest. One more key work is his one-movement Clarinet Concerto that displays two opposing emotional worlds manifesting themselves alternately as Lento – Vivace – Lento – Vivo – Lento. Despite the distance of more than 30 years that separates the Clarinet Concerto from Symphony No. 6, these two works are evidence of a shift in Krzysztof Penderecki’s artistic stance—a shift from monumentalism to an intimate and internally lucid type of musical expression.
Additional Exciting New Releases and Bestsellers from CD Accord
Son Real is one of London’s most innovative and contemporary Latin bands today. Founded in January 2006 by Latin Touch Entertainments, Son Real aims to create a fresh sound representative of the UK’s love affair with the ‘Latin spirit’. Musically, Son Real Orchestra is a collaboration between British and Colombian musicians. Their style is modern yet remains true to traditional tropical roots: salsa in all of its variations, traditional folk rhythms like cumbia and plena, the infectious sounds of merengue and urban Latin beats like reggaeton. Son Real’s charm lies in its enthralling rhythms which capture their audiences leaving them yearning for more.
This new release includes four string quartets by the Czech composer Jaroslav Krček. The first quartet was written in 2017 at the request of the Czech Philharmonic Quartet. The joyful performance of this piece inspired the composer to write his next two quartets. The fourth is inspired by Leoš Janáček.
The Czech Philharmonic Quartet was founded in 2000 as the initiative of Czech Philharmonic members. Its members are: Štepán Pražák (first violin), Viktor Mazácek (second violin), Jirí Poslední and Jakub Dvořák (violoncello). Their sound has been highly awarded by critics, and revered by fans. They appear regularly in Czech festivals and concerts and also in Japan, Israel, China, Great Britain or Germany.
To follow the release of its November 2015 recording of Das Rheingold—the ‘preliminary evening’ of Richard Wagner’s cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen—BR-Klassik now continues the cycle with The Valkyrie. The concert performances were recorded between January 29 and February 10, 2019 in the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residenz. With his Rheingold, Sir Simon Rattle has already decisively disproved the longstanding claim that he and Wagner were unsuited to one another. This next collaboration between the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and the British conductor—with his white curls, wisdom, and confident pose on the cover—not only features a team of first-rate Wagner singers but also reveals once again how well Rattle understands and interprets Wagner’s music.
Scored for 24 unaccompanied voices, Anonymous Man is an hour-long piece that expands on Michael Gordon’s eclectic approach to composition, layering minimalistic swirls of vocal sound on top of one another to create a hypnotic incantation.
Gordon drew inspiration for the piece from his neighbourhood in lower Manhattan. ‘When I moved into my loft on Desbrosses Street, the streets were empty, since few people lived there. But both then and now, there were the homeless. Over time, the neighbourhood changed from an industrial warehouse district to a residential area. Anonymous Man is a memoir about my block. The piece is built around my memories of moving in, meeting my future wife for the first time there, and the conversations I’ve had with two men who made their home on the loading dock across the street.’
‘I just heard your wonderful Sinfonietta: hope this is the beginning of your American success,’ wrote Arnold Schönberg to Zemlinsky. But Zemlinsky was already suffering from the effects of a stroke and died alone in New York just a few days later. In his Sinfonietta, Op. 24 (1934) he reused a short theme from the last of his Maeterlinck-Songs, Op. 13 (1913), ‘Wohin gehst Du?’ (Where are you going?), a theme of self-doubts and farewell from a time when Zemlinsky was beginning to observe growing anti-Jewish sentiments in Vienna. The Maeterlinck-Songs were praised as ‘the centre of his output’ by Theodor Adorno, and transport the listener to a mystic world concerned with life, evanescence and death.
Two-time GRAMMY nominee harpsichordist Jory Vinikour plays historically groundbreaking works by François Couperin (1668–1733) on an album comprising three inventive Couperin suites—the composer called them Ordres—combining traditional French Baroque dance movements with witty and atmospheric character pieces—miniature tone poems for solo harpsichord. Couperin’s suites ‘are elegantly composed, concealing a complex, allusive and varied emotional world behind their highly wrought surface’ (Norton Grove Concise Encyclopedia of Music). Highlights include the celebrated Les Baricades Mistérieuses from Ordre No. 6, which England’s The Guardian calls ‘shimmering, kaleidoscopic and seductive, a sonic trompe l’oeil.’ The compelling Les Amusemens from Ordre No. 7 is irresistibly sweet and melancholic. Order No. 8 offers masterful examples of established forms, culminating with a dramatic Passacaille.
This recording was made to accompany the Educate·S educational sheet music series of newly written compositions for children and young people, published by the Danish music publisher Edition·S.
