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Featured Releases - January 2018

The Core-tet Project – Improvised music by Glennie, Hemmersam, Mezei, M.J. Stevens
The Core-tet Project
Glennie • Hemmersam • Mezei • M.J. Stevens
Naxos 8.573804

This premiere recording of master percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie’s new international ensemble offers a programme of fourteen improvised pieces that push the boundaries of spontaneous music-making. The group brings together musical traditions from four varied cultures (Scotland, Serbia, the United States and Denmark) but with a common goal: to create spontaneous music of great beauty and power which utilises the basic formal elements of musical composition – melody, harmony, rhythm and form.

KODÁLY, Z.: Concerto for Orchestra • Dances of Galánta • Dances of Marosszék • ‘The Peacock’ Variations
Zoltán KODÁLY (1882–1967)
Concerto for Orchestra
Dances of Galánta • Dances of Marosszék
‘The Peacock’ Variations

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra • Falletta
Naxos 8.573838

Zoltán Kodály, like his compatriot Béla Bartók, wrote major orchestral scores that were deeply enriched by his research into Hungarian folk music. The Dances of Galánta are full of swagger and vitality, and the Concerto for Orchestra, commissioned for the Chicago Symphony’s 50th anniversary, is lush, sparkling and vivid. Like the Variations on a Hungarian Folk Song, ‘The Peacock’, a virtuoso showcase of sizzling effects, these scores reveal the brilliance of his orchestral colours and the indelible allure of gypsy themes.


SHOSTAKOVICH, Dmitry: Violin Sonata in D Major, Op. 134 • 24 Preludes, Op. 34 (arr. L. Auerbach and D. Tsyganov for violin and piano)
Dmitry SHOSTAKOVICH (1906–1975)
Violin Sonata
24 Preludes (arr. for violin and piano)

Dogadin • Tokarev
Naxos 8.573753

Dmitry Shostakovich’s succinctly composed and highly distinctive 24 Preludes have proved their popularity in numerous arrangements, but when the composer heard these transcriptions by Dmitry Tsyganov he declared that ‘I forgot they were originally written for piano, so naturally did they sound.’ The set was completed in 2000 by the Russian-born composer and pianist Lera Auerbach. These often whimsical and ironic Preludes contrast greatly with the chilling and profound Violin Sonata, a late work that concludes with Shostakovich’s last ever use of passacaglia form.

GRAINGER, P.: Complete Music for Wind Band, Vol. 1
Percy GRAINGER (1882–1961)
Complete Music for Wind Band, Vol. 1
Molly on the Shore • Country Gardens • Shepherd’s Hey

The Royal Norwegian Navy Band • Engeset
Naxos 8.573679


This is the first volume in a complete sequence of Percy Grainger’s music for wind band and it adheres strictly to his instrumental demands, whether for Hammond organ, Swiss hand bells or steel marimbaphone. Grainger, who considered the medium an unrivalled vehicle for emotional expression, wrote a series of Chosen Gems for Winds, which include beautiful transcriptions of music by composers such as Bach, Franck and Fauré. This first volume also contains some of his greatest and most joyous creations – the immortal Country Gardens, Shepherd’s Hey and Molly on the Shore.

STRAVINSKY,  I.: The Rite of Spring (arr. V. Leyetchkiss for piano) • DEBUSSY, C.: La Mer  (arr. L. Garban for piano)
Igor STRAVINSKY (1882–1971)
The Rite of Spring
Arr. for solo piano by Vladimir Leyetchkiss
Claude DEBUSSY (1862–1918)
La Mer
Arr. for solo piano by Lucien Garban

Ralph van Raat
Naxos 8.573576

Both La Mer by Debussy and The Rite of Spring by his friend Stravinsky are now regarded as two of the most influential pieces of the 20th century, although these achievements were accomplished in entirely different ways. The notoriously difficult solo piano rearrangement of Stravinsky’s own piano duet version of The Rite of Spring by the Russian pianist Vladimir Leyetchkiss (1934–2016) met with the composer’s approval. The solo piano version of La Mer by Lucien Garban (1877–1959) reinterprets the work from the perspective of Debussy’s piano output, taking works such as Images, from the same period, as a model.

TURINA, J.: Piano Music, Vol. 13
Joaquín TURINA (1882–1949)
Piano Music, Vol. 13
Sanlúcar de Barrameda ‘Sonata pintoresca’

Jordi Masó
Naxos 8.573677


One of the most ambitious and complex works in Spanish piano repertoire, the picturesque Sanlúcar de Barrameda is one of Turina’s true masterpieces, the composer describing it as ‘my homage to this wonderful city of silver… where the salt spray of the ocean is mixed with the aroma of manzanilla’. The varied pieces that form Trilogía include a grief-stricken dedication to the memory of his daughter and an entertainingly humorous finale filled with quotes from other works. This final volume in the Naxos edition of Turina’s complete piano works concludes with the tantalisingly unfinished Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary.

ARNESEN, K.A.: Infinity: Choral Works
Kim André ARNESEN (b. 1980)
Infinity: Choral Works
Even When He Is Silent • Flight Song
Making or Breaking • Cradle Hymn

Kantorei • Rinsema
Naxos 8.573788


Kim André Arnesen is one of Norway’s most frequently performed contemporary composers. International recognition of his music includes a performance of the beautifully evocative Cradle Hymn at the White House for Barack Obama in 2016. Arnesen’s association with Denver’s Kantorei resulted in their commissioning the warmly expressive The gift I’ll leave you and the eloquent Making or Breaking. Even When He Is Silent sets a text written by a prisoner on a concentration camp wall, and Arnesen’s own summing-up of Flight Song is that ‘music making is the song of new life, fragile as the fall of a feather’.



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