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In addition to its own wide-reaching monthly new releases (see https://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: Opus Arte

Opus Arte, one of the world's leading DVD labels, is a multi-platform arts production and distribution company dedicated to delivering the highest quality audiovisual entertainment on DVD, Blu-ray, CD, digital download, and in cinema. The label specializes in opera and dance, while its catalogue also embraces many different types of musical experience – from grand opera to fairy tale ballet; contemporary dance to artist portraits.

ROYAL OPERA COLLECTION (THE) (2003–2015) (18-Blu-ray Disc Box Set)
ROYAL OPERA COLLECTION (THE) (2003-2015) (22-DVD Box Set) (NTSC)
Buy
OABD7223BD
[18-Blu-ray Disc Box Set]
OA1244BD
[22-DVD Box Set]
THE ROYAL OPERA COLLECTION (2003–2015)
Various Artists
Opus Arte OABD7223BD [18-Blu-ray Disc Box Set] | OA1244BD [22-DVD Box Set]

This 18-opera collection displays the scope of the The Royal Opera’s work. From the sumptuous beauty of Richard Eyre’s La traviata and the picturesque realism of John Copley’s La bohème to the psychological intensity of David McVicar’s Salome and Kasper Holten’s Król Roger, the impressive collection spans more than two hundred years of great operatic works from the classical period to the present day. Featuring some of the company’s most popular guest artists, including Renée Fleming, Jonas Kaufmann, Joseph Calleja and Diana Damrau, and conductors including Music Director Antonio Pappano. The Royal Opera Collection is a dazzling tour of operatic treasures by Mozart, Verdi, Bizet, Wagner, Mascagni, Leoncavallo, Puccini, Richard Strauss, Szymanowski, Britten and George Benjamin.

Additional Exciting New Releases:
TWO BALLET FAVOURITES BY CHRISTOPHER WHEELDON - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland / Cinderella (2011-2012) (2-Blu-ray Disc Box Set)
TWO BALLET FAVOURITES BY CHRISTOPHER WHEELDON - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland / Cinderella (2011-2012) (2-DVD Box Set) (NTSC)
SHAKESPEARE, W.: Cymbeline (Royal Shakespeare Company, 2016) (Blu-ray, HD)
SHAKESPEARE, W.: Cymbeline (Royal Shakespeare Company, 2016) (NTSC)
MACMILLAN, K.: Anastasia [Ballet] (Royal Ballet, 2016) (Blu-ray, HD)
MACMILLAN, K.: Anastasia [Ballet] (Royal Ballet, 2016) (NTSC)
Selected CDs

Accentus Music

MARTIN, F.: Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke
Damerau • Philharmonia Zürich • Luisi
Accentus Music PHR0108

“It seems as if this text became a part of my life”, wrote Swiss composer Frank Martin about Rainer Maria Rilke’s famous prose poem Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke (The Lay of the Love and Death of Cornet Christoph Rilke) on which he based his composition for alto singer and orchestra. Rilke’s short text describes the fate of a young soldier in a powerful way, who pointlessly rode off into his death during the Ottoman wars in the 17th century. Frank Martin devoted himself to this poem during Second World War and created a highly expressive and thrilling setting. Recorded live at the Zürich Opera House with the Philharmonia Zürich under the direction of Fabio Luisi. The solo part is sung by the German alto singer Okka von der Damerau, who is particularly known for her interpretations of major Wagner and Verdi roles as well as her vast concert repertoire.

Additional Exciting New Releases:

BR-Klassik

DURUFLÉ, M.: Requiem • RESPIGHI, O.: Concerto gregoriano
Damerau • Hanft • Puškarić • Raudales • Sinkevich • Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks • Munich Radio Orchestra • Repušić
BR-Klassik 900320

Maurice Duruflé and Ottorino Respighi both took a major interest in the melodies and harmonies of the Gregorian chant. Duruflé succeeded in fusing Gregorian chant, Baroque polyphony and colorful orchestration into a unified whole. His Requiem, premièred in 1947, is based on Missa pro defunctis, the Latin Mass for the Dead. Respighi, in his Concerto Gregoriano used Gregorian chant as a source of inspiration for the harmonious sound of the concerto and for the song-like treatment he gives to the solo violin.

