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Next month’s release highlights from the Naxos Music Group include a documentary featuring a very-talented young pianist, overtures by Auber, orchestral works by Pancho Vladigerov and Tony Banks, and youthful keyboard sonatas by Clementi. Klaus Heymann, founding chairman of Naxos, puts the spotlight on his personal picks.
Naxos 2.110640 [DVD]
The 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition proved another occasion in the competition’s history when the audience and critics disagreed with the judges: they deemed it was the young French pianist Lucas Debargue, officially placed fourth, who had captured both a wider approval and the Moscow Music Critics Prize. This video confirms their judgment with a fascinating account of the artist’s fierce integrity and dazzling communicative power. Debargue already has an army of fans behind him, and I am certain that none of them will want to miss this account of his remarkable career to date; it details not only his rehearsals and concerts around the world, but also spotlights his talents as a composer and jazz improviser. For anyone interested in securing a glimpse of the future, this riveting and entertaining document is recommended without reservation.

Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0101V)


Naxos 8.573422
I’m happy that this release affords Naxos yet another opportunity to revive a neglected composer’s music for international attention. Despite being one of the most decorated composers of his generation, and one who was admired by Shostakovich, Pancho Vladigerov (1899–1978) is still barely known outside Bulgaria. His music is found only on occasional recital recordings of works by Balkan composers, and you will find it difficult to find an alternative recording of any of the orchestral works on this release. Vladigerov was one of the first composers to successfully combine elements of Bulgarian folk music with the rich sonorities available to modern symphonic orchestras. The Seven Symphonic Bulgarian Dances in particular have a cinematic opulence that will appeal to a wide audience. This is the Rousse Philharmonic Orchestra’s debut recording for Naxos; the conductor is Bulgaria’s Nayden Todorov, who has recorded other repertoire for our labels in the past and is now musical director of the Sofia Philharmonic.
Listen to an extract from Bulgarian Suite, Op. 21

Naxos 8.574005
Anyone needing an insight as to why Daniel-François-Esprit Auber’s operas enjoyed such huge success in 19th-century France and beyond should take note of this release, which is the first volume of a project to record all the overtures to his 31 opéras comiques, 7 opéras, 3 drames lyriques and 7 other stage works. There are few recordings of Auber’s music currently available, so most of the overtures and incidental music are recorded here for the first time (and from archive sources), providing an excellent follow-up to our world premiere release in April of his opera La Sirène (8.660436). Conductor and orchestra add their stamps of authority: the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice has more than 20 releases in the Naxos catalogue that have earned excellent reviews, while conductor Dario Salvi specialises in the restoration and performance of rare works, in particular those of Meyerbeer and Auber.

Listen to an extract from Le Séjour militaire – Overture

Naxos 8.574141
As keyboardist and founder member of the rock band Genesis, Tony Banks enjoys superstar recognition by millions of fans. I’m pleased, therefore, that Naxos has been able to add to that status with three recordings of his orchestral works. Released fifteen years ago, Seven (8.557466) had Gramophone recognising that ‘Banks has a genuine melodic gift’, while the 2012 release, SIX Pieces for Orchestra (8.572986), was noted for being ‘full of open-hearted melody and glamorous orchestration’ (American Record Guide) and became a Classic FM CD of the Week. Counting down and stepping up, we now have Five, a melodically captivating and colourful orchestral suite. Originally released by BMG in 2018, this re-release is certain to continue and consolidate the recording’s early success in rocking Banks' countless followers.
Listen to an extract from Reveille

Naxos 8.573922
Muzio Clementi was born four years before Mozart and outlived Beethoven by the same span. His legacy to pianists as a composer and teacher was a significant one: he introduced new virtuosity and explored the expressive possibilities of the recently developed instrument. Our series of recordings of his piano sonatas and other works has been growing steadily over the years, and collectors have shown consistent enthusiasm for this exploration of repertoire that takes us beyond the more commonly heard works by Mozart and Haydn. The sonatas in this programme are rare on commercial recordings. The soloist is Korean-American pianist Soyeon Kate Lee, who is no stranger to Naxos followers: her discography includes performances of Scarlatti sonatas judged ‘highly capable, sensitive, and refined’ (ClassicsToday.com on 8.573795); Liszt Opera Transcriptions that have ‘flair and depth’ (American Record Guide on 8.572589); and two volumes of Scriabin works ‘distinguished by exemplary playing.’ (ConcertoNet.com on 8.573527)
Listen to an extract from Keyboard Sonata in E major, Op. 1, No. 6


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