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In addition to its own wide-reaching monthly new releases (see, 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.

Selected CDs


BARTÓK, B.: Piano Sonata / Out of Doors / Allegro Barbaro / Dances
Phillip Evans
Artek AR-0064-2

Pianist Phillip Evans’s special affinity for the music of Béla Bartók was acknowledged by the late, Pulitzer prize-winning critic Harold Schonberg in his important book The Great Pianists: “Phillip Evans in Bartók, Roslyn Tureck in Bach.” His series of Bartók CDs received extraordinary reviews, such as the following from George Jellinek of The New York Times: “Evans played both Sonatas with searching insight, in total triumph over their technical difficulties...he plays superbly.”

Highlights of this release, Phillip Evans Plays Bartók, include evocations of nature at night (crickets, bird calls, bat wings) in Out of Doors and an elegy to Debussy in Improvisations.

Artek catalogue on


MANKELL, H.: Piano Concerto / NYSTROEM, G.: Concerto Ricercante
Christensson, Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra, Paternostro
Capriccio C5240

Henning Mankell (1868-1930), whose grandson and namesake has become one of Sweden’s most successful authors of crime novels, was not very interested in a public career. His later compositions, though bold and colorful, remained unpublished for a long time. These compositions occasionally received performances by musicians who recognized their value.

In later life, Gösta Nystroem (1890-1966) declared himself to be both ‘a great lover of absolutely pure music’ and ‘an incurable romantic’, a description that is relevant for this recording and also for his instrumental music in general.

Capriccio catalogue on


GOLIJOV, O.: Illuminations (Chamber Music)

Avalon String Quartet
Cedille CDR90000-156

The Avalon String Quartet, “a remarkably fine ensemble” (The Strad), makes its Cedille Records debut with an irresistible and richly varied program of captivating works by Claude Debussy, Benjamin Britten, Osvaldo Golijov, and rising American composer Stacy Garrop.

The ensemble presents the world-premiere recording of Garrop’s String Quartet No. 4, Illuminations, a tantalizing, Pictures at an Exhibition style tour of spectacular illustrations from an ornate medieval manuscript. Debussy’s lush, exotic String Quartet in G minor unfolds through iridescent quasi-orchestral textures. Golijov’s lyrical, deeply moving Tenebrae (Latin for “shadows”) pays tender tribute to the earth, depicted in its remote celestial beauty, haunted by undertones of human discord. Britten’s youthful, energetic Three Divertimenti and Alla Marcia are alluring, rarely recorded studies in inventiveness and perpetual motion.

Cedille catalogue on


NIELSEN, C.: Maskarade (Masquerade)
D. Andersen, S. Andersen, Beck, Bendixsen-Uhrskov, Boland, Bruun, Dahl, Damsgaard, Duus, Emborg, Gravers Knive, Lender, Lykke, Milling, Paevatalu, Pedersen, Petersen, Reuter, A. Riis, N. Riis, Skovlund, Sundstedt, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Concert Choir, Schønwandt
Dacapo 6.220641-42

Carl Nielsen’s vivid comedy opera Maskarade has enjoyed a natural status as Denmark’s national opera since its first performance at the Royal Danish Opera in 1906. On this recording, Nielsen expert Michael Schønwandt leads a sparkling cast of today’s finest Nielsen singers and the Danish National Symphony through the opera’s delightful yet stirring comedy plot. Recorded in the ideal acoustic of DR Koncerthuset, this is the first studio recording of Nielsen’s much-loved opera in the 21st century, appropriately released to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Danish composer’s birth.

Dacapo catalogue on


Rosenberger, Carol - BEETHOVEN, L. van / SCHUBERT, F. /
MOZART W.A.: Theme and Variations (Piano Recital)

Carol Rosenberger
Delos DE3452

Carol Rosenberger’s distinctive style, sound and interpretive power are heard on more than thirty Delos recordings. Most are made on “Bösie,” her own Bösendorfer Imperial concert grand, and have been hailed worldwide as cornerstones of the recorded piano literature. Moreover, Ms. Rosenberger has helped shape the destiny of the Delos label since the 1990s, working closely with revered founder Amelia Haygood in producing their famous Music for Young People Series. She later served as Delos’s A&R Director until Amelia Haygood’s death in 2007, when she became the label’s director.

