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In addition to its own wide-reaching monthly new releases (see, 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.

Selected CDs

BR Klassik

SCHUBERT, F.: Symphonies Nos. 1-6, 8, 9
Bavarian Radio Symphony • Maazel
BR-Klassik 900712

With his works by single composer, Lorin Maazel made history as Chief Conductor of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. After the successful release of the album containing the complete symphonic works of Anton Bruckner, the BR-KLASSIK label now presents the complete symphonies of Franz Schubert, recorded in 2001. The present Chief Conductor of the Munich Philharmonic had already conducted Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony at the age of eight.

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SCHUBERT, F.: Winterreise
Holzmair • Haefliger
Capriccio C5149

For Schubert, the winter cold was less the expression of directly physical discomfiture than one of the mental state of inner isolation. Schubert seems personally to have identified with the fate of a wanderer full of restlessness. This depression is not just melancholy or even sentiment. ‘He was certainly not born a melancholic, but became one in this world, which he called miserable and had been poor and empty for him since his days at boarding school’, Hans J. Fröhlich writes in his Schubert biography.

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CD Accord

WOLEK, K.: Elements / Eppur Si Muove / Bend
Zubel • Orkiestra Muzyki Nowej • Bywalec
CD Accord CDAccordACD188

Krzysztof Wołek (born in 1976 in Bytom, Poland) is a composer, electronic music performer, concert organizer and educator. He is a passionate advocate of contemporary acoustic and electronic music and multimedia compositions. His interdisciplinary interests resulted in annual concerts organized under his supervision and in collaborative works with dancers and visual artists. Even the short description above is informative as concerns the position of the artist in the environment of new music, where a composer not only writes his works on manuscript paper, but also takes on an active role during performances as an improviser or performer of the live electronics portion of the work.

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SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: String Quartets Nos. 9-12 / WEINBERG, M.: String Quartet No. 6 (The Soviet Experience, Vol. 3)
Pacifica Quartet
Cedille CDR90000-138

The Soviet Experience Volume III features Shostakovich’s String Quartets Nos. 9–12 from the 1960s. The Ninth Quartet’s five continuous movements build to a colossal finale. The Tenth has a classically balanced, four movement layout. The Eleventh’s seven continuous movements present a series of character sketches. The Twelfth brilliantly juxtaposes atonal and tonal themes to produce a cohesive and powerfully compelling whole. These quartets are paired with Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s adventurous, symphonic-scaled String Quartet No. 6 of 1946, an inventive work once banned in the Soviet Union for being ahead of its time. Weinberg was a close friend and colleague of Shostakovich.

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ROSING-SCHOW, N.: Peinture du temps
TM+ • Cuniot
Dacapo 8.226557

Sound-magic and continuous transformation are key elements in the music of Danish composer Niels Rosing-Schow (b. 1954). This world premiere release by the leading French ensemble TM+ presents five of Rosing-Schow’s most profound compositions, all exploring the concept of time: time as motion, as process, as imprints or mapping – and time as space.

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CHOPIN, F.: Mazurkas
Klara Min
Delos DE3443

With this release, Klara Min brings her special touch to a seventeen-piece survey of her favorite Mazurkas – a unique “composer genre” from Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849): widely regarded as the most intimate, heartfelt, emotionally varied, and deeply personal music that this beloved “Poet of the piano” ever wrote. Loosely based on the traditional Polish mazurek dance-form, Chopin applied subtle classical sophistication and advanced (for his day) harmonic schemes to this mostly simple folk-form, elevating it into high musical art that is far better-suited to the concert stage (or classical recordings) than to dancing!

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Dorian Sono Luminus

- The Music of Samuel Barber and Howard Hanson

Ying Quartet
Dorian Sono Luminus DSL-92166

Sono Luminus has come together again with the amazing talent of the Ying Quartet, and is excited to release “American Anthem: The Music of Samuel Barber & Howard Hanson”. Bringing together musical selections that are truly expressive of the American spirit, this album also includes a selection from American composer Randall Thompson, and features pianist Adam Neiman and baritone Randall Scarlata.

