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In addition to its own wide-reaching monthly new releases (see http://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.

LABEL OF THE MONTH: OehmsClassics

OehmsClassics' philosophy of giving an opportunity to living artists who are active in today’s musical world has, for a long time, no longer been confined to young and upcoming performers. Established and renowned figures in the arts world have increasingly expressed their desire to be included on the label. This includes well-known orchestras and opera houses that create highly acclaimed and award-winning productions for the label, from the classical and contemporary repertoire, alongside their chief conductors, ensembles and guest stars.

OehmsClassics has a catalogue of around 700 CDs, from Albinoni to Zemlinsky and from early music through to the first German performance of Aribert Reimann’s latest opera Medea, recorded live at the Oper Frankfurt.

Discover the operas of Donizetti’s teacher, Johann Simon Mayr, or be amazed by the forgotten recordings made on the spectacular Welte organ originally built for the fated ocean liner Britannic. Explore the label’s wide selection and find something new and interesting to add to your collection.

PIAZZOLLA, A.: Marimba Arrangements (Piazzolla on Marimba)
PIAZZOLLA, A.: Marimba Arrangements (Piazzolla on Marimba)
Honda, Nunoya, Sato, Shano
OehmsClassics OC1851

Marimbist Fumito Nunoya has enjoyed international fame as one of the most in demand marimba players of today. A native of Odate in Japan, he is currently based out of Herford in Germany where he teaches at the Academy of Music in Detmold. In addition to performing across Europe, he frequently gives concerts in the United States and Japan. For this release, he has chosen Astor Piazzolla’s Tango Suite I-III, Tangata “Silfo y Ondina” and other well-known works by the tango master. Nunoya is joined for this recording by pianist Momoko Shano, fellow marimbist Hiroya Honda, and violinist Yuka Sato.

Other Exciting New Releases:
Selected CDs

Accentus Music

FAURÉ, G.: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2 (Concert-Centenaire, Vol. 3)
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FAURÉ, G.: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2 (Concert-Centenaire, Vol. 3)
Ingolfsson, Stoupel
Accentus Music ACC-303713

The music of French composer Gabriel Faure (1845-1924) is marked by lyrical lines and flowing harmonies. His elegant music is transparent and virtuosic. These two pieces were written more than four decades apart, and show turning points in the composer’s artistic life. The first sonata was the composer’s breakthrough hit. The success of this work unleashed an interest in his pieces across France. The second sonata is the first piece from the composer’s final period, when he wrote primarily chamber music.

Both accomplished soloists with impressive international careers, violinist Judith Ingolfsson and pianist Vladimir Stoupel began their successful collaboration in 2006. The duo devotes themselves to the discovery and performance of uncommon repertoire.

Cantaloupe Music

GHYS, F.: Friday 3PM / Wednesday / Thursday Afternoon / Sunday / Monday Morning / Thursday Morning / Tuesday Noon Around
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GHYS, F.: Friday 3PM / Wednesday / Thursday Afternoon / Sunday / Monday Morning / Thursday Morning / Tuesday Noon Around
Bonjour
Cantaloupe Music CA-21120

Bonjour was founded in 2012 by composer and bassist Florent Ghys. By combining low strings- basses cellos, and guitars- with drumkit, pitched percussion, melodica, and voices, Ghys was able to create music which flows effortlessly across genres, creating a unique sound that is “equal parts groove, melody and meditation.”

This release is Bonjour’s self-titled debut. The work is performance-based, but is still compelling in nature. Jazz and new classical influences can be heard in these works, but with an edge that pushes the music toward adventure, edginess, and slightly avante-garde. Ghys is joined by cellist Ashley Bathgate, guitarist James Moore, bassist Eleonore Oppenheim, and percussionist Owen Weaver.

Capriccio

Reger: Orchestral Songs
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Reger: Orchestral Songs
Edelmann, Iranyi, Trost, Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra, Bühl
Capriccio C5275

It's not generally known that Max Reger, while gradually adding to his own catalogue, turned to arranging works by other composers as a form of relaxation between producing his own compositions. Unlike Reger's original works for voice and orchestra, which largely reflect the tradition of the French orchestral song, his arrangements were usually made with staging considerations in mind.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Cedille

TCHAIKOVSKY, P.: Complete Violin and Orchestra Works
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TCHAIKOVSKY, P.: Complete Violin and Orchestra Works
Koh, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Vedernikov
Cedille CDR90000-166

Strings Magazine calls Jennifer Koh’s new album of Tchaikovsky’s Complete Works for Violin, “remarkable… thoughtful and vibrant.” Jennifer Koh won Musical America’s 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year award. Before that, she received top prize in the 1994 Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow where she won three special prizes, including Best Performance for Tchaikovsky’s Concerto. This is Koh’s eleventh album for Cedille Records. Her previous record String Poetic, was recently nominated for a Grammy® Award.

