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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

WAGNER, R.: Opera Arias
T. Adam, Arroyo, Bjoner, Crass, Frick, Greindl, Grummer, Ligendza, Schock, Silja
BR-Klassik 900310

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of Richard Wagner’s birth, GREAT WAGNER VOICES brings together ten extremely diverse Wagnerian soloists in a collection of great Wagner arias. The recordings from the years 1963 to 1971 were drawn from the archives of Bavarian Broadcasting.

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Cantaloupe Music

LANG, D.: Death Speaks / Depart
Worden, Dessner, Muhly, Pallett, Farnum, Geissinger, Montano, Sweeton, Beiser
Cantaloupe Music CA-21092

In 2012, David Lang spent so much time racking up awards – from Carnegie Hall’s 2013-14 Debs Composer’s Chair to Musical America’s Composer of the Year – that it’s a wonder he was able to wrangle a project of the size and scope of death speaks. Commissioned by Carnegie Hall and Stanford Lively Arts to go on a program with his piece the little match girl passion, death speaks draws its initial inspiration from the work of Schubert – specifically the song “Death and the Maiden.”

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Opera Arias (Tenor) - PONCHIELLI, A. / VERDI, G. / BOITO, A. / PUCCINI, G. / CILEA, F. / GOUNOD, C.-F. / MASSENET, J.

Capriccio C5165

Ramón Vargas rose to considerable fame deputising for Pavarotti in a New York Metropolitan production of Lucia di Lammermoor, and his interpretations of Mozart, Bellini and Donizetti are celebrated throughout the world. In recent years he has turned to French repertoire (Gounod, Massenet) and has also devoted himself to Puccini and Verdi operas. This exciting new release features arias from these operas, some of which he has recorded for the first time.

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Carpe Diem

PAGANINI, N.: Centone di sonate: Sonatas Nos. 2, 3, 5, 6, 15, 17 / Guitar Sonatas Nos. 34, 35 (La Lanterna Magica)
Keiko Yamaguchi, Conte
Carpe Diem CD-16297

The Japanese violinist Keiko Yamaguchi plays on her debut solo album a selection of sonatas for violin and guitar from the “Centone di Sonate per Violino e Chitarra” of Niccolò Paganini. Accompanied by guitarist Rosario Conte on a 19th C. romantic guitar, she gives Paganini’s music a special and intimate touch. This music was not intented to be performed on big stages but rather for private amusement and relaxation. As Rosario Conte puts in in the liner notes: “It is Paganini’s chamber music which shows us his glowing, enthusiastic, and yet humble soul. It relates to us the close relationship between folk music and the Italian belcanto tradition, and it tells us of the tiny world into which Paganini was born, of his city, Genoa, with its narrow streets and alleys branching out between the mountains and the sea.”

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EICHBERG, S.N.: Symphonies Nos. 1, "Sturzten wir uns ins Feuer" and 2, "Before Heaven, Before Earth"
Danish National Symphony, C. Poppen
Dacapo 8.226109

The Danish-German composer Søren Nils Eichberg (b. 1973) is the first composer in residence in the history of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. This CD presents the premiere recordings of his Symphony No. 1, the large-scale doomsday vision “Stürzten wir uns ins Feuer” (2006), and of his Symphony No. 2 “Before Heaven, before Earth” (2010), that was first performed by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and concludes an explosive phase of creativity in the young composer.

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HICKEY, S.: Cello Concerto / Clarinet Concerto
Fiterstein, Kouzov
Delos DE3448

“…flawless, exciting… we have music that unfolds comfortably, but there’s enough to arouse curiosity without scaring anyone off. It will not alienate stodgy blue-hair types, but it will still satisfy those who crave creative new music.” Thus has American Record Guide responded to the music of New York-based composer Sean Hickey, who reappears with new, engaging, and beautifully crafted concertos in his premiere Delos recording. Renowned cellist Dmitry Kouzov and vaunted clarinet virtuoso Alexander Fiterstein shine with St. Petersburg State Symphony under Vladimir Lande.

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LEIBOWITZ, R.: Chamber Works / Violin Concerto
Schola Heidelberg, Reichow, Ensemble Aisthesis, Nussbaum
Divox CDX-21103-04

As a conductor, author and teacher, he is a legend – but as a composer he has remained a phantom: in time for René Leibowitz’s 100th birthday on February 17, 2013, Divox releases a sumptuous double album in CD-book format, celebrating his oeuvre in music and three languages. 150 pages framed by two CDs, featuring a long essay by J. Marc Reichow as well as numerous documents from the estate held by the Paul Sacher Foundation (Basel), make this release a groundbreaking composer’s monograph. Listeners will find world premiere recordings of key works from his major phases and genres.

