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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

LUTOSŁAWSKI Concerto for Orchestra •

Bavarian Radio Chorus & Symphony Orchestra • Mariss Jansons, conductor
BR-Klassik 900107

Three works that are very close to his heart were brought together by Mariss Jansons for this new CD release. Karol Szymanowski’s Third Symphony, which, in addition to gigantic orchestral forces, also calls for a chorus and a tenor soloist, depicts a fantastic sound painting of an idealized Near East, including the setting of a 13th century Persian text. Witold Lutosławski blends Slavic local color into his 1954 Concerto for Orchestra, has a reference to Béla Bartók in the title, but it is marked by a musical approach all his own, one that reaches all the way into the avant-garde period despite its immediate accessibility. Alexander Tchaikovsky, born in 1946, may be the namesake of a giant of the Russian romantic era, although they are not related to one another in any way. His Symphony No. 4 is a musical appeal for peace. The work, written in 2005 on commission from Yuri Bashmet comprises sound-painting choral passages and a significant solo part for the viola.

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Gottfried HUPPERTZ Metropolis – Original Motion Pictures Score
(World Premiere Recording)

Berlin Radio Symphony • Frank Strobel, conductor
Capriccio C5066

In co-operation with the German Television ZDF and ARTE this well known Masterpiece of the ‘Stummfilm’-Era is now completely renewed as movie and as well with a completely new recorded soundtrack after the original score by the composer Gottfried Huppertz (1887-1937). Film music expert and conductor Frank Strobel delivers a full range and deep impressive soundtrack with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra for the new TV-, Cinema-, and CD-Version.

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Capricho Latino
Rachel Barton Pine, violin
Cedille CDR90000-124

Violinist Rachel Barton Pine, Cedille Records’ all-time best-selling artist, has created another rare – perhaps unique – contribution to the world’s CD catalog: an album of Spanish and Latin American music written solely for unaccompanied violin. Capricho Latino, Ms. Pine’s 12th Cedille CD, offers eight world-premiere recordings: In addition to premieres of works by Roque Cordero, César Espejo, and José White, the CD brings first-time recordings of pieces composed or arranged for Ms. Pine by José Serebrier, Luis Jorge González, and Jesús Florido; and two of her own arrangements. The diverse program of virtuoso pieces draws from the late-Romantic period to the present day. Represented are composers from Argentina, Cuba, Panama, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela – plus works in a Spanish vein by Belgian and English composers. Inaugurating this musical journey is Ms. Pine’s virtuoso arrangement of Albéniz’s Asturias, which draws on both the familiar guitar version and the original but less-known piano score. The CD ends with a treat for listeners of all ages: Alan Ridout’s Ferdinand the Bull, narrated with great affection by Obie and Emmy award winning actor Héctor Elizondo, a veteran of Broadway, Hollywood, and network television.

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Distant Still – Trios for violin, horn and piano
The Danish Horn Trio
Dacapo 8.226549

On this new Dacapo Open Space release, the acclaimed Danish Horn Trio brilliantly displays three of today’s leading Danish composers’ work with the horn trio phenomenon: Poul Ruders, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen and Søren Nils Eichberg. All three composers on this CD clearly nod to the genre’s legacy by Brahms and Ligeti, and all are profoundly inspired by the transparent soundscape of the three fundamentally different instruments – one bowed, one blown and one struck. However, there are no direct lines connecting the three composers. ach is a distinctive artist who likes to speak with a clear, assured voice – in his own mother tongue. Thus the horn trio becomes a medium through which we can sense varied facets of Danish and international musical history.

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Newton Classics

Rita Streich – Waltzes & Arias
Rita Streich, soprano • Berlin Radio Symphony • Kurt Gaebel
Newton Classics NC8802069

Rita Streich’s naturally vivacious and charming personality comes across in this delightful collection of various light musical ‘bon-bons’ which is drawn from her immensely popular recordings of the 1950’s. She was adept in several languages and so very well equipped to sing this eclectic mixture of vocal waltzes, songs and arias from operas, opéras comique and operettas, which show off her range of vocal abilities, from her effortless coloratura to her sweet, melting way with a melody.

The collection includes some old favourites, less familiar pieces and some rarities. There are pretty vocal waltzes such as Johann Strauss’ Voices of Spring, the Shadow Song from Meyerbeer’s Dinorah and Luigi Arditi’s Parla Waltz, lilting melodies such as Delibes’ Les filles de Cadix, Saint-Saëns’ beautiful Le rossignol et la rose and Verdi’s delightful Lo spazzocamino, arias from Suppé’s operetta Boccaccio (or The Prince of Palermo) and Dvorˇák’s gorgeous Song of the Moon from Rusalka. There are also rarer pieces by less well-known composers, such as a Dell’Acqua’s song Villanelle, Czernik’s tarantella Chi sa?, and an aria from Benjamin Godard’s opera Jocelyn.

