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Featured Releases - Août 2015

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957)
Pelléas et Mélisande
Musik zu einer Szene • Valse lyrique
Valse chevaleresque • Morceau romantique

Pia Pajala, Soprano • Sari Nordqvist, Mezzo-soprano
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra • Leif Segerstam

Naxos 8.573301

No sooner had Sibelius moved to the town of Järvenpää in 1904 than he was commissioned by the Swedish Theatre to write incidental music for Maeterlinck’s Pelléas et Mélisande. At the time it was his most ambitious undertaking in the genre of incidental music and his setting included ten scenes, only one of which was cut when he adapted the piece as a concert suite. Dating from the same year, Musik zu einer Szene was originally intended to accompany a tableau and is full of striking contrasts. The two waltzes of 1921 are transcriptions of piano pieces, and reveal the potent influence of Tchaikovsky.


Krzysztof MEYER (b. 1943)
Piano Quartet† • Piano Quintet

Silesian String Quartet • Piotr Sałajczyk, Piano
Naxos 8.573357


The twin series of symphonies and string quartets stand at the centre of Krzysztof Meyer’s achievement as one of the most renowned composers of our time. His mastery of the chamber medium is also revealed in the two works presented here. The Piano Quartet, Op. 112, heard here in its world première recording, is unusual in Meyer’s output for its one-movement structure with several contrasting sections. Elegy, threnody and caprice co-exist in an intense interplay of great passion. In its scale and impact the Piano Quintet recalls similar such pieces dating back to Brahms.


Carl CZERNY (1791-1857)
Music for Flute and Piano
Tois Rondeaux faciles et brillans
Introduzione, Variazioni e Finale
Duo concertant • Rondoletto concertant

Kazunori Seo, Flute • Makoto Ueno, Piano
Naxos 8.573335

Virtuoso pianist Carl Czerny was a pupil and friend of Beethoven in Vienna. His prodigious output as a composer included numerous sets of variations on operatic themes, both with orchestra [Naxos 8.573254] and, as with the Trois Rondeaux, Op. 347 on themes by Rossini and Bellini, in the form of entertaining chamber music. With its cadenza and technical flourishes the Introduction, Variations and Finale, Op. 80 is composed in true concerto style, while the elegance and refined artistry of the Rondoletto and Duo concertant are both characteristic of a Classical master whose works have only recently started to gain wider recognition.


John JOUBERT (b. 1927)
The Instant Moment1
Temps Perdu2 • Sinfonietta3

Henry Herford, Baritone1
Christopher Hirons and Pierre Joubert, Solo Violins2
Paul Arden-Taylor and Anna Evans, Oboes3
Keith Rubach and Christine Predota, Bassoons3
Stephen Roberts and James Buck, French Horns3
English String Orchestra • William Boughton

Naxos 8.571368

Born in Cape Town, John Joubert won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London, his successful career as a university lecturer and composer keeping him in England thereafter. Based on a short piece composed during the composer’s late teens and inspired by Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way (from Remembrance of Things Past), Temps Perdu is an inventive set of variations ‘each of which sets out to explore some aspect of the memories evoked by the original’. The finely crafted Sinfonietta is notable for the imaginative writing for solo woodwinds, while the song-cycle The Instant Moment indelibly expresses widely contrasting reactions to the experience of love.


Gordon CHIN (b. 1957)
Symphony No. 3 ‘Taiwan’
Cello Concerto No. 1*

Wen-Sinn Yang, Cello* • Taiwan Philharmonic
Shao-Chia Lü

Naxos 8.570615

Gordon Chin is one of Taiwan’s leading composers, and increasingly honoured by commissions and performances from major ensembles in North America, Asia and Europe. Featuring an array of exotic Chinese percussion instruments, Symphony No. 3 ‘Taiwan’ is a dramatically powerful work cast in three movements which explore his native country’s turbulent history. Specific literary quotations from Shakespeare, Blaise Pascal and Samuel Johnson elucidate the expressive moods of the three-movement Cello Concerto No. 1.


Jacques IBERT (1890-1962)
The Ballad of Reading Gaol
Three Ballet Pieces • Fairy
Song of Madness • Elizabethan Suite

Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra • Adriano
Naxos 8.555568

Based on Oscar Wilde’s impassioned text Le Ballade de la Geôle de Reading, Jacques Ibert’s first symphonic work astonished and impressed audiences with its dark atmospheres of anguished madness and terror. The Trois Pièces de Ballet portray society guests with colourful music-hall wit, contrasting with the impressionistic symphonic poem Féerique and the horrors of war expressed in Chant de Folie, while the Suite Élisabéthaine introduces ancient styles to enhance Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


Andrew STANILAND (b. 1977)
Talking Down the Tiger
And other works for solo instruments and electronics

Ryan Scott, Percussion • Rob MacDonald, Guitar
Camille Watts, Flute • Frances Marie Uitti, Cello
Wallace Halladay, Soprano saxophone
Andrew Staniland, Electronics

Naxos 8.573428

Andrew Staniland is recognised as one of Canada’s most important and innovative musical voices, and his works are performed and broadcast internationally. He has already composed a powerful body of music for solo instruments with electronics, which reveals the exciting and evocative use he makes of sound files and ‘looping’. Talking Down the Tiger explores the ferociousness, beauty, and mystery of percussion instruments whilst Flute vs Tape is virtuosic, vivacious, and not afraid to embrace capricious fun. These qualities permeate his music and help explain why leading American writer Alex Ross calls it ‘alternately beautiful and terrifying’.



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