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Dorian Sono Luminus

Piano Recital - NIEMANN, W.R. / LYAPUNOV, S.M. / GRIEG, E.
TAUSIG, C. / MEDTNER, N. / DVORAK, A. (Piano Phantoms)

Dorian Sono Luminus DSL-92168

Sono Luminus is proud to announce the latest project from Michael Lewin, Piano Phantoms, following the popular and critical success of If I Were a Bird (DSL-92103). This creative new recording is a collection of 18 piano pieces by a mixture of famous and lesser-known composers, each inspired by phantoms, goblins, ghosts and the spirit world. Piano Phantoms is a tour-de-force of virtuoso pianism and imaginative musicianship. Michael Lewin’s artistic tone-painting, control of tone colors and ability to tell stories through sound gives unique life to each ghost and goblin. This program includes eight world premiere recordings.

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ICA Classics

MOZART, W.A.: Symphony No. 41, "Jupiter" / BRUCKNER, A.: Symphony No. 7 (1962)
Vienna Philharmonic, Karajan
ICA Classics ICAC5102

This 2CD set preserves the exact concert that took place at the Royal Festival Hall on 6 April 1962, including the British and Austrian national anthems. It is sourced from the Music Preserved archive. The combination of Karajan and the Vienna Philharmonic playing Mozart and Bruckner drew a ‘packed and raving audience’ according to Neville Cardus in The Guardian. The Bruckner Symphony No. 7 received great acclaim from the Daily Telegraph, with the critic Donald Mitchell writing ‘London has not heard a Bruckner performance of this quality for years’. Mitchell went on to add that the music-making was ‘undoubtedly touched by interpretative genius’.

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Newton Classics

VERDI, G. (Italian Opera Composers at the Piano)

Newton Classics NC8802162

While instrumental music was developing in all kinds of far-reaching ways everywhere else in 19th-century Europe, in Italy of course it was entirely overshadowed by opera. But this received view has been at least partly revised in recent years. The country’s leading opera composers also wrote music for solo piano, though generally only from time to time and in small quantities. The common characteristic of that music is, unsurprisingly, a natural cantabile quality.

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Oehms Classics

PLATTI, G.B.: Cello Sonatas, Set 1: Sonatas Nos. 1, 2, 4
VIVALDI, A.: Cello Sonatas, RV 42, 44, 46

S. Hess, A. Wolf
Oehms Classics OC881

A true Platti Renaissance was initiated with the first two CDs that Sebastian Hess recorded for OehmsClassics. The 250th anniversary of the death of G.B. Platti on 11 January this year is sufficient reason for another recording! This CD, made as a co-production with BR Klassik, was recorded on August 2012 at St. Jacobus Kirche in Großlangheim. This time, too, Axel Wolf accompanies Sebastian Hess on the lute. Volume 3 is being supplemented with solo sonatas by Antonio Vivaldi.

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HAKOLA, K.: Guitar Concerto
HOSOKAWA, Toshio: Voyage IX, "Awakening" / Blossoming II

Korhonen, Oulu Symphony, Rouvali
Ondine ODE1219-2

Kimmo Hakola’s Guitar Concerto is a colourful exploration of traditions connected to medieval Southern Spain and Northern Africa as well as of modern downtown and ethnic environment. It is coupled with the more meditative approach of Toshio Hosokawa searching for symbolic universal harmony in his music. Having performed worldwide Timo Korhonen is one of the most acclaimed guitarists. Over 40 new works have been premiered by him.

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Selected DVDs

Arthaus Musik

BEETHOVEN, L. van: Piano Concerto No. 3
STRAUSS, R.: Ein Heldenleben

Uchida, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Jansons
Arthaus Musik 108079 [Blu-ray Video] / 101683 [DVD]

Beethoven wrote his Piano Concerto No. 3 around 1800, at a time in which the ambitious composer had created his first important works in Vienna, such as the “Pathétique” Sonata and the “Moonlight” Sonata – personal works full of power and passion, with which he distanced himself from his mentor and model, Haydn. This performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under the direction of its principal conductor Mariss Jansons stars the distinguished pianist Mitsuko Uchida, who is known the world over for her outstanding interpretations of the piano works of Schubert, Mozart and Beethoven, as well as of 20th-century masters such as Schoenberg, Berg, Webern and Boulez.

Richard Strauss wrote his tone poem for large orchestra Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life) in 1898, shortly before he left Munich for the Berlin Court Opera, where he was appointed house conductor. In the imaginary hero whose eventful life is described in the work, the young Strauss apparently envisioned the freelance artist of his time, who was exposed to considerable hostility during the Wilhelminian era, just as Strauss himself in his early Munich period.

