Featured Releases -
Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918–1990)
Symphony No. 3 ‘Kaddish’1
Missa Brevis2 • The Lark3
Claire Bloom, Narrator1,3 • Kelly Nassief, Soprano1
Paulo Mestre, Countertenor2,3
The Maryland State Boychoir1 • The Washington Chorus1
The São Paulo Symphony Choir2,3
Members of The São Paulo Symphony Orchestra2,3
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra1 • Marin Alsop
Three examples of Leonard Bernstein’s vocal art can be heard in this recording. His Symphony No. 3 ‘Kaddish’ shuns traditional symphonic ideas in favor of an eclectic theatrical and oratorio-like form with a prominent rôle for speaker. For this recording Marin Alsop has returned to the work’s original narrative text, heard before the 1977 revision. The Lark – heard in a concert version with added narration – derives from Lillian Hellman’s adaptation of L’Alouette on the life of Joan of Arc, and it was this music that Bernstein reworked into his Missa Brevis many years later.
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Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835–1921)
Symphonies, Vol. 3
Symphony in F major ‘Urbs Roma’
La jeunesse d’Hercule • Danse macabre*
Marika Fältskogh, Violin solo* • Malmö Symphony Orchestra
Saint-Saëns’s Symphony in F major ‘Urbs Roma’ was his prizewinning entry to a competition organized by the Bordeaux Société Ste Cécile, but the work remained unpublished in the composer’s lifetime. This early work is notable for a masterly final movement which, unusually, comprises a theme and variations. The symphonic poem La Jeunesse d’Hercule is a portrayal of the conflict between pleasure and duty, while the Danse macabre is amongst his most popular orchestral works. The first two volumes of this complete edition of Saint-Saëns’s symphonies can be heard on Naxos 8.573138 and 8.573139.
Jean SIBELIUS (1865–1957)
Orchestral Works, Vol. 4
Two Serious Melodies · In memoriam
Pia Pajala, Soprano • Tuomas Katajala, Tenor
Nicholas Söderland, Bass • Cathedralis Aboensis Choir
Mikaela Palmu, Violin • Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Rarely performed but recognized as a hidden masterpiece, Sibelius’s score for Jedermann is unusual in that the music closely follows the words and action of this morality play, intensifying Everyman’s hubris, penance, escape from the Devil’s clutches and ultimate salvation. The Two Serious Melodies reflect Sibelius’ dark mood during the difficult years of World War I, while In memoriam resonates with his preoccupation with death in 1909 following a life-saving throat operation, and was performed at his own funeral in 1957.
François-André Danican PHILIDOR (1726–1795)
Les Femmes Vengées
An opéra-comique in one act (1775)
Claire Debono • Pascale Beaudin, Sopranos
Blandine Staskiewicz, Mezzo-soprano • Jeffrey Thompson
Antonio Figueroa, Tenors • Alex Dobson, Baritone
Opera Lafayette • Ryan Brown
The first performances of Les Femmes Vengées (The Avenged Women) in 1775 restored the fortunes of Francois-André Danican Philidor, which had been wavering since the great success of Tom Jones a decade earlier. His opéra-comique, which foreshadows the plot of Mozart’s Così fan tutte (Mozart had been in Paris during the first performances of Philidor’s work), offers delicious opportunities for mock-indignation and repartee in its arias and ensembles. This recording presents the complete music. Opera Lafayette and Ryan Brown’s recording of Philidor’s Sancho Pança [8.660274] was hailed as a ‘witty, authentic interpretation’ by the American Record Guide.
The Best of Tianwa Yang:
SARASATE • MENDELSSOHN • YSAŸE • PIAZZOLLA
Tianwa Yang, violin
Tianwa Yang, called “an unquestioned master of the violin” (American Record Guide), is an international renowned performer and recording artist. The Best of Tianwa Yang features a nice programmed selection of her most popular and well-loved recordings.
