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.
GRAMMY® Award-winning Yarlung Records brings fresh musicians to the classical music world using minimalist audiophile recording techniques to deliver sound as close to living performance as possible. Rather than using recording studios, engineer Bob Attiyeh produces these albums in concert halls famous for their acoustics, including Walt Disney Concert Hall and Segerstrom Centre for the Arts in Los Angeles. Yarlung uses both analogue tape and high-resolution digital media for CDs made with special alloys, high resolution digital downloads including NativeDSD, and 180 Gram vinyl, mastered by Steve Hoffman.
This exceptional album recorded live in the concert is a tribute to the music of the renowned Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. For this recording, Yuko chose several Miles Davis favourites including Nardis, So What, Blue in Green, All Blues, and Milestones together with her three original compositions – Missing Miles, Ikumi’s Lullaby, and Sky with No Tears. Yuko Mabuchi’s debut recording on Yarlung, Yuko Mabuchi Trio, was a bestseller in the Yarlung catalogue and at the NativeDSD Music store.
“Yuko Mabuchi combines sexy athleticism at the piano with serious musical poetry. The young fans in the house responded to both with great enthusiasm. So did audience members in their 70s and 80s. This was a fast up tempo set resulting in thunderous applause with audience members yelling and stamping their feet for the standing ovation at the end.” – Ricky Brown
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This album takes the listener on a musical journey through Morocco. From the Berber traditions of the Rif and Atlas Mountains to the deeply spiritual Sufi music and improvised street music of Marrakech. Morocco is a land of musical riches. The tracks on this release have been curated from ARC Music’s vast catalogue of world music, and include artists like Nour Eddine, Abdesselam Damoussi, Rachid Halihal, the Altaf Gnawa Group, and many others. Julia Beyer is responsible for compiling the works on this album, and Diz Heller, once again, presents stellar mastering.
Two-time laureate of the International Smetana Piano Competition and a winner of the Bedřich Smetana Prize, Johanna Haniková studied piano playing at the Janáček Conservatoire in Ostrava with Professor Monika Tugendliebova. During her conservatoire studies, she already made her name at national as well as international competitions – 1st Prizes in the Piano Competition Prague Junior Note and at Pro Bohemia, and laureate at the Prague Conservatoire Young Pianists Competition. For this release, she has chosen a programme of well-known composers – Ludwig van Beethoven and Sergei Rachmaninov, Czech composers Bedřich Smetana and Leos Janáček, and contemporary composer and pianist Adam Skoumal.
AKA Trio is an international musical summit meeting of three world-renowned virtuosos: Antonio Forcione (Italy), Seckou Keita (Senegal), and Adriano Adewale (Brazil). Coming from three different continents – Europe, Africa, and South America – Antonio, Seckou, and Adriano grew up in three different landscapes, speaking three different languages, and were formed by three different cultures and musical traditions. All these differences have converged in AKA Trio, and the product is JOY.
Broad gestures, rich textures, and narrative sweep are vivid signatures of Alex Weiser’s music. Born and raised in New York City, Weiser composes cosmopolitan music that merges a deeply felt historical perspective with a vibrant, forward-looking creative pulse. Meditative and devotional in scope, and all the days were purple sets Yiddish and English poems to music in a song cycle that seeks out the divine while reflecting on the longing, beauty, and tumult of life. The recording also includes Three Epitaphs composed in 2016 and featuring excerpts from texts on love and life’s transience by Williams Carlos Williams, Seikilos, and Emily Dickinson.
Arnold Schoenberg described Karl Weigl as ‘one of the best composers of the old generation; one of those continuing the illustrious Viennese tradition.’ This implied that the composer remained faithful to the late-Romantic aesthetic and use of tonality, shunning the more progressive contemporary trends being explored at the turn of the 20th century, as might be found in the music of Zemlinsky, Reznicek or Franz Schmidt. Weigl’s style is well reflected in this programme that pairs the first of his six symphonies (written in 1908) with Pictures and Tales, a suite for small orchestra written in 1922.
Carl Höckh’s works are exclusively instrumental music. According to recent research, it includes several symphonies, violin sonatas, partitias, capriccios, and violin concertos. The featured works present different styles in the same form. The order in which the works on this album are arranged is not a coincidence – it partly refers (where possible) to the tonal relationships. Most interesting is the relationship between the first and the last sonata. These two works flanking the album are an interesting example of Carl Höckh’s development of form and composing inventiveness.
