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The gift of music is a present that lasts throughout the year

These two Naxos new releases make ideal gifts for music lovers of all ages. Amahl and the Night Visitors has entranced audiences for more than fifty years, with its ravishing music, gentle humor and message of love. Liszt’s barnstorming Piano Concertos have put pianists to the test and galvanized listeners ever since the composer premiered them, as soloist in the First and conductor in the Second.



Ike Hawkersmith, boy soprano (Amahl) Kirsten Gunlogson, soprano (Mother) Dean Anthony, tenor (King Kaspar) Todd Thomas, baritone (King Melchior) Kevin Short, bass (King Balthasar) Chicago Symphony Chorus Nashville Symphony Chorus Nashville Symphony Orchestra Alastair Willis, conductor (Amahl and the Night Visitors) George Mabry, conductor (My Christmas)


Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, the first opera written for television, enjoys more than five hundred performances annually around the world and is immensely popular with amateur groups. A crippled boy, Amahl, and his mother are visited by the three Kings who seek the newborn Jesus. Deciding to give his crutch to the Christ child, he is miraculously healed, and joyfully accompanies the Kings to give thanks. Sung in English, brimming with tuneful melodies for both soloists and chorus, the opera is a humorous and poignant Christmas classic beloved by people of all ages.



Eldar Nebolsin, piano Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra Vasily Petrenko, Conductor


Franz Liszt’s two piano concertos amply display both his extraordinary pianistic ability and his originality as an influential Romantic composer. The first, premiered in Weimar in 1855 with Berlioz conducting, is a path-breaking tour de force whose four movements, played without break and thematically linked, moved Bartók to acclaim it as "the first perfect realisation of cyclic sonata form”. The second, equally brilliant but more integrated, exemplifies Liszt’s belief that "New wine demands new bottles”. The Totentanz (Dance of Death), inspired by an Italian fresco, is a powerful series of variations on the Medieval Die irae chant.

Other marvellous November 2008 new releases

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