Carol made this recording in 1997 as a companion-only disc to one of the label’s children’s albums, now receiving its first separate release. The program features three complete great works in the ever-popular “theme-and-variations” format: Beethoven’s Immortal Sonata in E, Op. 109, Mozart’s ever-popular Sonata in A, K. 331, and Schubert’s irresistibly charming Impromptu in B-flat, Op. 142, No. 3 – all performed on the pianist’s “Bösie.”

Delos catalogue on


VERDI, G.: Opera Arias (This Is My Verdi)
Nizza, Martinenghi, Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra
Dynamic CDS7721

The Italian soprano Amarilli Nizza was born in Milan and grew up in a family dedicated to singing for the past four generations. In 1993 she won the “Mattia Battistini” competition and debuted as Cio-Cio-San in Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” at Rieti’s Flavio Vespasiano theatre. From the beginning she was a lyric soprano, but with time, thanks to very solid technique and wise repertoire choices, she has also developed dramatic accents and nuances. Her impressive technique, coupled with fine acting skills, has granted her access to the most important venues and international festivals.

Dynamic catalogue on


Schuster, Michaela - BRAHMS, J. / SCHUMANN, R. / REGER, M. / STRAUSS, R.: Morgen! (Vocal Recital)
Markus Schlemmer, Michaela Schuster
OehmsClassics OC1833

The German mezzo-soprano Michaela Schuster is considered today as one of the most important representatives of her voice range. She can be heard internationally in all the major opera houses and concert halls, in operas, song recitals and in concert.

“Ms. Schuster explores the beauties of the romantic Lied literature on this program with sensitivity and enthusiasm, together with the empathetic Markus Schlemmer. Recorded in the dreamlike atmosphere of the Eppan Lied Summer Festival, this is a top-class interpretation for lovers of German Romanticism!” (Brigitte Fassbaender)

OehmsClassics catalogue on


BACH, J.S.: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
Lars Vogt
Ondine ODE1273-2

Pianist Lars Vogt presents one of the classic works of the Baroque repertoire – Johann Sebastian Bach’s (1685–1750) famous Goldberg Variations. Originally written for the harpsichord and published in 1741, the Goldberg Variations embodies an Aria with 30 variations and a coda. Bach wrote the work for Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, who, as the narrative relays, often played music for Count Kaiserling as a cure for his insomnia. He is the Russian ambassador to the Saxony court with whom Goldberg resided.

Apparently the work was one of the successes that Bach had during his lifetime, being published in the decade before his passing. A professional concert pianist for more than two decades, Lars Vogt was appointed the first ever “Pianist in Residence” by the Berlin Philharmonic in 2003/04 and enjoys a high profile as a soloist and chamber musician. Increasingly active as a conductor, he is scheduled to become the new Music Director of the Royal Northern Sinfonia in the fall of 2015.

Ondine catalogue on

OUR Recordings

RASMUSSEN, S.: Danish and Faroese Recorder Concertos
(Recorder Concertos)

Petri, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Christensen
OUR Recordings 6.220609

Throughout her extraordinary career, Michala Petri has embraced the entirety of the recorder’s repertoire, from the Baroque to the 21st century. Danish and Faroese Recorder Concertos is the latest installment in Michala’s ongoing “Concerto Project”. Previous releases include Chinese Recorder Concertos (6.220603), English Recorder Concertos (6.220606) and the Grammy®-nominated Movements (6.220531), presenting new works composed especially for her, from an international roster of some of the greatest contemporary composers.

The three works featured here provide just a sample of the rich and colorful diversity of Danish and Faroese contemporary music; from the late Thomas Koppel’s tender, tonally-centered Moonchild’s Dream, to Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, the dean of Danish composers, and his darkly humorous Chacun Son Son, to the vigorous and atmospheric 20-minute bird-cadenza for recorder and orchestra, Territorial Songs, by the internationally acclaimed Faroese composer Sunleif Rasmussen. A disc that no fan of contemporary music or Michala Petri will want to be without!