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Summer Thoughts – RAUTAVAARA Works for Violin and Piano
Pekka Kuusisto, violin • Paavali Jumppanen, piano
Ondine ODE1177-2

This new recording features the complete works for violin and piano by Einojuhani Rautaavara (b. 1928), including many world premières. The performers are two of the most fascinating talents from Finland who are know for a fresh approach: violinist Pekka Kuusisto (“the very embodiment of joyful music-making”– The Toronto Star), who has made numerous praised recordings for Ondine; and pianist Paavali Jumppanen (“immense power and an extraordinary range of colours” The New York Times), who has recorded, for Deutsche Grammophon, Pierre Boulez’s complete Piano Sonatas to outstanding press acclaim.

This CD also includes Rautavaara’s opus 1, the piano suite Pelimannit (The Fiddlers), which is based on traditional polska tunes for the fiddle. Following Pekka Kuusisto’s concept, this recording for the first time presents the original violin tunes, alternating with the respective movements from Rautavaara’s piano suite.

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Two Pianists

Frank Stadler, violin • Luis Magalhães, piano
TwoPianists TP1039084

The three works for violin and piano featured on this disc have been recorded but never been afforded the status they deserve. First up is the Janáček Sonata which is at times hair-raising and excruciating and other times tragic, tender and despondent. This work is matched by the introspective and fatalistic Schumann Sonata No. 2, clearly driven by the challenging piano part. To finish the disc the Schubert Fantasy in C major, D.934 seems an odd choice: so technically demanding that the original audience in Vienna were aghast at all the ‘tricks’. Yet there is an underlying restlessness that elevates the music far beyond any showcasing.

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Selected DVDs

Accentus Music

Martha Argerich & Mischa Maisky

Martha Argerich, piano • Mischa Maisky, cello
Lucerne Symphony • Neeme Järvi
Accentus ACC-20224 (DVD)
Accentus ACC-10224 (Blu-ray Video)

Recorded live at the Concert Hall of the Culture and Convention Center (KKL), Lucerne, 9-10 February 2011

At one of her rare appearances with orchestra, Martha Argerich, the grande dame of the piano, joined forces with world-famous cellist Mischa Maisky and the fabulous Lucerne Symphony Orchestra for the world premiere of a newly commissioned work by Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin – Romantic Offering, a double concerto for piano, cello and orchestra dedicated to its very first soloists. The programme was rounded off by late-Romantic masterpieces by César Franck, Antonín Dvořák and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony under the baton of renowned maestro Neeme Järvi.

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Arthaus Musik

Aaron Copland – Fanfare for America
A Film by Andreas Skipis
Arthaus Musik 101573 (DVD)

Recorded live from the Salle Pleyel, Paris, 2009

Aaron Copland (1900-1990) was one of the first to capture the essence of American life in sound. This documentary looks at how a sassy New Yorker of Russian-Jewish background came to write the infectious and accessible music that established a distinctive American idiom. “Fanfare for America” surveys his life and career with archive film and specially-shot footage as well as music extracts from his works. An interview with Copland is included and his biographer, Howard Pollack, and American conductor Hugh Wolff, a leading exponent of his music, both contribute to the programme. The film shows a clip of Benny Goodman playing the Clarinet Concerto he commissioned from the composer, as well as footage of Leonard Bernstein conducting the patriotic Lincoln Portrait for speaker and orchestra, and of Martha Graham dancing in Appalachian Spring.

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C Major Entertainment

PUCCINI Madama Butterfly
Raffaella Angeletti (Butterfly)
Nino Batatunashvili (Kate Pinkerton) • Annunziata Vestri (Suzuki)
Fondazione Orchestra Regionale delle Marche • Daniele Callegari
Pier Luigi Pizzi, stage director and set designer
C Major 706208 (DVD)
C Major 706304 (Blu-ray)

Recorded live from Arena Sferisterio, Macerata, Italy, 2009

The performance of the first Madama Butterfly on Blu-ray took place in the magnificent open-air neo-classical Arena Sferisterio built in the 1820s. The superior cast is dominated by Raffaella Angeletti in the title role, “certainly one of the best Butterflies of our time” (, who has performed this role in many Italian theaters, as well as in Madrid and at the Vienna Staatsoper. As Pinkerton, Massimo Pisapia is “brilliant, bold and trim” (L’Opinione) and Annunziata Vestri’s Suzuki “outstanding” (Rinascita).

