In addition to its own wide-reaching monthly new releases (see https://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.
REUSNER, E.: Lute Music
Carpe Diem CD-16310
The works featured on this new album are by German composer Esaias Reusner (1636-1679). Reusner was a child prodigy who traveled and performed at courts across Europe with his lutenist father, Esaias senior. He released two collections of lute suites, Deliciae testudinis, and Neue Lauten-fruchte. These pieces are taken from the latter and performed by world-renowned Japanese lutenist, Toyohiko Satoh. Satoh gave his first public recital in Tokyo in 1965, and moved to Europe shortly after. He studied lute with Eugen Muller-Dombois at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland.
PĘKIEL, B.: Missa secunda / Ave Maria / Sub tuum praesidium / Assumpta est Maria / Missa pulcherrima / Magnum nomen Domini
Bartnik, Gocman, Král, Nosek, Venner, Kosendiak
CD Accord CDAccordACD222
Bartlomiej Pękiel has two main characteristics of his compositional style, the first being his masterly exploitation of polyphonic techniques and the second, his fluency in exploiting the Baroque language's musical rhetorical figures serving to underline the essence of spoken texts. The works on this release showcase Pękiel's unique style and prove that within a style associated with tradition, it is possible to create similar yet distinct works like the lesser known Missa Secunda and the famous Missa Pulcherrima.
Secco, Stefano - PUCCINI, G. / VERDI, G. / BIZET, C. / HALÉVY, F. / DONIZETTI, G. / BOITO, A. / GOUNOD, C.-F.: Crescendo
(Opera Arias - Tenor)
Bernotaitis, Secco, Kaunas State Choir, Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra, Orbelian
This release is tenor Stefano Secco’s first solo album for Delos. It follows his acclaimed appearance on the label’s well-received recording of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. The programme includes an exciting collection of familiar and loved arias by Puccini, Bizet, Donizetti, Verdi, Halevy, Boito, and Gounod. In these varied styles, ranging from bel canto to verismo, Secco displays his vocal and interpretive flexibility. Under the direction of Constantine Orbelian, Delos’ resident maestro, the Kaunas City Symphony and Caunas State Choir collaborate with Secco for these songs.
CORELLI, A. / VALENTINI, G. / LOCATELLI, P. / CASTRUCCI, P. / GEMINIANI, F.: Concerti Romani (Concerto Grosso)
Arcangelo Corelli was the most prominent figure of Rome’s instrumental music school in the years spanning the end of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth. The violinist and composer Giuseppe Valentini was an equally significant figure on the Roman music scene during the first decades of the 1700s. His creative style may have appeared bizarre at times, but it left ample room for the open display of violin virtuosity. Antonio Locatelli lived in Rome during his formative years and was an acquaintance of Giuseppe Valentini. The only musician featured in this programme who was actually born in Rome is Pietro Castrucci. He was a pupil of Arcangelo Corelli and quickly gained reputation as a violinist.
This CD would not be complete without a concerto grosso by Francesco Geminiani, one of the greatest 18th-century Italian composers. A highly celebrated violinist and teacher, he was the son of a violinist and studied in Rome with Alessandro Scarlatti, with the Milanese violinist Ambrogio Lonati and, possibly, with Arcangelo Corelli.
BRAHMS, J.: Piano Sonata No. 3 / 16 Variations in F-Sharp Minor on a Theme by R. Schumann / Scherzo
This is the first album of pianist Gabriele Carcano featuring the early works by Brahms. A recipient of the 2010 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship Award, he is equally at home in recital as a soloist with orchestras, and as a chamber musician. Praised by the Süddeutsche Zeitung as a "sculptor of sound" and "aesthete" after his Munich debut at the Herkulessaal, Gabriele is the winner of numerous awards including the Casella Prize at the Competition Premio Venezia where he made his debut at Teatro La Fenice.
OREFICE, G: Arie da Camera (Vocal Music)
A great literary, humanist, teacher, and composer, Giacomo Orefice was a prominent figure of early twentieth century Italian music. His artistic activities are considered a sign of sacred respect for the Italic art, taking place during a time when foreign arts were overpowering it. This collection of chamber music arias utilizes texts from poets, which include Nievo, Carducci, and D’Annunzio. Tenor Giuseppe Veneziano is joined by veritable pianist Adriano Bassi to create these vivid atmospheres painted by the eclectic maestro.
