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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.

DVDs:  C Major | Dynamic | Opus Arte

LABEL OF THE MONTH: ArcoDiva

Founded in 1998, ArcoDiva has gradually strengthened its presence in its home country and abroad, and is now one of the most important producers of classical music in the Czech Republic. The catalogue reflects three decades of music-making and award-winning recordings and recognitions from around the world. The passion for innovative projects and support for the young generation of artists is the driving force behind the success of the label. ArcoDiva explores fresh repertoire with top artists such as Jiri Bělohlávek, Vladimir Valek, Boni Pueri, Gabriela Beňačková, Sergej Kopčak, Anda Louise Bogza, Martin Kasík, Marek Štilec and many representatives from the youngest Czech generation of performing artists.

ArcoDiva upholds Czech repertoire and pay attention especially to the music of Sylvie Bodorová, Zdeněk Lukáš, Luboš Fišer and Otmar Mácha. The label has its studio committed to the exceptional quality of its recordings in DSD format. Using this format, ArcoDiva in association with The Prague Spring Festival published Czech Republic’s first-ever hybrid SACD recording of Dvořák’s St. Ludmilla.

Browse ArcoDiva’s innovative projects of classical music and discover more music from Czech Republic.

Highlight Release
HURNÍK, L.: Variations on the Theme by Frank Zappa • Constellations • Trigon (Compliments)
Pavlíková • Fiedler • Patočka • Bělohlávek • Netopil • V. Válek • Štilec
ArcoDiva UP0177

The synthesis of rock and classical music is typical of Hurník’s works. He developed his Variations on the Theme by Frank Zappa on classical variation lines with a final fugue, but allusions to rock are ever present. For his Constellations, Hurník specially selected five pieces from the cycle of ‘astrological concerts’ put up by Talich Chamber Orchestra in 2001. While his violin concerto Trigon was commissioned by Lucas David for the festival in Detmold. Hurnik dedicates the concerto to ‘the three big Bs of German music’ – Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. His string quartet Upside-down Variations on a Mozart’s Theme intentionally starts with a fugue and gradually veer towards a famous Mozart tune. The final work on this recording, On the Way from Litomyšl is an orchestral work echoing Smetana’s Czech Song and music from The Bartered Bride.

Additional Exciting New Releases and Bestsellers from ArcoDiva

ArcoDiva is offering you FREE DOWNLOADS. Please scroll down to the end of this page for details.

Selected CDs

Accentus Music

WEINBERG, M.: 24 Preludes (arr. G. Kremer for violin)
Gidon Kremer
Accentus Music ACC-40476 [LP]

The 24 Preludes for solo cello by Mieczysław Weinberg have a particular history. He composed them in the late sixties for Mstislav Rostropovich who never actually played them. Their musical language is aphoristic, often brutal, provocative, and marked by inner conflict. It contains many different gestures and is very intense. To perform these preludes might have been problematic in the Soviet Union back then. Gidon Kremer has adapted the Preludes for solo violin and presented here the world premiere recording of his adaptation. Kremer, with his very own tone, is the ideal interpreter of this exciting repertoire.

Also available on CD (ACC-30476)

ARC Music

Öngtupqa – Sacred Music of the Hopi Tribe
M. Nelson • Tenakhongva • Stroutsos
ARC Music EUCD2851

Recorded inside the Desert View Watchtower on the South Rim of Grand Canyon in Arizona, this collection of American Indian songs celebrates the most ancient sounds to emerge from ongtupqa (the traditional Hopi name for Grand Canyon). Gary Stroutsos on a 1,500-year-old Hopi long flute and Matthew Nelson on a clay pot percussion accompany the vocalist Clark Tenakhongva. Together they’ve recorded a powerful soundtrack for one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

More from ARC Music

BR-Klassik

ROSSINI, G.: Sigismondo [Opera]
Hyesang Park • Pizzolato • R. Kelly • Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks • Munich Radio Orchestra • K.-L. Wilson
BR-Klassik 900327

The Italian composer Gioachino Rossini is best known for his operas. Although it is Rossini’s comic operas that are primarily performed today, more than half of his stage works are serious operas. One veritable gem is Sigismondo  which premiered in 1814 at the famous Teatro La Fenice in Venice but was only ever rarely performed afterwards. Rossini shows his protagonist  in extreme states of mental distress. Confusion and insanity reveal inner feelings, and it is only delirium that finally brings the truth to light. This recording of the extraordinary performance of artists highly familiar with Rossini’s music received cheering applause and great critical acclaim.

