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.
Dacapo Records is the Danish national label for classical and new music, founded in 1989 and supported by the Danish Arts Foundation. With a focus on Danish composers, Dacapo works to support the Danish music scene and promote its composers abroad. The label collaborates not only with the best Danish and Nordic artists but also with international top ensembles such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the London Sinfonietta and the Kronos Quartet to present releases of the highest quality. As a result, Dacapo’s releases are frequently nominated for the most influential international awards.
Not known to many today, Svend Erik Tarp (1908–1994) was one of the most prominent Danish composers of his time, boasting a large and versatile body of work which more or less has survived in obscurity. This series now sheds new light on a selection of Tarp’s orchestral works, opening chronologically with some suites, overtures, and two small concertos. These are early and charming works that show a development from the elegant and easily accessible towards a more clarified neoclassicist style, which later became one of Tarp’s hallmarks. This is the first of three albums in the set which will focus on Tarp’s orchestral music.
Dacapo is offering you a FREE Download of Carl Nielsen’s three solo concertos for violin, flute, and clarinet performed by Nikolaj Znaider, Robert Langevin, and Anthony McGill as soloists with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Alan Gilbert. Please scroll down to the end of this page for details.
Emperor Joseph II commissioned and set up both Salieri and Mozart in a contest to write music involving two operatic styles, Italian and German (Singspiel). It was premiered at a magnificent gala at Schönbrunn in 1786. The musical contest produced no outright winner – singers and composers involved are the crème de la crème of that time.
Salieri’s stature as an opera composer was abundantly demonstrated by Nikolaus Harnoncourt when he conducted Prima la musica at the Mozart Week Festival in Salzburg in 2002 – but at no point was Mozart’s own reputation impugned in consequence. The performance of both works is captured on this new release.
After the performance of Bruckner’s Seventh, the importance of Bruckner in the world of music had been recognized. The Austrian emperor awarded him the Order of Franz Joseph which consequently filled him with pride that boosted his self-confidence. He set up to work on his Eighth Symphony, and after three years, he completed it in August 1887. The extraordinary success of its premiere in 1892 makes it an integral part of the symphonic repertoire, however, it continues to present a huge challenge to performers. Mariss Jansons and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks are more than equal to the extraordinary demands made by this masterpiece.
“I have given every operetta the style demanded by the space and time in which it is set.” (Eduard Künneke) Driven by success, Künneke committed himself to the genre of the operetta in the 1920s and 1930s. The diversity of his many operettas reveals Künneke’s enormous adaptability to the stylistic currents of entertainment music at that time. He had most international success with Der Vetter aus Dingsda (1921), with which Künneke has almost exclusively been identified up to today. Herz über Bord was premiered in 1935, initially at the Zürich Opera and was performed almost 500 times between 1935 and 1937.
Soprano Patrice Michaels and collaborative pianist extraordinaire Kuang-Hao Huang offer Notorious RBG in Song, an album saluting the life and work of legal pioneer Ruth Bader Ginsburg in celebration of her completion of 25 years on the United States Supreme Court. Ginsburg, a longtime crusader for equal rights, has become a pop culture icon known as “Notorious RBG.” Michaels’ nine-song cycle, The Long View, illuminates key aspects of Justice Ginsburg’s personal and professional life through letters, remembrances, conversations, and even Court opinions.
In this unique Delos album, two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning composer, librettist, and producer Herschel Garfein introduces Mortality Mansions, a stunning new song cycle setting poems by former U.S. poet laureate Donald Hall. Garfein’s music effectively envelops Hall’s verses like a glove, illuminating their attendant moods, potent emotions, and stark verbal imagery. Tenor Michael Slattery performs the song cycle brilliantly, and soprano Marnie Breckenridge interprets the epilogue to devastating effect. Exceptional piano collaboration comes courtesy of Dimitri Dover.
The Sound of Weimar presents the collection of Liszt’s symphonic poems and other major orchestral works composed between 1851 and 1882. Haselböck, the reputed Lisztian, sets the performance on period instruments. These pieces were recorded using the authentic 19th-century instruments, hence the use of the word “authentic sound” in the release title. Favorite pieces include Dante and Faust Symphonies, Les Préludes, and Liszt’s transcriptions of works by Schubert.
Glinka wrote a series of delightful polkas, mazurkas, gallops and waltzes that were predominantly intended for fashionable drawing rooms and salons. He also wrote more substantial pieces such as the Grande Valsein G Major and the Polonaise in E Major which were initially scored for orchestra. Some pieces were also based on pre-existing melodies such as the Variations on a Theme of Mozart, which is inspired by a melody drawn from Die Zauberflote and the attractive Tarantella in A Minor, a rhythmic adaptation of the Russian folk song In the field there stood a birch tree.’
“His Music has an obvious symbolist imprint that a mature listening returns in its entirety: it is a structure built with frames, where the instruments appear and vanish, the colors are tenuous and transport the listener to an amazing sound world of the interior, a suggestion that responds immediacy to our soul.” (Ettore Garzia)
In this specific monograph for KAIROS, Coluccino presents the chronological cycle of Emblema, 6 compositions for small ensemble, exemplary performed by the Ex Novo Ensemble.
The successful pairing of conductor Dmitrij Kitajenko and the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, previously heard on their recording of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies (OC027), is repeated here in Sibelius’ ever-popular Second Symphony. The work was an immediate success: it was premiered under the composer’s baton and given three more performances to sold-out houses in the following days. This release also includes two of Grieg’s own exquisite orchestrations of chamber pieces: the second of his Symphonic Dances, a relatively late work; and the second of his 2 Elegaic Melodies, Last Spring, which was played at Grieg’s funeral at the composer’s request.
