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.
Sono Luminus was created in 1995 when Sandy Lerner and Len Bosack, founders of Cisco Systems, a top supplier of networking tools for the Internet, decided that their expertise in digital signal processing, computational mathematics and physics would enable them to bring a new level of recording fidelity to music. Drawing upon their expertise in digital technologies as well as their love of music, they applied their experiences to realize a life-long dream: to develop and create a new paradigm for recorded sound, dedicated to the realization of true Performance Fidelity. To achieve this, Sono Luminus adopted a simple philosophy of “less is more.” Allowing for natural ambient acoustics, recorded dry, to determine optimal microphone placement. This approach has enabled Sono Luminus to garner GRAMMY® awards and nominations.
Matei Varga’s artistry has received standing ovations from audiences around the world and superlative reviews from prominent critics. Noting that “it is hard to find the right words to describe the beauty” of Mr. Varga’s playing. Corriere della Sera’s chief critic Paolo Isotta praised the young artist as a “true poet of the keyboard, a musician of depth, and a genuine artist.” Other critics have found his performances “impressive” (Gramophone), “magical” (Süddeutsche Zeitung), “colorful, vivacious [and] engaging” (Le Diapason). This release features rarely heard and recorded works by Dinu Lipatti and Tudor Dumitrescu, the theme throughout the album being the undercurrent of sadness that all of these pieces possess.
More New Releases and Bestsellers from Sono Luminus
This album, released by BR-Klassik to celebrate Edita Gruberová’s 50th stage anniversary, presents nine recordings made between October 1983 and June 2000 at Bayerischer Rundfunk concerts. In addition to arias from operas by Handel, Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini, and the Couplet of Adele from Johann Strauss’ operetta Die Fledermaus, Edita Gruberová can also be heard in interpretations from Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate, Laudate Dominum from the Vesperae solennes de confessore and Michael Haydn’s Christmas cantata Lauft, ihr Hirten, allzugleich. This album offers a representative musical cross-section of Gruberová’s wide-ranging repertoire, plus several surprises that complement and enrich her comprehensive discography.
This album marks the conclusion of Søren Nils Eichberg’s residency with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra – a fruitful cooperation that has resulted in a handful of large-scale works, born of Eichberg’s keen exploration of the orchestra. In place of the thematic formality of its predecessor, Symphony No. 3 looks far out, asking looming existential questions to which there aren’t always clear answers. As a counterweight, the even more symphonic concerto for orchestra Morpheus revels in color and effect, bringing a sense of joy and discovery to the music. These world premiere recordings are conducted by Robert Spano (Symphony No. 3) and Joshua Weilerstein (Morpheus).
Three major masterpieces – sonatas for cello and piano by renowned French composers – make up this passionate, turbulent, tender, exuberant, and optimistic album. Debussy’s forward-looking sonata is one of the best examples of the master’s late style. The transcription of Franck’s violin sonata for cello will make you wonder if the piece wasn’t originally planned for cello and piano (there is some evidence that it was). And Chopin’s sonata represents a rare foray into chamber music by everyone’s favorite composer of piano music. For good measure, Ravel’s short Cuban dance piece is included. Cellist Dmitry Kouzov and pianist Peter Laul deliver breathtaking interpretations of these towering masterpieces.
The project EntArteOpera is dedicated by means of concerts, scenic performances and publications to the perpetuation and revival of works by forgotten, ostracized composers who were persecuted, exiled or even murdered by the Nazi regime. Salzburg violinist Thomas Albertus Irnberger presents on this release the Concerto for Violin, Horn and Orchestra by Ethel Smyth, the Concertino for Violin, Clarinet and Orchestra, Op. 21 by Vitezslava Kapralova, the Concerto funebrefor Violin and Strings by Karl Amadeus Hartmann as well as the Concerto for Violin, Piano and Orchestra, H. 342 by Bohuslav Martinů.