GREAT ARIAS: O LET ME WEEP - Famous Baroque Arias and Scenes
Daniels, Horne, Kenny, Murray, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, English National Opera Orchestra, San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Behr, Bicket, Bolton, Hickox, Kok, Mackerras
Arthaus Musik 109239 [Blu-ray] | 109238 [DVD]
This collection of famous arias and scenes, opera’s finest, most brilliant moments, will dazzle opera lovers and newcomers alike. The arias and scenes are each presented and performed by the most renowned and acclaimed artists of the opera stage, such as Dame Joan Sutherland, Kiri Te Kanawa, Eva Marton, Marilyn Horne, Angela Gheorghiu, Anna Netrebko, Christine Schäfer, Anne Sofie von Otter, Natalie Dessay, Roberto Alagna, Bryn Terfel, René Kollo, Philip Langridge, Yuri Marusin, Thomas Hampson and José Van Dam. Their performances are selected from live recordings of acclaimed productions of key works in the operatic repertoire, and each sequence is preceded by a short contextual introduction by the featured singer.
Famous Baroque Arias and Scenes is both a visually exciting introduction for new viewers to opera and a unique opportunity to see great singers talking to camera and then performing roles for which they are famous. It features the works by Händel, Purcell and Vivaldi and the artists David Daniels, Marilyn Horne, Yvonne Kenny and Ann Murray.
Bel Air Classiques
Live at the Théâtre Antique d'Orange
Angelich, Argerich, Chung, Henry, Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra
Bel Air Classiques BAC132 [DVD]
This live recording was taken in the Theatre antique d’Orange in June 2015. It features the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, conducted by Myung-Whun Chung. Classic favorites bookend this concert, beginning with Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture, and ending with Saint-Saens’s Third Symphony in C Minor. Featured instrumentalists include pianists Martha Argerich, Nicholas Angelich, and organist Christophe Henry.
MOZART, W.A.: Piano Concerto No. 23 / Violin Concerto No. 5, "Turkish"
Corti, Noally, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Minkowski
C Major 736804 [Blu-ray] | 736708 [DVD]
A fascinating aspect of this recording is the usage of instruments that were once performed by Mozart himself. The Violin Concerto is performed on an instrument from the workshop of Pietro Antonio Dalla Costa, and the Piano Concerto in A Major is performed on Mozart’s own fortepiano. Mark Minkowski, principal conductor and artistic director of the Salzburg Mozart Week, conducts the Musiciens du Louvre on this release. Minkowski is also the music director of Sinfonia Varsovia, and has held the position since 2008.
MUSSORGSKY, M.: Boris Godunov (Sofia National Opera, 2014)
Alexiev, Andreev, Buchkov, Damyanov, Drobishevsky, Georgiev, Hristov, Krastev, Nevenkin, Papazikov, Petrov, Petrova, Radev, Sarambelieva, Stanchev, Tsonev, Zhekova, Sofia National Opera Ballet, Chorus and Orchestra, Chudovsky
Dynamic DYN-37718 [DVD]
Boris Godunov was performed for the first time in the open air in front of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia in 2014. This spectacular production, performed 90 years after the cathedral’s consecration, was conceived by Plamen Kartaloff, the director of Sofia Opera and dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of the famous Bulgarian bass Boris Christoff, and the 85th anniversary of the birth of Nicolai Ghiaurov. Both artists were world-renowned for their interpretations of the role of Boris. In this production, the role is sung by the great Bulgarian bass Martin Tsonev.
DONIZETTI, G.: Poliuto (Glyndebourne, 2015)
D'Aguanno, Fabiano, Golovatenko, Marsden, Martinez, Rab, Robinson, Rose, Glyndebourne Chorus, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Mazzola
Opus Arte OABD7201D [Blu-ray] | OA1211D [DVD]
Featuring a live recording from the Glyndebourne Opera House, Lewes of the first ever professional UK staging of Donizetti’s Poliuto taken in October 2015. This masterpiece is rarely performed, but is nevertheless a masterwork that shows the magnanimous genius of this bel canto opera composer. The exhilarating American tenor Michael Fabiano sings the role of Poliuto, and fellow world-class singers Ana Maria Martinez and Igor Golovatenko round out a spectacular cast.