Capriccio

MAHLER, G.: Das Klagende Lied
S. Schneider • T.A. Baumgartner • Kerl • Eröd • Delgado • Juyoung Kim • Stadler • Ströbl • Wiener Singakademie • Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra • Meister
Capriccio C5316

The cantata Das Klagende Lied even today constitutes a veritable rarity in concert programmes – in an age that without contradiction recognizes Mahler as one of the most eminent milestones in the music history, seeing him permanently embedded in the repertoire. The salient significance of this large-scale, vocal symphonic work is to be seen in the fact that de facto it forms the beginning of Mahler’s familiar oeuvre, explaining and illustrating to the scholar and the exclusively listening music lover alike so many things that make up Mahler. In the context of Das Klagende Lied especially, it might justifiably be asserted that Mahler contains everything that was prior to him, but he also anticipates everything that came after him.

Additional Exciting New Releases:

Dacapo

NØRGÅRD, P.: Orgelbogen • Canon
Jens E. Christensen
Dacapo 6.220656

Per Nørgård is widely regarded as the most impactful Danish composer since Carl Nielsen. Most recently, he received the prestigious Ernst von Siemens Musikpreis in 2016. Throughout his long and influential composing life, Nørgård has had an extensive relationship with the organ. On this recording, released just after the composer’s 85th birthday, the renowned organist Jens E. Christensen performs both The Organ Book, an evocative collection of shorter pieces suitable for use in church services, and the overwhelming Canon, a large-scale organ work characterized by its infinity series and golden rhythmic proportions. Christensen is an expert new music interpreter, having world premièred more than 80 works by composers such as Per Nørgård, Axel Borup-Jørgensen, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, and more.

Delos

TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: Pezzo capriccioso • Variations on a Rococo Theme • Serenade, Op. 48
Kotova • Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra • Fedoseyev
Delos DE3531

“A strong and individual artist whose depth of feeling and technical control are never in doubt.” (Gramophone) This lush and lovely album offers beguiling masterpieces for cello and orchestra by Russia’s most revered composer – played to perfection by the musical team of renowned Russian-American cellist Nina Kotova, with the legendary Russian maestro Vladimir Fedoseyev leading Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra – all musicians who have these soulful pieces in their very bones. Kotova and company begin with Tchaikovsky’s lively Pezzo capriccioso before serving listeners the main course: one of the world’s most beloved works for cello and orchestra, the gorgeous Variations on a Rococo Theme. Then the cellist bows out as we are treated to one of the composer’s greatest orchestral pieces of smaller scale, the shimmering Serenade for Strings. In all, it’s a program filled with soaring melodies and sheer musical delight.

Additional Exciting New Releases:

DSO Live

REJOICE – Christmas with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Brass, Percussion and the Lay Family Concert Organ
M. Preston • Dallas Symphony Orchestra • Loh
DSO Live DSOLive009

In December 2013, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra began an annual Christmas concert featuring the brass and percussion members of the DSO with the incredible Lay Family Concert Organ by C.B. Fisk. It has become a highlight of the DSO’s holiday season. Rejoice: Christmas with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Brass, Percussion and the Lay Family Concert Organ is a selection of live performances from this concert that show the artistry and playing of the members of this great orchestra in its venue. Rejoice includes traditional carols and Christmas favorites in a variety of musical settings – from brass quintet to full symphonic brass and percussion – ranging from classical to jazz styles.