The series originates from a desire to follow the early compositional style and tradition where pedagogical considerations and artistic ambitions are embedded in the compositions for the comprehensive and holistic musical development of the students. This method offers students new musical experiences and realisations. With the Educate•S series, leading Danish composers have been invited to write new pieces that would introduce students to music that embraces the musical horizons and tonal worlds offered by contemporary composers.
Xiaogang Ye has been widely acclaimed in recent decades as one of China’s leading contemporary composers. His music has gained worldwide exposure, having been performed by many of the world’s top orchestras, ensembles and soloists in famous venues. This is the first Delos album devoted exclusively to his works. The intriguing chamber music offered here explores a number of Chinese themes. A pair of works explores the traditional symbolism of flowering plants in China, and three others capture the deep mysticism of holy lakes in Tibet as well as Tibetan Buddhist practices. Ye often explores the timbral contrasts between Western and traditional Asian instruments, and two of these pieces are given distinct Chinese flavours by including the Zheng (or Chinese zither) among the Western instruments played by the marvellous French ensemble, Les Temps Modernes.
The growing national consciousness of the European peoples in the 19th century led to numerous innovations and changes in many countries that had hitherto held onto the artistic models of Central and Western Europe. In the case of Czechoslovakia in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, Antonín Dvořák is, besides Bedřich Smetana and Josef Suk, probably the composer that first comes to mind who masterfully understood how to weave into their works the essence of the popular folk songs and dances. Thomas Albertus Irnberger, violin, Pavel Kašpar, piano, and David Geringas, cello, present the four piano trios by Dvořák as well as the piano trios by Smetana and Suk on this 3-album set.
The rediscovered composer Emanuel Moór (1863–1931) belonged to a generation of composers who grew up with the romantic music of Brahms, Schumann, Wagner, and Debussy, but were then confronted with the new challenges of modernism around 1900. Reflecting his friendship with the famous cellist Pablo Casals, he composed numerous works for cello.
This recording highlights various stages in that friendship with Pablo Casals. Moór’s Sonata No. 2, Op. 53 was written in 1901, before the two met. The Double Concerto, Op. 69, written for Pablo and Guilhermina Casals, was well received at the time. The Suite for 4 Cellos, Op. 95 was commissioned by Pablo Casals.
This release by the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Modestas Pitrėnas includes the complete surviving symphonic oeuvre of the great Lithuanian composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875–1911) restored back into their original versions. Čiurlionis was conceptually ahead of his time and the uniqueness and aesthetic value of his compositions have been fully understood only during the last decades.
Čiurlionis is particularly known as a painter who gave titles related to music in his paintings, but he wrote an impressive catalogue of at least over 340 music compositions, including 10 orchestral works. His symphonic poems In the Forest (1900–1901) and The Sea (1903–1907) remain the cornerstones of the Lithuanian symphonic repertoire.
Not many masterpieces have premiered at the Vienna State Opera. Die Frau ohne Schatten—the fourth collaboration between Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal—is one of the few exceptions.
On the evening of 25 May 2019, a star-studded festival premiere of Richard Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten took place at the Vienna State Opera to mark the 150th anniversary of the opera house’s opening. Together with his librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Richard Strauss and the director of the opera house at the time developed a fairy tale, complex and psychologically discriminating work that received its world premiere a hundred years ago, on 10 October 1919 at the Opera on the Ring. Since then, Die Frau ohne Schatten has enjoyed a rich performance history and is regarded as a special highlight of Viennese and international music theatre.
In recording these, the earliest revelations of Schubert’s boundless lyricism in his early romantic compositional voice as applied to instrumental chamber music, Zachary Carrettín and Mina Gajić sought to pay homage to the original intent as well as the authentic sounds. The Sonatinas, (a posthumous title), were written for the music of the chamber, a time of gathering, sharing, and delighting in the discoveries, creations, and talents of others. The Sonatinas are a revealing view of the birth of Schubert’s romantic voice. Whether the sturm und drang of the G Minor and its Haydn-esque drama, the early Beethovenian poise, manner, and delight in the D Major, or the unabashed dramatic and unapologetic severity in the A Minor, (Lord Byron’s Manfred was written the same year!), these works show us young Schubert’s boundless expressive spirit.
In recording Ludwig van Beethoven’s nine symphonies with the SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, its principal conductor Sir Roger Norrington presented a summary of his lifelong work with the composer’s music. He applied the insights of historically informed performance to a modern symphony orchestra. For Norrington, historically informed performance does not mean making exclusive use of historical instruments, but includes remaining as faithful as possible to phrasing, articulation and dynamics, and following the tempi prescribed by Beethoven himself.
During the 2002 European Music Festival, Norrington and the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart set out to prove that a modern symphony orchestra could play the nine symphonies in accordance with the most recent artistic findings. Their impressive achievement filled the Stuttgart audience with enthusiasm for its sensational and revelatory performances.
