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 legendary classical label Delos, ‘long a leader in audiophile-quality recordings’ (New York Times), has initiated significant trends in the classical music industry, has recorded some of the most honoured names in the classical music field, and was a pioneer in digital recording. Hailed as the ‘Great American Label’ Delos was formed to give outstanding American artists an international platform. Towering performers include the Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Seattle Symphony and Moscow Chamber Orchestra; vocal stars Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Sondra Radvanovsky; and innovative contemporary composers from Abel to Zwilich.
Browse the Delos catalogue of over 500-plus recordings across all classical music genres and spanning over 40 years.
Since graduating from the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 2005, soprano Veronika Dzhioeva has become one of Russia’s leading singers, and is in great demand throughout Europe and abroad, regularly appearing at prestigious houses and working with leading orchestras and conductors. A remarkably versatile singer, she has won considerable acclaim for her mastery of parts ranging from Mozart to the weightiest of spinto and dramatic soprano roles. Prepare for endless delight and intense emotional stimulation as you listen to this marvellous collection of favourite Italian arias, with wonderful support from the GRAMMY® nominated team of Constantine Orbelian, “the singer’s dream collaborator” (Opera News), and his superb Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra.
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The first mention of calypso comes from a dance described by Abbe Masse in 1882. The name possibly began with the French carrouseaux and went through patois and Anglicisation – carrisseaux, calisseaux, caliso, calypso. Quick wit, observation of human behaviour, and comment on its absurd aspects are the bill of fare offered in calypso. The Mighty Duke (Kelvin Pope) asked in a song, “What is Calypso?” Well to start to get an idea, one has to merely listen to a song on this compilation. Let your schooling start here.
Ivan Repušić, who made his debut as Principal Conductor of the Munchner Rundfunkorchester in the autumn of 2017 with Giuseppe Verdi’s Luisa Miller, now presents a further and lesser-known masterpiece by the famous Italian opera composer. The concert performance of Verdi’s I due Foscari was recorded on November 25, 2018, at the Munich Prinzregententheater. Outstanding performers provide an authentic atmosphere and vocal magnificence, and no less a person than the multiple-award-winning Italian baritone Leo Nucci was successfully engaged for the role of the Doge of Venice. Ivan Repušić conducts a genuine theatrical Verdi here: vital, robust, fiery, and extremely lively.
While living in Lviv, Elsner organised cycles of concerts, gave music lessons, and regularly participated in musical evenings. The three string quartets in this recording belong to his Lviv period. Jean Andre published them in 1806 in Offenbach am Main as Trois quatuors Op. 8. Formally and stylistically, they belong to the genre of quatuors concertants. Elsner had become familiar with the genre before coming to Lviv, playing in the bourgeois salons of Wrocław during his studies and ‘at source’ while spending two years in Vienna thanks to Antoni Bundesmann’s hospitality, to whom Trois quatuors, Op. 8 are dedicated.
Black Oak Ensemble, a string trio boasting three of Chicago’s most enterprising and dynamic chamber musicians, makes its recording debut with Silenced Voices, an album of intriguing works by six promising, early 20th-century Jewish composers originally from Austria-Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the Netherlands. Praised for its ‘flamboyant vitality’ and ‘expert performances’ (Chicago Tribune), the Black Oak Ensemble comprises Swiss-American violinist Desiree Ruhstrat, British-born cellist David Cunliffe, and French-born violist Aurelien Fort Pederzoli. Silenced Voices was inspired, in part, by the educational efforts of violist Pederzoli’s mother, a history teacher of Sephardic Jewish descent who led annual student field trips to locations such as Prague, Budapest, Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Terezin.
Per Nørgård is one of the most frequently played composers of his generation. He has written more than 400 works in all genres and inspired many colleagues in Denmark and abroad. This album presents Nørgård’s complete music for the Oscar-winning film Babette’s Feast directed by Gabriel Axel, based on the story of Karen Blixen. In this recording, one can also get to know the hypnotic Spell, the ripples and bubbles in Whirl’s World and Trio Breve, which according to the composer himself are to be regarded as ‘dream-like pictures’ that change between light and dark, fast and slow but with introvert melodic features in common.
During his lifetime, Viennese violinist and composer Joseph Mayseder received numerous awards, including his appointment as Imperial Chamber Virtuoso in 1835. He was named honorary member of the Pesth-Ofener Musikverein, Santa Cecilia in Rome and the Styrian Musikverein in 1839, in 1852 of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, and in 1862 he was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Franz Joseph Order. Mayseder’s works are continually being published as world premiere recordings by violinist Raimund Lissy, member of the Vienna Philharmonic. Raimund Lissy is joined here by the Ensemble VioLissymo consisting of Thomas Christian, Lara and Luka Kusztrich, Robert Bauerstatter, and Susanne Lehner.
After more than 30 years of intensive interest in J.S. Bach’s original works for violin, it was high time for Benjamin Schmid to improvise on Bach. He has done this with three movements from the Partita in E Major, BWV 1006, which F. Kreisler already arranged for his own purposes. An improvised solo part on Bach’s C-Sharp Adagio can be found, as well as Schmid’s own compositions inspired by Biber’s Passacaglia and Bach’s Andante inC Major, BWV 1003. But there are also polytonal expansions on the Prelude in C Major, then ending in the jazz standard All the Things You Are, which goes through almost all the keys.
