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The January 2014 issue of New On Naxos presents our monthly spotlight release: the fourth and final volume of SARASATE’s Music for Violin and Piano, played by Chinese virtuoso Tianwa Yang and accompanied by German pianist Markus Hadulla. BBC Music Magazine raved about the previous volume (Volume 3 – 8.570893): “Yang throws off merciless chains of double stops and finger-crippling arabesques with scintillating aplomb … simply inimitable … Bravo!”

Other highlights include: Antoni Wit conducts MONIUSZKO’s Overtures – the first volume of an ongoing series; MOERAN’s In the Mountain Country, played by the Ulster Orchestra conducted by JoAnn Falletta; and Vladimir Lande conducts WEINBERG’s Symphony No. 12 with St Petersburg State Symphony.

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

This Month's Highlights

Naxos 8.572709
Pablo SARASATE (1844–1908)
Music for Violin and Piano, Volume 4

Tianwa Yang, violin • Markus Hadulla, piano

The finale to this critically-acclaimed four-disc series contains some of Sarasate’s greatest – and also some of his rarest – transcriptions and arrangements, some of which have been in the repertoire of violinists since they were published. They include a delectable Chopin sequence, arrangements inspired by the music of French Baroque violinists, an early and beautifully constructed Souvenirs de Faust based on Gounod, and Sarasate’s own favourite concert piece, Raff’s La fée d’amour.

Naxos 8.572716
Stanisław MONIUSZKO (1819–1872)
Overtures, Volume 1

Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra • Antoni Wit

Stanisław Moniuszko was Poland’s leading opera composer in the 19th century, his work said to ‘bridge the gap between Chopin and Szymanowski’. His skill as a born melodist is apparent in the ‘beautiful and inspired’ overture to Paria, while the dramatic Halka was the work which brought him national acclaim. An affinity with Liszt’s tone poems can be heard in the substantial overture Bajka, while the scene for The Haunted Manor is set with an atmospheric Intrada.

Naxos 8.573106
Ernest John MOERAN (1894–1950)
In the Mountain Country
Rhapsodies • Overture for a Masque

Benjamin Frith, piano • Ulster Orchestra • JoAnn Falletta

Ernest John Moeran’s Rhapsodies occupy a significant place among his orchestral compositions. Each is marked by melodic exuberance, inventive scoring and formal mastery. Moeran’s gift for imbuing his music with folkloric tunes that are actually his own is especially evident in the First Rhapsody and in his first orchestral work, In the Mountain Country. First performed in 1943, the Rhapsody in F sharp major for piano and orchestra is unashamedly popular in style, with an appealing tunefulness.

Naxos 8.573085
Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919–1996)
Symphony No. 12 ‘In memoriam D. Shostakovich’
Golden Key – Ballet Suite No. 4

St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra • Vladimir Lande

Weinberg’s symphonies are recognized today as a substantial continuation of the Russian tradition. His Twelfth Symphony, written in the style and spirit of Shostakovich, is a response to the death in August 1975 of his great friend and supporter of 32 years. With its subtle stylistic allusions to Shostakovich, this is the longest and most wide-ranging of Weinberg’s purely orchestral symphonies. This recording has been prepared utilising the composer’s hand written materials and markings. One of only two surviving ballet scores, The Golden Key is a compelling satire, extending a lineage which includes Prokofiev and Stravinsky.

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