The Faust Symphony, first performed in Weimar in 1857, is one of Franz Liszt’s most significant compositions. Liszt’s own transcriptions and awareness of his enthusiasm for the organ as a concert instrument were the starting point and inspiration for Hansjörg Albrecht to create his version for organ, in which he decided to draw upon Liszt’s original version of 1854 (without the subsequently added chorus finale) for dramaturgical and instrumental reasons. With Franz Liszt’s highly dramatic symphony, Albrecht also comes full circle towards his previously recorded series of organ transcriptions of the works of Berlioz and Wagner.
Orfeo’s ongoing Wiener Staatsoper Live series affords today’s opera lovers the chance to hear historic performances from the Vienna State Opera that have subsequently acquired legendary status. This latest release in the series is a recording of their 1978 production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, featuring artists famed for their expertise in the bel canto style: coloratura soprano Edita Gruberova gives a perfect reading of the role of Lucia; tenor Peter Dvorský is equally passionate as Edgardo; and conductor Giuseppe Patanè leads the whole cast in a thoroughly inspired performance.
The performance captured here was recorded live in the studio of KPFA in 1980. Hunt uses tape machines, hand claps/slaps with rattles or bells attached to his wrists, and extensive vocalization. All vocalizations in the performance are based on text drawn from the classic George Eliot novel The Mill & The Floss, first published in 1860. The recording contained within is part of a larger system called Ground, which Hunt explored extensively in the late 1970s and 1980s.
The piano works by Franco Margola is presented for the first time in this release containing his greatest works and didactic compositions that he continued writing even in his most advanced age. Here Margola’s musical writing quality appears in all its value, testifying the unconditional esteem his music enjoyed by one of the greatest pianists of all time, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, that often used to perform Margola’s works in concerts. The performance of this release is entrusted to the rare technical and expressive abilities of Alessandro Deljavan, a multi-award-winning top performer of the current international piano scene.
This release features five outstanding operas from Bregenz Festival’s amazing lake stage: Aida, Andrea Chénier, Die Zauberflöte, Turandot, and Carmen. The reviews of these individual performances were gleaming. Elisabeth Sobotka, the artistic director of the Bregenz Festival, sums it up by saying “Art doesn’t belong to a clique in society. Art is a jewel, a rich resource that must be made accessible to a large audience. See, and hear, for yourself… and enjoy the richness of the artistic offerings on the incomparable lake stage.”
Two very rare operas in one act. Pigmalione was Gaetano Donizetti’s first opera, written to a libretto by Simeone Antonio Sografi. The leading role is sung by Antonino Siragusa, who gives a masterful interpretation, especially in the long and significant recitatives, and displays a polished and colourful voice. Che originali! is a little-known farce in a single act on a libretto by Gaetano Rossi, and one of Giovanni Simone Mayr’s most successful operas. The protagonist, Febeo, is entrusted to Bruno de Simone, an excellent actor endowed with a clear and precise voice, and a master in the fast spelled-out passages.
Verdi’s opera of passion, blood, fire and vengeance comes to the stage in an atmospheric production by David Bösch. A quartet of world-class singers bring the principal characters of this searing opera to life. Gregory Kunde stars as the troubadour Manrico, with Lianna Haroutounian as his courageous lover Leonora. Vitaliy Bilyy is the tyrannical Count di Luna, the man who wants Leonora for himself, and Anita Rachvelishvili is Azucena, the mysterious gypsy woman unable to reveal the secret that torments her. Richard Farnes conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and Royal Opera Chorus in this exploration of love, cruelty, intense passion and revenge.
‘These are altogether admirably warm performances, with the musicians’ affection for the music everywhere in evidence.’ – BBC Music Magazine
‘A welcome addition to the catalog and offers not only outstanding musicianship but individual performances that clearly reflect the insight and preparation that the Ying Quartet has devoted to these works. Delivered in terrific sound, this disc is highly recommended.’ – Blu-rayDefinition.com
‘The Ying Quartet…sound as if they really love the music and want us to love it as well. Those ingratiating opening movements are engagingly delivered, drawing the listener in, as are the affecting slow movements. In the fast music such as the Allegro molto vivace finale to No. 3 the playing is bracingly spirited, as well as remarkably accurate.’ – MusicWeb International
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