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This month’s NEW ON NAXOS spotlight recording is Boris Giltburg’s highly anticipated album performing Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 and Études-Tableaux, Op. 33, with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Carlos Miguel Prieto. Boris’ previous Rachmaninov recording of Études-Tableaux, Op. 39 and Moments musicaux was critically acclaimed, and was Gramophone’s Recording of the Month, American Record Guide’s Critics’ Choice, and Instrumental Choice of the Month of BBC Music Magazine.

Other exciting new releases this month includes Richard Wagner’s rarely-heard Concert Overtures conducted by Jun Märkl; Bob Chilcott’s new choral works performed by Commotio; GRAMMY® Award-winning Robert Aldridge’s opera Sister Carrie from the Florentine Opera Company; Season 3 programs of the 6-time Emmy Award-winning All-Star Orchestra; volume 2 of Elan Quintet’s survey of George Onslow’s string quintets, and many more.

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

This Month's Highlights

RACHMANINOV, S.: Piano Concerto No. 2 / Études-tableaux, Op. 33
Sergey RACHMANINOV (1873–1943)
Piano Concerto No. 2*
Études-Tableaux, Op. 33

Giltburg • Royal Scottish National Orchestra* • Prieto*

Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 is one of the most passionate and beloved concertos in the repertoire, its lyricism and virtuosity charting a trajectory from darkness through idyll to dazzling triumph. The Études-tableaux, Op. 33 are richly characterized musical evocations, expressive and often explosive, that reflect a more angular, modern aspect.

ROSSINI, G.: Bianca e Falliero [Opera]
[3 CDs]
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792–1868)
Bianca e Falliero
Libretto by Felice Romani

Forte • Yarovaya • Tarver • Anderzhanov • Viotti • Banaś • Sargsyan • Kubla • Zabeo • Camerata Bach Choir, Poznań • Michalak • Virtuosi Brunensis • Mitáš • Fogliani

Bianca e Falliero was commissioned by La Scala, Milan, for its prestigious Carnival season of 1819-20, enjoying a run of no fewer than 39 performances. Rossini responded with a score the virtuosity and expressivity of which outdid even his Neapolitan works. Prevailing tastes at La Scala meant that ensembles predominated over arias but behind the conventional dictates Rossini lavished the utmost care on his work, fashioning an opera full of dramatic coloratura and powerful theatrical craft and notable for its rich and often surprising use of harmony.

SILVESTROV, V.: Moments of Memory II / Serenades / The Messenger - 1996
Valentin SILVESTROV (b. 1937)
Moments of Memory II*
Serenade • The Messenger – 1996*
Farewell Serenade • Silent Music
Two Dialogues with Postscript*

Starodub * • Kiev Virtuosi • Yablonsky

Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov has said that ‘I do not write new music. My music is a response to and an echo of what already exists.’ This is particularly pertinent to works such as the Two Dialogues with Postscript that engage hauntingly with Schubert and Wagner, and the evocative Moments of Memory II which alludes to Chopin and yearns for an unreachable past. ‘Music is still song, even if one cannot literally sing it’, says Silvestrov.

WAGNER, R.: Concert Overtures / Siegfried Idyll
Richard WAGNER (1813–1883)
Concert Overtures Nos. 1 and 2
König Enzio • Die Feen
Christopher Columbus
Siegfried Idyll

MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchetra • Märkl

Before his emergence as one of the greatest musical figures of the 19th century, Richard Wagner wrote a series of overtures that chart his early compositional development. The two high-octane Concert Overtures reflect his Beethovenian and Classical lineage, whereas the overture to the historical tragedy König Enzio reveals a greater sense of melancholy and nobility. Heroism is the key to his first opera, Die Feen, while his second, Das Liebesverbot, is saturated in beguiling Mediterranean colour. Siegfried Idyll, a surprise birthday gift for his second wife, Cosima, is a tender and intimate celebration of scenes of family life.

CHILCOTT, B.: Choral Music (All Good Things)
Bob CHILCOTT (b. 1955)
All Good Things
Nidaros Jazz Mass • Jazz Songs of Innocence
Ophelia, Caliban, and Miranda • Weather Report

A. Hawkins • Greenway • Mizraki • J. Scott • Commotio • M. Berry • Chilcott


Bob Chilcott is one of Britain’s most popular and respected composers and his choral music is performed worldwide. He has always embraced a broad stylistic palette and his writing for voice combined with jazz instrumentation gives these works a sense of vitality and energy. Performed by leading jazz soloists and Commotio, the distinguished promoters of contemporary repertoire, this sequence of brilliant villanelles, folk song arrangements and witty settings reveals once again the breadth of Chilcott’s musical imagination.

