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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

BRAHMS Symphonies Nos. 1 and 4
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks • Mariss Jansons
BR-Klassik 900112

One year after the successful release of the 2nd and 3rd symphonies by Johannes Brahms, the present double CD now completes the full cycle of Brahms’s symphonies, as performed by the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under the direction of Mariss Jansons. Only a few weeks ago, Mariss Jansons finished the recording of the 4th symphony in Munich’s Herkulessaal. Along with his 1st symphony (“Beethoven’s Tenth”), it puts the finishing touch on the complete performance of Johannes Brahms’ symphonic works, compositions oriented around the creativity of his great role model, yet in many ways also forward-looking and innovative.

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HOLMBOE Chamber Symphonies
Lapland Chamber Orchestra • John Storgårds
Dacapo 6.220621 [hybrid SACD]

Vagn Holmboe’s three chamber symphonies span the period when the Danish composer immersed himself in symphonic works; they are a fine demonstration of his preoccupation with the processes of nature and the idea of musical metamorphosis. Lapland Chamber Orchestra and its conductor John Storgårds focus on Vagn Holmboe’s clear musical expression in three major works that have never previously been recorded.

Dacapo catalogue on


Smaro Gregoriadou, guitar
Delos DE3419

The first volume of virtuoso guitarist Smaro Gregoriadou’s Reinventing Guitar series was hailed as “a guitar edition that changes the flow of the history of the instrument.” In Reinventing Guitar II Gregoriadou again utilizes reinvented guitars, this time to exploit the dynamic range of sound of the period in novel transcriptions of Bach, Handel, and Scarlatti. Featuring extensive reference materials and research notes, this is certain to excite the most avid guitar aficionado as well as the casual listener.

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Dorian Sono Luminus

Jasper String Quartet
Dorian Sono Luminus DSL-92152

The second CD from The Jasper String Quartet, The Kernis Project: Schubert, pairs the celestial works of Aaron Jay Kernis and Franz Schubert. This enchanting project is the follow-up to their previous release, The Kernis Project: Beethoven (DSL-92142). Not only do Schubert and Kernis both ruminate in the angelic and spiritual realms for these works, their overall compositional structures are strikingly similar. Both feature monumental opening movements, transcendent slow movements, short and driving scherzos, and devilish finales. Though different in many respects, these two works garner startling parallels despite the 166 years between them.

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DSO Live

Steven STUCKY August 4, 1964
Indira Mahajan, soprano • Kristine Jepson, mezzo-soprano
Vale Rideout, tenor • Rodney Gilfry, baritone
Dallas Symphony Chorus and Orchestra • Jaap van Zweden

DSO Live DSOLive004

A world premiere recording of Stucky’s August 4, 1964, a secular oratorio commissioned by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra to honour the 100th anniversary of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s birth. The work centers on a single day in the Johnson Presidency when President Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara decided to escalate the Vietnam conflict, and when the bodies of 3 slain civil rights workers were discovered in Mississippi. The libretto by Gene Scheer (Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick; Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy) juxtaposes White House telephone tapes, letters from the slain civil rights workers and their mothers, speeches by President Johnson, and other contemporary sources. Stucky’s music heightens the gripping narrative, which pulses with contemporary relevance.

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ICA Classics

Nicolai Gedda, tenor
Chor des Norddeutschen Rundfunks • Kölner Rundfunkchor
Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester • Dimitri Mitropoulos

ICA Classics ICAC5075

The Greek-born Dimitri Mitropoulos (1896-1960) was incredibly gifted – his photographic memory allowed him to conduct without a score in concert and also in rehearsal! After studies in Athens, Brussels and Berlin, he took various posts in Greece. In 1930, Mitropoulos played the solo part in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Berlin Philharmonic and conducted the work from the keyboard, becoming the first modern musician to do so. He made his US debut in 1936 and went on to become principal conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (1937-1949) and then music director of the New York Philharmonic (1951-1957), where he was eventually succeeded by Leonard Bernstein. He expanded the repertoire of the NYPO and championed Mahler’s symphonies in particular. Mitropoulos was also a major figure at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House and became its principal conductor in 1954. He died in Milan aged 64 rehearsing Mahler’s Symphony No. 3.

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Newton Classics

LAUDATE DOMINUM: Sacred Music from San Marco
‘Antonio Lotti’ vocal and instrumental ensemble
Newton Classics NC8802129

Full of inspiring performances that include split choirs and an extensive body of instrumentalists, this release documents the development of St Mark’s unique musical style – first cultivated during the Renaissance and then heightened after the city’s excommunication in 1607. Featuring a veritable who’s who of Italian composers, it’s the perfect starting-point for exploring Venice’s cultural legacy. From Antonio Lotti’s affective setting of the Credo, a central part of the Mass, to Monteverdi’s absorbing ‘Beatus Vir I’ – a Vesper psalm taken from his Selva Morale e Spirituale and which formed part of the smaller observances known as the Office Hours – these compositions range from the late 16th century through to the second half of the 18th century and reveal a wealth of elaborate textures. Also featured is Lotti’s non-liturgical ‘Spirto di Dio’, a ceremonial motet celebrating the Doge’s dominion over the waters and describing the lavish secular rituals that the church was also involved in.

