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The June 2014 issue of New On Naxos presents our monthly spotlight release: the world première recording of Gaetano Donizetti's Aristea (Cantata) performed by the Simon Mayr Chorus and Ensemble, conducted by Franz Hauk.

Other highlights include: Our Dvořák and America release, featuring the first ever recording of the Hiawatha Melodrama by Joseph Horowitz and Michael Beckerman, as well as other works by William Arms Fisher, Arthur Farwell, and last but not least, Antonín Dvořák; some of the least known masterpieces from Ernest Bloch's nearly 30 works for orchestra, including his Symphony in E flat major and Macbeth - Two Symphonic Interludes, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Dalia Atlas; the world première recordings of David Ferdinand's Virtuoso Studies and Caprices for Solo Violin, performed by Reto Kuppel; and Ernő Dohnányi's passionate monument to the Romanticism he espoused, his Symphony No. 2 in E major, and the rarely heard Two Songs for baritone and orchestra, revived by Alexander Jiménez with the Florida State University Symphony Orchestra in 2013.

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

This Month's Highlights

Naxos 8.573360
Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797–1848)
Aristea (Cantata)

Andrea Lauren Brown, Soprano • Sara Hershkowitz, Soprano
Caroline Adler, Alto • Cornel Frey, Tenor • Robert Sellier, Tenor
Andreas Burkhart, Bass
Members of the Bavarian State Opera Chorus
Simon Mayr Chorus and Ensemble • Franz Hauk

Gaetano Donizetti’s ‘mini opera’ Aristea follows the 19th century fashion for composing celebratory scenic works with a large cast and full orchestra, in this case to honour Ferdinand I, King of the Two Sicilies. Librettist Giovanni Schmidt recycled Aristea from an earlier abandoned opera set in idyllic Greek surroundings. This tells the classical story of enforced separation of a father from his daughter, their subsequent confusions and final happy reunion. Donizetti’s early style was influenced by Rossini but is nevertheless independent and innovative, often hinting at his later operatic masterpieces.

Naxos 8.573008
Ernő DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960)
Symphony No. 2 in E major, Op. 40
Two Songs, Op. 22*†

Evan Thomas Jones, Baritone*
Florida State University Symphony Orchestera
Alexander Jiménez


Dohnányi’s powerful Second Symphony was composed toward the end of the Second World War but its large canvas reflects not so much his wartime experience as his own artistic credo as a Romantic composer. Of the symphony and its philosophy he wrote: “The goal is the end of the glorious fight. The goal is death; life is a struggle”, and in it he crafted a passionate monument to the Romanticism he espoused, heard here in its final revised version. The two songs for baritone and orchestra have been very rarely heard, and were revived by Alexander Jiménez with the Florida State University Symphony Orchestra in 2013.

Naxos 8.573290
Ernest BLOCH (1880–1959)
Symphony in E flat major
Macbeth – Two Interludes • Three Jewish Poems
In Memoriam

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra • Dalia Atlas

This program includes some of the least known masterpieces from Ernest Bloch’s nearly 30 works for orchestra. Macbeth: Two Symphonic Interludes is an intoxicating and passionate distillation of Shakespeare’s powerful drama. In Memoriam is a brief elegy dedicated to the pianist Ada Clement, while the Three Jewish Poems were written when Bloch was mourning the death of his father. Originally conceived as a third concerto grosso, Bloch’s last Symphony, in E flat major, is an at times emotionally turbulent and deeply spiritual work containing passages of harmonic acerbity.

Naxos 8.559777
Joseph HOROWITZ (b. 1948) and
Michael BECKERMAN (b. 1951)
Hiawatha Melodrama1

William Arms FISHER (1861-1948)
Goin’ Home2

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Navajo War Dance No. 26 • Pawnee Horses7
Pawnee Horses (choral version)8

Kevin Deas, Narrator1/Bass-baritone2 • Zhou Qian, Violin3
Edmund Battersby, Piano3 • Benjamin Pasternack, piano4,5,6,7
University of Texas Chamber Singers8 • James Morrow8
PostClassical Ensemble1,2 • Angel Gil-Ordóñez1,2


The centerpiece of this programme is the first ever recording of the Hiawatha Melodrama, a concert work for narrator and orchestra designed to show the kinship between Dvořák’s New World Symphony and Longfellow’s poem The Song of Hiawatha, which Dvořák said had inspired him in the symphony. It takes music from the symphony, as well as passages from the American Suite and Violin Sonatina, and fuses them with the poem, which is recited by a bass-baritone. Also included is music by Arthur Farwell, who was influenced by Dvořák, and was a proponent of Native American music. This recording thus celebrates the crosscurrent of influences between the Czech composer and American music and culture.

Naxos 8.573048
Ferdinand DAVID (1810-1873)
20 Virtuoso Studies for Solo Violin
(based on Moscheles, 24 Studies, Op. 70)
6 Caprices for Solo Violin, Op. 9

Reto Kuppel, Violin

A child prodigy as a violin virtuoso, Ferdinand David became concertmaster of Felix Mendelssohn’s Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and was renowned throughout Europe as a soloist and educator. David’s 20 Virtuoso Studies, based on those for piano by his friend, and colleague Ignaz Moscheles, are brilliant and completely idiomatic transcriptions for the violin. Melodies of great emotional depth and refined sensuality characterize the Caprices Op. 9, often demanding lightning speed from the soloist.

Additional Exciting New Releases




Digital Exclusives

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Naxos Audiobooks

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Joyce's Ulysses: A Guide

Ulysses: one of the greatest books ever written, and one of the most challenging.

Joyce’s Ulysses: A Guide opens the door to this 20th-century classic. At the core of the app is the unabridged text with 800 annotations. Encountered a difficulty? Just tap for an explanation!

The award-winning abridged recording of Ulysses by Jim Norton and Marcella Riordan is also contained within, as are recordings of various songs and arias mentioned in the book.

Background material includes the complete text of Homer’s Odyssey, in the new translation by Ian Johnston, alongside an article explaining Ulysses’ connection to it; a biography of Joyce; and articles on the novel’s turbulent publishing history, its translated editions, and the worldwide scholarly industry that has arisen around it.

This is the perfect vehicle for getting to grips with Ulysses: anybody can now demystify ‘the ineluctable modality of the visible’ and delve into the delights of this outstanding work.

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