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Featured Releases - April 2015

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835–1921)
Symphonies, Vol. 2
Symphony No. 3
Symphony in A major
Le rouet d’Omphale

Malmö Symphony Orchestra • Marc Soustrot
Naxos 8.573139

Inspired by Liszt, to whose memory the work is dedicated, Camille Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 is ground-breaking in its inclusion of organ and piano. For the composer this represented ‘the progress made in modern instrumentation’ and the result is a work both spectacular and grandiose. By contrast the Symphony in A, his first completed symphony, is a youthful piece, fully revealing his admiration for Mozart, whilst Le rouet d’Omphale, dating from the 1870s, is an impressively atmospheric tone poem. Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 are available on 8.573138.


Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887–1959)
Symphony No. 12
Uirapuru • Mandu-Çarará

São Paulo Symphony Orchestra Choir and Children's Choir
Isaac Karabtchevsky

Naxos 8.573451

Heitor Villa-Lobos was instrumental in developing a national Brazilian musical culture, writing in a wide variety of forms. Composed in 1954 for the 400th anniversary of the founding of São Paulo, Ameríndia is the composer’s largest symphony. Effectively a hybrid symphony and oratorio for soloists, chorus and orchestra, it is memorable for its stylistic variety and breadth, drawing on many different sources of Brazilian music. This recording is based on a newly revised edition made by Editora Criadores do Brasil (the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra’s publishing house) in collaboration with the Academia Brasileira de Música.

François COUPERIN (1668–1733)
Les Nations
Sonades et Suites de Simphonies en Trio

Juilliard Baroque
Naxos 8.573347-48 [2 CDs]

Although Couperin is best known today as a composer of harpsichord music, he remained deeply involved in chamber music throughout his career. Les Nations is a vast project in which the virtues of both the French and Italian styles are set next to each other. Each of the four ordres celebrates a Catholic power of Europe, France, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the Savoy dynasty of Piedmont, and each is a combination of an Italianate trio sonata with its freeform virtuosity and a large-scale and elaborate French dance suite. Juilliard Baroque brings together some of the world’s most respected and accomplished early music instrumentalists.

Great Comedy Overtures
The Barber of Baghdad • Donna Diana
Fra Diavolo • Martha • Il matriomonio segreto
The Merry Wives of Windsor • Mignon
Si j’étais roi • Susanna’s Secret • Zampa
Zar und Zimmermann

Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Lance Friedel

Naxos 8.573418

The flourishing genre of the comic opera had its roots in eighteenth-century Italian opera buffa, whose irrepressible brio was soon taken up outside the country’s borders. In France it produced opera comique and operetta, and in German-speaking countries Spieloper and Viennese operetta. Some of the world’s most popular comic opera overtures, filled with gorgeous tunes, brilliant orchestration and race-to-the-finish endings, are presented here. They include staples of the concert repertoire such as Hérold’s dramatic Zampa, the textual delicacy of Wolf-Ferrari’s Il segreto di Susanna and the vivid colour of Lortzing’s Zar und Zimmermann.


Joaquín RODRIGO (1901–1999)
Spanish Night
Concierto de Aranjuez1
Concierto Andaluz2,3
Concierto Madrigal2

Dale Kavanagh1
Amadeus Guitar Duo2 • Eden-Stell Duo3
Internationale Philharmonie • Horst-Hans Bäcker

Naxos 8.573441

Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo was one of the foremost guitar composers of the twentieth century. His 1939 Concierto de Aranjuez, with its evocative Andalusian colour, indelible melody and subtle and effective orchestration, is assuredly one of the genre’s best loved works. The passionate and vitalConcierto Andaluz is scored for guitar quartet and orchestra, whilst in theConcierto Madrigal Rodrigo employs variation form to brilliant effect.

Aaron Jay KERNIS (b.1960)
Three Flavors1
Two Movements (with Bells)2
Superstar Etude No. 33

Andrew Russo, Piano1,2,3 • James Ehnes, Violin2
Albany Symphony Orchestra Miller • David Alan Miller1

Naxos 8.559711

Winner of the coveted 2002 Grawemeyer Award and one of the youngest composers ever to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize, Aaron Jay Kernis is among the most distinguished musical figures of his generation. Conceived as a concerto for toy piano and orchestra, and with touches of Indonesian gamelan, French lyricism and jazz, Three Flavors appears here in its final version, adapted by soloist and longterm collaborator Andrew Russo. Commissioned for renowned violinist James Ehnes, the introspective Two Movements (with Bells)is a memorial to the composer’s father with echoes of blues singing and improvisatory impetuousness, while the virtuoso Superstar Etude No. 3 is his homage to Gershwin and the blues.


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