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Solo Musica

ALAKOTILA, T. / RÜTTI, C. / BURKI, E. / KURKI-SUONIO, S: Alphorn and Nordic Winds (Orchestral Music)
Burki, Kantelinen, Paul Taylor Orchestra, Taylor
Solo Musica SM221

The Paul Taylor Orchestra ensemble is centred around a number of eminent professional string players who, in collaboration with their conductor, set out to achieve a sound that unostentatiously, pliably and sometimes even radically serves the original musical style and project the character of each piece. The ensemble aims to bridge the gap between different cultures and musical genres. It also focuses on exploring, in the broadest sense, the boundaries between classical and contemporary music, venturing as far as the poles of folk, jazz and pop.

Solo Musica catalogue on

Sono Luminus

STRAVINSKY, I.: Petrushka (arr. D. Plylar)
Inscape Chamber Ensemble
Sono Luminus SLD-97204

Featuring a transcription of the monumental ballet of the same name written by Igor Stravinsky, Petrushka is the follow-up to Inscape’s American Aggregate and their GRAMMY® nominated debut album Sprung Rhythm on Sono Luminus. Originally written for full orchestra, David Plylar has taken this iconic piece and transcribed it especially for the Inscape Chamber Orchestra.

As put by Plylar himself: “The principles of translation were in essence the same —create a musically successful version of a work in a new medium —but added to the mix was the precedent of Stravinsky himself ... The final score of the transcription preserves as much of the Stravinsky sound as possible, but is also filled with decisions of mine intended to make it successful in a new chamber orchestra setting.”

Sono Luminus catalogue on


Baracchi, Arcadio - BRICCIALDI, G. / KRAKAMP, E. / POPP, W. / GÉNIN, P.-A: Paraphrases of Guiseppe Verdi for Flute and Piano
(Flute Recital)

Arcadio Baracchi, Andrea Trovato
Tactus TC850001

This CD gives the listener the opportunity - until now a rather rare one - to hear Giuseppi Verdi’s music through the filter of an entirely instrumental, chamber music elaboration for flute and piano. It hinges on flutist-composers active during Verdi’s time, with an opening to contemporary music through a solo flute piece by Italian composer Paolo Furlani. Arcadio Baracchi and Andrea Trovato highlight the lyricism and virtuosity of these fantasies and paraphrases, where the performers’ skill is cleverly brought to light through songs that could be considered real “hits” of their time.

Tactus catalogue on


KORNGOLD, E.W.: The Korngold Project, Vol. 1 - Suite / Piano Trio
Arp, Magalhães, Mitchell, Rowland
TwoPianists TP1039282

The Korngold Project aims to contribute to the rediscovery of the music of E.W. Korngold (1897-1957), the most stupendously talented child prodigy of his generation. The Piano Trio in D major, Op. 1 (1909-10), written while the young Korngold was still under the tutelage of Zemlinsky (at the behest of Mahler) evidences a great deal of the mature Korngold. The lyricism typical of the composer is there from the outset, as are the idiosyncrasies, heard, for example, in the Scherzo movement. Harmonic treatment is centre-stage: all over the work is the fingerprint of romanticist tradition, albeit with chromatic excursions of almost fantastical nature. The Suite for Two Violins, Cello, and Piano (left hand), Op. 23 (1930) was the result of a commission (his second) from the celebrated one-armed pianist, Paul Wittgenstein. Like the earlier Piano Trio, it’s an impressive piece of late-Romantic craftsmanship, opening with a virtuoso cadenza for the left hand.

Representing different nationalities, the musicians on this recording met in South Africa for performances in Africa’s most prominent chamber music festival. This is not an established group but a meeting of minds linked through the beauty of Korngold’s music.

TwoPianists catalogue on


President’s Own United States Marine Band: Deep Cuts, Vol. 2
The President's Own United States Marine Band, Kline
Altissimo 75442205042

At the very least, everyone is familiar with a handful of John Philip Sousa’s magnificent marches. Melodies from The Washington Post, The Stars and Stripes Forever, and The Liberty Bell can be found anywhere patriotic music is to be heard. However, these works barely scratch the surface of Sousa’s deep catalogue. The Sousa: Deep Cuts series seeks to highlight his more obscure works, from less-familiar marches to waltzes and suites. In this second volume, The President’s Own US Marine Band, records another way of fantastic and rare marches, all from the pen of “The March King” himself.