ALDRIDGE, R.L.: Sister Carrie [Opera]
[2 CDs]
Robert ALDRIDGE (b. 1954)
Sister Carrie
Libretto by Herschel Garfein

Zabala • Phares • M. Morgan • Jordheim • Cunningham • Florentine Opera Chorus and Company • Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra • Boggs

Described by Opera News as “an important addition to the American operatic canon,” Sister Carrie takes as its themes the lure of money and social standing. Robert Aldridge’s inventive score is richly melodic and unapologetically tonal. Herschel Garfein’s libretto is based on Theodore Dreiser’s groundbreaking 1900 novel, which depicts a smalltown girl’s tortuous path to fame and her lover’s abject descent into despair.

ONSLOW, G.: String Quintets, Vol. 2 - Nos. 10 and 22
Georges ONSLOW (1784–1853)
String Quintets, Vol. 2 – Nos. 10 and 22

Elan Quintet


It was Robert Schumann who praised the Anglo-French Georges Onslow, alongside Mendelssohn, as one of the successors to the chamber music legacy of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. His string quintets were intended for a market of cultivated amateurs, with parts for a second cello or bass. No. 10 in F Minor, Op. 32 reflects Beethoven’s influence, its Sturm und Drang elements revealing a masterly balance between the stable and unpredictable. No. 22 in E-flat Major, lively and playful, offers an almost Schubertian songfulness.

Additional Exciting New Releases

LAJTHA, L.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 6
László LAJTHA (1892–1963)
Symphonies Nos. 8 and 9

Pécs Symphony Orchestra • Pasquet

Reflecting Hungary’s troubled times following the Soviet suppression of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising, Lajtha’s last two symphonies are deeply emotional and dramatic works ranging from tragic intensity to optimism. Whereas the Eighth Symphony was aptly described by the composer’s wife as ‘a tragedy without consolation’, the emotional power and the melodic beauty of the Ninth Symphony evoke suffering, happiness and hope. A huge success at its 1963 Parisian première, the work was acclaimed by the critic Claude Rostand as ‘the one that convinced us that László Lajtha was truly one of the greatest symphonic composers of the 20th century’.

DVOŘÁK, A.: Piano Trios, Vol. 2 - Nos. 1 and 2
Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841–1904)
Piano Trios, Vol. 2 – Nos. 1 and 2

The Tempest Trio

Dvořák’s four piano trios are some of the greatest examples of late 19th-century chamber music, and have remained repertoire favorites to this day. His Piano Trio No. 1 in B-flat Major incorporates melancholy, serenity and vivid excitement in equal measure, while the Piano Trio No. 2 in G Minor though written at a time of personal tragedy for Dvořák, achieves a triumphant and emphatic conclusion.

Violin and Piano Recital: Howick, Clare / Ekins, John Paul - ELGAR, E. / BRIDGE, F. / DELIUS, F. / SCOTT, C. (British Music for Violin and Piano)
British Music for Violin and Piano

Howick • Ekins


Framed by Edward Elgar’s deeply personal Violin Sonata and the bravura fireworks of his Mazurka, this programme is a fascinating look at British music for violin and piano at the turn of the last century. Popular pieces such as Delius’ haunting Serenade can be found alongside première recordings such as that of Frank Bridge’s attractive Con moto or Cyril Scott’s contemplative Vesperale.

RIES, F.: Violin Sonatas, Vol. 2 - Op. 16, No. 2 and Op. 38, Nos. 1-2
Ferdinand RIES (1784–1838)
Sonatas for Violin and Piano, Vol. 2

Grossman • Kagan


This second volume of Ferdinand Ries’ violin sonatas furthers our exploration of music by a gifted composer who enjoyed a close and productive relationship with Beethoven as student, friend, and colleague. Filled with elegance and refinement, these three sonatas display the range of Ries’ creative gifts as a composer, skilfully synthesising the clarity and discipline of Mozart’s Viennese Classical style with the inventiveness and freedom of the new Romanticism developing in the early 19th century.

TOGNI, Camillo: Flute Works - Preludes / Flute Sonata / 3 Duets / Fantasia concertante
Camillo TOGNI (1922–1993)
Works for Flute

Fabbriciani • Dorow • Saldarelli • Damerini • Neri • I Cameristi Lombardi • Conter


Camillo Togni stands as one of the most representative figures of 20th-century Italian music. His uncompromisingly independent creativity can be defined as the quest to strike a balance between exacting formal coherence and the broadest imaginative freedom, while composing with extraordinary craftsmanship. Togni was inspired to write numerous works for his friend the acclaimed flautist Roberto Fabbriciani, a musician as close as any to this composer’s complex, mysterious and deeply poetic musical language.

WIDOR, Charles-Marie: Woodwind Works (Complete)
Charles-Marie WIDOR (1844–1937)
Suite Florentine
Complete Works for Woodwind

Roorda • Soccorsi • Patey • Ogrintchouk • Mooiman • Naito • Enzler


Charles Widor’s musical life covered around 75 years of French cultural history. His organ symphonies helped to blow spectacular new life into an instrument that had become sorely neglected, and it was in salons such as that of the organ builder Cavaillé-Coll that his chamber music was first welcomed with enthusiasm. Widor went on to work with leading players of his day, composing audition showpieces such as the Introduction et Rondo, the recently rediscovered and popular Sérénade with its rich harmonium sonorities, and the Suite, Op. 34 that far transcends the salon genre in its character and range.