Gramola

LISZT, F.: Piano Sonata, S178/R21
Paul Badura-Skoda
Gramola Gramola99147

Paul describes his performance of the B Minor Sonata from March 29, 1965 in the Carnegie Hall in New York as “one of the most inspired achievements of my career as a pianist.” To confront pernicious and nasty critique two weeks before in the same venue, Badura-Skoda played as unleashed, with an enormous energy, fueled in part by internal fury. This concert recording which is to an extent owed to that heat of the moment is being published now, featuring a second interpretation of the same Sonata, a studio recording made in the Mozartsaal of the Vienna Konzerthaus six years later. This version is more controlled and, in the calmer passages, more internalized and contemplative than the New York interpretation. Let it be up to the listener to decide which of the two versions is the preferred one.

Additional Exciting New Releases:

Grand Piano

HÄSSLER, J.W.: 360 Preludes in All Major and Minor Keys • Fantaisie et Sonate, Op. 4 • Grande Sonate, Op. 26
Buy/Stream
HÄSSLER, J.W.: 360 Preludes in All Major and Minor Keys • Fantaisie et Sonate, Op. 4 • Grande Sonate, Op. 26
Vitlaus von Horn
Grand Piano GP686-87

Johann Wilhelm Hässler is remembered by musicologists for his contest in organ playing with Mozart, but the mostly première recordings show him to be an astonishing enigma whose predilection for composing miniatures reached a pinnacle with the 360 Preludes in All Keys. This remarkable tour de force shows an amazing control of textures and not insignificant humor, its style ranging from CPE Bach’s Empfindsamkeit to prophetic insights anticipating Schumann. The Grande Sonate is a true masterpiece that compares in scope, invention and effect with best of Haydn’s sonatas.

Additional Exciting New Releases:

Kairos

JAKOBER, P.: Substantie • Puls 2 • String Quartet No. 1 • nach Aussen
Bogner • Böhm • Gahl • Jakober • Moser • Klangforum Wien • Asasello Quartet
Kairos 0015007KAI

Peter Jakober’s complex systems of synchronization and desynchronization, multifaceted hues of rhythmic design and microtonal progressions create a suspenseful poetically dynamic sound-schism. Rhythmic superimpositions, shifts, repetitive tones with almost imperceptible pitch changes, and glissandi with continuous pitch-bending are among the stylistic elements employed by the composer. Peter Jakober studied composition under Georg Friedrich Haas and Gerd Kuhr at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz. So far, his works have been interpreted by the Ensemble Recherche, the Aleph Guitar Quartet, Klangforum Wien, and several other prominent ensembles.

Additional Exciting New Releases:

OehmsClassics

ZELLER, C.: Der Vogelhändler [Operetta]
Berchtold • Bergmann • Dosch • Ernst • Fender • Mayer • Puszta • Schellenberger • Stangl • Mörbisch Festival Choir and Orchestra • Priessnitz
OehmsClassics OC461

Things will be jolly good at the Morbisch Lake Festival in 2017! With Christel the post mistress and Adam the bird seller, two of the best-known operetta characters will be returning to the lake stage after an absence of nearly twenty years. Petty corruption in positions of authority, comedy of errors and something for the heart – all the classic operetta ingredients come together masterfully in the Vogelhandler. The arias Grus’ enk Gott, alle miteinander, Ich bin die Christel von der Post and Schenkt man sich Rosen in Tirol are very well known to lovers of operetta throughout the world.

Additional Exciting New Releases:

Ondine

BACH, J.S.: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, BWV 1001-1006
Christian Tetzlaff
Ondine ODE1299-2D

Award-winning violinist Christian Tetzlaff continues his highly successful series of chamber music recordings on Ondine with a new recording of Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, BWV1001-1006. Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas have an iconic status in the violin repertoire. Yet, little is known about the background of these fascinating works. Bach’s autograph manuscript is dated in Köthen in 1720, and it is commonly considered as the year when the cycle was completed. In his booklet notes Christian Tetzlaff offers fascinating perspectives to these masterpieces.