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C Major Entertainment

BEETHOVEN, L. van: Missa Solemnis
Petersen, Kulman, Gura, Finley, Netherlands Radio Choir, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Harnoncourt
C Major 712704 [Blu-ray Video] / 712608 [DVD]

“This shattering performance, with Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Choir, ranked among the greatest I have heard.” – Tim Ashley (The Guardian) about the concert in London

“The soloists, Marlis Petersen, Elisabeth Kulman, Werner Güra and Gerald Finley, had exactly the right relationship to choir and orchestra …” The Observer about the concert in London

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Electric Picture

STRAVINSKY, I.: Rite of Spring (The) / The Firebird Suite
DEBUSSY, C.: Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune

P. Jarvi
Electric Picture EPC06BD [Blu-ray Video] / EPC05DVD [DVD]

Conducted by Grammy award winning Paavo Järvi, the Orchestre de Paris exquisitely performs three magnificent pieces of music. The Firebird, written by the young Russian composer Igor Stravinsky for the 1910 Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, and was enthusiastically received by audience and critics alike at its premiere. The Rite of Spring – Stravinsky’s third project for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes – depicts various scenes of primitive rituals celebrating the advent of spring, and a young girl chosen as a sacrificial victim who dances herself to death. The final piece, Claude Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, is a symphonic poem and one of the most famous examples of musical impressionism with its striking orchestral timbres, vague metrical pulse and the seeming absence of definitive tonal centre.


BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphonies Nos. 1-9
EuroArts 2057374 [Blu-ray Video]

Claudio Abbado once remarked that, “With Beethoven, you never stop learning“ and indeed: the 75-year-old Milanese maestro has constantly reworked the symphonies of the master from Bonn. This Blu-ray release of the successful DVD Box – on the occasion of Claudio Abbado’s 80th Anniversary – features the Berliner Philharmoniker and Claudio Abbado as guests at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome performing all Beethoven symphonies, back in February 2001. Their success was overwhelming with standing ovations after each performance. This exclusive set includes a special multi-angle feature: each Disc offers sequences from the “conductor camera” showing the maestro from his musicians perspective. Also included is the interview “Abbado on Beethoven”.

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ICA Classics

SCHUBERT, F.: Klavierstucke, D. 946 / Wanderer Fantasy
SCHUMANN, R.: Arabeske / Piano Sonata No. 1

ICA Classics ICAD5101 [DVD]

Released on DVD for the first time – and the first release from ICA of this astounding artist – this is a rare glimpse into Ashkenazy as a pianist, in the intimate surroundings of a studio. Captured at the BBC’s Glasgow Studios in 1987 for their Music in Camera series, this DVD showcases Ashkenazy at the peak of his powers as a pianist, performing Schubert’s Impromptus D. 946 Nos. 1 & 2 and the Wanderer Fantasy, alongside Schumann’s widely-loved Arabeske and Piano Sonata No. 1 – a piece that is certainly an unusual and interesting choice for such a recital. His calm exterior means that all of his energy is projected into infusing this performance with the variety each piece affords. The recital demonstrates Ashkenazy’s versatility and musical skill through the extreme contrasts of the Impromptus, the lyrical, song-like grace and virtuosic flair of the Wanderer Fantasy, and the elegant yet exciting rendition of Schumann’s innovative Piano Sonata No. 1.

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Oehms Classics

WAGNER, R.: Ring des Nibelungen (Der)
Frankfurt Opera, 2012
Oehms Classics OC999 [DVD]

OehmsClassics is proud to finally be issuing the Frankfurt Ring as a DVD as well. A great deal has been written about the audio release and it has nearly always been stated that one should not only hear the complete works, but also see them. Now the time has come: on a total of 8 DVDs, the complete Ring can be heard AND seen. There is an extremely interesting and exciting “Making Of ” to Das Rheingold with elucidations by the producer, Vera Nemirova, and the conductor, Sebastian Weigle. An obligatory DVD set for the Wagner Year 2013!

Oehms Classics catalogue on

Opus Arte

MOZART, W.A.: Nozze di Figaro (La)
Glyndebourne, 2012
Opus Arte OABD7118D [Blu-ray Video] / OA1102D [DVD]

Perhaps no opera is closely and affectionately associated with a single house as Le nozze di Figaro is with Glyndebourne. Effortlessly witty yet shot through with pain and sadness, this deeply ambivalent life in the day of masters and servants as they scheme and outwit one another was Glyndebourne’s opening production in 1934. Michael Grandage’s staging is the seventh, set in a louche Sixties ambience. Marshalled by the ‘ideal pacing’ of Robin Ticciati, a youthful cast of principals has ‘no weak link’ and ‘looks gorgeous’ (The Sunday Times) in a production that continues Glyndebourne’s rewarding history of engagement with Mozart’s and da Ponte’s ‘day of madness’.

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