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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

Cantaloupe Music

WOLFE, J.: Steel Hammer
Bang on a Can All-Stars, Mediaeval Trio
Cantaloupe Music CA-21099

Inspired by her love for the music and lore of Appalachia, Julia Wolfe based her text for Steel Hammer (called a "wild hybrid" by the New York Times) on over 200 versions of the "John Henry" ballad, which has been recorded by everyone from Johnny Cash to Bruce Springsteen. A runner-up for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, Steel Hammer features the alternately haunting and playful vocalizations of Norway's renowned Trio Mediaeval, and stretches the standard instrumentation of the Bang on a Can All-Stars with wooden bones, mountain dulcimer, banjo, clapping, clogging and much more.

Cantaloupe Music catalogue on


BRAHMS, J.: Vocal Music (Die Schöne Magelone)
Behle, Bjelland, Schatz
Capriccio C5203

For the first time this double CD combines two possible views of the song cycle with Romances from L. Tieck’s ‘Magelone’ op. 33 by Johannes Brahms. The first CD offers the opportunity to listen to the song cycle without the prose text, and the second CD presents a version, in which before each of the songs a sensitive abridgement of Tieck’s text by Hans-Jürgen Schatz can be heard. The unabridged text by Ludwig Tieck would result in an overweight of the text, and the music would clearly move into the background. This was probably also a thought that Johannes Brahms had, and for this reason he may have preferred a performance without the prose text, especially as the story by Tieck was well-known in the 19th century. With the 15 romances, Brahms reaches a new level in compositional terms. The songs seem to be uninfluenced by contemporary works, and merely Schubert’s songs might have been models in many passages. Here, the declamation close to the text must be mentioned in particular. Otherwise, Brahms moves completely independently of external influences, creating a new, almost symphonic style that is particularly seen in the preludes and postludes. Sometimes, people even speak freely about ‘Brahms’ sole opera’.

Capriccio catalogue on


MOZART. W.A.: Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K. 581 / BRAHMS, J.: Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115
McGill, Pacifica Quartet
Cedille CDR90000-147

The Grammy® Award-winning Pacifica Quartet and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra’s superstar clarinetist Anthony McGill join forces for the clarinet quintets of Mozart and Brahms – widely considered the greatest chamber works for clarinet and strings. Both are mature masterworks inspired by phenomenal clarinetists of their day. This is McGill’s first commercially released album as featured soloist and his Cedille Records debut.

Cedille catalogue on


LANG, Margaret Ruthven: Choral Music (All the Heart of Me)
Crane School of Music Choirs, Soloists and Orchestra, Clinton, Eyerly, Francom, Reames
Delos DE3426

The music of late-Romantic composer Margaret Ruthven Lang (1867-1972) – though quite well known in her time – fell into near-total neglect after she stopped composing in 1919. Following earlier surveys of her art songs and piano music, this offering features a program of fourteen of Ms. Lang’s secular and sacred choral works, all beautifully crafted and very appealing. Musicians from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, perform.

Delos catalogue on

Marco Polo

SPOHR, L.: String Quartets (Complete), Vol. 16 - Nos. 23 and 26
Moscow Philharmonic Concertino String Quartet
Marco Polo 8.225983

For Louis Spohr, virtuoso violinist and composer, the string quartet ran like a thread throughout his life. Strongly influenced by both the Viennese classics and the French violin school, he wrote a series of works that incorporated both of these models as he became one of the most important and esteemed composers of the first part of the nineteenth century. Both of the quartets on this recording reflect these different elements of his music, from the elegant refinement and impressive lyricism of the Quartet No. 23 to the thrilling panache of the technically demanding Quartet No. 26. This is the penultimate volume in the Marco Polo series of Spohr’s string quartets.

Marco Polo catalogue on

Oehms Classics

PUCCINI, G.: Fanciulla del West (La) [Opera]
Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra, Weigle
Oehms Classics OC945

Under the direction of Christof Loy, a new production of Puccini’s famous gold prospectors’ drama was presented last May in Frankfurt. Oehms Classics is presenting the live recording of the premiere series performed by prominent artists. The director regards the pieces as follows: “La fanciulla del West is a very grateful work if one encounters both the libretto and the music with respect. If the piece is performed ironically or broken up – as has occurred during the course of the work’s history – then the entire evening becomes pointless. One should repeatedly refer to the original play by David Belasco and imagine the effect it had as a play. Then one understands how witty and astute these characters are. Later on, we encounter exactly these characters in American films: very clever people trying to overtrump the others in trenchant dialogues as we know them from screwball comedies. It is a great joy to produce this. Through this, the characters are anything but grotesque operatic figures.”