Winner of the prestigious ECHO Klassik Best Up-and-Coming Artist Award 2014 and the Annual Prize of the German Record Critics 2014 for her Naxos recordings of the Mendelssohn Violin Concertos and Complete Music for Violin by Sarasate, Tianwa Yang has quickly established herself as a leading international performer and recording artist. The young violinist, a resident of Germany and heralded by the Detroit News as “the most important violinist to come on the scene in many a year,” has debuted with such major orchestras as the Detroit, Seattle, Baltimore, Nashville, Kansas City, SWR-Baden Baden-Freiburg, and New Zealand Symphonies, in addition to the MDR-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Orchestre National d’Île de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Hong Kong Sinfonietta and the Buffalo, BBC, Warsaw and Royal Liverpool Philharmonics. Ms. Yang has performed under the baton of renowned conductors Marc Albrecht, Andreas Delfs, JoAnn Falletta, Giancarlo Guerrero, Günther Herbig, Yoel Levi, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Gerard Schwarz, Vassily Sinaisky amongst others.
Philip GLASS (b. 1937)
String Quartet No. 5
Suite from Dracula† · String Sextet*
Cian O’Dúill, Viola* • Gemma Rosefield, Cello*
Carducci String Quartet
†WORLD PREMIÈRE RECORDING
Philip Glass’ Fifth String Quartet is the most substantial of his five quartets and the most traditional, using formal structures and expressive contrasts which go far beyond minimalism. While maintaining Glass’ unmistakable personal style, this is a quartet which delivers both driving energy and an unforgettable, threnodylike tenderness. Glass chose a string quartet for his score to the film Dracula to ‘evoke the feeling of the world of the 19th century’, the music underpinning the film’s visual drama while avoiding obvious ‘horror’ effects. The String Sextet is an arrangement of Glass’s Third Symphony (Naxos 8.559202), combining symphonic scale with the intimacy synonymous with the chamber music genre. The Carducci Quartet’s critically acclaimed recording of Philip Glass’s String Quartets Nos. 1-4 can be heard on Naxos 8.559636.
A-Z of Singers
By David Patmore
Naxos 8.558097-100 [4 CDs]
The A–Z of Singers surveys the recordings and careers of over 300 singers; the greatest vocalists who have made recordings are included, from Theo Adam to Teresa Zylis-Gara. The text covers artists using the earliest recording processes up to those using contemporary, cutting-edge technology. In this clear and concise publication, the artists are listed alphabetically, with a summary of their career, notable recordings, biography and a critical appraisal of their recorded legacy. In addition, four CDs present the author’s selection of recordings by 69 artists. This package will appeal to singing enthusiasts and scholars alike as a well-informed, interesting and precise work of reference.
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750)
English Suites Nos. 1-3
Arranged for Two Guitars
Montenegrin Guitar Duo
Bach’s keyboard works known as the English Suites offer a series of dance movements which, despite their name, owe more to earlier French and German models. This is the first of two recordings of the complete English Suites arranged for two guitars by the distinguished Montenegrin Guitar Duo. Transcriptions of Bach for solo guitar have been popular since the nineteenth century and the emergence of the guitar duo extends still further the potential for exciting and revelatory performances.
Joaquín TURINA (1882–1949)
Piano Music, Vol. 11
Verbena madrileña • En la zapatería
Linterna mágica • El circo • Radio Madrid
Jordi Masó, Piano
Joaquín Turina loved to paint musical pictures of his immediate surroundings, and this 11th volume in Jordi Masó’s complete edition of Turina’s piano works features music inspired by various aspects of everyday life. Verbena madrileña is a brightly coloured portrait of a feast-day in Madrid, while En la zapatería describes the shoemaker’s tasks in vignettes ranging from Wagnerian drama to balletic pirouettes. Also included are the cinema-inspired Linterna mágica and the Radio Madrid suite with its ‘broadcasts’ from different places in Spain, each miniature a brief flash of inspiration from deep within Turina’s fertile, creative spirit.