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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


ULLMANN, V.: Lieder (Schwer ist's, das Schöne zu lassen - Těžké je opustit tu krásu)
Dušek, Troupová-Wilke
ArcoDiva UP0176-2

The new CD “Schwer ist’s das schöne zu lassen” (It is hard to leave beauty) features the complete lieder for soprano and piano of Viktor Ullmann (1898–1944), a victim of the Auschwitz death camp. A resident of Prague before the war, Ullmann found inspiration in the work of Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schönberg and was very close to Schönberg’s Second Viennese School younger contemporary Alban Berg. The accompanying booklet brings sleeve notes by Czech musicologist Eliska Reittererová describing the details of the life and work of Viktor Ullmann, and new English translations of all the songs.

ArcoDiva catalogue on


TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: Pique Dame [Opera]
Diadkova, Didyk, Markov, Serjan, Shishlyaev, Sivko, Slawinski, Volkova, Zaplechny, Kinderchor der Bayerischen Staatsoper,
Chor and Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Jansons

BR-Klassik 900129

BR-Klassik presents the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and its chief conductor Mariss Jansons from Munich’s Philharmonie im Gasteig in this live, semi-staged 2014 production of Tchaikovsky’s late masterpiece The Queen of Spades. With great connoisseurship Maestro Jansons, himself rarely recorded in operatic settings, brought together a group of native, internationally renowned Russian singers for this performance sung in the opera’s original Russian who are also very familiar with the work. They include Misha Didyk as Hermann, Tatiana Serjan as Lisa, and Alexey Markov as Prince Yeletsky.

BR-Klassik catalogue on


VIVALDI, A.: Viola d'amore Concertos (Complete)
Barton Pine, Smith, Ars Antigua
Cedille CDR90000-159

The seductively charming sound of the Baroque-era viola d’amore takes center stage in this new, all-Vivaldi recording with Billboard classical chart-topping violinist Rachel Barton Pine and the veteran Chicago-based period instrument ensemble Ars Antigua, making its Cedille label debut. Ms. Pine, Cedille’s all-time best-selling artist, and Ars Antigua perform all eight of Vivaldi’s virtuosic concertos for viola d’amore. It is an unusual instrument of the violin family with 14 strings: seven played with the bow, the others resonating passively for a sweet, silvery tone.

Cedille catalogue on


Thomas Kingo's Sacred Song Books
Jespersen, Rasmussen, Torp, Phemius Consort
Dacapo 8.226121

The Danish Baroque theologian and poet Thomas Kingo (1634-1703) created his groundbreaking hymnals ‘Aandelige Siunge-Koor’ to encourage the religious faith of his countrymen through domestic devotions in their native language. Today, Kingo’s hymns with their rich Baroque imagery are still at the heart of Danish communal church singing. On this release, however, Phemius Consort presents a selection of the most beautiful Kingo hymns as they were originally intended: as songs with accompaniment, here supplemented by instrumental music by closely related European composers of the period.

Dacapo catalogue on


Dubin, Louise - CHOPIN, F. / FRANCHOMME, A.:
The Franchomme Project (Cello Recital)

Chopin, Franchomme, Dubin, Bruskin, Cherbas, Jeanney, Lam, Thorsteinsdóttir
Delos DE3469

This long-overdue tribute to the French Romantic-era virtuoso cellist and composer August Franchomme brings to light many of his long-neglected original compositions and arrangements for cello(s). Most of which have remained unpublished and unheard for well over a century. This release thus fills a longstanding gap in the annals of music history, revealing fresh perspectives on an important and influential figure of his day whose significant role has long been underappreciated.

As Chopin’s close friend, confidante and musical partner, Franchomme transcribed many of the Polish master’s famous piano works for cellos in various combinations and/or with piano. He penned many remarkable original compositions as well. Some of the best of both are recorded here for the first time. This project is the culmination of years of research by distinguished cellist Louise Dubin, who is also perhaps the world’s leading scholar of Franchomme’s life and work. She performs here as lead cellist, with the sonorous collaboration of fellow cellists Julia Bruskin, Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir and Katherine Cherbas as well as pianists Hélène Jeanney and Andrea Lam.