Oehms Classics catalogue on


SALLINEN, A.: Kullervo [Opera]
Hynninen, Saarinen, Salminen, Finnish National Opera Orchestra, Söderblom
Ondine ODE1258-2T

Aulis Sallinen (1935) is one of the most internationally well-known Finnish opera composers. His Kullervo opera is considered by many to be his greatest achievement in the field of opera. This re-issue includes a truly stellar cast of Finnish opera singers with Jorma Hynninen singing the title role of Kullervo. Other singers in prominent roles include Eeva-Liisa Saarinen, Matti Salminen and Jorma Silvasti. Sallinen’s opera tells the tragic story of Kullervo, a slave who is seeking to avenge the death of his parents. The libretto, written by the composer himself, is derived from the mythology of the Finnish national epic Kalevala. Ondine already recorded Sallinen’s Kullervo opera in 1991, prior to its world première which took place in Los Angeles, USA, the following year.

Ondine catalogue on

Orlando Records

MOZART, W.A.: Piano Sonatas Nos. 10, 12 and 13 (Mozart3)
Orlando Records OR0009

Austrian by citizenship, but of Indian, Croatian and French origin, pianist Susanna Artzt studied with Paul Badura-Skoda and has not only because of that a special affinity for Mozart’s piano sonatas. She has now recorded three of these famous works and shows a remarkably fresh approach while clearly aware of the great performance history of these pieces.

Orlando Records catalogue on

Sono Luminus

FAIROUZ, M.: Symphony No. 3, "Poems and Prayers" / Tahrir
Cooke, Kravitz, Krakauer, UCLA Performing Groups, Stulberg
Sono Luminus DSL-92177

In the context of a world focused on the chaos and strife in the Middle East, Arab-American composer Mohammed Fairouz presents two new masterworks combining the musical and textual backgrounds of their region, exalting commonalities, and sharing a vision of unity and hope for peace. Combining massive musical forces with star-powered soloists, this release delivers a musically, sonically and spiritually engaging album that transcends culture or creed. “An important new artistic voice” – the New York Times.

Sono Luminus catalogue on


Opera Arias (Mezzo-Soprano): Bienkowska, Agata - SARRO, D.N. / TORRI, P. / CALDARA, A. / HANDEL, G.F. / HASS, J.A. (La Prima Diva)
Bienkowska, Hamburg, Hochman
Tactus TC670003

The Venetian Faustina Bordoni (1697-1871) was one of the most acclaimed celebrities in the forerunner of a star system that appeared in the world of Italian opera and thrilled the whole of Europe during the 18th century. One of the great bel canto voices coupled with a marvelous dramatic talent, her 35-year career from 1716-1751, intersected with most of the composers of two or three generations in all the major European opera centers.

Tactus catalogue on

Vienna Symphony Orchestra

BRUCKNER, A.: Symphony No. 2
Vienna Symphony, Giulini
Vienna Symphony Orchestra WS004

Like nearly all of Anton Bruckner’s nine symphonies, the Symphony No. 2 exists in a myriad of performing editions. Originally composed in the early 1870’s, Bruckner made extensive revisions to the work in 1877. This December, 1974 recording of the revised 1877 Nowak edition of Bruckner’s Second features Carla Maria Giulini conducting the Vienna Symphony.

Vienna Symphony Orchestra catalogue on

Selected DVDs

Accentus Music

Orchestral Concert - BRAHMS, J. / SCHOENBERG, A. / BEETHOVEN, L. van
Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Fujimura (Alto)
Accentus Music ACC-10282 [Blu-ray Video]

As documented here, Claudio Abbado opened the LUCERNE FESTIVAL for the last time in the summer of 2013. Only a few months later, the world bid this monumental artist, humanist, great conductor and orchestra founder, farewell. These three great works tell of life’s transience. This record, the last audio-visual documentation of his work, captures once again the extraordinary atmosphere of “vibrant emotionality” that always emerged when Abbado created music with his “orchestra of friends”.

Accentus Music catalogue on

Arthaus Musik

GLUCK, C.W.: Orfeo ed Euridice
Luks (cond.), Mehta, Liebau, Muhlemann, Collegium 1704, Collegium Vocale 1704, Havelka
Arthaus Musik 108103 [Blu-ray Video]

Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice is one of music history’s most important operas. The cast is led by Bejun Mehta, ‘arguably the best countertenor in the world today’ (Sueddeutsche Zeitung) as Orfeo, Austrian soprano Eva Liebau as Euridice and Regula Muhlemann as Amore. Director Ondrej Havelka combines period details with modern psychological interpretation.

