Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search

The Naxos Digital Exclusives collection is a unique catalogue of albums not available for CD, but accessible exclusively through download and streaming. With titles ranging from popular Baroque masterpieces and Romantic gems to exciting modern music which will appeal to and satisfy a wide audience on many levels.

Naxos Digital Exclusives – Selected Titles

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988

Glen Wilson, harpsichord

One of the most important masterpieces of the baroqueera, the Goldberg Variations were named after one of Bach’s Leipzig pupils, Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, and the famous story of the piece being used to soothe Count Kayserling’s insomnia comes from an early biography of Bach by Johann Nikolaus Forkel. Laid out in a plan whose symmetries can be likened to the architecture of a baroque palace, the variations are a brilliant fusion of Italianate virtuosity and the French influences of the time, including puzzle-canons, dance movements, trio sonatas and gorgeous cantilenas, the most famous of which has become known as “the black pearl”.

Bruno BETTINELLI (1913-2004)
Complete Works for Guitar

Come una Cadenza • Notturno • Dodici Studi
Mutazioni su Tre Temi Noti • Cinque Preludi
Sonata Breve • Improvvisazione • Quattro Pezzi

Davide Ficco, guitar

This is the first recording of the complete guitar music of Bruno Bettinelli, the eminent Italian composer of operas, symphonies and concertos, chamber and vocal works. Bettinelli’s guitar music is a delightful distillation of his wider compositional concepts, rooted in twentieth century modernism but full of lyrical insights, inventiveness, and sheer originality. His explorations of guitar sonorities take the listener into new and unexpected areas of contemporary expressiveness. Bettinelli’s scrupulous attention to detail and his fascination with every aspect of writing for plucked strings offer a unique experience with novel perspectives on the development of the twentieth-century guitar repertoire.

Svetislav BOŽIĆ (b. 1954)
Byzantine Mosaic
After a war with some hope through the rain
Memories of the ancestors

Jasmina Kulaglich, piano

World Première Recording

Byzantine Mosaic, a pianistic fresco in nine tableaux by the Serbian composer Svetislav Božić, is freely inspired by the Byzantine, Oriental and traditional music of Serbia. Based on Byzantine chants by Sufis and Orthodox monks and the whirling dances of the dervishes, it is couched in post-Impressionist language. Nine monasteries in Serbia, Macedonia and Greece, some of them UNESCO World Heritage sites, furnish the titles of the pieces. The White Angel fresco prominent on the cover, a message of peace,

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)

Patrick Gallois, flute

Written in 1913 as incidental music to the uncompleted play Psyché by Gabriel Mourey, Syrinx was named after the nymph from Greek Mythology who was transformed into water reeds to escape Pan’s amorous pursuit. Scored for flute solo, the work has become an indispensable piece in the flute repertoire, and plays a pivotal role in the development of solo flute music in the early twentieth century.

François DEVIENNE (1759-1803)
Clarinet Sonatas
Sonata No. 1 in C major
Sonata No. 2 in E flat major
Sonata in B flat major
Sonata in E flat major

Wonkak Kim, clarinet • Eun-Hye Grace Choi, piano

François Devienne composed an impressive output of several hundred works for wind instruments. Appointed as the first professor of flute at the Paris Conservatoire by Napoleon, he was also the author of a celebrated flute Méthode. Adapted from his own sonatas for flute, these clarinet sonatas feature highly imaginative melodies as well as virtuosic displays. Unsurpassed for their charm and elegance, Devienne’s Clarinet Sonatas are among the few remarkable works that exist for the instrument from the late eighteenth century.

César FRANCK (1822-1890)
Piano Quintet in F minor
Peter RITZEN (b. 1956)
Piano Quintet in F sharp minor

Moscow Chamber Academy • Peter Ritzen, piano

These two Piano Quintets offer major rewards for the listener. Peter Ritzen wrote his Quintet in 2006 and it reflects his wide-ranging sympathies channelled into music of great depth and melodic beauty. He has been influenced by Bruckner but also French models such as Ravel. The result is highly personal, and deeply moving. César Franck’s Quintet is a classic of the chamber repertoire, one of the most staggeringly expressive of all his works. Ritzen performs both works, and for the Franck he plays a historical Erard piano built in

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major, Hob.VIIb:1
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33
Allegro appassionato in B minor, Op. 43

Julian Schwarz, cello
Seattle Symphony • Gerard Schwarz

The première of Camille Saint-Saëns’s 1872 Cello Concerto No. 1 raised his reputation in France to new heights, and it remains the more popular of his two cello concertos. The virtuoso demands of Josef Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C major stand as testimony to the skill of the Esterházy cellist Joseph Franz Wiegl. Acclaimed soloist Julian Schwarz’s stunning debut at the age of 11 was with the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1, and he was described as “destined to rank among the major cellists of the 21st century” by MusicWeb International after a concert performance of the Haydn Cello Concerto in C major.