Danish-born recorder player Bolette Roed interprets the music of J.S. Bach arranged by Frans Brüggen for solo recorder. Except for Partita, BWV 1013, Bach wrote relatively few works for the recorder. However, he did arrange many of his works for different instruments and could have arranged his Cello Suites and Violin Partitas for recorder had he been inspired by a talented recorder player at the time of compositions. Several recorders were chosen for this recording. The violin original keys were kept by changing the recorders accordingly. The cello suites are being played by one recorder only by transposing the original keys down a minor second.
Knappertsbusch shows great depth of vision and utmost inner confidence in his second recording of the symphony that was Bruckner’s most successful in his own lifetime: even the mighty fortissimo out-pourings resound with expressiveness. The Seventh Symphony presented here is the magnificent 1949 performance from the Salzburg Festival with the Vienna Philharmonic, and this transfer direct from the original tapes of 1963 (and not “off the air”) with the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra.
This is re-release of a bestselling SWR album. It contains major but rarely played works for piano and orchestra by Ernest Bloch, in the interpretation of Jenny Lin, who is the ideal pianist for these demanding scores. The excellent sound quality makes this album of late Romantic and neo-classicist music a great listen. Jenny Lin is one of the most respected young pianists today, admired for her adventurous programming and charismatic stage presence. “No one who has heard [her] will need to be told that Ms. Lin has a gift for melodic flow” and “remarkable technical command.” (The New York Times)
Johann Adolf Hasse was born in Bergedorf on 25 March 1699 and died in Venice on 23 December 1783. He chose Italy as his adopted country: there he was nicknamed “the dear Saxon”. He studied under Nicola Porpor and Alessandro Scarlatti, from whom he learned the composition style of the Neapolitan School. The arias presented here belong to the genre of the opera seria and have been chosen among the most representative ones in Hasse’s unpublished production, which is based on texts, most of them by Metastasio and Apostolo Zeno, that were a great source of inspiration for the major European musicians of that time.
“Always smile and always be cheerful, always satisfied, no matter what happens, smile in spite of your sorrows and a thousand aches and pains,” sings Prince Sou-Chong, thus introducing the fundamentally melancholic tone of Das Land des Lächelns” (The Land of Smiles), which even has a tragic ending in store. For the new production of this operetta, world-class tenor Piotr Beczala returned to the Opernhaus Zürich as Sou-Chong. He has an equal partner in Julia Kleiter, who plays the role of Lisa. Fabio Luisi and Andreas Homoki also know that the genre of operetta requires particular care – which is why they have assumed personal responsibility for this production.
The influential director Krzysztof Warlikowski creates an enthralling diptych that has not existed in this form before. He merges the two one-act-operas of Hungary’s greatest composer Béla Bartók and the brilliant French composer Francis Poulenc into one amazing work. A great achievement with pure emotions and passion in an excellent interpretation by the exceptional singer Barbara Hannigan in the title role of La Voix Humaine.
A film-crew in the early twentieth century, the cabaret known as Le Fol Espoir has been transformed into an amateur soundstage. The motion picture tells the story of a ship and its passengers – from the famous opera singer down to the petty criminal. The film is an optimistic political fable intended to educate the masses. There’s comedy aplenty – slapstick punches, custard pies and gags reminiscent of Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle; there’s adventure, high drama moments of great bravura, and passionate love stories.
This is one of the most beautiful and brilliant recordings of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and it’s available for the first time on video. Leonard Bernstein’s way of conducting this opera is unique and he makes orchestra and singers perform at their very best. The Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks was the only German orchestra with which Leonard Bernstein regularly collaborated for many years and it has numbered among the top ten orchestras in the world. A star cast of singers with Peter Hofmann and Hildegard Behrens in the title roles completes this exceptional semi-staged production.
Triumphantly premiered at New York’s Metropolitan Opera on 10th December 1910, La fanciulla del West brought Puccini huge international success, even though the opera was never to attain the popularity of La bohème, Madama Butterfly and Tosca. It was Puccini’s first important attempt to free himself from the traditional patterns of operatic dramaturgy, making use of surprisingly modern musical language, as recent scholars have duly pointed out. This recording documents the production staged at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples at the opening of the 2018 season, with Hugo de Ana as director and set designer, and Juraj Valčuha as conductor, both praised by audiences and critics alike.
Mozart’s final opera returns to Glyndebourne after an absence of nearly 20 years in a ‘stark, compelling and very well acted’ production directed by Claus Guth. Richard Croft sings the title role ‘with exemplary stylistic poise and tonal sweetness,’ and Anna Stéphany is a Sesto 'touchingly full of angst and remorse… with terrific élan and immaculate technical control’ in the arias (The Telegraph) – her Parto, Parto ‘simply breathtaking’ (The Guardian).
“I think in terms of the instruments themselves – I sort of creep into their souls”, said Carl Nielsen (1865-1931). His three solo concertos for violin, flute and clarinet concertos are highly characteristic and expressive works that show how Nielsen developed as a composer, increasingly distancing himself from the classical conventions. This new recording by New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert concludes the acclaimed Nielsen Project with soloists Nikolaj Znaider, Robert Langevin and Anthony McGill as the soloists in vivid live recordings from Avery Fisher Hall.
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