More from BR-Klassik

Cantaloupe Music

GORDON, M.: Acquanetta [Opera]
M. Bennett • Watkins • Bagg • Boehler • Timur • Trinity Wall Street Choir • Bang on a Can • Candillari
Cantaloupe Music CA-21150

An homage to the campy and spine-chilling horror films of the 1940s, the stage version of Acquanetta combines theatre, opera, and film to explore the world of a real-life B-movie star with a mysterious past. Michael Gordon’s soaring and often comic score, with text by librettist Deborah Artman, is a vivid metaphor for the ways in which the movie camera manipulates how we see and are seen. The cast of characters, featuring Mikaela Bennett (Acquanetta), Amelia Watkins (Brainy Woman), Eliza Bagg (Ape), Matt Boehler (Director) and Timur (Doctor), reveals inner longings and emotional shadows in a spooky meditation on identity, transformation, stereotypes and typecasting, set in the heyday of Hollywood glamour.

Capriccio

WEBER, C.M. von: Euryanthe [Opera]
Reinhardt • J. Wagner • A. Foster-Williams • Arnold Schoenberg Choir • Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra • Trinks
Capriccio C5373

While many music lovers are well acquainted with Weber’s opera Der Freischütz, few are familiar with his Euryanthe. Considering the musical quality of the opera, this neglect hardly seems fitting. Euryanthe was Weber’s most ambitious project, a ground-breaking work that is truly deserving of more attention. In his critical appreciation of Euryanthe, Robert Schumann described the work as ‘A chain of glittering jewels from the beginning to the end. All witty and ingenious.’ Constantin Trinks, a regular guest conductor with opera houses around the world, here directs a fine cast of soloists headed by bass Stefan Cerny; the Arnold Schoenberg Choir, one of Austria’s most versatile ensembles; and the renowned ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.

More from Capriccio

CDAccord

ŻEBROWSKI, M.J.: Magnificat • Rorate Coeli • Missa Pastoritia
National Forum of Music Choirs • Wrocław Baroque Orchestra • Kosendiak
CDAccordACD258

Magnificat, Rorate coeli, and Missa Pastoritia are among Zebrowski’s best works. These are cantata-type compositions in which Zebrowski divided the liturgical texts (including some parts of the Mass) into smaller sections, occasionally set by the composer almost as individual works, contrasted in terms of expression, performance forces, and even style. Magnificat in G Major has eleven contrasted sections, Rorate coeli is the opening Introit of a votive Mass dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary, Missa Pastoritia’s pastoral atmosphere is detectable in the opening Kyrie while the second section is as lively as a Krakowiak and furnished with drone-like fragments as if played by a folk band.

Cedille

Souvenirs of Spain and Italy – BOCCHERINI, L. • CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO, M. • TURINA, J.
Isbin • Pacifica Quartet
Cedille CDR90000-190

The GRAMMY award-winning Pacifica Quartet and guitarist Sharon Isbin join forces for a unique album of music for strings and guitar from the Baroque to the mid-20th century. Souvenirs of Spain & Italy is the first joint recording by these renowned artists and marks Isbin’s Cedille Records debut. The program spotlights Italian-born composers influenced by Spanish idioms: Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Quintet for Guitar and String Quartet, Op. 143, guitar arrangement of Antonio Vivaldi’s Lute Concerto in D Major, RV 93, Luigi Boccherini’s Quintet for Guitar and String Quartet in D Major, G. 448, and Joaquín Turina’s string quartet movement, La Oración del Torero, Op. 34.