Dacapo

HELSTED, G.: Decet / String Quartet
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HELSTED, G.: Decet / String Quartet
Bülow, Goija, Palomares, Yi, Randers Chamber Orchestra
Dacapo 8.226111

Danish organist and composer Gustav Helsted did not begin his musical career until he was 22 years old, at which time he enrolled in the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen. Helsted’s contemporaries viewed his writing style as modern and radical. A critic in his native Denmark wrote that he was “… a questing artist who chooses his resources with extremely discerning taste, and who may therefore seem odd and unapproachable.” This release includes the world première recording of Helsted’s Decet in D major, Op. 18 (1891) alongside his String Quartet in F minor, Op. 33.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Delos

MCGLYNN, M.: Celtic Mass / MACMILLAN, J.: Mass
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MCGLYNN, M.: Celtic Mass / MACMILLAN, J.: Mass
Hendrickson, Hinson, Lucas, Miller, Sheaffer, E. and T. Williams, Taylor Festival Choir, Taylor
Delos DE3493

This lovely performance from the Taylor Festival Choir presents two very different but both profoundly spiritual arrangements of the Catholic Mass. Both of these works display their composers’ strong Celtic roots. Celtic Mass by Michael McGlynn includes sections in Irish Gaelic between the traditional Latin phrases. Mass by James MacMillan sets the movements in English, and includes other liturgical texts that make the work acceptable for a stand-alone service.

The Taylor Festival Choir, conducted by Robert Taylor, has earned itself a strong reputation for being one of America’s most prestigious professional choirs.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Grand Piano

USTVOLSKAYA, G.I. / SILVESTROV, V. / KANCHELI, G.: Piano and Orchestra Works
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USTVOLSKAYA, G.I. / SILVESTROV, V. / KANCHELI, G.: Piano and Orchestra Works
Blumina, Spitschka, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Sanderling
Grand Piano GP678

With two world première recordings, this programme highlights the Romantic and spiritual side of contemporary music from Russia and Eastern Europe. Galina Ustvolskaya’s early Concertoexpresses a vision of beauty and suffering in a tonal language quite unlike her later works. Giya Kancheli’s Sio or ‘breeze’ is notable for its striking use of silence, as well as modal tunes, bass drones and wide dynamic extremes derived from Georgian folk music. Silvestrov’s devotional Hymn reflects his approach to music as “a song the world sings about itself”. Elisaveta Blumina’s acclaimed recording of Silvestrov’s solo piano works can be heard on GP639.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Ondine

PROKOFIEV, S.: Piano Concertos Nos. 1, 3 and 4
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PROKOFIEV, S.: Piano Concertos Nos. 1, 3 and 4
Mustonen, Finnish Radio Symphony, Lintu
Ondine ODE1244-2

Prokofiev’s Piano Concertos are 20th-century masterpieces. The composer himself was a skilled pianist and the works are noted for their technical brilliance. The youthful First Concerto is joined here by his Third (and most popular) Concerto, plus the Fourth, which was written for the left hand alone. Olli Mustonen is the renowned piano soloist, continuing his series of recordings for Ondine that includes Respighi’s Concerto in modo Misolidio (ODE1165-2) with the Finnish Radio Symphony, and a critically acclaimed disc of Scriabin’s Solo Piano Music (ODE1184-2). The pairing of conductor Hannu Lintu and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra has already gathered excellent reviews in the international press.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Orlando Records

MÁRQUEZ, A. / KHACHATURIAN, A.I. / VILLA-LOBOS, H. / GERSHWIN, G. / FERK, M. / PIAZZOLLA, A.: Geography of Sound (Chamber Music)
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MÁRQUEZ, A. / KHACHATURIAN, A.I. / VILLA-LOBOS, H. /
GERSHWIN, G. / FERK, M. / PIAZZOLLA, A.: Geography of Sound (Chamber Music)

Trio KlaVis
Orlando Records OR0020

A musical journey through the home countries of the Trio‘s members (Azerbaijan, Turkey, Mexico and Russia) as well as Austria and the Balkan, but also a journey through various musical styles and eras. Folk music next to classical and cross-over – an inspiring kaleidoscope of today‘s musical possibilities.