Anthony McGill, the New York Philharmonic’s principal clarinettist, and brother Demarre McGill, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra’s principal flutist, return to a beloved training ground, the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO), for an album of works for flute, clarinet, and orchestra featuring world-premiere recordings of specially commissioned duo concertos. The album’s title track, celebrated African-American composer Michael Abels’ Winged Creatures, was commissioned for the project by Cedille Records. Winged Creatures also features works by Joel Puckett, Franz Danzi, and Camille Saint-Saëns.
The award-winning Copenhagen Piano Quartet presents works by Friedrich Kuhlau and Otto Malling, a follow-up to their acclaimed recording of Kuhlau’s Piano Quartets Nos. 1 and 2 (6.220596) released in 2015. Piano Quartet No. 3 is a large-scale work lasting almost 40 minutes. Kuhlau declared it in 1829 as his best to date. Teaming up with Kuhlau is the charming Piano Quartet in C Minorby the ‘Danish Saint-Saëns’ Otto Malling. This work is a good example of the composer’s mature musical style; it contains drama coloured by Nordic national Romanticism and characterised by his decorative and artistic style.
1825 takes reference to the instrument of this recording, the historical double-action harp which was created in that year by the Paris firm of the Érard Brothers. The selection of works makes the emergence of an original harp style audible, which foremost consisted of a stylistic distinction between harp and piano, first made possible by the further technical development of both instruments during that time. “This release is intended as an invitation to people to immerse themselves in a world of sound unknown today and in an unfamiliar aspect of Vienna.” (Elisabeth Plank)
Distinguished Hungarian composer Sándor Balassa’s philosophy on his music is that it ‘has to be whole, beautiful, interesting and appealing; as natural as if it were this way since the beginning of time, and so that anyone can pick it up with a feeling of joy.’ Balassa’s uniquely sophisticated textures, timbres and lyrical style can be heard here in pieces for young pianists, remarkable works originally written for cimbalom, and in the Baroque references and sweeping momentum of the Sonatina No. 1. This is the first of three volumes of Balassa’s complete piano music.
This release has been sourced from the Richard Itter archive of live BBC recordings. The collection is especially important for collectors because it has never been on the market before. Following the archive’s launch in October 2017 with successive releases featuring Beecham, Bohm, Cantelli, Casadesus, Karajan, Menuhin, Monteux, du Pre, Klemperer, Rostropovich and Walter, it has received universal praise from both the classical media and record collectors for the excellent sound and performances. Carlo Maria Giulini’s celebrated studio recording of Le Nozze di Figaro was recorded in September 1959 following a live performance at the Royal Festival Hall a few days earlier.
The Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne and conductor Dmitrij Kitayenko have produced excellent album recordings. The orchestra’s June 2018 recording of Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 was named the best recording in the category of symphonic music at the International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) in 2019. Now, in this new album, Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne and Dmitrij Kitayenko present Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky, The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh by Rimsky-Korsakov, and The Enchanted Lake by Anatoly Lyadov.
Kaija Saariaho is among the most prominent names on today’s contemporary music scene. This new album by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu includes world premiere recordings of three of Saariaho’s works. True Fire is a song cycle that was commissioned jointly by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the NDR Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre National de France. It was written expressly for Gerald Finley (the soloist here) with a view to exploring the scope of the baritone voice. Ciel d’hiver joins the series of works by Saariaho that are inspired by aspects of the sky and space, while Trans for harp and orchestra, another joint commission, is the composer’s latest addition to a series of concertos. The soloist is Xavier de Maistre, who gave the first performance of the work in Tokyo in August 2016.
Johan Botha was heard at the Vienna Staatsoper a total of 222 times before his untimely death. His powerful, genuinely great voice shone like a beacon across the world of opera. Though he was mostly known as a singer of the German opera repertoire, he also had amazing success with Italian operas which are documented on this double album. Alongside partners like Krassimira Stoyanova, Violeta Urmana and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, he knew how to enthral the Vienna opera community. The present release features arias from Italian standards such as Don Carlo, Aida, Otello, Tosca, Turandot, and others.
“Is it even possible to record this sonata, this cosmos; or, in other words, is it possible to capture the atmosphere of this work on an album at all, so that it is conveyed to the listener?” asks Stefan Stroissnig in his booklet text for his new recording of Schubert’s monumental last piano sonata. “Yes, it is,” must surely be the answer after listening to his deeply personal performance of this work. One of Austria’s leading pianists grants access to his own and Schubert’s inner soul – a recording not to be missed!