Dacapo

EICHBERG, S.N.: Scherben – Works for Piano and Ensemble
Emil Gryesten-Jensen
Dacapo 8.226556

Dacapo is pleased to present a selection of Søren Nils Eichberg’s works for piano and ensemble performed by the pianist Emil Gryesten and friends, each written in the decade following Eichberg’s victory at the 2001 Queen Elizabeth Competition. From the rhapsodic to the cryptic and from the joyous to the cautionary, they present a picture of one of Europe’s brightest young composers in the full flow of inspiration. On this recording, Gryesten has gathered a team of friends to play Eichberg’s ensemble works in close collaboration with the composer himself, who conducts the works.

More from Dacapo

Delos

RUNESTAD, J.: The Hope of Loving
Conspirare • C.H. Johnson
Delos DE3578

Craig Hella Johnson’s GRAMMY award-winning Conspirare chamber choir performs rarefied pieces of Jake Runestad, one of America’s leading composers of the younger generation . This first Delos album devoted to his music presents his finest choral compositions. Listeners will marvel at the rich, luminous textures, lyricism, and harmonic wizardry of his compositions as he explores (among others) themes of love, spirituality and the natural world in mesmerising settings of verses by poets ranging from medieval mystics to more contemporary masters.

More from Delos

Grand Piano

BURGMÜLLER, J.F.F.: 25 Études faciles et progressives, Op. 100 • 18 Études de genre, Op. 109
Carl Petersson
Grand Piano GP816

In 1832 German-born Friedrich Burgmüller settled in Paris where he became internationally admired for his salon pieces and studies. At a time when demand for new teaching material had reached unprecedented heights, he supplied a sequence of works that appealed to the amateur market by virtue of their musical interest and appropriate technical demands. Written for the burgeoning market for piano teaching material, the set of 25 Easy and Progressive Studies, Op. 100 was soon followed by the 18 Characteristic Studies, Op. 109, a continuation of the earlier set, each piece bearing a charming title. They continue to provide a basis for teaching to this day.

More from Grand Piano

Ondine

BEETHOVEN, L. van: Egmont – Complete Incidental Music
E. Breuer • Hunger-Bühler • Helsinki Baroque Orchestra • Häkkinen
Ondine ODE1331-2

This album by the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra playing on period instruments under the direction of Aapo Häkkinen presents Ludwig van Beethoven’s complete incidental music to Goethe’s Egmont. Beethoven started to write this incidental music in the autumn of 1809. What distinguishes Beethoven’s Egmont are great dramatic emotion of style, tightly unified musical ideas, and an absolute determination to create a sense of the triumph of freedom as the Utopian dream of the whole of humanity. The overture, the only one of the ten numbers regularly heard in the concert hall today, draws all these intentions together in concentrated form. It reveals its meaning only in context, together with the interludes and the final musical episodes.

Orfeo

Verdi Heroines
J. Várady • G. Bumbry • Stoyanova • Lipovšek • A. Baltsa • G. Dimitrova • M. Dragoni • Cotrubaș
Orfeo MP1904

Giuseppe Verdi’s operas are notable for their strong and interesting female characters. Countless operatic divas owe their fame to one or more Verdi operas, some of them having grown into real Verdi specialists acknowledged as the ideal embodiment of leading ladies in operas like La traviata, Luisa Miller, Aida, Macbeth, Don Carlos, and Il trovatore. This double album presents several of the greatest Verdi singers, along with some prima donnas who are seldom thought of as Verdi exponents, including Agnes Baltsa, Julia Varady, Krassimira Stoyanova, Ileana Cotrubas, Grace Bumbry, and many more.

SWR Classic

MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 6 (Michael Gielen: In Memoriam) (1971, 2013)
Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks, Baden-Baden und Freiburg • Gielen
SWR19080CD

This ‘in memoriam’ album contains two recordings of Mahler’s Symphony No. 6, made 42 years apart: the performance from 1971 (first authorized release) and the performance from 2013 at the Salzburger Festspiele (first release on these formats). Mahler’s No. 6 was a central piece in Gielen’s repertoire. The contrast between the two performances is dramatic, expressing the full range of Gielen’s approach to Mahler.

Michael Gielen held several positions with prestigious ensembles across Germany until finally taking directorship of the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden and Freiburg in 1986. He also taught orchestral conducting at the Salzburg Mozarteum until he became an emeritus professor in 1995. He passed away earlier this year at 91 years of age.