Additional Exciting New Releases:

Orfeo

STRAVINSKY, I.: Le Rossignol [Opera]
Akimov • Begemann • Erdmann • Kuznetsov • Hee-Kwang Lee • Prudenskaya • Pursio • Sokolova • Streckfuss • Vaneev • Wundsam • WDR Rundfunkchor • WDR Sinfonieorchester • Saraste
Orfeo C919171A

Igor Stravinsky’s later stage works Mavra (1922), Oedipus Rex (1927/28) or The Rake’s Progress (1951) are more than matched by his early “lyrical fairy tale in three acts” Le Rossignol, which occupies a special place – due to its brevity at scarcely 45 minutes. This recording features the Russian version, yet it was premièred in French in Paris in 1914. There was a significant gap in time between the composition of the first and the other two acts, a fact that the composer was admittedly able to justify from a point of view of the shaping of the plot, since the cold atmosphere of the Chinese emperor’s royal household required a quite different musical approach to that of the beginning and end of the tale.

OUR Recordings

Garden Party – NIELSEN, C. • HANNIBAL, L. • LALO, E. • CHRISTIANSEN, A.L. • GRIEG, E.
Hannibal • Petri
OUR Recordings 6.220619

All good musical duos are conversations, and when Lars Hannibal and Michala Petri play together, they create an extraordinary, intimate space where you want to sit on the edge of your chair and listen more attentively as each next exchange provides endless moments of sonic joy to delight your ears! In celebration of their 25th Anniversary, Michala and Hannibal have selected a very special program of some of the pieces they have played live so many times – to share that intimate “fleeting moment” they have perfected in the live performances. Featuring musical sketches and character pieces by Nielsen, Grieg, Lalo, Asger Lund-Christiansen, Lars Hannibal and a new arrangement of an ancient Chinese melody Garden Party perfectly captures the spirit of “Conversation, Companionship and Communication” that has defined their quarter-century long musical partnership. You are hereby invited to join the party!

Paladino Music

POPPER, D.: Hohe Schule des Violoncello-Spiels
Martin Rummel
Paladino Music PMR0085

David Popper’s High School of Violoncello Playing is the core etude collection for every cellist. Martin Rummel’s recording from 2004 has been remastered and appears on paladino for the first time. Following our successful recording of Popper’s Complete Suites for Cello (PMR0007), this is the next instalment of the Popper Project, which aims to publish recordings of all extant works.

Solo Musica

BACH, J.S.: Cello Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV 1007-1012 • CAGE, J.: One8 (excerpts) • Chorales
I.J. and J. Berger
Solo Musica SM270

Julius Berger writes of his new release: “Johann Sebastian Bach’s suites for cello solo are arguably the purest form of music, works that require no explanation or background knowledge. Bach made one of his most profound affirmations, a Gradus ad Parnassum, which in six stages sets out an intellectual and technical challenge that is and will probably remain peerless in the history of music for our instrument.

John Cage’s music shares similarities with Bach’s. His music allows for inner reflection, providing a contemplative point of calm. Cage said the purpose of music is ‘to cleanse the soul and bring it peace, thus making it amenable to divine influences’. My son Immanuel intones the chorales to this special music; each chorale is followed by two Bach suites.”

Additional Exciting New Releases:

Sono Luminus

BACH, J.S.: Cello Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV 1007-1012
Richard Narroway
Sono Luminus SLE-70010

Richard’s approach: “For this recording, I use a modern setup: specifically, a 1930 Carl Becker cello made in Chicago, and a modern bow. I admit that such a setup is quite far off from the sound world that Bach must have imagined when composing these suites. I have done my best, however, to balance this modern setup with a thorough understanding of Baroque stylistic principles, particularly in regard to sound production, bow strokes, vibrato, slurring, voicing, and ornaments. The very fact that Bach’s suites can still reveal their secrets through so many varied approaches is a testament to the genius of this music.”

SWR Classic

Michael Gielen Edition, Vol. 6, 1988-2014 – MAHLER, G.: Complete Symphonies
Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks, Baden-Baden und Freiburg • Gielen
SWR Classic SWR19042CD

Michael Gielen Edition comprises several volumes of varying size, dedicated to individual composers or major historical periods. The recordings in this sixth volume have all been taken from the SWR’s Baden-Baden archive. Hence, they are all performed by Gielen’s orchestra, recently named the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg. Presumably the earliest recording of a Mahler symphony conducted by Gielen was at a concert of the Hessischer Rundfunk (public broadcaster for the German state of Hessen), where the Fifth Symphony was played in December 1963, and his last recording of a Mahler symphony was the Sixth Symphony performed in a guest concert of the SWR Symphony Orchestra at the Salzburg Festival on August 21, 2013.

