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Featured Releases - June 2019

KORNGOLD, E.W.: Das Wunder der Heliane [Opera] (Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2018)
Erich Woldgang KORNGOLD (1897–1957)
Das Wunder der Heliane
(The Miracle of Heliane)
Libretto by Hans Müller-Einigen after Die Heilige by Hans Kaltneker

Jakubiak • Jagde • J. Wagner • Chorus and Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin • M. Albrecht • Loy

Das Wunder der Heliane is based on Hans Kaltneker’s mystery play Die Heilige concerning an unnamed Ruler, a Stranger, the heroine Heliane and the redemptive power of love. It is Korngold’s most extravagant stage work and one that he considered to be his greatest score. Written for a huge ensemble, masterfully used, the music possesses voluptuous sweep and hyper-Romanticism. Its intensity is emphasised through an intoxicating array of effects, propulsive rhythms and glorious vocal lyricism, its arc of climaxes building from one act to another. This revelatory new Berlin staging in 2018 enjoyed an unprecedented 20-minute ovation at its premiere.

Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0083V)

MERCADANTE, S.: Didone abbandonata [Opera] (Innsbruck Early Music Festival, 2018)
Saverio MERCADANTE (1795–1870)
Didone abbandonata
Libretto by Andrea Leone Tottla after Pietro Metastasio

Miškūnaitė • Wundsam • Renard • Allemano • Godoy • Di Bianco • Coro Maghini • Academia Montis Regalis • De Marchi • Flimm

Giuseppe Saverio Mercadante was a contemporary of Donizetti and Rossini, and his prolific output of operas proved influential in founding dramatic techniques that were taken on by Verdi. Set in the ancient and besieged city of Carthage, Didone abbandonata is the dramatic and tragic tale of ill-starred lovers whose decisions ultimately place an entire populace in peril. A genuine rarity in the theatre, Didonehas strong ties to the 18th century but also points towards the bel canto innovations that were to come. This carefully researched and critically acclaimed production presents the work in the sound and playing style of Mercadante’s time.

Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0095V)

BEETHOVEN, L. van: Christus am Ölberge • Elegischer Gesang
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827)
Christus am Ölberge *
Elegischer Gesang

Haapamäki* • Myllys* • Spångberg* • Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis • Turku Philharmonic Orchestra • Segerstam

Ludwig van Beethoven’s only oratorio Christus am Ölberge (‘Christ on the Mount of Olives’) portrays Jesus’ emotional struggles in the garden of Gethsemane before being seized by soldiers and taken for crucifixion. The work has an Italianate form with recitatives, arias and choruses, and its operatic attributes show Christ as a very human figure, a dramatic precursor to the sufferings of Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio. The tender and beautiful Elegischer Gesang is a memorial to the young wife of one of Beethoven’s close friends.

KABALEVSKY, D.: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 • Colas Breugnon Overture • Pathétique Overture
Dmitry KABALEVSKY (1904–1987)
Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2
Colas Breugnon Overture • Pathétique Overture

Malmö Symphony Orchestra • Darrell Ang

Dmitry Kabalevsky found his mature style and achieved international success with his first opera Colas Breugnon, the overture of which was soon picked up as an orchestral showpiece in the West. The Second Symphony was likewise championed by conductors such as Arturo Toscanini, its bittersweet sense of drama and lyricism comparable with Prokofiev. Dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, the First Symphony illustrates progress from oppression to liberation, while the later Pathétique Overture is a rousing and highly effective reminder of Kabalevsky’s skill in orchestration.

BACH, J.S.: Magna Sequentia I – A Grand Suite of Dances (compiled by S. Rubinsky)
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750)
Magna Sequentia I

A Grand Suite of Dances compiled and performed by Sonia Rubinsky

Magna Sequentia I is a unique sequencing of dance movements drawn from Bach’s keyboard works featuring pieces from the French Suites and the Partitas. Whereas Bach’s suites typically comprise six to eight movements, Sonia Rubinsky has selected 19, compiled with a tonal logic that still keeps the structure of a suite. She has chosen several examples of each of the dance forms used by Bach so one can appreciate the dazzling variety of both style and mood. Enhanced by her historically informed performance, Magna Sequentia I offers fresh insights into Bach performance on a modern grand piano.

The Early Music Collection (30-Disc Boxed Set)
The Early Music Collection
Various Artists

The Early Music Collection is a wide-ranging survey that traces the history of Western music from plainchant, the music of the Catholic church, through polyphony, to the end of the 17th century. In exploring a period of over half a millennium, it includes the very greatest vocal and instrumental composers, from the 12th-century Abbess Hildegard von Bingen, to the late-Renaissance world of Monteverdi. This essential collection includes many critically acclaimed recordings made by the leading choirs, consorts, instrumentalists and conductors of our time employing the latest historically informed performance practice.

The Complete National Anthems of the World – 2019 Edition (10-Disc Boxed Set)
The Complete National Anthems of the World
2019 Edition

Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra • Slovak State Philharmonic, Košice • Razumovsky Symphony Orchestra • Breiner

While globalisation advances, all countries staunchly retain two unique features: their distinctive national flag and a bonding national anthem. The anthems reflect an enormous indigenous diversity, but relatively few are generally known by citizens of other nations, making any comprehensive compendium a source of endless interest and discovery. We invite you to take a musical tour of Naxos’ definitive set of national and regional anthems, from Algeria to Kuwait, Lapland to Zanzibar, and all stops in between. You’ll be delighted by the gems that are waiting to be discovered and compiled into either personal or family favourites. And you can check out the flags in the process with our informative supporting booklets.

MARX, J.: Romantic Piano Concerto • Castelli Romani
Joseph MARX (1882–1964)
Romantic Piano Concerto
Castelli Romani

Lively • Bochum Symphony Orchestra • Sloane

Joseph Marx was an excellent pianist: the hugely demanding solo part of his Romantic Piano Concerto, a ‘symphonic duet’ between piano and orchestra, marks him as a true virtuoso who had also absorbed the heady impressionism of Debussy, Scriabin and Delius. While having no connection with film music, Marx left a multitude of intoxicating melodies that eclipsed the wildest of Hollywood’s dreams. His second piano concerto Castelli Romani was inspired by ancient ruins in the wooded hills outside Rome, and is a magical, pyrotechnic display of Mediterranean emotions and masterfully orchestrated atmospheric pictures.

The Grand Mogul – Virtuosic Baroque Flute Concertos
The Grand Mogul
Virtuosic Baroque Flute Concertos

B. Kuijken • Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra

The solo concerto emerged in Northern Italy in the first quarter of the 18th century and rapidly became popular across Europe. The five works here demonstrate how concertos for the flute differ in Germany, Italy and France. Outer movements usually retain the virtuosic elements that characterise the concertos of Vivaldi, but the Frenchman Michel Blavet infiltrates an exquisite Gavotte into his work, while Telemann’s superb melodies and rich harmonies are characteristic features of his Flute Concerto in D major. All five works exemplify the Baroque ideal of singing lyricism and passionate expression.


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