Delos catalogue on


ROSSINI, G.: Otello [Opera]
Adriaens, Heirman, Kunde, Lupinacci, McPherson, Mironov, Romeu, Wagner, Vlaanderen Opera House Symphony Chorus Ghent, Vlaanderen Opera House Symphony Orchestra Ghent, Zedda
Dynamic CDS7711

The so-called Rossini Renaissance (post-World War II) was an outright revolution, as it led to the rediscovery and staging of a great number of Rossini operas, especially of the serious genre. Otello, one of the finest of Rossini’s serious works, marked one of the first encounters in the history of Italian opera between a composer and Shakespeare’s theatre. Although Rossini later revised the ending away from its fateful, tragic outcome, this production is based on the Rossini Foundation’s critical edition and has the first, tragic finale. This was recorded live in 2014 at Antwerp’s Vlaanderen Opera.

Dynamic catalogue on

Grand Piano

GLASS, P.: Glassworlds 2 – Complete Etudes
Nicolas Horvath
Grand Piano GP690

Two decades of musical evolution and discovery lie behind Philip Glass’ 20 Etudes. They explore a variety of textures, tempi, and techniques and distil intensely intimate personal statements to their purest elements. Providing new music for his solo concerts, they challenged and enhanced Glass’ own piano technique and also provided an unintended but compelling self-portrait of the composer.

Recognized as a leading interpreter of Liszt’s music, Nicolas Horvath has in recent years become one of the most sought after pianists of his generation. Holder of a number of awards, including First Prize of the Scriabin and the Luigi Nono International Competitions, he frequently organizes events and concerts of unusual length, sometimes over twelve hours, such as Philip Glass’ complete piano music or Erik Satie’s Vexations, and composers from a number of countries have written for him. Nicolas Horvath is a Steinway artist.

Grand Piano catalogue on


TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: Iolanta [Opera]
Bondarenko, Golovneva, Heuzenroeder, Oetterli, Popov, Samborska, Schaechter, Sulimsky, Vinogradov, Wryk, Cologne Opera Chorus,
Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne, Kitajenko

OehmsClassics OC963

In Tchaikovsky’s final opera, the king’s blind daughter Iolanta gains her sight because she falls in love... although the whole thing is actually a bit more complicated... Tchaikovsky composed the music for Iolanta, Op. 69, to a libretto by his brother Modest, during the second half of 1891. The Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg commissioned two pieces using fairytale motives to be performed on the same evening – a one act opera and a ballet; the latter was to become his famous Nutcracker ballet. Dmitrij Kitajenko leads the Gürzenich Orchestra in this live Köln Opera production.

OehmsClassics catalogue on


KUULA, T.: South Ostrobothnian Suites Nos. 1-2 / Festive March / Prelude and Fugue
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, Segerstam
Ondine ODE1270-2

A Finnish composer with significant melodic gifts and a private pupil of Sibelius, Toivo Kuula (1883-1918) is best-known as a tragic national-romantic composer of vocal music, although he took considerable interest in writing orchestral music and in his orchestral works, conjuring up powerful Nordic moods. This new disc features a large portion of Kuula’s orchestral works completed by the time of his premature death, mostly written during the 1910s. This is the first release on Ondine by the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and their new (2012) chief conductor Leif Segerstam.

Ondine catalogue on

Orlando Records

Weyer, Sabine - DEBUSSY, C. / RAMEAU, J.-P.: Images (Piano Recital)
Sabine Weyer
Orlando Records OR0015

Sabine Weyer, a young pianist from Luxemburg, presents her debut recording “Images”. She is a prizewinner of various international competitions including the Grand Prize Virtuoso International Competition held in Vienna in February 2015. Ms. Weyer combines Debussy’s all-time favorite and album namesake with Rameau’s Suite in A Minor / Major, thus showing not only her own love for French keyboard music, but also the connection between two masters of their respective eras. Ms. Weyer often plays concerts throughout Europe and the United Kingdom as a soloist and chamber music participant, and toured China in 2014.

Paladino Music

POULENC, F.: Chamber Music - Violin Sonata / Flute Sonata / Improvisations / Sonata for 2 Pianos
Lessing, May, Wienand, Wiese
Paladino Music PMR0049

Francis Poulenc’s Violin and Flute Sonatas and his Sonata for Two Pianos are some of the most popular chamber works of the 20th century. Poulenc, whose oeuvre spanned more than four decades up until his sudden death in 1963, remained loyal to the aesthetic foundation of the “Groupe des Six”. Independent of all later radical changes of style and challenges, he maintained his musical style rooted in the tradition from Baroque to Impressionism. These new recordings feature four of Germany’s foremost musicians: Kolja Lessing, violin; Henrik Wiese, flute; Eva-Maria May, piano; and Alexander Wienand, piano.