Additional Exciting New Releases:

SWR Jazzhaus

SWR New Jazz Meeting 2016 – Sound Portraits from Contemporary Africa
Buy/Stream
SWR New Jazz Meeting 2016 – Sound Portraits from Contemporary Africa
Cooper • Loueke • Mvubu • Shepherd • Sweetman
SWR Jazzhaus JAH-468

“I see a particular value in exploring the music of my South African homeland and making it fit for the future.” Kyle Shepherd, born in 1987, is the most innovative and important pianist of the contemporary South African jazz scene. He is the curator of the 2016 SWR New Jazz Meeting. At his wish, four young jazz musicians from South Africa and the Benin-born guitarist and singer Lionel Loueke, who since 2001 has been living in the United States, met in November 2016 at the SWR’s Baden-Baden radio studios. The musicians named their project Sound Portraits from Contemporary Africa. The African improvisers experimented for five days and developed a concert programme that they then presented on a tour in the SWR broadcasting area.

Tactus

Musica per flauto e arpa dell'Ottocento Italiano – AMBROSIONI • BOVIO • GARIBOLDI • PASI • TOJA • SOLA
Ortensi • Pasetti
Tactus TC800005

During the first half of the 19th century, when a successful new opera appeared on the scene, the publishing system promoted initiatives that aimed at maximizing its diffusion and creating widespread channels for the exploitation of its popularity. This was helped on by the production of paraphrases, duets and melodies; all these pieces were near-faithful transcriptions of their models, but were enlarged and personalized through the keyboard of a piano or, as in this case, the strings of a harp or the “keys” of a flute.

Claudio Ortensi’s flute and Anna Pasetti’s harp take this world back to us through this première recording of the works by Michelangelo Sola, Giovanni Toja, Angelo Bovio and Giuseppe Gariboldi, active protagonists of the European and Italian compositional streams converging chamber music with the political and cultural trends that crossed the Classicism and the Romanticism.

Additional Exciting New Releases:
Selected DVDs

Arthaus Musik

MOZART, W.A.: Così fan tutte [Opera] (Paris National Opera, 2017)
J. Wagner • Losier • Antoun • Sly • Szot • Costa-Jackson • Rosas Company Dancers • Paris Opera Chorus and Orchestra • P. Jordan
Arthaus Musik 109339 [BD] | 109338 [DVD]

This release features a brand new and unique opera production which is a combination of dance and opera by the renowned choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker. Keersmaeker is acclaimed especially in Romanic areas. She has chosen to embody each of the characters through both a singer and a dancer. From the preconceived notion of constant and eternal love, the lovers shift progressively toward the more complex realization that feelings of love are more akin to perpetual motion. Philippe Jordan is featured here conducting the Orchestre de l’Opera national de Paris as an adept musical partner. This production was recorded live at the Opera national de Paris, Palais Garnier, in 2017.

Additional Exciting New Releases:

Bel Air Classiques

POULENC, F.: Dialogues des Carmélites [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2010) (Blu-ray, Full-HD)
POULENC, F.: Dialogues des Carmélites [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2010) (NTSC)
Buy
BAC461 [BD]
BAC061 [DVD]
POULENC, F.: Dialogues des Carmélites [Opera]
Vernhes • Gritton • B. Richter • Brunet • Isokoski • Resmark • Guilmette • Grötzinger • Morel • Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks • Nagano
Bel Air Classiques BAC461 [BD] | BAC061 [DVD]