Few musicians were as versatile as the humble Brother Martini, who insisted on being called that way in spite of all the honours rendered to him in Bologna and everywhere. He is celebrated in our time as an extraordinary keeper of books, scores and paintings; in his time, he was quite famous also as an erudite musician, an expert writer of treatises, a pioneering historian, and an authentic ‘maestro’ of music. And as a composer, obviously; but of what? Of everything that pertained to a Kapellmeister and an organist: masses, motets, psalms, hymns, organ sonatas, and so on; and also harpsichord sonatas, concertos, cantatas, duets and profane arias.
Out of Giuseppe Verdi’s adoration for William Shakespeare three masterpieces were born: Macbeth, Otello and, as a musical testament, his only comedy Falstaff. But in accordance with its librettist Arrigo Boito’s wish to remove the original bourgeois farce The Merry Wives of Windsor out of the English mists and to warm it up to the clear Tuscan sun, Falstaff transforms Shakespeare’s morality play into an ode to life, to pleasure and to reconciliation that forgives human vices, rewards intelligence and virtue, and praises that spark of madness that gives life its flavour. Shakespeare’s most famous and subversive comic character has indeed proved to be a fertile ground for Verdi, who, then eighty-years old, signed with Falstaff, his most modern, most ambitious, but also wisest and ambiguous opera.
A century to the day after the orchestra’s first concert on 24th October 1919, the centennial season culminated in a ‘splashy gala night’ (San Francisco Classical Voice) at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with the current and former chief conductors Dudamel, Mehta, and Salonen sharing the podium. The repertoire is a true reflection of the DNA that makes the LA Phil the LA Phil and ‘the defining factor of this orchestra is its ability to blend genres and styles to create totally new takes on classical works.’ (The Guardian) The New York Times recently called the LA Phil ‘America’s most important orchestra. Period’. This release also includes the bonus film LA Phil – The Tradition of the New. The documentary portrays the LA Phil and its continual creative reinvention on the occasion of this jubilee.
After his Neapolitan training, Gaspare Spontini settled in Paris for a few years, where he was nominated ‘compositeur particulier de la chambre’ of Empress Josephine, Napoleon’s wife. It was indeed Napoleon who commissioned Spontini to write the opera Fernand Cortez, ou La conquête du Mexique in 1808 and attended the premiere on 28 November 1809.
This production is a recording of the first performance in modern times of the original 1809 version. It was recorded in October 2019, exactly 500 years after Cortez’s first arrival in Mexico. Fernand Cortez far transcends the limits of an occasional celebrative work. To quote conductor Jean-Luc Tingaud: ‘Spontini is between two worlds, the Ancien Régime and the French tragédie lyrique … But he invented a new style which would have been greatly admired by Wagner and Berlioz which opens the door to the romantic opera, which comes after.’
The collaboration of the poet John Dryden and Henry Purcell marked a conspicuous leap forward for English opera. Their greatest project, King Arthur, is a five-act ‘dramatick opera’, the text of which had its origins in a patriotic musical play Dryden had written in 1684 but which he radically overhauled. The result was a work that appealed to the audience’s enthusiasm for fine costumes, lavish sets, ingenious stage machinery and a cast of singers, dancers and instrumentalists, containing vocal show-stoppers such as the imperishable Frost Scene and Fairest isle. This critically acclaimed staging uses a new performing edition by René Jacobs, and is sung in English with German dialogue.
Idomeneo is regarded by many as Mozart’s first masterpiece for the opera house. It was his third venture into opera seria and demolished the genre’s traditional boundaries, paving the way for lyric drama. Robert Carsen’s ‘politically poetic staging’ (Opera News), set in present-day Crete, features a first-rate cast that includes American tenor Eric Cutler in the title role; he’s widely admired for his bel canto performances, especially in Mozart's operas. All aspects of this Teatro Real production met with universal acclaim, not least its musical direction: ‘Conductor Ivor Bolton, Music Director of the house, is a guarantee of success, especially when it comes to Mozart. And he has proved it once again with an excellent, lively reading. The Teatro Real orchestra, as always, was outstanding, and so too was the chorus.’ (Seen and Heard International)
CD Accord recordings are produced by top sound-recording engineers in the newest digital technology on equipment of the latest generation. This month, CD Accord offers you an opportunity to experience these award-winning recordings. Download and enjoy!
Scheduled Service Outage Notice:
We will be doing our server maintenance on Saturday, October 26, 2019 (From 14:00 GMT to 15:00 GMT); 10:00 EDT to 11:00 EDT). Server interruption is expected and when it occurs, you may occasionally see messages like "connection reset", "cannot find server" or "page cannot be displayed" on the website. Service on Naxos may be affected at these times.