MAYR, J.S.: Stabat Mater in F Minor (ed. F. Hauk and M. Hößl)
Johann Simon MAYR (1763–1845)
Stabat mater in F Minor1
Eja mater2 • Ave maris stella3

A.L. Brown3 • Jaewon Yun1,2 • Holzhauser1 2,3 • Schäfer3 • Sellier1,2 • Hamann1,2 • Mischok3 • Simon Mayr Chorus1,3 • Members of the Bavarian State Opera Chorus1,3 • I Virtuosi Italiani3 • Concerto de Bassus1,2 • Hauk


Restored by Mayr expert Frans Hauk from two extant manuscript versions and heard here in its world première recording, Simon Mayr’s Stabat mater in F Minor was singled out by a contemporary biographer “for its marvellous effect” and “heavenly beauty”. Mayr himself frequently returned to this work, recycling one of its movements in his great Requiem (Naxos 8.573419-20). The song-like Ave maris stella builds on a hymn that dates back to the 8th century.

BLANCAFORT, M.: Songs (Complete), Vol. 1
Manuel BLANCAFORT (1897–1987)
Complete Songs, Vol. 1

Alàs i Jové • Villalba


Catalonian native Manuel Blancafort was largely self-taught as a composer. Taken under Frederic Mompou’s wing, he was introduced to the rich cultural life of 1920s Paris and became part of a fertile aesthetic revolution that rejected Romanticism and marked a revival of Classicism and beauty, his concise, intimate and playful spirit connected to that of Grieg, Fauré and Satie. Always maintaining their Catalan roots, Blancafort’s songs evoke the past and dream of a country aspiring to become cultured and free from oppression. The clarity and simplicity of this message led one commentator to describe him as “the living synthesis of Catalan musical culture”.

BUSONI, F.: Piano Music, Vol. 9 - Una festa di villaggio / Racconti fantastici / Danze antiche / Suite campestre
Ferruccio BUSONI (1866–1924)
Piano Music, Vol. 9

Wolf Harden

All the works in the disc were composed when Busoni was between the ages of eleven and fifteen. Full of charm and wit, they reveal his precocious absorption of earlier models – principally Bach, Mozart, Weber and Schumann – as well as exceptional technical finesse. Una festa di villagio charts the days events of a village festival whilst Suite campestre, one of his most distinctive early compositions, possesses moments of inwardness that presage the mature works to come.

50th Anniversary
Michele Pittaluga Guitar Competition, Alessandria
Laureates 2006–2015

Dervoed • Ceku • Kulikova • Csáki • Montesinos • Perera • Cherouana • Buono • Süalp • Mamedkuliev

The “Michele Pittaluga” International Guitar Competition was first held in 1968, and is still one of only a handful of guitar competitions that have achieved genuine international prestige. In 2017 it celebrates its 50th continuous year, and this celebratory compilation of recordings by past winners brings together performances at the highest level of some of the finest music written or arranged for guitar: from Rodrigo’s ‘challenge’ to the player in Elogio de la guitarra, to Rameau’s picturesque mimicry of birdsong and Walton’s masterful Bagatelles.

The All-Star Orchestra DVDs

Naxos AudioBooks

CLELAND, J.: Fanny Hill (Unabridged)
NA0274 • 8-CD Set
NAIPAUL, V.S.: A House for Mr. Biswas (Unabridged)
NA0286 • 18-CD Set
TODD, B.E.: Worzel Gummidge Again (Unabridged)
NA0288 • 5-CD Set
CARRINGTON, L.: The Hearing Trumpet (Unabridged)
NA0312 • 6-CD Set
JAMES, H.: The Ambassadors (Unabridged)
NA0276 • 16-CD Set
*digital pre-release
LAWRENCE, D.H.R.: Women in Love (Unabridged)
NA0277 • 18-CD Set
*digital pre-release
ANGUS, D.: More Great Inventors and Their Inventions (Unabridged)
NA0281 • 2-CD Set
*digital pre-release
TODD, B.E.: More about Worzel Gummidge (Unabridged)
NA0289 • 3-CD Set
*digital pre-release
BOCCACCIO, G.: The Decameron (Unabridged)
NA0278 • 24-CD Set
*digital pre-release

Naxos Playlists

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!
  • Valentin Silvestrov: Silent Music: I. Waltz of the Moment (Kiev Virtuosi, Yablonsky)
  • Sergey Rachmaninov: Études-tableaux, Op. 33: No. 5 in D Minor (Boris Giltburg)
  • Antonin Dvořák: Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 21, B. 51: IV. Finale: Allegro vivace (Tempest Trio)
  • Robert Aldridge: Sister Carrie, Act II: The Letter Duet (Zabala, Phares, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Boggs)

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