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Poul RUDERS Selma Jezková
Ylva Kihlberg (Selma Jezková) • Palle Knudsen (Bill Houston)
Hanne Fischer (Kathy) • Guido Paevatalu (Norman/Guard 2)
Gert Henning-Jensen (District Attorney / Guard 1)
Ulla Kudsk Jensen (Brenda) • Carl Philip Levin (Gene)
The Royal Danish Orchestra • Michael Schønwandt
Kasper Holten, stage director
Dacapo 2.110410 (DVD)

Lars von Trier’s heart-rending film, winner of the 2000 Golden Palm in Cannes, has served as inspiration for the internationally renowned Danish composer Poul Ruders’ new opera from 2010. The opera focuses on Selma, a woman who chooses to sacrifice her own life to get her son a vital eye operation. The opera raises questions about crime and punishment and what rights we have to make choices on the behalf of others. Sculptor Christian Lemmerz has created a gothic set design for this staging by Artistic Director Kasper Holten, and Principal Conductor Michael Schønwandt conducts the Royal Danish Orchestra.

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BEETHOVEN Diabelli Variations Op 120 • Daniel Barenboim, piano
BRAHMS Handel Variations Op 24 • Yefim Bronfman, piano
BACH Goldberg Variations BWV 988 • András Schiff, piano
EuroArts 2066468 (DVD)

This is the first release from the legendary Metropolitan Munich Catalogue. Three of the greatest sets of keyboard variations ever composed are presented here, performed by three of today’s greatest artists. András Schiff, Daniel Barenboim and Yefim Bronfman go to the heart of these monumental creations in performances that are highly personal. They sensitively balance the contrasting aims of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, who were often referred to by nineteenth-century German critics as the ‘Three Bs’ because of their supposed primacy in the history of central European classical music. Barenboim/Beethoven: Recorded at the Gasteig (Philharmonie, München), 1991 (60 mins); Bronfman/Brahms: Recorded at the Max-Joseph-Saal of the Münchner Residenz, 1987 (29 mins); Schiff/Bach: Recorded live at the Reitstadel in Neumarkt, 1990 (81 mins).

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ICA Classics

R STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegel, Ein Heldenleben
London Symphony • Michael Tilson Thomas
ICA Classics ICAD5031 (DVD)

Recorded from Studio A, Elstree, 4-5 December 1986 (Till Eulenspiegel) and The Barbican, London, 1994 (Ein Heldenleben)

Tilson Thomas is well known for his ability to make music accessible and appealing to wide audiences, and these two exciting performances with extensive rehearsal footage and educational insight from such an expert communicator make for a valuable 2-DVD set.

This is the first DVD release.

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Idéale Audience

Martha Argerich Live at the Verbier Festival

Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra • Gábor Takács-Nagy
Idéale Audience 3079564 (DVD)
Idéale Audience 3079568 (Blu-ray Video)

Recorded live at during the Verbier Festival, Switzerland, 22 July 2009 (Beethoven, Scarlatti) and 17 July 2010 (Shostakovich, Bizet)

The Argentine pianist Martha Argerich has been dazzling audiences for decades with what the New York Times has referred to as ‘prodigious technique with uncanny musicality.’ She is now a regular of the artistic family at the popular Verbier Festival in the Swiss Alps, engaging thousands of followers each summer. Argerich is accompanied in this live recording from the 2009 and 2010 festivals by the gifted Gábor Takács-Nagy and the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra. Works by Beethoven, Scarlatti and Shostakovich take the audience on a whirlwind tour through a small selection of Argerich’s extensive repertoire.

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Opus Arte

Misha Didyk (Hermann) • Emily Magee (Liza) • Lado Ataneli (Count Tomsky)
Ludovic Tézier (Prince Yeletsky) • Ewa Podles (Countess)
Escolania de Montserrat • Intermezzo Choir
Liceu Grand Theatre Chorus and Orchestra • Michael Boder
Gilbert Deflo, stage director
Opus Arte OA1050D (DVD)
Opus Arte OABD7085D (Blu-ray Video)

Recorded live from the Gran Teatre del Liceu, 2010

Obsessive in gambling and in love, the soldier Hermann is the protagonist of Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame, based on a story by Pushkin. He is smitten with the aristocratic Lisa and fixated on learning the winning secret of ‘the three cards’ from her grandmother, the Countess, played by iconic contralto Ewa Podles. This opulent production from Barcelona’s Liceu captures St Petersburg in the era of Catherine the Great, while the house’s Music Director Michael Border conducts a large and impressive cast.

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