The highlight of the month for the May 2018 issue of NEW ON NAXOS is the newest publication from Naxos Books – My First Piano Book – written by Genevieve Helsby, with illustrations by Jason Chapman. Bursting with life and humour, this is a uniquely comprehensive introduction to the piano, designed first and foremost to inspire. The previous release, My First Classical Music Book, was highly successful and The Times described it as “excellent”.
Other highlights include: Boris Giltburg’s third Rachmaninov recording, performing Piano Concerto No. 3 (with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Carlos Miguel Prieto) and Variations on a Theme of Corelli; the complete cello music by Robert Schumann performed by cellist Gabriel Schwabe with pianist Nicholas Rimmer, and the Royal Northern Sinfonia under Lars Vogt; Bedřich Smetana’s rarely-recorded Festive Symphony, performed by the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under Darrell Ang; two ballet suites by Francis Poulenc – Les Biches and Les Animaux modèles – recorded by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and Jean-Luc Tingaud; the final release of the Pierre Rode Complete Violin Concertos series, featuring violinist Friedemann Eichhorn with the Jena Philharmonic and conductor Nicolás Pasquet; the world premiere recording of David Diamond’s Symphony No. 6, performed by the Indianapolis University Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Arthur Fagen; and many more.
Following the huge success of My First Classical Music Book, Genevieve Helsby and Jason Chapman return with My First Piano Book. Bursting with life and humour, this is a uniquely comprehensive introduction to the piano, designed first and foremost to inspire. Text and illustrations are so perfectly in tune with each other that every page is a treat to explore… Read more
Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 is a complex, epic narrative that moves from a simple opening melody to the triumphant apotheosis at its conclusion. The composer ingeniously links motifs, melodies and at times whole sections between the movements, unifying the concerto into a single overarching storyline… Read more
Schumann’s love of the cello, which developed when he learned the instrument as a young man, is expressed most fully in his Cello Concerto in A Minor. It is a work marked by freshness of spirit and singing lyricism and stands as a rich example of mid-19th-century Romanticism… Read more
Niccolò Jommelli was an innovative superstar among composers in his day, and is now recognized as a precursor of the new Viennese Classical taste in music. With its intense story of love, life and death, Il Vologeso sets one of the most powerful libretti written for the European opera stage. This critically acclaimed production is considered to be its first staged performance for over two centuries, and the highly successful opera directors Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito have revived a Baroque gem with their exciting, present-day staging.
With his affinity for the 16th-century sculptor Benvenuto Cellini’s advocacy of artistic and personal freedom, Hector Berlioz went straight for the grand gesture with his first completed opera. Returning to it years after initial production debacles, Berlioz stated that he would ‘never again find such verve and Cellinian impetuosity, nor such a variety of ideas’. The plot revolves around Cellini’s wooing of Teresa, a match frustrated at every opportunity by his rival, the cowardly Fieramosca. Benvenuto Cellini is a pithy work combining romance, excitement, violence, comedy and spectacle; the perfect stage for Terry Gilliam’s stylishly colourful and larger-than-life directing.
Bedřich Smetana’s Festive Symphony was composed in 1854 when hopes for Emperor Franz Joseph becoming King of Bohemia were high. The splendid sounds of Smetana’s only formal symphony pre-echo later masterpieces such as Má Vlast, but his use of the Austrian Imperial anthem became unacceptable in the subsequent spirit of Czech nationalism, resulting in the work’s neglect… Read more
Poulenc wrote two ballets, the suites from which feature on this recording. Fusing together musical styles from various periods and genres enabled him to construct the largely plot-free narrative of Les Biches, a sequence of captivating dances that explore many themes which were considered taboo at the time… Read more
As a leading virtuoso who premiered Beethoven’s final violin sonata with the Archduke Rudolph, Rode was at the centre of European musical life, his compositions sitting at the apex of the French violin school. The final volume in this acclaimed series presents one of his most inspired pieces, the Violin Concerto No. 11 in D Major, lyrically expressive and full of good-humoured zest… Read more
The three works on this recording were composed at the height of David Diamond’s popularity. The concert suite Romeo and Juliet explores the “innate beauty and pathos” of Shakespeare’s play. Taking its cue from the work of 19th-century Romantic composers, Symphony No. 6 is cyclical, the second and third movements deriving from material found in the first… Read more
Puerto Rico-born composer Roberto Sierra is internationally renowned for his integration of Caribbean music with the Western idioms he acquired during studies in Europe. The character of Kandinsky ranges from the intimate to the bold and virtuosic, responding with fresh and surprising impressions to a selection of Wassily Kandinsky’s unique paintings… Read more