Dorian Sono Luminus catalogue on

ICA Classics

BEETHOVEN, L. van: Piano Sonata No. 3
RAVEL, M.: Valses nobles et sentimentales
CHOPIN, F.: Nocturne No. 8 (1959, 1963)

ICA Classics ICAC5095

Arthur Rubinstein (1887–1982) was one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century. After brief studies with Paderewski in Switzerland in 1903, Rubinstein moved to Paris, where he met Ravel and Dukas, and played Saint-Saëns’s G minor Concerto to the composer’s approval. He made his debuts in the USA in 1906 and London in 1912. He was a superb performer of Chopin and his 1960s recordings of nearly all Chopin’s solo piano music have been considered essential to any record collection since their release. He was also a formidable interpreter of Spanish music.

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Oehms Classics

Piano Recital

Oehms Classics OC427

The music competition of the Cultural Committee of German Business is announced in a different instrument or area of classical music each year, and has meanwhile become an instrumental competition with a particularly rich tradition in Germany. Since 2007 it has been realised in the format “Ton und Erklärung – Werkvermittlung in Musik und Wort” (Sound and Explanation - Conveying Works in Music and Words). The prize winner in 2011 was Fabio Martino – his CD was produced in co-operation with the Bavarian Broadcasting Company and also includes world premiere recordings of works by Edino Krieger and York Höller.

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SAARIAHO, K.: Passion de Simone (La)
Upshaw • Tapiola Chamber Choir • Finnish Radio Symphony • Salonen
Ondine ODE1217-5

After its world première in 2006 Kaija Saariaho’s La Passion de Simone, an oratorio about the life and thoughts of Simone Weil for soprano solo, choir, orchestra and electronics, will now be released for the first time on CD (SACD). Saariaho considers La Passion de Simone to be her most important work. For this SACD it is recorded by top performers, the soprano Dawn Upshaw and Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Tapiola Chamber Choir.

Ondine catalogue on


GAUBERT, P.: Melodies
Boisvert • Peintre
Timpani 1C1199

Gaubert is less well-known as a composer of songs. This is, however, to forget that throughout his life Gaubert composed for the voice, leaving more than 90 such works! The performers have chosen more than thirty, alternating vocal ranges and reflecting the composer’s preferences with regard to poets: Verlaine, Derème, Baudelaire, and above all Paul Fort (3 volumes and a few other songs). Should this astonish us? There is in Gaubert a straightforwardness, a hatred of convoluted sophistication, and this ties him to the ‘prince of poets’. A great discovery!

Timpani catalogue on

Two Pianists

TwoPianists TP1039176

TwoPianists Records is delighted to introduce Lukáš Vondráček in his first major solo disc that features the Haydn C major Sonata (Hob. XVI:50), Rachmaninov Corelli Variations and the Prokofiev Sonata No. 7. Admittedly, these are standard repertoire, but the playing is absolutely unique. Winner of several international piano competitions, Lukáš is already a veteran pianist, despite being only in his mid-twenties. What appealed to us about his playing is his immense musical personality – untamed, fresh, individual and above all, effortless. In an industry filled with talent, Lukáš Vondráček is most certainly a name to watch!

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Yarlung Records

BACH, J.S.: Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199
Brandenburg Concerto No. 4

Hunt Lieberson • Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Yarlung YAR96298

“I remember when Lorraine sang through the opening recitative of Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut BWV 199 during the first rehearsal for the performance with Jeffrey Kahane and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. The musicians sat in silence after the movement ended. At first, the musicians wiped tears from their eyes while some clapped timidly. Then followed uproarious applause from the orchestra and the few lucky guests. That first run-through was good enough for the final performance. Lorraine made it seem as if she were singing this music directly to you and to you alone.” – Bob Attiyeh, producer