During his long and exceptionally fruitful creative life, Richard Strauss composed only a few works for the cello. Only three have survived and small as that number may seem, those cello works are critical to the composer’s development. Daniel Müller-Schott sees the early Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 6 and the late tone poem Don Quixote, Op. 35 as marking the path that was to lead Strauss within the space of a few years from Romanticism to the Modern era in music. The cellist highlights this watershed in Strauss’s artistic development with his own transcriptions, expressly made for this album, of the Lieder Zueignung, Op. 10, No. 1 and Ich trage meine Minne, Op. 32, No. 1.
On this new release, Swedish artist Meta Roos joins up with Trio X to present a varied program of folk and jazz tunes by various composers. Meta Roos was born and raised in Boda Kyrkby but has lived in Bålsta in Uppsala county since 2002. She made her debut as a sixteen-year-old when she started singing with various dance bands in Dalarna, but her greatest success was with the Nippe Sylwéns Band. During the 1980s, she sang in the dance band Rose Band, which became popular throughout Europe, played New Year’s Rev in Borlänge, and came a few years later to Peter Flack in Örebro where she participated in four reviews.
‘This album marks the culmination of our decade-long journey with Aaron Jay Kernis’ music for string quartet. From the moment we put bow to string for Aaron’s Second Quartet, we realised his special voice and our connection to his music’s ability to capture both the complexity of the world and the simplicity of a moment. This depth fascinated us, inspired our playing, and prompted us to dream of commissioning Aaron’s 3rd Quartet. Six years later, after performing and recording his first two Quartets and organizing the commission, we received the first movement of his Third Quartet. The quartet is subtitled River, an analogy for the constancy of change in our lives. The music too is constantly evolving, from moment to moment never predictable, never repeating itself.’ (The Jasper String Quartet)
Devotion to Mary has been among the greatest and most important sources of inspiration for all the arts in the history of humanity and in the history of music. They have given rise to a myriad of compositions that have spanned the centuries since the beginning of Christianity to the present day. This recording offers examples of the most significant Italian composers of the Renaissance and Baroque period, starting from the ‘divine’ Claudio Monteverdi, a milestone in the history of music, up to Alessandro Scarlatti, a leading exponent of that Neapolitan school that in the eighteenth century exploded in all its shining vitality, passing through Girolamo Frescobaldi, ‘monster organist’ whose fame as a composer and keyboardist went across the Italian borders.
Il Barbiere di Siviglia displays with great clarity the essence of the Rossinian revolution: situation comedy, sharp criticism of social hypocrisy, together with a witty musical style, the glory of bel canto, and the contagious energy of assertive melodic lines. Maestro Daniel Oren conducts this production of Rossini’s masterpiece. Italian baritone Leo Nucci, is a boastful and virtuoso Figaro, while soprano Nino Machaidze and tenor Dmitry Korchak are perfect as the not-so-candid lovers around whom the opera revolves. And who better than Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto, who shines in the “Calunnia” aria, for the part of Basilio?
Church corruption, human violence and a daughter who plots revenge on her abusive father – Goldschmidt’s Beatrice Cenci has every ingredient for a gripping opera. At Bregenz, Johannes Erath brought Beatrice Cenci on stage for the first time. Although written 70 years ago, ‘one musically quickly associates Puccini or other Romantics’ (Neue Zurcher Zeitung), underlined by Goldschmidt’s own words, saying it became a real ‘Bel canto opera’. ‘Johannes Debus conducts the Wiener Symphoniker with true feeling for the score’. ‘In the title role, Gal James is moving’ and ‘the baritone Christoph Pohl has all the vocal charisma.’ (The Telegraph). A ‘brilliantly focused staging of a neglected work’ (The Telegraph), a ‘great, wonderful evening’ (Deutschlandfunk Kultur).
Mascagni’s first and most successful work has become an opera classic as it features elements of the Greek tragedy, mixing up religious and archaic elements. It’s a story of love, passion, jealousy and restored honour in bloodshed. Directors Di Gangi and Giacomazzi set this traditional Cavalleria in a Sicilian village of the 1940s where the buildings are rather bare, and the piazza is the stage for private as well as public drama. Conductor Valerio Galli is at the head of the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, one of the best in Italy.
The final instalment in the Donmar Warehouse’s all-female Shakespeare Trilogy sees Harriet Walter take on the role of Prospero in this evocation of the eternal struggle for freedom, morality, and justice. Directed for both stage and screen by Phyllida Lloyd and set on an isle ‘full of noises’, this magical production features a glowing score by Joan Armatrading. Critics celebrated the original staging as ‘A glorious reminder that genuine diversity offers astonishing creative benefits.’ The film versions were shot live in a specially built temporary theatre in King’s Cross in 2016, and now offer screen audiences unique access to these groundbreaking productions.
Pablo Picasso is one of the greatest artists of all time – and right up until his death in 1973 he was the most prolific of artists. Many films have dealt with these later years – the art, the affairs, and the wide circle of friends. But where did this all begin? What made Picasso in the first place? Too long ignored, it is time to look at the early years of Picasso; the upbringing and the learning that led to his extraordinary achievements. Working closely with all three Picasso Museums in Malaga, Barcelona, and Paris this film explains how he rose to such great heights.
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