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Featured Releases - Mai 2017

MONTEVERDI, C.: Madrigals, Book 8 (Il Ottavo Libro de Madrigali, 1638)
Madrigals, Book 8, “Madrigali guerrieri et amorosi”

Delitiæ Musicæ • Marco Longhini
Naxos 8.573755-58 [4 CDs]

The Eighth Book of Madrigals, subdivided into a substantial series of vocal and instrumental partbooks, contains some of Monteverdi’s greatest music. In this sumptuous collection, the material is carefully arranged by category into madrigals of war, love, and those for the stage, with a wide array of human passions and compositional styles. This is the first recording to present Book Eight in its original, uncut form, also incorporating instrumental sinfonias and dances by Biagio Marini (1594-1663) to round off Monteverdi’s design. In keeping with seventeenth-century practice, the madrigals are performed entirely by male voices, including a boy soprano in the role of Cupid.


FLOYD, C.: Susannah [Opera] (St. Petersburg Opera, 2014) (NTSC)
Carlisle FLOYD (b. 1926)

Susan Hellman Spatafora • Stefanie Izzo
Aleksandra Ritums, Sopranos • Melissa Misener
Robyn Rocklein, Mezzo-sopranos • Scott Wichael
Anthony Wright Webb • Stanley Wilson, Tenors
Fred Frabotta, Character Tenor • Todd Donovan, Baritone
Benjamin Bloomfield, Bass-baritone • Brian Wehrle, Bass
St. Petersburg Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Michael Unger, Stage Director • Mark Sforzini, Conductor

Naxos 2.110381

Carlisle Floyd is one of America’s foremost composers. Though he has also written in other forms, he is renowned for his operas, for which he also writes the libretti. The most famous and popular is his third opera, Susannah, premièred in 1955 and the second most performed of all American operas. Updated and set in Tennessee, it is loosely based on the Apocryphal tale of Susannah and the Elders. The work is rooted in vernacular folk melodies and hymns and contains soaring melodic beauty.


DVOŘÁK, A.: Mass in D Major / Te Deum
Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841–1904)
Mass in D*
Te Deum

Ewa Biegas, Soprano
Marina Rodríguez-Cusí, Mezzo-soprano*
Javier Tomé, Tenor* • José Antonio López, Baritone
Orfeón Pamplonés • Igor ljurra Fernández, Chorus-master
Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra • Antoni Wit, Conductor

Naxos 8.573558

A native of Bohemia, Antonín Dvořák contributed much to the re-establishment of Czech national musical identity in the 19th century. It was the popularity of his choral music in England, however, that led to the development of the Mass in D from its smaller-scale original into a movingly dramatic and jubilant masterpiece with full orchestra. Dvořák’s celebratory Te Deum is comparable in form to a four-movement symphony.

Antoni Wit is considered by to be ‘the best conductor around these days for big choral works’. His acclaimed recording of Dvořák’s Requiem is available on Naxos 8.572874-75.


SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Piano Concertos, Vol. 2 - No. 3 / Rhapsodie d'Auvergne / Africa / Caprice-Valse
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835–1921)
Piano Concerto No. 3
Africa • Rhapsodie d’Auvergne
Wedding Cake Waltz

Romain Descharmes, Piano • Malmö Symphony Orchestra
Marc Soustrot

Naxos 8.573477

The Third Piano Concerto has been considered the ‘Cinderella’ among Camille Saint-Saëns’ five works in this genre, but owes its comparative neglect to an adventurous approach to harmony. Daring enough in the first movement, the search for tonality in the second was such an extreme experience that it caused unrest in the audience at its première. Saint-Saëns also composed for piano and orchestra in more rhapsodic forms, exploring folk tunes and rhythms from Africa, and revealing his playful side in the charming Wedding Cake Waltz. Volume 1 can be heard on 8.573476.

Romain Descharmes has established himself as one of the foremost French pianists of his generation. Highly regarded by fellow musicians and in constant demand for concerts with orchestras, for recitals, and chamber music, he has also “sensitively accompanied” (The Strad) violinist Tianwa Yang for Naxos in Mendelssohn’s Sonata in F Minor (8.572662).


DELIUS, F.: String Quartet (original and revised versions) / ELGAR, E.: String Quartet
Frederick DELIUS (1862–1934)
Edward ELGAR (1857–1934)
String Quartets

Villiers Quartet
Naxos 8.573586

The legacy of the First World War left its mark on the music of near contemporaries Edward Elgar and Frederick Delius. The powerful outer movements of Elgar’s String Quartet in E minor frame a wistful and somber Andante piacevole. Delius was dissatisfied with the first, three-movement version of his Quartet and revised the score. On this recording the final 1917 version is followed by the original versions of the opening movement and of the Late Swallows slow movement, offering a rare glimpse into Delius’s compositional workshop.



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