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The February 2014 issue of New On Naxos presents our monthly spotlight release: the fourth and final volume of of ROSSINI's Complete Overtures with the Prague Sinfonia Orchestra conducted by Christian Benda. The 4 CD volumes are also available on 2 Blu-ray Audio discs in 24-bit, 96 kHz high definition stereo and surround sound. The second Blu-ray volume is released simultaneously this month.

Other highlights include: JoAnn Falletta conducts the Buffalo Philharmonic in GLIÈRE's Symphony No. 3 'Il'ya Muromets'; Peter BOYER's Symphony No. 1 played by the London Philharmonic conducted by the composer; and Kazuo YAMADA's Orchestral Works with the Russian Philharmonic and Dmitry Yablonsky.

Watch our monthly New on Naxos video to sample some of the highlight releases of the month.

This Month's Highlights

Naxos 8.572735
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792–1868)
Complete Overtures, Volume 4

Prague Sinfonia Orchestra • Christian Benda

The enduring popularity of Rossini’s operas is a testament to their wit and inventiveness, every overture a superb portrait of each ensuing drama. There is none more popular than the farcical comedy of Il barbiere di Siviglia, but themes of flirtation and disguise can also be found in Il Turco in Italia, contrasting with the heroism and revenge of Armida and the cunning exploits of Le Comte Ory.

Naxos 8.573161
Reinhold Moritsevich GLIÈRE (1875–1956)
Symphony No. 3 ‘Il’ya Muromets’

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra • JoAnn Falletta

“The Glière Symphony No. 3 has always been a piece that shimmered on my horizon – a cult piece, in a way, renowned as the composer’s towering masterpiece but rarely played in concert. As long as a Mahler symphony and enormous in its instrumental requirements, it was a work that people spoke about reverently but almost never heard live. The recording was an adventure that changed our orchestra, strengthened us, and became an artistic benchmark for our musicians. We revelled in the gorgeous landscape of the Symphony – from mysterious bass murmurings to crushing walls of brass fortissimo to breathtaking impressionistic renderings of forests and birds. We performed and recorded this massive work uncut to preserve Glière’s extraordinary architecture. This work is a cathedral in sound that unfolds in breathtaking swashes of colour, poetry and monumental climaxes.” – JoAnn Falletta

Naxos 8.559769
Peter BOYER (b. 1970)
Symphony No. 1
Silver Fanfare • Festivities
Three Olympians • Celebration Overture

London Philharmonic Orchestra • Peter Boyer

Peter Boyer is one of the most frequently performed American orchestral composers of his generation, widely admired not least for his GRAMMY®-nominated Ellis Island: The Dream of America (Naxos 8.559246). The composer writes, “The five works included on this recording represent a cross-section of my orchestral music. Three Olympians reflects my interest in mythology and history.

Naxos 8.570552
Kazuo YAMADA (1912–1991)
Grand Treasure
A Song of Young People
Kiso (Old Japanese Melody)

Russian Philharmonic Orchestra • Dmitry Yablonsky

Kazuo Yamada was one of Japan’s most influential composers and conductors who, in his own works, rejected the ‘facile exoticism’ of Japanese nationalism that became the vogue at the onset of the Sino-Japanese war in 1937. The little symphonic poem A Song of Young People is one such ‘protest’ work. Kiso (Old Japanese Melody) is an orchestral paraphrase of two folk songs, while the symphonic suite India is a reworking of the ballet score Spellbinding, which is based on Indian legend. The Mahlerian Grand Treasure is a threnody for the dead that movingly incorporates Japanese instruments related to shomyo (the chanting of Buddhist hymns) which, in Yamada’s own words, ‘can in a sense be thought of as the origin of Japanese music’.

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