Paladino Music catalogue on

Solo Musica

Duo Arnicans - CHOPIN, F. / DOHNÁNYI, E.: Cello and Piano Recital
Duo Arnicans
Solo Musica SM226

The Duo Arnicans comprises Florian Arnicans, whose roots are in Germany, and Arta Arnicane, who was born in Latvia. They found each other through music and now live together in Zurich. The duo has performed in numerous concerts and recitals at home and abroad. Their first international concert tour took place in the autumn of 2014 when they had great success in Scotland, England (London) and Latvia (Riga). The debut album of Duo Arnicans is composed of two sonatas for cello and piano, and encore pieces. It presents an emotionally charged program reflecting the personalities of the two artists.

Solo Musica catalogue on

Sono Luminus

Del Sol String Quartet - BATES, M. / UENO, K. / FAIROUZ, M.: Scrapyard Exotica (String Quartet Recital)
Bates, Del Sol String Quartet
Sono Luminus DSL-92193

Scrapyard Exotica is Del Sol String Quartet’s third full Sono Luminus studio album. It features a triumvirate of composers representing leading voices in very different flavors of music within the classical avant-garde. A wide-ranging diversity of influences feeds each composer’s unique voice, firmly rooted in the here and now, sharing their experiences of life in the 21st century.

Mason Bates’ four exciting “Bagatelles for String Quartet and Electronica” was made in collaboration with Del Sol by playing with new sounds in the studio. “Peradam” by Ken Ueno utilizes throat singing. Mohammed Fairouz’s meditative four movements piece “The Named Angels” refers to those angels named and recognized in the Islamic, Christian and Jewish traditions: Michael, Israfel, Gabriel and Azrael.

Hailed by Gramophone as “masters of all musical things they survey,” The San Francisco based Del Sol String Quartet, two-time winner of the top Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, commissions and performs outstanding new works from around the world.

Sono Luminus catalogue on


BELLAFRONTE, R.: Guitar Music
Di Ienno, Ferrantini, Lattanzi, De Ritis, Quartetto Guadagnini
Tactus TC960203

The guitar of Davide Di Ienno is the common denominator of this musical journey within the work of the composer Raffaele Bellafronte. His music touches on many styles. Lightheartedly borrowing from various past traditions, he appropriates dance languages rooted in learned and folk music and also pays tribute to Spanish music, symbol par excellence of guitar expression. Exploration of the guitar’s technical possibilities overlaps with that of the marimba, bassoon, flute and string quartet, making for a fascinating musical journey interspersed with a great rhythm, color and mood variety.

Tactus catalogue on

Yarlung Records

Sophisticated Lady Jazz Quartet: Simpler Times
Sophisticated Lady Jazz Quartet
Yarlung Records YAR65006

More jazz records should be like Sophisticated Lady Quartet—relaxed yet focused, tradition-based yet modern, elegant yet conveying a sure sense of swing. The recording is so pure that you almost feel as if you’re eavesdropping on four musicians who seem completely in their element while performing, in a one-take environment, a set that’s evenly split between previously rehearsed arrangements and performances where they had one chance to turn a composition into a memorable piece of music. No splicing or editing here—just a live-in-the-studio recording where the mood, playing and sonics are so solid that that jazz lovers will wish that the mostly-classical label Yarlung wandered over to this side of the street more often. – Jeff Wilson, The Absolute Sound

Yarlung Records catalogue on


President's Own United States Marine Band: Deep Cuts, Vol. 3
The President's Own United States Marine Band, Kline
Altissimo 75442205052

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 third and final volume, The President’s Own U.S. Marine Band records another wave of fantastic and rare marches, all with that distinctive Sousa sound.

Altissimo catalogue on

Selected DVDs

Accentus Music

MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 7
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Chailly
Accentus Music ACC-10309 [Blu-ray] | ACC-20309 [DVD]

Mahler’s Seventh Symphony is one of his most interesting and, of the purely instrumental symphonies, arguably houses among his most experimental orchestral writing, most notably the two “Nachtmusik” movements. This is third of his middle symphonies trilogy of inner-focused personal trauma, turmoil and triumph. “It is my best work, with a primarily cheerful character”. This was Gustav Mahler’s assessment of his Symphony No. 7, which was also highly regarded by Arnold Schoenberg, who said, “I had an impression of absolute peace based on artistic harmony. Something able to set me in motion without recklessly unsettling my center of gravity.”

