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In June 2009, we featured a number of Naxos recordings nominated by our customers as their favourites.

This month we proudly present more customer favourites. For more information about each album and to purchase them online, click on the album cover or album title. For more information about our outstanding artists and their Naxos recordings, click on their images. Further links to artists’ biography and discography pages are provided on each album page on

Abraham Lincoln Portraits
Barry Scott, narrator • Sharon Mabry, mezzo-soprano
Mary Kathryn Van Osdale, violin • Anthony LaMarchina, cello
Roger Wiesmeyer, piano • Nashville Symphony Chorus
Nashville Symphony • Leonard Slatkin, conductor


Wonderful, imaginative, 2-CD tribute by some excellent Golden Age American composers to Abraham Lincoln on the 200th anniversary of his birth, including a lovely performance by Leonard Slatkin and the Nashville Symphony of Ernst Bacon's engaging, long-overlooked "Ford's Theatre." Terrific programming idea, thoughtful notes, great performances of repertoire too often neglected. Now, how about Giannini's "In Memoriam" symphony dedicated to Theodore Roosevelt and Daniel Gregory Mason's "Lincoln" Symphony? - B Whitaker, USA

More than a hundred recordings have brought Leonard Slatkin seven Grammy® Awards and more than sixty Grammy® Award nominations. He has received many other honours, including the 2003 National Medal of Arts, France’s Chevalier of the Legion of Honour and the League of American Orchestras’ Gold Baton for service to American music.

Led by Music Director Designate Giancarlo Guerrero, Music Advisor Leonard Slatkin, and President and CEO Alan D. Valentine, the Grammy® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has a growing international reputation for its recordings and innovative programming.  With 140 performances annually, the 83-member Nashville Symphony is an arts leader in Nashville and beyond, offering a broad range of classical, pops and jazz concerts, special events, children’s concerts and community outreach programs. Photo Courtesy of Alan Poizner.

ALFANO Cello Sonata, Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano
Samuel Magill, cello • Scott Dunn, piano • Elmira Darvarova, violin

Completely underestimated, fascinating chamber music from a great but wrongly fameless Italian composer. Performance, presentation and sound quality of the recording are excellent. Thanks Naxos for closing this gap in the repertoire. - B Schaefer, Germany 

Cellist Samuel Magill has been a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since he was appointed Associate Principal Cello in 1991. From 1997 to 2005 he was Principal Cellist and featured soloist of the New York Symphonic Ensemble, which tours Japan each summer. He is an avid recitalist, performing annually at Lincoln Center's Bruno Walter Auditorium since 1994.

Scott Dunn is an acclaimed conductor and pianist who, since his 1999 Carnegie Hall début, has appeared repeatedly in major venues throughout the United States and Europe. From 1999 to 2001 served as Lukas Foss’s associate music director for the Music Festival of the Hamptons, a post in which Dunn earned considerable critical acclaim.

A concert violinist since the age of four, Elmira Darvarova performs worldwide to great acclaim, having won prizes in several international competitions, including the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. She studied with Henryk Szeryng and Josef Gingold. Herbert von Karajan chose her for one of his film projects. In 1989 she became the first female concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
JC BACH Keyboard Sonatas Op 5
8.570476 (Digital album scheduled for CD release in March 2011)

Susan Alexander-Max presents us a wonderful recording of keyboard music from J.S. Bach's youngest son. The music is upbeat and full of delight. I turn to this music both for relaxation and enjoyment. A definite pick-up for baroque fans. - R Hernandez, USA

A native of New York, a graduate, with distinction, of the Juilliard School of Music, Susan Alexander-Max is recognised internationally as a leading fortepianist and clavichordist specialising in the music of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. A featured performer on international radio and television, she is known to festivals, museums, universities and music colleges world-wide.
HAYDN The Complete Masses
Vocal Soloists • Trinity Church Choir, New York
REBEL Baroque Orchestra • J Owen Burdick, Jane Glover, conductors


This is surely one of the finest things that were produced to mark the two hundredth anniversary of Haydn's death. A truly great achievement by all concerned. The choir is superb, as are the soloists taken from its ranks, singing with great precision and attack and where necessary with wonderful tenderness and hushed intensity. The orchestra must also be praised for its clean, spirited and vibrant playing. Both conductors bring out the wonderful detail of Haydn's writing and it is obvious that a great deal of careful thought and preparation went into these performances. The recorded sound, as so often with Naxos, is very pleasing and natural and the balance between soloists, choir and orchestra is just about perfect. - G Peacock, United Kingdom

Trinity Choir and REBEL Baroque Orchestra. In collaboration with period instrument ensembles, including Rebel Baroque Orchestra, Trinity Choir excels in performing major works of the Baroque and Classical eras.  Hailed by the New York Times as ‘sophisticated and beguiling’ and praised by the Los Angeles Times for its ‘astonishingly vital music making’ REBEL (pronounced ‘Re-BEL’) is reputed internationally for its virtuosic, highly expressive and provocative approach to Baroque and Classical music. Photo by Leo Sorel.

J. Owen Burdick, internationally active composer and conductor, served as the seventeenth organist and director of music at Trinity Church, Wall Street, from 1990 to 2008. The late Michael P Hammond, former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, has hailed Owen Burdick as “an extraordinary artist with maturity, technical ability, and musical sense well beyond his years…a unique individual who is able to combine musical excellence and historically informed tradition with the pursuit of cutting-edge innovation.”

Jane Glover has conducted all the major symphony and chamber orchestras in Britain, as well as orchestras in Europe, the US, the Far East and Australia; she is in demand on the international opera stage, with regular appearances in London, Berlin, New York and Chicago. Her recordings include discs with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Mozart Players, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Singers. She was made a CBE in 2003.
JANÁČEK Operatic Orchestral Suites Vol 3 (arr. Peter Breiner)
The Cunning Little Vixen, From the House of the Dead
Vesa-Matti Leppänen, violin • New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Peter Breiner, conductor


As a lover of Janáček's music or even as a newcomer you cannot help but be impressed by the seamless tapestry of sound woven from the scenarios of two of Janáček's best operas. All of this is made possible by the inspired playing of the New Zealand Symphony and the sparkling sonics Naxos provides. You will find yourself coming back to this CD many times just to bask in and enjoy its beauties. - J Hill, USA

Volumes 1 - Jenůfa, The Excursions of Mr Brouček (8.570555) - and 2 - Kát’a Kabanová and The Makropulos Affair (8.570556) - are also available.

Vesa-Matti Leppänen was born in Turku, Finland. He began violin lessons at the age of five and studied at the Sibelius Academy of Music in Helsinki before joining the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the oldest orchestras in Europe. At sixteen years of age, he won the National Violin Competition for young Finnish violinists and has been the Concertmaster of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra since 2003.

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is the country’s leading professional orchestra and presents over a hundred concerts annually, touring within New Zealand and offering its main symphonic programmes in Auckland and Wellington. Tours abroad have included concerts for the Beijing Olympic Cultural Festival, at the BBC Proms, in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and the Snape Maltings in England, and at the World Expo at Aichi in Japan. Over the last decade, its critically acclaimed Naxos CDs have sold more than one million copies internationally.

Composer, conductor, pianist and arranger Peter Breiner has lived in Toronto, Canada, since 1992. As a Naxos in-house arranger and conductor, he is perhaps best known for his numerous orchestral arrangements, including award-winning Baroque versions of the Beatles. Breiner’s distinctive arrangements of all national anthems were used during the Olympic Games in Athens 2004.

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