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Featured Releases - Novembre 2015

Richard WAGNER (1813–1883)
Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold)
Nos. 1-15

Anna Samuil • Eri Nakamura, Sopranos • Michelle DeYoung
Deborah Humble, Mezzo-sopranos • Aurhelia Varak
Hermine Haselböck, Mezzo-sopranos • Kim Begley
Charles Reid • David Cangelosi, Tenors
Matthias Goerne • Peter Sidhom
Oleksandr Pushniak, Baritones • Kwangchul Youn
Stephen Milling, Basses • Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Jaap van Zweden

Naxos 8.660374-75 [2 CDs]

First performed as a cycle of four operas in 1876, Wagner’s visionary Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) is one of the greatest works of art. Centred around a ring which offers its bearer ultimate power and the attempts of various people to acquire it, the Ring cycle explores the relationship between love and earthly power and the themes of yearning and loss, all within a setting of medieval legend. The Prologue Das Rheingold depicts the theft and subsequent surrender of the ring forged from the Rhinemaidens’ gold by the Nibelung dwarf Alberich.


Jean SIBELIUS (1865–1957)
Orchestral Works, Vol. 6
Scaramouche, Op. 71

Bendik Goldstein, Viola • Roi Ruottinen, Cello
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra • Leif Segerstam

Naxos 8.573511

The eloquent power of Jean Sibelius’s symphonies and other core orchestral works has overshadowed his prolific output in other genres, including significant scores for the theatre. The commission to compose music for the tragic pantomime Scaramouche caused Sibelius much stress and frustration, but on its première the composer was able to note “great success in Copenhagen” in his diary. With the exception of his one opera, Scaramouche is Sibelius’s only continuous dramatic score, the story of the sinister hunchbacked dwarf’s bewitching musicianship and evil intent taking us from innocent charm to a nightmarish conclusion.


Florent SCHMITT (1870–1958)
Antoine et Cléopâtre
(Antony and Cleopatra)
Le Palais hanté

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra • JoAnn Falletta
Naxos 8.573521

A student of Massenet and Fauré, winner of the Prix de Rome in 1900 and friend to Ravel and Satie, Florent Schmitt had a style that blended influences and inspiration from wherever the spirit took him. His incidental music for Antony and Cleopatra originally formed ballet scenes between the acts, evoking and enhancing Shakespeare’s saga of rivalry between the Roman Empire and Egypt, and the tragic consequences of star-crossed love. Schmitt’s The Haunted Palace follows the nuances of Mallarmé’s translation from Edgar Allan Poe in lush orchestration and a sound-scape of enigmatic symbolist imagery.


Antonio VIVALDI (1678–1741)
Sacred Music, Vol. 4
In turbato mare irato1 • In exitu Israel
Vestro Principi divino2 • Laudate Dominum
In victi bellate2 • Laetatus sum
O qui coeli terraeque serenitas1

Claire de Sévigné, Soprano1 • Maria Soulis, Mezzo-soprano2 • Aradia Ensemble • Kevin Mallon
Naxos 8.573324

In Vivaldi’s astonishing worklist there are numerous sacred choral pieces and around forty cantatas. Much of this music was written for the soloists and choir at the girls’ orphanage in Venice where he worked and taught. The motets and psalm settings in this volume, despite being religious works intended for performance during Mass, are often strikingly operatic. Invicti bellate is a bravura setting and whilst In turbato mare irato demands a wide vocal range and the use of opera-derived melismas, all the works display Vivaldi’s vivid musical imagination and his dramatic word setting.


John Philip SOUSA (1854–1932)
Music for Wind Band, Vol. 15
Prince Charming • Across the Danube
The Band Came Back • Legionnaires
Nocturne • Volunteers • Désirée
Pet of the Petticoats • Gliding Girl • Tango
Ben Bolt • Yorktown Centennial
Christ and the Wonderful Lamp • Magna Charta

Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy • Keith Brion
Naxos 8.559745


No one embodied the qualities of the American band master more supremely than John Philip Sousa. In this penultimate volume of an internationally admired series, a wide variety of his compositions can be heard, a number in world première recordings. The music ranges from the early Across the Danube March to music from his operettas, taking in a Chopin arrangement and the stirring Yorktown Centennial March. Also included are those inventive works, such as Pet of the Petticoats March, in which Sousa experimented with the march form itself. This recording coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy in 2015.


Pietro GENERALI (1773–1832)
Melodramma sentimentale di Gaetano Rossi in One Act
New Edition by Maria Chiara Bertieri

Dušica Bijelić, Soprano • Silvia Beltrami, Mezzo-soprano
Gustavo Quaresma Ramos, Tenor • Ugo Rabec, Bass
Gabriele Nani • Elier Muñoz, Baritones
Eliseo Castrignanò, Fortepiano • Virtuosi Brunensis
Karel Mitáš, Artistic Director • Giovanni Battista Rigon

Naxos 8.660372-73 [2 CDs]

The great hit at Venice’s San Moisè theatre in the autumn season of 1810 was Pietro Generali’s Adelina. This ‘melodramma sentimentale’ was the latest work by an important contemporary of Rossini, who enjoyed a vogue in early nineteenth-century Italy. The plot concerns the trials of a girl who is seduced and abandoned by her lover, Erneville, has a child out of wedlock, and is rejected by her father who, thanks to the intervention of a kindly friend, then forgives her after she marries Erneville. Brimming with vivacious writing, Adelina reflects powerful cultural attitudes in vogue in early nineteenth-century Italy.


The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto
Three Wishes for a Rose • Purple Bamboo
Green Mountain
Beloved Hung Chai • Love Song of the Grassland
Without Rain Flowers Will Not Blossom

Takako Nishizaki, Violin • Gumma Symphony Orchestra
Naxos 8.225819

The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto was written in 1958 by Chen Gang and He Zhanhao while they were students at the Shanghai Conservatory. Musically, it's a synthesis of Eastern and Western traditions, although the melodies and overall style are adapted from traditional Chinese Opera. The solo violin employs a technique that recalls the playing of the erhu, a Chinese two-string fiddle; and the work is cast in the form of a one-movement programmatic concerto. This is the second of Takako's seven recordings of this work. She has recorded a wide range of Chinese violin music, including concertos dedicated to her by leading Chinese composers. She was the only non-Chinese violinist to perform the concerto at the official anniversary concert at the Great Hall of the People in 2008.



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