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Oehms Classics

WAGNER Siegfried
soloists • Frankfurter Opern- und Museumorchester
Sebastian Weigle

Oehms Classics OC937

In late January, the Frankfurt Opera completed its cycle of Der Ring des Nibelungen with Götterdämmerung. OehmsClassics is proud to now be releasing Siegfried from October 2011; Götterdämmerung will follow in June. Both audience and press were thoroughly impressed by the outstanding musical performance of the orchestra and singers under conductor Sebastian Weigle. The CD box will have the usual luxurious presentation. This includes extensive texts by the Frankfurt dramatic advisors as well as the complete libretto in German and English.

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BERLIOZ Herminie, Les Nuits d’été
RAVEL Shéhérazade

Véronique Gens, soprano
Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire • John Axelrod

Oehms Classics ODE1200-2

Véronique Gens is recognised internationally as one of the great sopranos working today. She has forged her career in the baroque repertory and the music of Mozart, but French repertoire, especially Berlioz and Ravel, are “as natural to her as the air that she breathes”. Her French remains a model of immaculate diction, both fluid and luminous. Véronique Gens has a very special relationship to Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’été and Herminie, and here combines them on this disc with Shéhérazade by Ravel, which conjures up a totally different world. The charismatic conductor John Axelrod was appointed music director of the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire in 2009, and follows the philosophy of being “open to the world” with his extraordinarily diverse repertoire choices and innovative programming. He is sought after across the world both for concerts and opera.

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Tafelmusik Media

HANDEL Music for the Royal Fireworks
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra • Jeanne Lamon
Tafelmusik Media TMK1011CD

George Frideric Handel (1686-1759) is regarded as one of the greatest composers of his time. Among his most enduring and popular works are two suites of instrumental music written for royal occasions: Water Music, and the first work presented on this recording, Music for the Royal Fireworks. The latter work was written as a commission from George II, as a celebration of the end of the War of the Austrian Succession and the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. And what a celebration it was, attracting the largest audience that Handel’s music ever received during his lifetime. The celebration of that incredible music continues to this day and this wonderful recording featuring Jeanne Lamon and The Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra offers up a brilliant performance with its own fireworks and combines it with other, festive works, the Concerti a due Cori, Nos.1-3, HWV 331-334.

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Two Pianists

Maria du Toit, clarinet • Nina Schumann, piano
TwoPianists TP1039145

Western art music tradition in South Africa is perhaps not well-known internationally but a rich tradition of excellence is evidenced by this very recording, which was recorded and produced in South Africa and features South African artists. Clarinettist Maria du Toit is a character of many contradictions: a preacher’s daughter, she surprisingly dons an array of expressive tattoos. Adventurous and content, sexy yet demure – one is never quite able to shake the elusive quality that follows her in life and also in musical life. Despite, or because of these contradictions, she has established herself as one of the premier clarinetist of her generation. With Luminous Shade Maria takes the listener on a journey: from Bozza’s Paris, Hofmeyr’s South Africa, Rheinberger’s Germany and Martino’s jazzy USA, to Benjamin’s admiration for Ravel, Negrea’s Romania and Bassi’s Italian opera. The program features both lyricism and virtuosity and succeeds in illuminating the illusive clarinet sound.

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Selected DVDs

Arthaus Musik

Jessica Pratt, soprano • Walter Fraccaro, tenor • Alex Esposito, bass
Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro La Fenice • Diego Matheuz

Arthaus Musik 108056 [Blu-ray Video] / 101637 [DVD]

As is now customary, the first part of the 2012 New Year’s Concert from Teatro La Fenice is exclusively orchestral, with Symphony No. 5 by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. The second part, with soloists Jessica Pratt, Walter Fraccaro and Alex Esposito as well as the choir, is dedicated to melodrama, ending with the traditional chorus “Va pensiero” from Nabucco and the toast “Libiam ne lieti calici” from La traviata by Giuseppe Verdi. The twenty-seven year old conductor and violinist Diego Matheuz is a graduate of the internationally known Venezuelan Sistema and is already widely known as one of the most promising developing talents from the Americas. In September 2011 he was appointed as Principal Conductor of the Teatro La Fenice.

