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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

JS BACH Weihnachts Oratorium
Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks • Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin • Peter Dijkstra
BR-Klassik 900902 [4 CDs]

After the success of his introduction to the St. Matthew Passion, author Wieland Schmid now takes us on a journey through the Christmas Oratorio with thrilling insights into Bach’s creative process and background information on the composition. Outstanding narrators and the complete recording of the 2010 performance of the Christmas Oratorio with the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks and the Akademie für alte Musik Berlin under the direction of Peter Dijkstra make this 4-CD set the ideal Christmas gift.

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Franz SCHREKER Das Weib des Intaphernes
Der Geburtstag der Infantin (Suite) • Symphony Op 1

Gerd WestphalKolja LessingWDR Rundfunkchor Köln
WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln • Peter Gülke
Capriccio C7088 [3 CDs]

The present first recordings do not document the Schreker of ‘impressionistic’ intoxication with colour and passionate Italianate cantilenas as in Die Gezeichneten. Here it is a matter of the ‘unknown Schreker’ – the corner-points, 35 years apart, of his output, the whence and whither of a composer who already in his twenties saw himself branded as ‘begetter of musical narcotics’ and whose name still evoked, for many people, ‘art nouveau of some kind’.

Franz Schreker’s last completed dramatic composition is the melodrama Das Weib des Intaphernes, composed on a ballad by Eduard Stucken in 1932/33 in Estoril, near Lisbon, and in Berlin; Once more the sure hand of the dramatist in masterly control of his means is shown; with a few concise motives he creates cohesion of form, and can employ a simple triadic motive as certainly as an inscrutably rugged atonal fugato.

Capriccio catalogue on

CD Accord

The Art of Fugue
Wrocław Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum • Ernst Kovacic
CDAccord CDAccordACD168

The compositions on this CD represent many stages in the beautiful and fascinating journey taken by composers who explored the form of the fugue over the period of two centuries. In the early 18th century, the contrapuntal skills which that form requires were – most of all thanks to Johann Sebastian Bach – already highly developed and mature. Even today, the mastery of counterpoint is an important aspect of a composer’s workshop and a subject taught in academies and universities. We are aware of how greatly our expectations have changed over the ages with regard to composers’ skills and technique. It is only natural that those changes should be visible also in those contexts in which composers made use of the fugue form.

CD Accord catalogue on

Dorian Sono Luminus

Bruce Levingston, piano
Dorian Sono Luminus DSL-92144

In his latest release, Nightbreak, acclaimed pianist Levingston has recorded an album of works that display the light and dark of the human soul. From the dramatic sound portraits of Liszt’s powerful and moving Vallée d’Obermann and Brahms anguished ‘Edward’ Ballade to the world premiere recording of Glass’s brilliant and thrilling Dracula Suite, Levingston’s virtuosic and deeply searching performance on this CD captures a panoramic range of colours and emotions. He is one of the leading figures on the contemporary music scene.

Dorian Sono Luminus catalogue on

Selected DVDs

Arthaus Musik

Antonín DVOŘÁK Masterworks
Symphonies Nos 7, 8 & 9 ‘From the New World’ • Slavonic Dances
Cello Concerto • Romance for Violin and Orchestra • Piano Concerto

Mischa Maisky, cello • Ivan Zenaty, violin • Igor Ardašev, piano
Prague Symphony Orchestra
Petr Altrichter, Jirí Bělohlávek & Libor Pešek, conductors

Arthaus Musik 107513 [3 DVDs]

Live recordings from the Alte Oper Frankfurt, 1993

The works of the quintessentially Czech composer Antonín Dvořák are, above all, enjoyable and perennial favourites of the Romantic repertoire. The concerts are performed by the Prague Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and the Prague Philharmonic Choir, with three leading Czech conductors on the podium: Petr Altrichter, Jirí Bělohlávek and Libor Pešek.

Arthaus Musik catalogue on

C Major Entertainment

VERDI La forza del destino
Nina Stemme, Donna Leonora • Salvatore Licitra, Don Alvaro
Carlos Álvarez, Don Carlo di Vargas • Nadia Krasteva, Preziosilla
Alastair Miles, Il Marchese di Calatrava
Chor und Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper • Zubin Mehta
David Pountney, stage director

C Major 708204 [Blu-ray Video] / 708108 [2 DVDs]

‘The cast is a dream team,’ wrote the Financial Times after the premiere of this production of Verdi’s La forza del destino at the Wiener Staatsoper. Powerful performances by Nina Stemme, who gives a fullblooded portrayal of Leonora, Alastair Miles as her father, Salvatore Licitra as Alvaro, Carlos Álvarez as Don Carlo and Nadia Krasteva as Preziosilla resulted in one of the Viennese ensemble’s most celebrated achievements of recent years. Zubin Mehta leads the Staatsoper Orchestra with agility, subtleness and relaxed mastery, and right from the start David Pountney establishes an atmosphere of entrapment by fate.

‘A perfect utopia.’ – Süddeutsche Zeitung

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Claudio Arrau: The 80th Birthday Recital

Claudio Arrau, piano
EuroArts 2058678 [DVD]

Claudio Arrau, one of the twentieth century’s greatest pianists, offered this concert at New York City’s Avery Fisher Hall in 1983 to celebrate his 80th birthday. To a capacity crowd, Arrau demonstrates how he earned this reputation, and why he still deserves it. A Herculean performance of two Beethoven sonatas, the ‘Waldstein’ and ‘Appassionata’, is followed by music of Debussy, Liszt and Chopin. In these six works, we see the truth of Arrau’s own words that ‘an interpreter must give his blood to the work interpreted’.

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