Chairman’s Choice: Klaus Heymann spotlights some of December’s new releases
December 1, 2017
||MAYR, J.S.: Miserere in G Minor / Litaniae lauretanae de Beata Virgine Maria in G Minor
Simon Mayr Choir, Bavarian State Opera Chorus, Hauk
I’m very pleased that our promotion of Johann Simon Mayr’s music goes from strength to strength, continuing here with authoritative performances using editions specially prepared by conductor Franz Hauk and Manfred Hössel. Hauk has been the driving force behind the re-establishment of Mayr’s music, which includes some of the most significant operatic and choral works written in Italy before the advent of Rossini. Fanfare had this to say about his recent recording of Mayr’s opera Telemaco (8.660388-89):
“… typical of Hauk’s Mayr interpretations, the music combines tonal beauty, incisive execution, and an ongoing sense of dramatic urgency.” Newcomers to Mayr’s music will find a surprise around every corner. This new release of his church music, for example, features the Miserere in G minor, in which solo orchestral instruments are heard in dialogue with the vocal soloists in a succession of powerful arias and choruses that are coloured by rich dissonance.
||SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Symphonic Poems
Lille National Orchestra, Märkl
Naxos Artist Jun Märkl specialises in conducting twentieth-century French music for Naxos and has earned international plaudits for both his Ravel and Messiaen discs and his 8-volume Debussy series. The final instalment of the latter (8.572584) prompted MusicWeb International to comment that “The orchestral playing is exemplary.” Expect more of the same for this latest release of symphonic poems by Saint-Saëns, who is largely credited as having been the leading contributor to the genre in France. It should be noted that Mr Märkl will record all the composer’s symphonic poems over time; the current programme demands a wide palette of orchestral colours and stirring reserves of drama that he once again delivers in spades.
||NARBUTAITĖ, O.: no yesterday, no tomorrow / La barca
Vaškevičiūtė, Pavilionis, Lithuanian National Symphony, Lyndon-Gee
No-one should miss this opportunity to become acquainted with the music of Lithuanian composer Onutė Narbutaitė, one of the most outstanding Baltic composers of recent decades. Having emerged from a cultural environment of silent resistance behind the Iron Curtain, her output has developed from distinctive chamber music into the concerto-like symphonic style found in the works on this release, two of which come in world première recordings. Described by conductor Christopher Lyndon-Gee as music that “transcends time and place”, Narbutaitė’s imposing Tres Dei Matris Symphoniae can be found on Naxos 8.572295: “ … huge granitic blocks of sound to bright and tinkly details ... a mind-blowing listening experience.” (American Record Guide)
||SOUSA, J.P.: Music for Wind Band, Vol. 17
Guildhall Symphonic Wind Band, Brion
This is Volume 17 of our tremendously well-received, ongoing collection of Sousa’s music. Once again, we have the advantage of performances directed by Keith Brion, one of the world’s most knowledgeable and most-recorded Sousa conductors, all enhanced by the 24/96 recording. Although Sousa was the American master of the march, he also enjoyed great prestige in the realm of operetta, and it’s this area of his output that features on this release. The programme includes an attractive suite from The American Maid; the beautiful quintet from Sousa’s early operetta The Smugglers, which was scored for his eminent brass virtuosi; and a medley of drinking songs, A Mingling of the Wets and the Drys, composed during Prohibition in the United States.
||ALBÉNIZ, I.: Piano Music, Vol. 8 (R. Laiz) - Mallorca / Piano Sonata No. 4 / Rapsodia española (version for piano)
Miguel Ángel R. Laiz
Anticipation has been building for this eighth volume of our cycle of Isaac Albéniz’s complete solo piano works, coming as it does some two years after Volume 7 (8.573160). Albéniz is renowned as the composer of Iberia, his masterpiece piano suite,and recognised as having transformed Spanish music and the piano repertoire forever. The unveiling of a world première recording on this release in the unusual Minuet in G minor is therefore something of a coup, and one which will boost interest in this already wide-ranging and highly engaging programme. Our Albéniz series has used numerous pianists, and for Volume 8 we have turned to Miguel Ángel Rodríguez Láiz, winner of numerous Spanish competitions.
We hope you will enjoy these selections and more from Naxos Records.
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