In his internationally acclaimed interpretations, Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhaus Orchestra are bringing together Mahler’s symphonies in a complete cycle. It focuses on the musical qualities of the works, eschewing false pathos and sentimentality while giving up none of the music’s dramatic intensity.

Accentus Music catalogue on

Arthaus Musik

MASCAGNI, P.: Cavalleria Rusticana / LEONCAVALLO, R.: Pagliacci (Zurich Opera, 2009)
Bermudez, Cedolins, Cura, Davidson, Friedli, Guelfi, Marrocu, Nikiteanu, Zvetanov, Zurich Opera House Chorus, Zurich Opera House Orchestra, Ranzani
Arthaus Musik 109170 [Blu-ray]

Here are two timeless stories of love, honor, justice and violence – a highlight for every opera lover.Pietro Mascagni‘s Cavalleria Rusticana and Ruggero Leoncavallo‘s Pagliacci speak to one’s heart and soul. They are regarded as the most absorbing tragedies of Italian music theatre. Adultery, jealousy and betrayal are leading to passionate conflicts that jointly connect both operas. The impressively embellished stage waives exaggerated decoration to underline the unflattering realistic brutality. Both operas are supported by a musical variety of great arias, short duets and amazing choir passages that add to the unveiled expression of feelings.

Arthaus Musik catalogue on


CILEA, F.: Arlesiana (L') (Fondazione Pergolesi Spontini, 2013)
Antonucci, Caradja, Golovnin, Lori, Saitta, Shine, Sicilia, Strano, Vestri,
Coro Lirico Marchigiano V. Bellini, Marchigiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Cilluffo

Dynamic DYN-57688 [Blu-ray] | DYN-37688 [DVD]

The Dynamic label presents Francesco Cilea’s rarely heard or produced opera L’Arlesiana (1897, rev. 1898) in its video formats world premiere: DVD and Blu-ray. It is the story of Federico, the older son of the widow and farm owner Rosa Mamai, and his insane passion for a mysterious woman who, in the opera, is never shown. Federico wants to marry her desperately, dreams of her, suffers for her, and step-by-step his mind begins to waver. The people around him try in vain to prevent this love from becoming a damning obsession. The end result for Federico, however, is tragic.

The opera's famous aria “Il lament di Federico” has been a favorite with tenors throughout the ages, including Enrico Caruso. This recording also features the aria for tenor “Una mattina” in world premiere recording. It was written by Cilea for the opera’s first version and then lost. Directed by Rosetta Cucchi, this is a co-production between Teatro Pergolesi and Wexford Festival Opera.

Dynamic catalogue on


Kavakos, Berliner Philharmoniker, Rattle
EuroArts 2060894 [Blu-ray] | 2060898 [DVD]

The founding of the Berliner Philharmoniker on the first of May in 1882, is annually celebrated in a European city of cultural significance. In 2015 the Europakonzert, a smash hit with the assembled audience, took place for the second time since 2004 in Athens, Greece, with Leonidas Kavakos joining the Berlin Philharmonic for Sibelius’s Violin Concerto and Bach’s “Largo” from the Sonata No. 3. Also heard were works by Rossini (Semiramide Overture) and Schumann (Symphony No. 3 in E-flat, Op. 97 ‘Rhenish’).

EuroArts catalogue on

Opus Arte

WAGNER, R.: The Bayreuth Edition
Various Artists
Opus Arte OABD7184BD [Blu-ray] | OA1194BD [DVD]

Since its inception, Bayreuth has become the byword for innovative and daring productions. The six operas featured on this release are certainly no exception; showcasing the original sets, creative productions and outstanding singing that the opera house is famous for, they cement Bayreuth’s worldwide reputation for nurturing raw talent, constantly striving for innovation.

Jan Philipp Gloger’s controversial production of Der fliegende Holländer is conducted by Christian Thielemann, ‘Germany’s most sought-after conductor’ (Daily Telegraph). Axel Kober takes the helm in Sebastian Baumgarten’s thought provoking production of Tannhäuser which casts the opera as one giant experiment. Die Walküre stars up-and-coming singers Johan Botha and Edith Haller, both praised in the German press for their standout performances. The radical Tristan und Isolde sees Christoph Marthaler setting the romantic opera in a Communist-era reception room, unencumbered by the traditional lakes and forests, instead more like a 1950s psychodrama. Concluding the six operas is Katharina Wagner’s debut production: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, the first ever live recording from the Festival, praised by Opera Canada for its ‘stunning theatrical spectacle’.

Opus Arte catalogue on

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