Other Exciting New Releases:

OUR Recordings

BORUP-JØRGENSEN, A.: Piano Music
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BORUP-JØRGENSEN, A.: Piano Music
Erik Kaltoft
OUR Recordings 6.220616

Composer Axel Borup-Jørgensen never held a high-profile post as an academic or performer. Rather, he chose to live a quiet life composing and teaching piano. With an intensely personal style, Borup-Jørgensen was a scrupulous modernist. His music has a concentrated language and an advancement of expression. Although Borup-Jørgensen was an adept pianist, he did not write a great deal of literature for the instrument. The works on this release are an overview of his piano output, and span almost five decades.

Pianist Erik Kaltoft interprets this demanding repertoire. He is a contemporary music specialist, and was also a friend, colleague, and collaborator with the composer for forty-five years.

Paladino Music

POULENC, F.: L’Histoire de Babar / Improvisations / Caprice
POULENC, F.: L’Histoire de Babar / Improvisations / Caprice
May, Shetler, Thorel, Wienand, Wilkening
Paladino Music PMR0072

This brilliant recording tells the story of Babar, the little elephant who lost his mother. Set to music by French composer Francis Poulenc between 1940 and 1945, this is a beautiful piece of art for adults and children alike. The CD features Eva-Maria May and Alexander Wienand on piano, and Stefan Wilkening, Julien Thorel and Norman Shetler as narrators.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Solo Musica

MOZART, W.A.: Die Entführung aus dem Serail (arr. for wind ensemble)
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MOZART, W.A.: Die Entführung aus dem Serail (arr. for wind ensemble)
La Scintilla dei Fiati
Solo Musica SM244

The wind ensemble La Scintilla dei Fiati is composed of members of Orchestra La Scintilla at the Zurich Opera. Through their work, the ensemble aims to revive the extensive, partly neglected, yet wonderful repertoire of a musical form which had such a rich tradition in the courts of Europe in the late 18th century. These musicians dedicate a significant part of their working lives to chamber music.

Sono Luminus

GLASS, P.: Etudes, Books 1 and 2 / The Illusionist Suite / Dreaming Awake / Metamorphosis II
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GLASS, P.: Etudes, Books 1 and 2 / The Illusionist Suite /
Dreaming Awake / Metamorphosis II

Hawke, Levingston
Sono Luminus DSL-92205

Bruce Levingston has a long association with composer Philip Glass. In 2004, the composer wrote his musical tribute to Chuck Close expressly for Levingston who later premièred the piece at Lincoln Center in New York City. The next year, Levingston and Glass joined again in the same venue for a concert of piano duets which also featured Levingston’s longtime friend, Ethan Hawke. This group of artists has joined together once more for this release of Glass’ works. Levingston is an internationally recognized concert pianist and recording artist, whose last album, Heavy Sleep, garnered the praise of audiences and critics, being named one of New York Times’ “Best Recordings of the Year.”

This release includes the world première recording of The Illusionist Suite as well as ten of the composer’s deeply moving Etudes. This two-disc set has already been praised by media outlets.

Other Exciting New Releases:

SWRmusic

RAVEL, M.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 4 - Shéhérazade / L'heure espagnole
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RAVEL, M.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 4 - Shéhérazade / L'heure espagnole
Beuron, d'Oustrac, Duhamel, Fouchécourt, Gay, South West German Radio Symphony Orchestra, Denève
SWRmusic SWR19016CD

Maurice Ravel's predilection for fantasy worlds and exotic ambience can be heard in many of his orchestral works. Even as a student he composed the Ouverture de Sheherezade and had planned to write an opera based on the fairytales of the Arabian Nights. in the end, all that remains are three poems for voice and orchestra. Stéphanie d'Oustrac sings these songs rapturously and with exactly the right feel for oriental opulence.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Tactus

DELLA CIAIA, A.B.: Complete Keyboard Music
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DELLA CIAIA, A.B.: Complete Keyboard Music
Fanciullacci, Fanelli, Medori
Tactus TC670480

Born in Siena, Azzolino Della Ciaia was an Italian organist, harpsichordist, composer and organ builder. He worked as an expert organ builder and most notably worked on the organ of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, a large 5-manual and more than 60-stop organ. Mara Fanelli and Olimpio Medori bring Ciaia's works to life with their rich musicianship.