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C Major Entertainment

FALLA La vida breve
Gallardo-Domas • De León • Fernández
Cor de la Generalitat Valenciana
Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana • Lorin Maazel
Giancarlo del Monaco, stage director & designer

C Major 710804 [Blu-ray Video] / 710708 [DVD]

Released for the first time on DVD and Blu-ray! A national monument in Spain, Manuel de Falla’s La vida breve is perhaps the greatest opera ever written in the Spanish language. A kind of ‘tragic zarzuela’, it unites verismo atmosphere, Andalusian local colour and a score shimmering with reminiscences of French Impressionism. La vida breve is the story of a poor gypsy and her lover, who is engaged to wed a wealthy girl. “Simply a stroke of genius” wrote Spain’s Opera Viva about Guancarlo del Monaco’s austere, minimalist staging at Valencia’s Palau de les Arts Reine Sofia. Giancarlo del Monaco has worked with most important opera houses and festivals (MET, La Scala, Bregenz etc.)

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BRUCKNER Symphony No. 7
Berliner Philharmoniker • Sergiu Celibidache
EuroArts 2011404 [Blu-ray Video] / 2011408 [DVD]

In 1992, the revered conductor Sergiu Celibidache returned to conduct the Berliner Philharmoniker for the first time in thirty-eight years. This stupendous event was to be his final concert with the famous orchestra, and it is the only video recording in existence of Celibidache conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker. Bruckner’s majestic Symphony No. 7 is given an expansive, triumphant performance that fills the Schauspielhaus with rich, ripe and burnished sound. To maximise the artistic impact of this momentous occasion, the video assets have been restored and upscaled from 4:3 to 16:9. The film The Triumphant Return, directed by Wolfgang Becker, documents Celibidache’s reunion with the Berliner Philharmoniker after 38 years, and includes extensive footage from the rehearsals of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 and interviews with former orchestra members.

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Idéale Audience

PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3

Martha Argerich, piano
London Symphony Orchestra • André Previn

TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1
Martha Argerich, piano
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra • Charles Groves

Idéale Audience 3079858 [DVD]

The Classic Archive collection presents two unreleased performances filmed by BBC television in 1977: celebrated pianist Martha Argerich plays Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3. and the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1. Both pieces are technically demanding and prove to be an ideal vehicle for Argerich’s musical inspiration, demonstrating why she is hailed as one of the world’s leading musicians. She is joined by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by André Previn, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Sir Charles Groves, in two powerhouse performances that offer a unique glimpse into our classical music heritage.

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Opera Australia

MOZART Don Giovanni
Teddy Tahu Rhodes (Don Giovanni) • Conal Coad (Leporello)
Rachelle Durkin (Donna Anna) • Daniel Sumegi (Il Commendatore)
Henry Choo (Don Ottavio) • Jacqueline Dark (Donna Elvira)
Taryn Fiebig (Zerlina) • Andrew Jones (Masetto)
Opera Australia Chorus • Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Mark Wigglesworth, conductor • Göran Järvefelt, stage director

EPC Distribution OPOZ56023DVD [DVD] /
OPOZ56024BD [Blu-ray Video] / OPOZ56025CD [CD]

Don Giovanni, a libertine, a rake with a devil-may-care attitude, is portrayed magnificently by Teddy Tahu Rhodes in this Opera Australia production, where he first appears on stage in a costume where less is definitely more! Charismatic and sexy, Rhodes’ acting and singing are magnificent. His misused servant, Leporello, is played by Conal Coad, who skilfully promotes the opera’s comic elements whilst delivering a thumping bass full of drama. The classic stage designs of Carl Friedrich Oberle form the backdrop to the drama of Don Giovanni’s last day on earth, before he is hurled in to Hell’s flames by the Commendatore, Daniel Sumegi, whose basso profundo is befittingly momentous. Rachael Durkin (Donna Anna), Jacqueline Dark (Donna Elvira), Taryn Fiebig (Zerlina), Henry Choo (Don Ottavio) and Andrew Jones (Masetto) all deliver superlative singing as Mozart’s enthralling music flows from the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, adeptly guided by the baton of Mark Wigglesworth. A triumphant production from the director, Göran Järvefelt.

Opus Arte

WAGNER Lohengrin
Georg Zeppenfeld, König Heinrich • Klaus Florian Vogt, Lohengrin
Annette Dasch, Elsa Von Brabant
Jukka Rasilainen, Friedrich Von Telramund
Petra Lang, Ortrud • Samuel Youn, Der Heerrufer Des Königs
Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and Chorus • Andris Nelsons
Hans Neuenfels, stage director

Opus Arte OABD7103D [Blu-ray Video] / OA1071D [DVD]

Hans Neuenfels’s striking new production of Wagner’s fairytale opera gives this medieval story of doomed love and sorcery the Bayreuth treatment. As controversial as it is stimulating, this production was the talk of the 2011 Festival, and showcases a new generation of Wagnerian singing talent including soprano Annette Dasch and tenor Klaus Florian Vogt.

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