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Selected DVDs

Arthaus Musik

PERGOLESI, G.B.: Olimpiade (L')
Fondazione Pergolesi Spontini, 2011
Arthaus Musik 108064 [Blu-ray Video] / 101650 [DVD]

With Olimpiade the famous poet Metastasio created one of the most popular librettos of the 18th century. It was set to music by over 60 baroque and classical composers including Vivaldi, Caldara, Hasse, Cimarosa and Donizetti. Pergolesi’s composition from 1735 was one of the earliest adaptations. In the 2011 Jesi production of L’Olimpiade a large part of the auditorium is taken up by a cross-shaped platform. This is where the characters of the drama are introduced, where they elaborate their plans and express their innermost feelings, their sufferings and hopes, while the supreme ritual of the ancient Greek world, the Olympic Games, is celebrated on a distant stage: that event upon which their lives – and all prospects of happiness or otherwise – depend.

Arthaus Musik catalogue on

C Major Entertainment

VERDI, G.: Rigoletto
Teatro Regio di Parma, 2008
C Major 723304 [Blu-ray Video] / 723208 [DVD]

For Verdi, Victor Hugo’s play Le roi s’amuse was “arguably the greatest drama of the present day”. However many of his contemporaries were appalled by this tale of corpses, jesters, cripples and a king addicted to venal love. This no doubt explains why Rigoletto was Verdi’s second great success and laid the foundation for his emergence as Italy’s leading opera composer.

C Major catalogue on

EPC Distribution

STRAUSS, R.: Rosenkavalier (Der)
Opera Australia, 2010
EPC Distribution OPOZ56027BD [Blu-ray Video]

Der Rosenkavalier, the most successful opera of Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s partnership, is a story of love, lust and human frailty. The story is not complicated but it soars and dips on Strauss’ music with Hofmannsthal’s expressive libretto. With Cheryl Barker in the role of the Marschallin, who can fail to be moved by her poignant portrayal of facing the final loss of youth and her young lover? Count Octavian, Catherine Carby, has the vibrant voice of a young man who has his life to enjoy with no thought of anything but pleasure and the Marschallin’s company – until he meets the beautiful and innocent Sophie von Faninal, sung by Emma Pearson. The boorish Baron Ochs auf Lerchenau is superbly exposed by Manfred Hemm, his Viennese accent lending authenticity. With all the outstanding artists completing the cast and the Opera Australia and Ballet Orchestra this production is led by conductor Andrew Litton to create a truly stunning operatic experience.

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MOZART, W.A.: Great Piano Concertos (4 DVD Box Set)
various artists
EuroArts 2001038 [DVD]

The box includes 14 of Mozart’s most significant piano concertos. Mozart, who composed 21 piano concerti, can be regarded as the “inventor” of the popular piano concerto. Although J.S. Bach and his son had written numerous concerti for harpsichord or fortepiano and orchestra before him, Mozart’s enormous input to the genre is mostly due to his concerti being regarded as ‘popular music’ by his contemporaries: to be enjoyed and quickly replaced by newer works. For this series on four DVDs, the most influential, the most artistically challenging and the most popular piano concerti have been selected to be performed by the best Mozart interpreters of our time. All the performances are filmed 1989-1990 on the original places of Mozart’s journeys and follow his musical development with reference to his piano concertos.

EuroArts catalogue on

Opus Arte

WAGNER, R.: Ring des Nibelungen (Der)
DNO, 1999
Opus Arte OA1094BD [Blu-ray Video]

This 1999 production of The Ring was the first to be based on the definitive complete edition of Wagner’s music. Pierre Audi’s production for the Netherlands Opera blends the lyrical, mythical and philosophical qualities of Wagner’s tetralogy into a profound unity. Amazing sets by George Tsypin and wonderful costumes by Oscar-winning Eiko Ishioka complement singing and playing of great intensity from the cast under the baton of Hartmut Haenchen, who leads an unusually flowing, texturally sensitive interpretation, creating a vigorous yet often intimate impression that comes closer than many modern performances to the scale of Wagner’s original conception.

Opus Arte catalogue on

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