This release is a new instalment in the SWR Classics Edition dedicated to Hand Rosbaud. It offers the chance to enjoy two renowned pianists – Nikita Magaloff and Hans Richter-Haaser, with Hans Rosbaud providing authoritative orchestral accompaniment. Gramophone recently remarked that Rosbaud “was one of the unsung heroes of mid-20th-century music, who… gave thoroughly rehearsed and assimilated performances and premieres of the widest possible range of music.”
Alice Babs, the Swedish singer and actress, was mostly seen by the industry as the hit-warbling “Swedish girl”. But she continued to make excursions into the realms of jazz and swing. This was also thanks to Erwin Lehn, who invited her, beginning in 1952, to sing before the microphones of his Südfunk Dance Orchestra (Südfunk-Tanzorchester). One can hear what a good choice this was on the recordings that were made on various occasions between 1952 and 1955 in Stuttgart. Each of the songs radiates the smile of her enthusiasm, which also makes Erwin Lehn’s orchestra shine acoustically.
Unlike many of his colleague, Luciano Simoni approached classical music from every possible angle. Which of them, for example, threw themselves enthusiastically into sacred music? Simoni did, and among other things produced a full-scale Missa solemnis for chorus, orchestra, and soloists. His fondness for chamber music was, of course, less unusual: he left some memorable scores such as those collected on the present album whose programme includes three of the nine quartets and one trio for strings and piano.
Riccardo Chailly pays tribute to Maurice Ravel with a programme of waltzes and wild reveries of ecstasy and elegance. He ushers us into Ravel’s musical worlds filled with ever-changing colours, scents, and flavours: the pulsating three-quarter time of waltzes that reflect just how much the Great War transformed European culture, the ancient love story of Daphnis and Chloé, and the relentless rhythms of Boléro. Magnifique!
Conducting the Wiener Philharmoniker, Andris Nelsons presents a concert night which concentrates every conceivable passion: Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Trumpet Concerto, “Nobody knows de trouble I see” performed with “technical perfection” (Kronenzeitung) by “the fantastic Håkan Hardenberger” (Salzburger Nachrichten) and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, “Resurrection”. “Nelsons proved to be delicate but hearty when interpreting Mahler.” (Wiener Zeitung) The conductor led the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to “enticingly beautiful sounds” (Die Presse). “High praise goes to the vocal soloists Ekaterina Gubanova, Lucy Crowe, and the Bavarian Broadcasting choir.” (Salzburger Nachrichten) “Standing ovation”! (Kurier)
Donizetti fans will no doubt be queuing up for this world premiere video production of his opera Il Castello di Kenilworth, first performed in 1829 and unjustly neglected ever since. The performance was recorded at last year’s Donizetti Festival and is available in CD (CDS7834.02), DVD, and Blu-ray (DYN-57834) formats; it uses the original version of the score with a tenor in the role of Wharney (the part was later revised for baritone). The production was well received by the critics, not least for the vocal and acting skills of the whole cast, headed by first-rate soprano opera stars Jessica Pratt and Carmela Remigio, and distinguished tenors Stefan Pop and Xabier Anduaga.
Swan Lake is perhaps the best-loved of all the classical ballets and has a special place in The Royal Ballet’s repertory. This new production by Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett features added choreography while remaining faithful to Petipa and Ivanov’s classic. John Mcfarlane’s opulent designs offer an atmospheric, period setting for this enthralling love story, illuminated by Tchaikovsky’s sublime score. Marianela Nuñez brings both poignancy and glitter to the dual role of Odette / Odile, with Vadim Muntagirov as the yearning Prince Seigfried, while the corps de ballet are highlighted at their spellbinding best as the enchanted swans and cygnets.
Yarlung Records attributes their success to the quality of their music and the talent of Yarlung’s musicians. Remarkable reviews from the world’s experts on classical music recognise Yarlung as one of the excellent record labels in the world today. To celebrate, Yarlung Records is offering you free downloads!
Yuko Mabuchi Plays Miles Davis
A Private Organ Recital in Walt Disney Concert Hall (Jung-A Lee)
Dialoghi (Elinor Frey)
Chalifour in Walt Disney Concert Hall (Martin Chalifour)
Obsidian (Mika Sasaki)
Art of the Sonata (Petteri Iivonen)
Suryodaya (Gupta, Roy)
Evening (David Fung)
Men of Dharamsala
Yarlung Records – 10th Anniversary
Lorraine – Bach (Hunt Lieberson, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra)
If You Love for Beauty (Sasha Cooke)
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