More from SWR Classic
Selected DVDs

C Major

MOZART, W.A.: Don Giovanni [Opera] (Arena di Verona, 2015)
C. Álvarez • Esposito • Siri • Lungu • Siwek • Pirgu • Arena of Verona Choir and Orchestra • Montanari • Zeffirelli
C Major 751808 [DVD]

Mozart’s Don Giovanni, in the beautiful staging by legendary Franco Zeffirelli, is a spectacle with a strong anaesthetising component and a feast for the eyes. In this production ‘Zeffirelli returns to a representative Super classic line, renewing the complex mechanisms of almost all his other productions’ (Il corriere musicale) with ‘beautiful classic costumes by Maurizio Millenotti and lights by Paolo Mazzon’ (L’ape musicale). Carlos Álvarez is ‘of beautiful voice’ (GP Opera) and ‘presumably today’s best Don Giovanni’ (L’ape musicale) while ‘Irina Lungu is one of the best lyric sopranos’ (L’ape musicale). ‘Donna Elvira, being sung by Maria José Siri was clearly and advantageously represented by her mellow and beguiling voice.’ (MTG Lirica)

Also available on Blu-ray (751904)

Dynamic

PUCCINI, G.: Le Villi [Opera] (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, 2018)
Fabbian • Leva • Caimi • Laudadio • Fiorentino Maggio Musicale Chorus and Orchestra • Anguis
Dynamic DYN-37840 [DVD]

Le Villi is an opera-ballet in two acts that marked Giacomo Puccini’s debut in the world of opera. All the elements of the more mature Puccini are already recognisable in this work: the characters of Anna and Roberto anticipate the ‘love victim’ and the ‘man without qualities’ archetypes of his later operas, while his touches of harmony and aria structure foresee his future success. This rare work opened the 2018-2019 season of Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the performance received exceptional reviews. ‘Conductor Marco Angius delivers a fierce and passionate performance and under his baton the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino is able to convey all the various shades of the score.’ (Gbopera.it)

Also available on Blu-ray (DYN-57840) and CD (CDS7840)

More from Dynamic

Opus Arte

SHAKESPEARE, W.: The Roman Plays – Coriolanus • Julius Caesar • Antony and Cleopatra • Titus Andronicus (4-DVD Boxed Set)
Various Artists
Opus Arte OA1295BD [DVD]

This special release from the Royal Shakespeare Company brings together for the first time four of their critically acclaimed productions: the boxed set includes Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Julius Caesar, and Titus Andronicus, known collectively as The Roman Plays. Filmed throughout 2017 in Stratford-upon-Avon, they prove that some of Shakespeare’s lesser performed works should still be held in high regard, with their power to hold a mirror to contemporary society and their universal themes. The critical reception for the productions was excellent: ‘Terrific…outstanding’ (The Mail on Sunday on Antony and Cleopatra); ‘Strongly performed modern reframing of one of Shakespeare’s most political plays’ (The Stage on Coriolanus); ‘Everything about this production feels right’ (The Guardian on Julius Caesar); ‘There’s fantastic work, throughout, from Troughton [in the title role].’ (The Daily Telegraph on Titus)

Also available on Blu-ray (OABD7262BD)

More from Opus Arte

Free Downloads from ArcoDiva

ArcoDiva has produced over 200 titles across all classical music genres since it was established in 1998, many of which received awards abroad. The label specially selected superb pieces for this month’s free music. Download and enjoy!

Vivaldi, Bach, Albinoni, Tartini, Telemann & Bellini: Masters of Baroque
Vivaldi, Bach, Albinoni, Tartini, Telemann & Bellini: Masters of Baroque
Janáček: On an Overgrown Path • In the Mists
Janáček: On an Overgrown Path • In the Mists
Smetana: Ma vlast (My Fatherland)
Smetana: Ma vlast (My Fatherland)
Crossover (Venys, Epoque Quartet, Pavelka)
Crossover (Venys, Epoque Quartet, Pavelka)
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 1 – Alma Maria Mahler: Songs (Polaskova, Prague Symphony, Macal)
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 1 – Alma Maria Mahler: Songs


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