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Naxos Featured CDs

BERNSTEIN, L.: Orchestral Music (Complete Naxos Recordings) (8-CD Box Set)
[8 CDs + 1 Bonus DVD Boxed set]

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918–1990)
The Complete Naxos Recordings

Various Artists
Marin Alsop
Listen to CD 7 TRACK 15:
Bernstein Birthday Bouquet

Leonard Bernstein was without question the greatest musician America ever produced. As an inspirational teacher and renowned conductor he was the nation’s musical ambassador to the world, and his work as a composer bridged gaps and broke down barriers, reaching audiences way beyond the normal boundaries of classical music. This celebration of Bernstein’s centenary brings together all of the acclaimed Naxos recordings of his music conducted by his protégée Marin Alsop as well as new and world premiere recordings, and an insightful documentary DVD in which colleagues and family sum up this boundlessly brilliant and charismatic musical giant of the 20th century.

Watch video trailer

BACH, J.S.: St. John Passion (1749 version, with additional movements from 1725 version)

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750)
St John Passion, BWV 245
(1749 version)

Julia Kleiter, Soprano • Gerhild Romberger, Alto
Georg Poplutz and Daniel Sans, Tenors
Yorck Felix Speer and Matthias Winckhler, Basses
Bachchor Mainz • Bachorchester Mainz • Ralf Otto
Listen to CD2 TRACK 19:
St John Passion, BWV 245 (1725 version):
Christe, du Lamm Gottes

Johann Sebastian Bach’s St John Passion is, along with the St Matthew Passion, without doubt one of the most important works he ever composed. It established a new tradition for Good Friday vespers in Leipzig, and with sublime skill Bach managed to retain a spirit of church worship while creating an almost operatic narrative that movingly depicts Christ’s trial, death, and ultimate apotheosis. Bach’s numerous revisions always demand a certain amount of scholarly decision-making, and this recording of the St John Passion uses the final 1749 version that not only draws on and reinforces the best of Bach’s original concept, but incorporates the additional movements of the 1725 version.


LASSO, O. de: St Matthew Passion

Orlandus LASSUS (1532–1594)
St Matthew Passion

Musica Ficta • Bo Holten
Listen to TRACK 52:
LASSUS, O.: St Matthew Passion: Good Friday:
Mors tua, mors Christi – Motet

Orlandus Lassus was one of the greatest and most celebrated musicians of his day, and a teacher whose influence extended into the Baroque period and beyond. Although the St Matthew Passion is almost always associated with J.S. Bach’s towering masterpiece, earlier settings developed from plainchant into polyphony throughout the 16th century. Lassus composed four Passions of which this is the most elaborate. His sublimely interwoven polyphonic settings are here placed alongside a traditional Roman Catholic Passion chant through which the roles of Jesus and the Evangelist unfold in a seemingly timeless meditation. Certain key moments in the otherwise austere Passion story are further illuminated in this recording by the inclusion of motets and a spiritual madrigal.


SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Suite algérienne / Suite in D Major, Op. 49 / Suite in D Minor, Op. 16bis / Sérénade

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835–1921)
Orchestral Works
Suite algérienne • Suite in D major
Suite for cello and orchestra in D minor*
Serenade in E flat major

Guillermo Pastrana, Cello* • Basque National Orchestra • Jun Märkl
Listen to TRACK 2:
Suite algérienne, Op. 60: II. Rhapsodie mauresque

Saint-Saëns’ travels often resulted in geographically themed works, such as the Suite algérienne: this exotic musical picture postcard – full of perfumed sensuality and the brazen confidence of march themes – reflects the composer’s visits to colonial North Africa. The two suites on this recording are both structured around dance movements and were originally scored for different forces – the Suite in D major, Op. 49 for harmonium, the Suite in D minor, Op. 16 for cello and piano. The engaging Serenade, Op. 15, rarely performed with its original, exotic scoring, is heard here in an orchestral transcription.




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