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Universally acknowledged as one of the foremost composers of our time, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has made a significant contribution to musical history through his eclectic and prolific output. He lives in the Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland, where he writes most of his music. In a catalogue spanning more than five decades, he has written in a broad range of styles, yet his music always communicates directly and powerfully, whether in his profoundly argued symphonic works, his music-theatre compositions or his witty, light orchestral pieces.

This month sees the release of the last of the Naxos re-issues of recordings made for the Collins Classics label in the 1990s.


8.572358
  MAXWELL DAVIS, P.: Caroline Mathilde Ballet Suites / Chat Moss / Ojai Festival Overture
BBC Philharmonic, Maxwell Davies

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ ballet Caroline Mathilde premièred in 1991 and has been highly acclaimed ever since. Its story concerns the tragic marriage of Caroline to Christian VII of Denmark and is cast in a musical language that embraces expressionism, drama, parody, and overt lyricism. The two concert suites chart the young queen’s fall from grace and her eventual banishment into exile. Chat Moss is a richly textured tone poem, while by contrast the Ojai Festival Overture is a lively and extrovert concert piece reflecting Maxwell Davies’ fondness for American landscape and culture.

Listen to an extract from Caroline Mathilde Concert Suite: A Public Square


Click here for Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Biography, Discography,
and podcast interview by Sandy Burnett about the Naxos Quartets.

On Wings of Song – Sir Peter Maxwell Davies talks to Jeremy Siepmann



The Naxos Quartets



8.505225 [5 CD Box-set]
MAXWELL DAVIES, P.:
Naxos Quartets Nos. 1-10

Maggini Quartet • Maxwell Davies

“Works that display extraordinary variety and versatility, from
a composer famous for
redefining eclecticism.”
Allmusic.com

 
8.557396
MAXWELL DAVIES, P.:
Naxos Quartets Nos. 1 and 2

Maggini Quartet • Maxwell Davies

“The Maggini’s...live performances of this music give it an easy eloquence that grabs the ear and won’t let go.”
Gramophone

 
8.557397
MAXWELL DAVIES, P.:
Naxos Quartets Nos. 3 and 4

Maggini Quartet • Maxwell Davies

“Surely these pieces will quickly take their place among the great sets of modern string quartets by Schoenberg, Shostakovich, Bartok, and Carter.”
American Record Guide



8.557398
MAXWELL DAVIES, P.:
Naxos Quartets Nos. 5 and 6

Maggini Quartet • Maxwell Davies

“The Maggini Quartet plays with deep commitment and complete technical command. The recording is attractive and clear.”
ClassicsToday.com

 
8.557399
MAXWELL DAVIES, P.:
Naxos Quartets Nos. 7 and 8

Maggini Quartet • Maxwell Davies

“...an aficionado of Maxwell Davies music will likely find little fault with this recording.”
Scene Magazine

 
8.557400
MAXWELL DAVIES, P.:
Naxos Quartets Nos. 9 and 10

Maggini Quartet • Maxwell Davies

“I have found listening to these ten quartets an absorbing experience, at the end of which I can only suggest that listeners explore them for themselves.”
International Record Review



Recommended further listening



8.572352
MAXWELL DAVIES, P.:
Symphony No. 6
Time and the Raven
An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Maxwell Davies

“The sound is spectacular, ranking
in the demonstration class thanks
in part to the composer’s
gifted orchestration.”
Audiophile Audition ★★★★★

 
 NEW RELEASE 
8.572362
MAXWELL DAVIES, P.:
The Beltane Fire
The Turn of the Tide
Sir Charles his Pavan

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Maxwell Davies


 
8.572359
MAXWELL DAVIES, P.:
Black Pentecost
Stone Litany

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Maxwell Davies

“We can take these as benchmark performances that were immaculately recorded in the BBC’s Manchester studio in 1992.”
David’s Review Corner



8.572712
MAXWELL DAVIES, P.:
Linguae Ignis
Vesalii icones
Fantasia on a Ground
and Two Pavans

Vittorio Ceccanti
Contempoartensemble
Mauro Ceccanti

“The sound is warm and clear,
and the whole production
introduces and advocates the composer’s vision smartly.”
Fanfare

 
8.572353
MAXWELL DAVIES, P.:
Strathclyde Concertos
Nos. 3 and 4

Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Maxwell Davies

“There is no overstating the
richness of the composer’s invention, or the intensity and clarity of the argument, or the surprising and often profoundly moving beauties to be found in these scores.”
Fanfare

 
8.572356
MAXWELL DAVIES, P.:
Strathclyde Concertos
Nos. 9 and 10
Carolísima

Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Maxwell Davies

“The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and soloists play magnificently throughout and the natural detailed… recording sounds fresh and warm.”
MusicWeb International

 


8.572363
MAXWELL DAVIES, P.:
Trumpet Concerto Piccolo Concerto
5 Klee Pictures

Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Maxwell Davies

“Well-performed and recorded”
Audiophile Audition ★★★★

 
8.572357
MAXWELL DAVIES, P.:
Piano Concerto
Worldes Blis

Stott • Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Maxwell Davies

“a tremendously impassioned account of both of these extraordinarily demanding works.”
MusicWeb International

 
8.558191-92 • 2 CDs
MAXWELL DAVIES, P.:
Peter Maxwell Davies
A Portrait

Various Artists

“It’s hard to believe that one artist created the 18 multifaceted works highlighted in this compilation, from the profoundly challenging Eight Songs for a Mad King to the eloquent Sixth Naxos Quartet.”
Classic FM 4 ★★★★

 



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