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Featured Releases - Juillet 2015

Jean SIBELIUS (1865–1957)
Belshazzar’s Feast • Overture in E
Scène de Ballet • Wedding March
Cortège • Menuetto • Processional

Pia Pajala, Soprano • Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Leif Segerstam

Naxos 8.573300

From exquisite nocturnal tranquility to the macabre ‘Dance of Life’, Belshazzar’s Feast is an exotic tale of seduction and tragedy to which Sibelius responded with some of his most hauntingly beautiful writing for the stage. The early Menuetto and lively Cortège were considered good enough by the composer to be recycled for further stage productions, while the Overture in E and Scène de Ballet started life as Sibelius’s first attempt at composing a symphony.


Franz Ignaz BECK (1734–1809)
Symphonies, Op. 2

Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra • Kevin Mallon
Naxos 8.573323

Franz Ignaz Beck is increasingly acknowledged as one of the most forward-looking and inventive of mid-eighteenth-century symphonists. A student of the celebrated Johann Stamitz, Beck was trained in Mannheim, a focal point of new approaches to orchestral writing. Although small in scale, his Op. 2 set includes some of the most striking and harmonically daring works of their kind from the period. Further Beck Symphonies may be heard on Naxos 8.553790, 8.554071, 8.570799, 8.573248 and 8.573249.


Mikhail IPPOLITOV-IVANOV (1859–1935)
Symphony No. 1
Turkish Fragments • Turkish March

Singapore Symphony Orchestra • Choo Hoey
Naxos 8.573508

A pupil of Rimsky-Korsakov and Director of the Moscow Conservatory, Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov is most famous for his evocative Caucasian Sketches [8.553405]. He was always interested in the music of the ethnic minorities in the Soviet Union and in later life he pursued an interest in the music of the Turkish peoples, composing the Turkish Fragments, Op. 62 in 1930. This richly melodic suite is notable for its characteristically oriental turns of phrase. Many years earlier, in1908, he wrote his Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 46 which, with its solemn evocations of liturgical music, confirmed him in the lineage of eminent Russian symphonists.


Luys MILÁN (c. 1500–c. 1561)
El Maestro, Libro 1
Works for Solo Vihuela

José Antonio Escobar, Vihuela de mano
Naxos 8.573305

Although biographical details of his life remain sketchy, Luys Milán’s Libro de música de vihuela de mano intitulado El Maestro is certainly the oldest surviving printed collection of vihuela music. Tuned like the contemporary Renaissance lute, the Spanish vihuela is a guitarshaped instrument and for it Milán wrote a series of compelling works including fantasias and pavans that maturely fused improvisatory and polyphonic elements. This recording presents all the solo vihuela pieces from the first book of El Maestro in the order in which they appear.


Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887–1959)
The Guitar Manuscripts:
Masterpieces and Lost Works, Vol. 3
Tarantela (arr. A. Bissoli)1† • Douze Études2
Fourteen folksong arrangements from Guia prático
(instr. A. Bissoli)3†

Mila Shkirtil, Mezzo-soprano1 • Petrozavodsk State University Male Choir2 • Alexey Umnov, Artistic Director
Vasily Sirbu, Choirmaster • Karelia State Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra (Petrozavodsk) • Yuri Serov

Naxos 8.573117


The genesis of Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Études goes back to his first meeting with the Andrés Segovia, at which the legendary guitarist asked for one étude and the composer ended up writing twelve. Andrea Bissoli returns to the original 1928 manuscript, restoring elements lost in later publication and reliving the magic of those times on an instrument almost identical to Segovia’s. The Tarantela was probably also written guitar in hand. For his ‘folk ensemble’ instrumentation of the brightly coloured songs of the Guia prático, Bissoli has sought out traces of the guitar in the original and chosen a selection of pieces tailor-made for his instrument. The exciting story of O papagaio do moleque (The Little Boy’s Kite) concludes this third and final volume of the series.


Du MING-XIN (b. 1928)
Ten Xinjiang Dances
for Violin and Orchestra

Takako Nishizaki, Violin • Singapore Symphony Orchestra
Choo Hoey

Naxos 8.225814

Takako Nishizaki is among the most frequently recorded and best-selling violinists of all time, not least as a performer of Chinese violin music. She gave the première performance of Du Ming-xin’s Violin Concerto in 1982. Here she displays her renowned lyricism and technical prowess in Du’s suite of dances, based on widely popular folk music from the Xinjiang region of China, which comprises fourteen ethnic minorities and consequently enjoys a rich musical heritage. The Singapore Symphony has recorded a wide range of Asian music and is conducted by Choo Hoey, the orchestra’s founding music director.



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