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Featured Releases - Decembre 2017

MAYR, J.S.: Miserere in G Minor / Litaniae lauretanae de Beata Virgine Maria in G Minor
Johann Simon MAYR (1763–1845)
Litaniae Lauretanae2

Jaewon Yun1 • A.L. Brown2 • Holzhauser • Schäfer2 • Sellier1 • Hamann1 • Mischok2 • Bavarian State Opera Chorus • Simon Mayr Chorus • Concerto de Bassus1 • I Virtuosi Italiani2 • Hauk
Naxos 8.573782


Mayr had already earned esteem in Venice for his church music when, in 1802, he assumed the post of maestro di cappella at the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo. With a modest orchestra at his disposal he soon composed a Miserere in G Minor, in which solo orchestral instruments often carry on a dialogue with the vocal soloists in a succession of powerful, descriptive and beautiful arias and choruses. The Litaniae Lauretanae, cast in three parts, features wide leaping figures and sighing melodies.


SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Symphonic Poems
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835–1921)
Symphonic Poems
La Jeunesse d’Hercule
Le Rouet d’Omphale • Phaéton
Danse macabre

Orchestre National de Lille • Märkl
Naxos 8.573745

Though Berlioz and, to a lesser extent, Franck wrote symphonic poems, it is Saint-Saëns who has been largely credited with introducing the genre to France. A wide orchestral palette and stirring reserves of drama are used to evoke the youthful audacity and death of Phaéton, the ultimate triumph of virtue over pleasure in La Jeunesse d’Hercule (‘The Youth of Hercules’), and Hercules’ punishment, spinning wool while dressed as a woman, for the ‘inadvertent murder’ of one of his guests, in Le Rouet d’Omphale (‘The Spinning Wheel of Omphale’). The ever-popular Danse macabre is a spooky depiction of Death playing a dance on his fiddle on a tomb in a graveyard surrounded by skeletal dancers.


NARBUTAITĖ, O.: no yesterday, no tomorrow / La barca
Onutė NARBUTAITĖ (b. 1956)
no yesterday, no tomorrow*
La barca • riverbank – river – symphony

Vaškevičiūtė * • Pavilionis * • Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra • Lyndon-Gee
Naxos 8.573618


Emerging from a cultural environment of silent resistance behind the Iron Curtain, Lithuanian composer Onutė Narbutaitė has become one of the outstanding Baltic artists of recent decades. Her output has developed from distinctive chamber music into the concerto-like symphonic style heard in the works on this recording. Described by conductor Christopher Lyndon-Gee as music that ‘transcends time and place… [and] resists any attempt at stylistic categorization or pigeonholing’, these works convey powerful forces that flow between symbols and associations while probing direct emotional connections. Narbutaitė’s imposing Tres Dei Matris Symphoniae can be heard on Naxos 8.572295: ‘a mind-blowing listening experience’ (American Record Guide).


SOUSA, J.P.: Music for Wind Band, Vol. 17
John Philip SOUSA (1854–1932)
Music for Wind Band, Vol. 17
The American Maid – Suite
The Salute of the Nations to the Columbian Exposition
March of the Pan Americans – Part 1

Guildhall Symphonic Wind Band • Brion
Naxos 8.559811


Sousa, the American master of the march, also enjoyed great prestige in the realm of operetta. The suite from The American Maid, set in a glass factory and culminating in scenes based on the 1898 Spanish-American War, was among the first theatrical shows to employ actual film footage. The beautiful quintet from his early operetta The Smugglers was scored for his eminent brass virtuosi. The medley of drinking songs called A Mingling of the Wets and the Drys was composed during Prohibition, while the unusual and previously unrecorded March of the Pan Americans – Part One celebrates the independent nations of North and South America in 1915 with zest and elan.


ALBÉNIZ, I.: Piano Music, Vol. 8 - Mallorca / Piano Sonata No. 4 / Rapsodia española (version for piano)
Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860–1909)
Piano Music, Vol. 8
Mallorca • Sonata No. 4 • Rapsodia Española

Miguel Ángel R. Laiz
Naxos 8.573779

The eighth volume in this acclaimed series of Isaac Albéniz’s complete solo piano works features a wide range of pieces from his early period. These charming works show a development from 19th century salon style towards the assimilation of Spanish folk music, including rare jewels such as the relatively unknown Minuet in G minor, and the Mallorca barcarole with its use of novel rhythmic material. The programme concludes with the virtuoso Spanish Rhapsody in its less well-known solo piano version.


British Violin Concertos - PATTERSON, P. / LEIGHTON, K. / JACOB, G.
British Violin Concertos

Howick • BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra • Llewellyn
Naxos 8.573791


These three major British concertos span fully 70 years. Kenneth Leighton’s Concerto is a work of tensile urgency, scored with great imagination, and ending in an arch-like Epilogue of impassioned intensity. Written for soloist and string orchestra, the Concerto by Gordon Jacob contains at its heart a threnodic slow movement cast in long, moving paragraphs and accompanied by poetic effects. Written for (and premiered by) the soloist in this recording, Paul Patterson’s Violin Concerto No. 2, ‘Serenade’ is rich in high spirits; songlike, wistful and exuberantly sparkling.


Choral Music (Songs of Peace and Praise)
Songs of Peace and Praise
Choral Music from Queens College

The New York Virtuoso Singers • Rosenbaum • The Queens College Choir and Vocal Ensemble • Sheng • J. John
Naxos 8.559819


This recording of choral works showcase a group of composers who are or were once faculty members of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, CUNY. The widely differing languages and poetic aesthetics set by these composers represent the concept of “Songs of Peace and Praise,” from symbolic, descriptive pieces such as Bright Sheng’s Two Folk Songs from Qinghai to tender and moving interpretations of traditional texts such as Allen Brings’ In paradisum. The voices of The New York Virtuoso Singers and Queens College combine to express the universal nature of shared experience.


SZÉCHÉNYI, I.: Complete Dances for Orchestra
Imre SZÉCHÉNYI (1825–1898)
Complete Dances for Orchestra
Neige-Polka • La Tulipe
L’Éventail • Polka hongroise

Budapest Symphony Orchestra MÁV • Csányi
Naxos 8.573807


Count Imre Széchényi of Sárvár-Felsővidék moved in the highest echelons of the Austrian diplomatic service, in a career that ran parallel with his musical activities. Széchényi’s dances, all but three of which were composed in St. Petersburg, were popular in his day, and of a quality that saw them placed in concert programmes by his friend Johann Strauss II. Appearing here in their premiere recordings, they reveal a brilliant collection of mazurkas and polkas with a keen sense of humour and deep feeling in their arching musical brush strokes and romantic melodies.



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