Tafelmusik

BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphony No. 9, "Choral"
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BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphony No. 9, "Choral"
Balzer, Nesi, Plundrich, Tischler,
Tafelmusik Chamber Choir and Baroque Orchestra, Weil

Tafelmusik TMK1030CD

Tafelmusik is thrilled to present its live recording of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony — the final work in the orchestra’s complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies, which began 18 years ago. With the September 30, 2016 release, Tafelmusik makes history as the first North American orchestra to have recorded all nine Beethoven symphonies on period instruments.

The recording took place February 4 through 7, 2016, during a series of sold-out, critically acclaimed public performances in Toronto’s Koerner Hall, with conductor Bruno Weil leading the combined forces of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, and guest soloists Sigrid Plundrich, soprano; Mary-Ellen Nesi, mezzo-soprano; Colin Balzer, tenor; and Simon Tischler, bass-baritone.

Maestro Weil stated “We approach the Beethoven concerts and recording as if they were the very first performances, as though the music had been composed yesterday. This is the real thing — there’s no sense of routine with Tafelmusik musicians and everybody’s playing with a full heart and a full soul and spirit. That is the secret to a great performance.” He marks the 25th anniversary of his first collaboration with Tafelmusik this year.

Timpani

THIRION, L.: Piano Trio, Op. 11 / String Quartet, Op. 10
THIRION, L.: Piano Trio, Op. 11 / String Quartet, Op. 10
Kuijk, Païdassi, Wagschal, Stanislas Quartet
Timpani 1C1237

Louis Thirion wrote a succession of sonatas and symphonies in the early 20th century. War took him away from the music scene, but above all he saw the destruction of his house and his manuscripts which made him give up his creative activity. From then on, he devoted himself to teaching. It only takes one to listen to the extracts of the Trio and the Quartet in order to be convinced of the value of this attractive, inspired and skillful composer.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Yarlung Records

MATHESON, J.: Violin Concerto / String Quartet / Time Alone
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MATHESON, J.: Violin Concerto / String Quartet / Time Alone
Dodge, Strickling, Sauer, Color Field Quartet, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Salonen
Yarlung Records YAR25670

James Matheson composed his Violin Concerto specifically for violinist Baird Dodge, conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Having lived in many places, Matheson feels as if Los Angeles "claimed him as their own". While in Los Angeles, Mathson has served as the director for the LA Phil Composer Fellowship Program, mentoring a number of young people, as they navigate the perilous, sometimes lonely and often exhilarating career into which their talents propel them.

"Although this recording celebrates the wonderful music of James Matheson, Baird Dodge was the secret force that enabled the whole enterprise to reach fruition. The Violin Concerto was written for him. He played the première performance that is memorialized here. A streamed recording of that performance was briefly available on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra website was what convinced me to pursue Jim for our first commissioning project. Baird is a key player in Color Field, the wonderful quartet who perform Jim's piece brilliantly in this recording. Baird and I enjoy the serendipity involved in projects like this, the collision of happy and odd events, often over a long period of time, that magically result in a wonderful work of art. But serendipity by itself is not enough. A "special sauce" is needed to bring it all together. From my view, Baird is just that. Thank you, Baird." - J. Schlichting

Selected DVDs

Accentus Music

BELLINI, V.: I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Zürich Opera, 2015)
Bernheim, Botnarciuc, DiDonato, Kulchynska, Lorenzi, Puchalski,
Zurich Opera House Choir, Philharmonia Zurich, Luisi

Accentus Music ACC-10353 [Blu-ray] | ACC-20353 [DVD]

The story of Shakespeare’s star crossed lovers has been adapted and retold by composers, librettists, playwrights, and choreographers for centuries. Since the Renaissance, everyone seems to have put their own spin on the story. This release features Vincenzo Bellini’s frequently overlooked gem I Capuleti e i Montecchi. This work is unique because it’s not simply a retelling of Shakespeare’s story set to music. Rather, the opera tells the account of the last 24 hours in Romeo and Juliet’s lives. Desperation and melancholy draw to a tragic cataclysm as the young lovers choose to end their lives. This production, directed by Christof Loy and conducted by Fabio Luisi, originates in Zurich, and was wonderfully received by both audiences and critics. Joyce DiDonato dazzles in the role of Romeo alongside Ukrainian soprano Olga Kulchynska who plays Giulietta.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Arthaus Musik

WAGNER, R.: The Becoming of the Mannheim Ring (Documentary, 2015)
WAGNER, R.: The Becoming of the Mannheim Ring (Documentary, 2015)
Various Artists
Arthaus Musik 109288 [DVD]