Altissimo catalogue on

Selected DVDs

Accentus Music

SATIE, E.: Satiesfictions - Promenades with Erik Satie (Documentary)
Peitz, Tabakov, Cocteau, Ray, Sauguet, Auric, Bertin, Thomson, Schleiermacher, Piano Duo GrauSchumacher, Armengaud, Le Mauff
Accentus Music ACC-20312 [DVD]

Always armed with wisecracks, umbrella, and a bowler hat – on the outside, Erik Satie was not only one of the strangest figures in the early 20th century French avant-garde; he was a composer, designer, church founder, PR pioneer, and master of witty remarks.

In playful episodes, the documentary Satiesfictions: Promenades with Erik Satie, illuminates the overall phenomenon of Satie. His countless imaginary advertisements evolve into real commercials, and his drawings take on a life of their own as cartoons. Divas, dogs, puppets, and children, as well as pianists playing pianos stacked on top of each other are featured in scenic interludes, while performers turn into “musical furniture” in swimming pools, factories, or at train stations. Interwoven with accounts by Satie’s associates and music experts, the film offers a unique insight into Satie’s cosmos of word and sound.

Accentus Music catalogue on

Arthaus Musik

BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphony No. 3, "Eroica"
Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Brüggen
Arthaus Musik 109118 [Blu-ray] | 109117 [DVD]

The Dutch conductor and recorder player Frans Brüggen, who died in 2014, based the structure of his fifty-plus member Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century upon the famous ‘luxury’ orchestras that flourished in Mannheim, Paris and Vienna in the 18th century.

Recorded live at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, this rendition of Beethoven’s Third Symphony, the “Eroica won them international acclaim.

Arthaus Musik catalogue on


Teatro Alla Scala: The Golden Years, Vol.1
Callas, Del Monaco, Freni, Di Stefano, Gandolfi, Votto, Ronconi, Abbado, Simionato
Dynamic DYN-37728 [DVD]

Enzo Biagi was one of Italy’s most famous and beloved journalists. His fondness of the prestigious Milanese venue led to the programs the Dynamic label now presents, Teatro La Scala: The Golden Years in restored fashion on DVD, originally made 1981-82. Documenting the La Scala productions of those years, Biagi entered the theatre during the rehearsals and interviewed the protagonists (conductors, singers and directors), not only the figures of those days but also the great stars of the past.

This DVD includes a short, never before seen, otherwise unpublished interview with Maria Callas.

Dynamic catalogue on


BRITTEN, B.: The Complete String Quartets
Belcea Quartet
EuroArts 2072768 [DVD]

The Belcea Quartet is one of the world’s leading chamber music ensembles, having won many international accolades since its establishment in 1994. With the three string quartets by Benjamin Britten, the musicians have rediscovered a gem of 20th century chamber music. The String Quartets Nos. 1, 2 and 3 were written over a period of 34 years; the third was Britten’s last major work. It was composed in 1975, one year before his death, and recorded at Studio Davout, Paris, in June 2014.

EuroArts catalogue on

Opus Arte

ROSSINI, G.: Il Signor Bruschino (Rossini Opera Festival, 2012)
Alegret, Aleida, Amaru, Bonsignore, Brito, Candia, Lepore,
Orchestra Sinfonica G. Rossini, Rustioni

Opus Arte OABD7124D [Blu-ray] | OA1109D [DVD]

Welcome to ‘Rossiniland’: where the 1800s meet the 2000s, and tourists are free to wander and gawp at the scintillating spectacle taking place around them. Innovative theatre company Teatro Sotterraneo transferred Rossini’s light-hearted one-act operatic farce to a modern-day theme park. Mistaken identities and general confusion abound, all exaggerated to a delightful degree by Rossini’s forward-thinking comedic effects. Helped by outlandish costumes and off-the-wall stage design – created by the Accademia di Belle Arti di Urbino – a polished cast serves to bring Rossini’s engaging drama to life, making this ‘clever production’ (New York Times) one not to be missed.

Opus Arte DVD catalogue on

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