The ‘warm voice’ of the viola has long been associated with pioneering British performers such as Lionel Tertis, for whom Vaughan Williams wrote his tuneful and elegantly crafted Suite. Tertis famously rejected the score of Walton’s Viola Concerto, but instantly regretted his decision on hearing its lyrical warmth and piquant blend of delicacy and bite at the premiere… Read more
This set brings together all of Tianwa Yang’s critically admired recordings of Sarasate’s music for violin and piano. The great Spanish virtuoso was both an inspiration to his contemporaries and a composer of characterful and vivid pieces. Yang’s flawless intonation, lyricism and virtuosity have won accolades including the German Record Critics’ Annual Prize… Read more
Pauline and Paul Viardot were members of the famous García family, Pauline’s father the world renowned operatic tenor Manuel, and her son Paul a violin prodigy who rubbed shoulders with Europe’s elite and became a friend and colleague of Saint-Saëns. Pauline’s Six Morceaux were composed as a gift to her young son… Read more
The jazz legend Chick Corea and world-renowned Italian guitarist Flavio Cucchi have known each other since the late 1980s. This recording features Corea’s only work written expressly for the guitar, Six Ruminations, heard in a new version by Cucchi, as well as Cucchi’s arrangement for two guitars of the magical, haiku-like 12 Children’sSongs… Read more
The versatility of the suite form proved well suited to Johann Sebastian Bach in his instrumental works, and the English Suites are no exception. These are distinct from Bach’s other suites with their quasi-improvisatory opening Preludes, and further movements encompassing a wide range of moods and styles from lively dances to the pensive intensity of the slow Sarabandes… Read more
Telemann was among the most admired and prolific of composers and his compositions encompass virtually all genres and instrumentations known in his lifetime. The SixOuvertures, strangely neglected for many years, reveal his inventive and imaginative writing for solo harpsichord… Read more
Constancio Hernáez is a central figure in contemporary music in his native city of Madrid, his work premiered by prestigious musicians across several continents. Vocal music makes up a significant part of his wide-ranging output, and this program contains his complete works for voice and piano in an extended series that pays homage to great Spanish poets… Read more
After making her first solo piano LP recording in 1959 at the age of seventeen, Idil Biret had to wait for nearly three decades before recording with an orchestra in a studio. In 1988 she recorded in London Saint-Saëns’ 2nd and 4th Concertos with the legendary Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by James Loughran. During the next 25 years Biret made recordings of over sixty works for piano and orchestra in studio and at concerts under the baton of eminent conductors including Jean Fournet, Emil Tabakov, and Toshi Shimada—all included in this enormous release.
This DVD contains the live recording of Idil Biret’s 75th anniversary concert in Istanbul in November 2016 at the 2500-seater L. Kirdar Hall. Hindemith’s Piano Concerto and Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini were on the program. The conductor is Toshi Shimada, who also conducted the same Hindemith concerto Idil Biret played at Carnegie Hall, New York in April of the same year. As bonus are included Biret’s performances of Hindemith’s The Four Temperaments and Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Yale Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Shimada at the Woolsey Hall of Yale University in 2012. Finally, there is a documentary on the making of the recording of all the five Hindemith works for piano and orchestra by Idil Biret with YSO/Shimada released on 2 CDs by Naxos in 2013, titled Idil Biret at Yale University.
Idil Biret first made a professional recording in 1959 performing works by Brahms and Schumann. That moment led to a 60-year recording career, now collected in an enormous 130-CD ‘superbox’. These critically-acclaimed recordings won many awards, including the Grand Prix du Disque Frederic Chopin and Diapason d’Or. This set contains more than 60 works for piano and orchestra including all the major works, the complete solo piano works of Brahms, Chopin and Rachmaninov are in the set as well as all the 32 Piano Sonatas by Beethoven, the 48 Preludes and Fugues of J.S. Bach and all the major solo works of Schumann and Liszt. This ‘superbox’ commemorates both Idil Biret’s 75th anniversary and her epic career on the concert stage over the last 70 years.
NA0305 • 10-CD Set
NA0306 • 6-CD Set
NA0307 • 14-CD Set
NA0299 • 28-CD Set *digital pre-release
NA0309 • 22-CD Set *digital pre-release
NA0310 • 10-CD Set *digital pre-release
NA0336 • 11-CD Set *digital pre-release
The New & Now playlist features all that is new and exciting in the world of classical music, whether it’s new music, new presentations or new performers. With more than 200 new releases each year, and artists from around the world, there is always something new to discover with Naxos.
This month, there are some fantastic new additions to the playlist!
Sergey Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 30: II. Intermezzo (Giltburg, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Prieto)
Robert Schumann: F-A-E Sonata: II. Intermezzo, WoO 22 (arr. G. Schwabe) (Gabriel Schwabe, Nicholas Rimmer)
Bedřich Smetana: Triumphal (Festive) Symphony, Op. 6: III. Scherzo (Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Darrell Ang)
Francis Poulenc: Les biches Suite: I. Rondeau (Ireland RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Tingaud)
David Diamond: Symphony No. 6: III. Deciso (Indiana University Philharmonic Orchestra, Fagen)