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Classical Music Home > Featured Releases - April 2017


Featured Releases - April 2017


ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION (THE) - 30 CDs to Celebrate 30 Years of Naxos (30-CD Box Set)
THE ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION
30 CDs to celebrate 30 years

Various Artists
Naxos 8.503293 [30-CD Boxed Set]

In 2017, Naxos Records celebrates its 30th anniversary. Founded in 1987 by Klaus Heymann, the label now boasts a catalogue of over 9,000 albums spanning every genre of classical music. This limited edition anniversary boxed set comprises thirty CDs spanning wide range of the label’s repertoire. Featuring releases from 1987 to 2016 and a host of stellar artists, every one of these discs has received critical acclaim and has contributed towards the huge success of Naxos: the world’s largest independent classical record label.

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RAVEL, M.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 5 - Antar (after Rimsky-Korsakov) / Shéhérazade
Maurice RAVEL (1875–1937)
Antar – Incidental Music†1
after works by Rimsky-Korsakov
Shéhérazade2

André Dussolier, Narrator1 • Isabelle Druet, Mezzo-soprano2
Orchestre National de Lyon • Leonard Slatkin

Naxos 8.573448

WORLD PREMIÈRE RECORDING

The impact of Russian and Oriental culture on Ravel’s formative years retained a hold on him throughout his life. His colorfully re-orchestrated selections from Rimsky-Korsakov’s symphonic suite ‘Antar’ and opera Mlada, with interpolations of his own music, as the incidental score for a theater production are heard here in their première recording, revived and reconstructed alongside a new text that symbolizes the romance and chivalric spirit of Antar, the warrior-poet, and his beloved Abla. Ravel’s fascination with the exotic is brought together with Debussy’s influence in the ravishing and enduringly popular song cycle Shéhérazade.


NOVÁK, V.: In the Tatra Mountains / Lady Godiva / Eternal Longing
Vítězslav NOVAK (1870–1949)
In the Tatra Mountains
Lady Godiva Overture
Eternal Longing

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra • JoAnn Falletta
Naxos 8.573683

Emerging from the fertile background of Bohemian nationalism, Vítězslav Novák’s music achieved cult status in his homeland for its richness of melody and full-blown romantic orchestral color. The lush timbres and monumental solemnity of In the Tatra Mountains were inspired by the composer’s journeys in this magnificent region. Eternal Longing is based on a poem by Hans Christian Andersen, while the dramatic Lady Godiva Overture, complete with tolling bells at the finale, was written by Novák in two days and is considered one of his most powerful works.

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HARRISON, L.: Violin Concerto / Grand Duo / Double Music
Lou HARRISON (1917–2003)
Violin Concerto1
Grand Duo2
Double Music (co-composed with John Cage)3

Tim Fain, Violin1,2 • Michael Boriskin, Piano2
PostClassical Ensemble1,3 • Angel Gil-Ordóñez1,3

Naxos 8.559825

Lou Harrison was a composer far ahead of his time. A protean innovator, he espoused ‘world music’ before it had a name, and this recording documents his pioneering roles as a composer for percussion and as an integrator of Western and Indonesian idioms. The Concerto for Violin and Percussion, both intimate and vigorous, demonstrates his experimental enthusiasm in the use of non-pitched percussion. The Grand Duo for Violin and Piano is a remarkable example of gamelan-infused chamber music while Double Music, co-composed with Harrison’s friend John Cage, is a well-known product of their celebrated San Francisco percussion concerts.


MORENO TORROBA, F.: Guitar Concertos, Vol. 2 - Homenaje a la seguidilla / Tonada concertante
Federico Moreno TORROBA (1891–1982)
Guitar Concertos, Vol. 2
Homenaje a la seguidilla
Tonada concertante • Concierto de Castilla

Pepe Romero • Vicente Coves, Guitars
Extremadura Symphony Orchestra • Manuel Coves

Naxos 8.573503

Federico Moreno Torroba composed about one hundred works for the guitar, thereby reinforcing his status as one of Spain’s great twentieth-century composers. Homenaje a la seguidilla pays lively tribute to that characteristically Spanish song and dance, while the Tonada concertante is in turns playful and introspective. Concierto de Castilla features a free-spirited lyricism evocative of the folklore of Castile, a vast expanse in the middle of Spain with which the composer strongly identified. ‘You would expect Pepe Romero to excel at the Concierto en Flamenco… The piece is gorgeous, the performance vibrant and passionate… The soloist in Diálogos is Romero’s gifted protégé, Vicente Coves, who plays as well as his mentor, and whose brother leads the orchestra vividly and sympathetically.’ – ClassicsToday.com on Volume 1, 8.573255

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HOSOKAWA, Toshio: Raven (The) [Monodrama]
Toshio HOSOKAWA (b. 1955)
The Raven
Based on a poem by Edgar Allan Poe

Charlotte Hellekant, Mezzo-soprano
United Instruments of Lucilin • Kentaro Kawase

Naxos 8.573724

Toshio Hosokawa, Japan’s pre-eminent living composer, creates his distinctive musical language from the fascinating relationship between western avant-garde art and traditional Japanese culture. Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s 1845 poem, Hosokawa frames his monodrama The Raven as a Japanese Noh play, with its interaction between the human protagonist and an otherworldly animal. Vividly exploring ideas of madness, The Raven conjures up a shadowy and unfamiliar world.

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SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Chamber Symphony, Op. 73a / Symphony for Strings, Op. 118a
Dmitry SHOSTAKOVICH (1906–1975)
Chamber Symphony in F major, Op. 73a
Symphony for Strings in A flat major, Op. 118a
(arranged by Rudolf Barshai)

Kiev Virtuosi • Dmitry Yablonsky
Naxos 8.573601

An eminent violist and conductor, Rudolf Barshai was responsible for five transcriptions of Shostakovich’s String Quartets and this recording completes the sequence with the Third and Tenth (Volume 1 is on 8.573466). Barshai recast String Quartet No. 3 as a chamber symphony for strings and woodwind, the latter adding a sense of foreboding to the texture and engaging in whimsical dialogues during a work full of terseness and piercing power. Fashioning a Symphony for Strings from the Tenth Quartet soon after its première, Barshai graphically charts its movement from innocence lost and then tentatively regained.



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