Arthaus Musik catalogue on

C Major Entertainment

STRAUSS, R.: Capriccio
Fleming, Skovhus, Schade, Eiche, Kirchschlager, Rydl, Roider, Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera, Eschenbach
C Major 716004 [Blu-ray Video]

Richard Strauss’ last stage work is an opera about opera as an art form, depicting the creation of a music drama in a wise and witty way. Which came first—the words or the music? That is the question Strauss and his librettist Clemens Krauss address through the story of a Countess torn between a composer and a poet. “Renée Fleming is a world-class Countess, moving and intense […] All around her there is luxury casting: Bo Skovhus as the Count, Michael Schade as Flamand, Markus Eiche as Olivier, Kurt Rydl as the theatre director La Roche, the wonderful Angelika Kirchschlager as Clarion—all strike exactly the right note, as do the singers in the smaller roles, turning this Capriccio into an event of the first importance.” Kurier, Vienna

C Major catalogue on


CATALANI, A.: Wally (La)
Kugel, von der Burg, Ferreira, Valentin, Langbein, Tiroler Landestheaters, Rumpf
Capriccio C9005

A powerful woman – powerful material

“Once upon a time there was a young woman who was more courageous than all the men in her mountain village”. What sounds like a fictitious story really happened. The young woman was Anna Stainer-Knittel, born as a gunsmith’s daughter in the Lech Valley in Tyrol on 28 July 1841. She proved her courage and independence of mind time and again in later life. For her preparations for the novel, Wilhelmine von Hillern concerned herself not only with Anna Stainer-Knittel’s experiences, but also intensively with people’s lives in the mountains at that time. Her Geier-Wally also integrated motifs from Tyrolean legends. The material reached the opera stage via the publication of the novel as a serial in the Milan paper La Perseveranza. It was there that the Italian composer Alfredo Catalani became aware of it. He was able to obtain Luigi Illica as the librettist. La Wally was first staged in La Scala in Milan on 20 January 1892 and met with a great deal of approval. After the third performance, Catalani wrote: ‘The house was wonderful and the prelude to Act II was repeated. At the end of the opera, I received general, long (and I must really say so) enthusiastic ovations. The impresario is very happy and says the opera will make its way through all the theatres’.

Capriccio catalogue on


BRAHMS, J.: Deutsches Requiem (Ein)
Abbado, Berliner Philharmoniker, Bonney, Terfel, Swedish Radio Choir, Eric Ericson Chamber Choir
EuroArts 2012784 [Blu-ray Video]

This extraordinary 1997 performance of Brahm’s Ein Deutsches Requiem features the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of the late maestro Claudio Abbado, recorded to mark the centenary of Johannes Brahms’ death. Soprano Barbara Bonney and baritone Bryn Terfel star together with the well-acclaimed Swedish Radio Choir and the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir. Lovingly scored, up-scaled and digitally remastered including intensive and high-quality audio and visual restoration.

EuroArts catalogue on

Idéale Audience

STRAUSS, R.: Celebrating Strauss
Streich, Schwarzkopf, Topper, Seefried, Reiss, Moore, Klobucar, Mackerras, Philharmonia Orchestra, Bellugi, Orchestre National de l’ORTF
Idéale Audience 3075054 [Blu-ray Video]

Celebrating Strauss brings into focus the greatest interpreters of Richard Strauss’s compositions, including Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Rita Streich and Irmgard Seefried. These jewels of music broadcasting have been salvaged from various archives and made accessible for home viewing. Lovingly scored, upscaled and digitally remastered, the Classic Archive™ series offers a unique glimpse into our classical heritage, featuring celebrated past performances and comprehensive booklet information.

Idéale Audience catalogue on

Opus Arte

Tennant, Pennington, Lapotaire, Davies, Rix, Lindsay, Hamilton
Opus Arte OABD7149D [Blu-ray Video]

Richard is King. A monarch ordained by God to lead his people. But he is also a man of very human weakness. A man whose vanity threatens to divide the great houses of England and drag his people into a dynastic civil war that will last 100 years. Starring distinguished TV, film and theatre actor David Tennant whose credits range from Doctor Who to Hamlet at the RSC. RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran directs David Tennant in the title role of ‘a definitive production of a great play’ (Daily Mail).

Opus Arte catalogue on

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