Kamran INCE (b. 1960)
Music for a Lost Earth

Cihat Askin, violin • Istanbul Modern Music Ensemble
Kamran Ince, piano & conductor

Kamran Ince is Turkey’s greatest living composer and a musician of profound importance in contemporary music. Music for a Lost Earth is an exploration of a world in distress written in a style without boundaries or limitations. In every sense this is inclusive music – serious, light, spiritual, folklike, meditative, mysterious and deeply human. It will touch the listener’s heart through its range of emotions – both quiet and calm but also pounding with dance elements. It’s also music of the greatest beauty: the music of today.

Ernst LÉVY (1895-1981)
An Introduction to the Man and His Music
Orchestral Suite No. 3

Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
David Oberg

Swiss-born Ernst Lévy was a truly remarkable pianist, but he was also a composer of huge distinction. The ninemovement Third Suite of 1957 perfectly reveals his tonal but very free musical DNA. The rest of the disc comprises a spoken dialogue between Lévy’s long-time colleague and friend Dr. Siegmund Levarie and composer-producer Max Schubel. They explore Lévy’s life, especially his many years in America, in an intimate biographical way that sheds much important light on this as yet undiscovered giant of twentieth century composition.

Ernst LÉVY (1895-1981)
Symphony No. 12

A musical wunderkind and hailed by some as “one of the truly great pianists of his generation”, Swiss born Ernst Lévy was a refugee from the Holocaust, arriving in the United States in 1941. His Chamber Symphony (Symphony No. 12) was the result of special circumstances, using the limited forces available for a concert series at the University of Chicago. Lévy finds strength in the restrictions of his chamber setting, applying his tonal idiom to create fascinating musical structures and contrasts of timbre, reserving the soprano voice for the final Harvester’s Song.

Franz LISZT (1811–1886)
Via Crucis, Les 14 Stations de la Croix, S53/R534
Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, S173/R14

Alessandro Marangoni, piano
Ars Cantica Choir • Marco Berrini

Liszt started work on the Via Crucis in 1873 and completed its composition in February 1879. From the beginning he wished that one day it would accompany the Via Crucis celebrated by the Pope in Rome on Good Friday. As was the case in the Baroque Passions, Liszt uses the chorus as a voiceover which comments on the story and invites us to think about the events being celebrated. Following the steps of these “poetics of evocation”, Liszt encourages us to relive the events of the Passion through the musical themes which mark each stage in the dramatic epilogue of Christ’s life.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911)
Symphony No. 1 ‘Titan’

National Youth Orchestra of Canada
Georg Tintner, conductor

The TINTNER MEMORIAL EDITION celebrates the life and work of the late Georg Tintner (1917-1999). His musicianship touched audiences and musicians on five continents, and in an age that celebrates presentation over content he remained resolute in his belief in the transcendent importance of musical ideas. Mahler’s powerful Symphony No. 1 was created under the spell of unhappy love affairs, incorporating two of the Songs of a Wayfarer, his first great work. Mahler “told us in his music exactly what he felt”, from nobility and angst, to what for Tintner was the composer’s greatest characteristic as “the first who dared to be vulgar”.

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992)
Vingt regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus

Jocy de Oliveira, piano

Written between March and September 1944, Vingt regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus was intended as twelve short piano pieces to accompany poetry on the Nativity. The result, however, was a vastly extended cycle of mystery, barbarity and beauty, and one of the composer’s masterpieces. Evoking birdsong, numerology, and Hinduism amongst other elements, these contemplations of the Infant Jesus are virtuosic and astonishing. The work remains a milestone in twentieth century piano composition.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Requiem, K. 626 (trans. Czerny)
Miserere a 3 for choir and continuo
Ave verum corpus K. 618
(trans. Domenico Clapasson)

Angela Nisi, soprano • Gaia Petrone, alto
Massimo Lombardi, tenor • Antonio Masotti, bass
Alessandro Marangoni, piano • Marco Vincenzi, piano
Ars Cantica Choir • Marco Berrini

Commissioned anonymously and still incomplete at the time of his death in 1791, Mozart’s sublime Requiem has long been surrounded by myth and mystery. Born in the same year, the precociously gifted pianist Carl Czerny dedicated his transcription to Mozart’s friend Abbé Maximilian Stadler. Beloved for its simple clarity, the Ave verum setting also belongs to the last summer of Mozart’s life. Marco Berrini and the Ars Cantica Choir were acclaimed for their recording of Liszt’s Via Crucis (9.70165), as were the four volumes of Rossini’s Péchés de vieillesse recorded by pianist Alessandro Marangoni.