This release includes nearly five hours of film to give a deep insight into the becoming of Wagner’s tetralogy of the “Ring.” This film is directed by Rudij Bergmann who accompanied Achim Freyer’s production for more than two years. Included are interviews with director Achim Freyer, conductor Dan Ettinger, the singers, and most of the crew at the Mannheim National Theatre. Rudij Bergmann has already made a name for himself in the world of documentaries. His films on Neo Rauch and Robert Hausser have garnered him critical acclaim. This is the world of opera as it has never been seen by the outside world.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Bel Air Classiques

TRIBUTE TO EVGENY SVETLANOV - RACHMANINOV, S.: The Bells / BARTÓK, B.: Piano Concerto No. 3 / PROKOFIEV, S.: They are Seven
TRIBUTE TO EVGENY SVETLANOV - RACHMANINOV, S.: The Bells / BARTÓK, B.: Piano Concerto No. 3 / PROKOFIEV, S.: They are Seven
Bronfman, Grivnov, Leiferkus, Pavlovskaya, Yurlov Academic Choir,
State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation, Jurowski

Bel Air Classiques BAC107

This release celebrates the 85th birthday of the great Russian composer Evgeny Svetlanov. It was filmed in the magnificent room of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in which Svetlanov spent 35 years leading the Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation. The program is a selection of great pieces by Prokofiev, Bartok and Rachmaninoff. Evgeny Svetlanov began and ended his career with one of his favourite works, Rachmaninoff's choral symphony, The Bells. He chose it for his final exam at the Moscow Conservatory and conducted it just two weeks before his death.

Other Exciting New Releases:

C Major

BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphony No. 9 (with documentary)
Beczala, Dasch, Fujimura, Zeppenfeld, Wiener Singverein,
Wiener Philharmoniker, Thielemann

C Major 737904 [Blu-ray] | 737808 [DVD]

This fascinating release of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 stands apart from any other recording of the work. This is the first time the magnificent piece has been recorded in HD and 5.0 surround sound, offering the most outstanding sound quality available today. Christian Thielemann leads the Wiener Philharmoniker in this moving interpretation.

“Thielemann’s reading of the Beethoven symphonies stands heads and shoulders above the countless and mostly undistinguishable versions on offer.” (Die Presse)

The performance is accompanied by an hour-long documentary featuring the conductor and Germany’s foremost music critic, Professor Joachim Kaiser. The film provides insights into Beethoven’s thinking, as well as interpretal comparisons from conductors like Karajan, Bernstein, and Järvi.

Dynamic

Buy now
MASSENET, J.: Manon (Opéra Royal de Wallonie, 2014)
Conzen, Davin, Delcour, Doyen, Joakim, Liberatore, Massis, Pastrana, Tchuradze, Yerna, Chorus de L’Opera Royal de Wallonie, Orchestre de L’Opera Royal de Wallonie
Dynamic DYN-37751 [DVD] | CDS7751 [CD]

This recording features Annick Massis as Manon and the tenor Alessandro Liberatore in his debut as Grieux. Both artists are distinguished interpreters of the leading roles.

Manon is Massenet's most popular and enduring opera. Following its première, it quickly conquered the world's stages and has continued to maintain its important place in the repertory ever since. It represents the quintessential charm and vitality of the music and culture of the Parisian Belle Époque.

The opera became a mainstay of the Opéra-Comique in Paris, reaching its 1,000th performance there in 1919.

Other Exciting New Releases:

Opus Arte

MASCAGNI, P.: Cavalleria Rusticana / LEONCAVALLO, R.: Pagliacci
(Royal Opera House, 2015)

Antonenko, Belli, Cliffe, Giannattasio, Goldie, Hulett, Platanias, Sourbis, Westbroek, Zilio, Royal Opera House Chorus and Orchestra, Covent Garden, Pappano
Opus Arte OABD7200D [Blu-ray, HD] | OA1210D [DVD]

Award winning director Damiano Michieletto has brought together these two short operas, both of which are set in a poverty-stricken Southern Italy village in the early 1980s where the Mafia has a stranglehold. Music Director of the Royal Opera, Antonio Pappano, conducts this star studded cast which includes charming Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek, vivacious Italian soprano Carmen Giannattasio, and exhilarating Latvian tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko.

These two works are prime examples of verismo opera–a genre of opera which focuses on the everyday struggles of the common man rather than on mythical or historical legends. Extra features included in this set are Introduction to Cavalleria Rusticana, Introduction to Pagliacci, an interview with Antonio Pappano on the music, and a cast gallery.

Other Exciting New Releases:



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