A passionate lover of the human voice, Francis Poulenc composed the Dialogues des Carmélites in 1953, using a libretto he himself had written from a screenplay by Georges Bernanos. The work had never been performed in Munich and this rendering was entrusted to Dmitri Tcherniakov, whose worldwide reputation is underpinned by productions like Eugene Onegin and Macbeth at the Paris Opera and Don Giovanni at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. The international cast includes a fine Blanche de la Force by Susan Gritton and an excellent Madame de Croissy by Sylvie Brunet. They are superbly backed up by Soile Isokoski (Madame Lidoine), Susanne Resmark (Mother Marie), Hélène Guilmette (Sister Constance), Alain Vernhes (Marquis de la Force) and Bernard Richter (Chevalier de la Force). Kent Nagano, who has the Dialogues at his fingertips – he recorded a landmark version some years ago – conducts the Bayerische Staatsoper Orchestra and Chorus.

Additional Exciting New Releases:
BERG, A.: Lulu [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2015) (Blu-ray, Full-HD)
BERG, A.: Lulu [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2015) (NTSC)

C Major

VERDI, G.: I Due Foscari [Opera] (La Scala, 2016)
P. Domingo • Meli • Pirozzi • Concetti • Milletti • Isotton • Rza-Zada • Sedlevičius • Milan La Scala Ballet, Chorus and Orchestra • Mariotti
C Major 742104 [BD] | 742008 [DVD]

In his ‘new life’ as a baritone, Plácido Domingo has triumphed in the role of Francesco Foscari in Los Angeles, London and Vienna. Now he takes to the role to La Scala, Milan, the theatre that is the symbol of Italian opera. I due Foscari, premièred in 1844, famously one of Verdi’s darkest operas, is staged by Alvis Hermanis, who made such an impact at the Salzburg Festival with Die Soldaten and Il trovatore. Domingo is joined by two of Italy’s most exciting singers, the soprano Anna Pirozzi and the tenor Francesco Meli, and the acclaimed Italian conductor Michele Mariotti. The Financial Times (UK) was deeply moved by Domingo’s performance, calling his interpretation of the role “sublime”.

BONUS: Ioan Holender interviews Plácido Domingo on the occasion of I Due Foscari at La Scala in Milan.

Dynamic

VINCI, L.: Didone abbandonata [Opera] (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, 2017) (NTSC)
VINCI, L.: Didone abbandonata [Opera]
Buy/Stream
VINCI, L.: Didone abbandonata [Opera]
Mameli • Allemano • Raffaele Pé • G. Costa • Pluda • Frasconi • Fiorentino Maggio Musicale Orchestra • Ipata
Dynamic DYN-37788 [DVD] | CDS7788.03 [CD]

Didone abbandonata was one of the greatest successes in the rather brief operatic career of Leonardo Vinci, a musician who had an adventurous life about which we still know very little. Written for Rome’s Teatro delle Dame, the opera was premièred during the 1726 Carnival season and marked the first collaboration between Vinci and Pietro Metastasio, a teamwork destined to produce abundant fruits. It was immediately very successful, as was the Florentine production here presented, which was the first modern performance of Didone abbandonata, finally reviving one of the great masterpieces of early 18th-century opera. This production was recorded live at Teatro di Firenze and features a cast of Baroque specialists including Roberta Mameli, Carlo Allemano, and Raffaele Pé.

Additional Exciting New Releases:

Tony Palmer Films

NOCTURNE – Tony Palmer’s 100th Anniversary film about Britten (2013)
Various Artists
Tony Palmer Films TPDVD198

The centenary of Benjamin Britten is marked with a new study by the multi-award-winning director Tony Palmer. It is a dark coda to Palmer’s four other Italia-Prize-winning films with and about Britten, whom many now regard as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century.

This extraordinary film explores Britten’s uneasy relationship to the wider world. The bloodiest century in history profoundly affected Britten, not just because he was a committed pacifist, but on a much deeper level. What is the role of the artist in such a troubled world? What are his responsibilities? What is the nature of creativity itself? What is its function? Does it have a function? Man’s inhumanity to Man now, and always. This is the subject matter which preoccupied Britten and that is the subject of this film.




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