Modest Petrovich MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881)
Pictures at an Exhibition
Songs and Dances of Death • The Nursery

New Zealand Symphony • Peter Breiner

Pictures at an Exhibition was written in 1874 as a set of piano pieces, a translation into music of paintings, designs, models and drawings by Mussorgsky’s friend Victor Hartmann, who had died the year before. These piano pieces have been orchestrated by various composers, with the version by Maurice Ravel probably the best known. Peter Breiner has here orchestrated the pieces for an orchestra of piccolo, three flutes, alto flute, four oboes, cor anglais, four clarinets, bass clarinet, four bassoons, contrabassoon, four horns, four trumpets, four trombones, tuba, timpani, and six percussion players, with bass drum, snare drum, cymbals, tam-tam, anvil, temple blocks, cabassa, tambourine, tubular bells, glockenspiel, xylophone, marimba, and vibraphone. The orchestra used also has piano, harp and celeste, with a string section of sixty players.

Alla Pavlova (b. 1952)
Symphonies Nos. 7 & 8

Saulé Rinkevičiűtè, violin
The Lithuanian State Sympbony Orchestra
Gintaras Rinkevičius

Russian-born composer Alla Pavlova has lived in New York since 1990. Her symphonic compositions have garnered considerable acclaim for their technical eloquence and spirit of romantic serenity. In the Seventh Symphony, she fuses the symphonic with the string concerto to generate music of drama, colour and incident, not least in the typically expressive episodes for solo violin. Her Eighth Symphony, dedicated to her husband on his 60th birthday in 2011, is her personal ' Ode to Joy', a radiant and beautiful  work, both touching and approachable.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Complete Works for Violin and Fortepiano, Vol. 2
Rondo in B minor, D. 895, ‘Rondo brillant’
Fantasy in C major, D. 934
Introduction and Variations on ‘Trockne Blumen’, D. 802

Jacqueline Ross, violin • Maggie Cole, fortepiano

Violinist Jacqueline Ross and fortepianist Maggie Cole offer copiously researched, historically informed accounts of three bravura works by Franz Schubert, performed on period instruments and with due reference to autograph and other relevant source materials. One of the works was originally composed for flute and piano; the two echt violinpiano compositions have been described by Alfred Einstein as substitutes for ‘the violin concerto which Schubert never wrote’, such is their virtuosity. All three pieces demonstrate Schubert’s fertile melodic invention, subtle harmonic language and close affinity with the human voice.

Manuel SECO DE ARPE (b. 1958)
Concertino for piano, harp,
glockenspiel and strings, Op. 138
Song from Cabiria, Op. 136A
Concert for Strings, Op. 108

Moscow Chamber Orchestra Musica Viva
Borja Quintas

A native of Madrid, Manuel Seco de Arpe’s music has won numerous awards, standing out through its highly expressive, eclectic and multi-stylistic language. The luminously colorful Concertino consolidates a film-music style in which chords occur within an “infinite flow, as it were, in ecstasy.” The movingly lyrical Song from Cabiria is led by a solo oboe, while the idiom for Concert for Strings is direct and emphatic, even “Bartókian”, with dissonance contrasting with sustained atmospheres and passages of haunting beauty.

Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959)
Sexteto Místico
Duo for Oboe and Bassoon
Preludes for guitar Nos. 1, 2 & 4
Chôros No. 5 ‘Alma brasileira’
Caixinha de música quebrada
Poema singelo • Distribuição de flores
Fantasia (arr. for saxophone & piano)

Jill Heyboer, flute • Jared Hauser, oboe
Timothy McAllister, saxophone • William Ludwig, bassoon
Nicholas Roth, piano & celesta • Tannis Gibson, piano
Douglas Rubio, guitar • Rachel Ferris, harp

Heitor Villa-Lobos’s music expresses the alma brasileira or ‘Brazilian soul’ through his deep absorption of the indigenous folk and dance music of his country. This program demonstrates an astonishing range, from the highly developed counterpoint of the Duo for Oboe and Bassoon, the lyrical sentiments of the Preludes for Guitar and Chôros No. 5 and the ironic good humor of his piano pieces, to the ceremonial Distribuiçao de flôres. The dancing rhythms of the Fantasia contrast with an evocation of the remote interior of Brazil in the uniquely colourful Sexteto místico.

Edwin ROXBURGH Clarinet Quintet
Kit TURNBULL Three Cautionary Tales
Nigel CLARKE Equiano
Martin ELLERBY Epitaph VII: Memento (Terezin)

Linda Merrick, clarinet • Navarra Quartet

As a medium, the Clarinet Quintet has prompted composers such as Mozart and Brahms to create some of the most inspired music of their autumnal years. This legacy has encouraged Linda Merrick to work collaboratively with four British composers celebrated for their writing for wind instruments to create exciting and innovative repertoire for this combination. This recording, which features one of the UK’s outstanding young string quartets, represents a major contribution to the literature for Clarinet Quintet.


View our special weekly features:
View all Features »


Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group