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4 Naxos Recordings Gain ‘Supersonic’ Rating from Pizzicato magazine

March 22, 2010

Pizzicato magazine has given the following Naxos recordings a ‘Supersonic’ rating:

Concerto-Rhapsody for Cello & Orchestra

Dmitry Yablonsky, cello
Moscow City Symphony Orchestra ‘Russian Philharmonic’
Maxim Fedotov, conductor


The Naxos series devoted to the orchestral music of Aram Khachaturian continues with his two works for cello and orchestra. The Cello Concerto, whose brooding emotional unease did not endear it to the authorities at a difficult time for Soviet musicians, is the most resourceful and forward-looking of his works from this period. The Concerto-Rhapsody is dedicated to Mstislav Rostropovich and pursues a highly personal and intuitive approach to the relationship between soloist and orchestra. Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto and Concerto-Rhapsody for Violin are available on 8.570988, and the Piano Concerto and Concerto-Rhapsody for Piano on 8.550799.

Aram Il’yich Khachaturian Biography & Discography

ROUSSEL Symphony No 1 ‘Le poeme de la foret’
Resurrection, Le marchand de sable qui passé

Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Stéphane Denève, conductor


Stéphane Denève’s accounts of Roussel’s symphonies have been praised for their ‘energy, enthusiasm, and panache’ (American Record Guide on No. 2 – 8.570529 – which also gained Gramophone Editor’s Choice) and ‘electrifying…ravishing…breathtaking’ (The Herald on No. 3 – 8.570245). Résurrection, Roussel’s first orchestral work, is a delicate and mysterious piece inspired by Tolstoy’s last novel, while Le marchand de sable qui passe (The Sandman) is a tuneful, colourfully orchestrated suite. His Symphony No. 1 ‘Poem of the Forest’ traces the cycle of seasons from winter to autumn through its four movements.

Albert Roussel Biography & Discography

Nicolas Altstaedt Cello Recital
– PIERNE, d’INDY, BOULANGER (French Cello Sonatas)

Nicolas Altstaedt, cello • José Gallardo, piano

Winner of the of the 2005 German Music Competition, the 2005 Stuttgart International Cello Competition and the 2006 Adam International Cello Competition, New Zealand, as well as the recipient of a 2009 Borletti Buitoni Fellowship, Nicolas Alstaedt here presents the complete cello music of Gabriel Pierné and Vincent D’Indy. Pierné’s superbly crafted and elegant Cello Sonata was much influenced by the music of César Franck, while d’Indy shows a fondness for old French dance forms. Nadia Boulanger made a particularly lasting impression as a teacher, exerting strong influence notably over a generation of American composers. Her Three Pieces move from gentle meditation to wild dance.

Nicolas Altstaedt Biography & Discography

José Gallardo Biography & Discography

ADAMS Nixon in China
Robert Orth (Richard Nixon)
Maria Kanyova (Pat Nixon)
Thomas Hammons (Henry Kissinger)
Marc Heller (Mao Tse-tung)
Tracy Dahl (Madame Mao (Chiang Ch’ing))
Chen-Ye Yuan (Chou En-lai)
Melissa Malde (1st Secretary (Nancy T’ang))
Julie Simson (2nd Secretary)
Jennifer DeDominici (3rd Secretary)
Opera Colorado Chorus • Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop, conductor


A longtime collaborator of John Adams and champion of his music, Marin Alsop directs this live recording of Opera Colorado’s 25th Anniversary Celebration production of Nixon in China, presented at Denver’s new Ellie Caulkins Opera House during the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention, and featuring an internationally recognized cast. Alice Goodman’s epic libretto and John Adams’s distinctive music weave together a colorful fabric of actual events from President Nixon’s historic visit to the People’s Republic of China with intimate examinations of the opera’s real life characters. The spectacle, drama, humor and pathos of this masterpiece remain as compelling today as when the opera was premièred in 1987.

John Adams Biography & Discography

In addition, a new release on Ondine, a label distributed by Naxos, also gained a ‘Supersonic’ rating:

Introduction & Allegro appassionato Op 92
Geistervariationen for piano solo
Introduction & Concert-Allegro Op 134
Six Etudes in Canonic Form Op 56
(arr. for two pianos by Debussy)

Tzimon Barto, piano
NDR Sinfonieorchester
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor & piano


Marking the 200th birthday of Robert Schumann in 2010, this CD contains a unique coupling of the great German Romantic composer’s late piano works. It also pays tribute to Christoph Eschenbach who celebrated his own 70th birthday on 20 February 2010. He is featured here both as pianist and as conductor, with his long-time musical protégé and close friend, pianist Tzimon Barto. Together, they perform a ‘piano concerto arrangement’ of three Schumann works, the concertante rarities Op. 92 and Op. 134 and the “Geistervariationen” for piano solo, which acts like a slow middle movement. As an encore to this program, Christoph Eschenbach and Tzimon Barto recorded the arrangement for two pianos by Claude Debussy of Six Etudes in Canonic Form, written by Schumann originally for pedal piano (or organ). In the two Concert Pieces, Christoph Eschenbach conducts the renowned NDR Sinfonieorchester, which he led as Chief Conductor from 1998–2004.

Robert Schumann Biography & Discography


Pizzicato website


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