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Chairman’s Choice: Klaus Heymann spotlights some of August’s new releases

August 1, 2014

Jones • Robson • Hill • Jenkins • BBC Philharmonic • Maxwell Davies

This is the only recording of Maxwell Davies’ blackly comic, parodic opera Resurrection. Its theme is the conformity of the individual when browbeaten by forces such as the state, church and media. Maxwell Davies clothes this, however, with a dazzling, off-beat variety of musical styles, giving the piece its unique, mad masque character. The pastiche mix includes hymn tunes, marching band music, saccharine waltzes and banal TV advertisements, giving the work its highly individual character and making it a must-have for collectors of 20th-century opera.

SKORYK Carpathian Concerto, Diptych, Violin Concerto No 7, Cello Concerto
Pilatyuk • Kazakov • Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra • Earle

There are very few recordings available on general release of the music of Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk, so I am delighted to redress such an undeserved neglect with this fine recording. It’s both a genuine rarity and a platform for the young violin soloist and rising star Nazary Pilatyuk, who performs the Violin Concerto No. 7. Anyone encountering Skoryk’s remarkable music for the first time will be instantly hooked—by the colour and verve of his Concerto for Orchestra, Carpathian, for example, or the pensive majesty of his Melody for strings. I am confident that this release will help raise Myroslav Skoryk’s status from national artist to that of an internationally acclaimed musical voice for his country.

Brass Chamber Music Vol 1

This disc will prove highly appealing for its originality. The question posed is: what would the result have been if certain 19th-century composers such as Brahms and Bruckner had composed for brass septet? The answer comes with these highly skilful and imaginative arrangements of sacred music and works for organ from the period. None of them have been recorded before. Built on an extensive exploration of the instruments’ capabilities in range, colour and dynamics, they make for an innovative and highly engaging listening experience.

PANUFNIK String Quartets Nos 1-3
LUTOSŁAWSKI String Quartet

Tippett Quartet

2014 marks the centenary of Andrzej Panufnik’s birth and, while much of his music has received attention from certain quarters, his string quartets have remained generally neglected. I am certain that the release of these three superb examples of Panufnik’s distinctive style will be widely welcomed as a result. The coupling with Lutoslawski’s dramatic String Quartet adds to Naxos’ exhaustive catalogue of the composer’s orchestral and vocal works.The Tippett Quartet has already shone in the quartets of their namesake Sir Michael Tippett, with Vol. 1 (8.570496) described as “beautifully shaped and controlled”, and Vol. 2 (8.570497) “a pleasure throughout” by Gramophone.

Emanuele Buono Guitar Recital
Emanuele Buono

Displaying stunning virtuosity and emotional depth in a fascinating programme, Emanuele Buono here adds to the list of highly talented musicians in our Guitar Laureate series. He has proven himself many times over as winner of the Fernando Sor prize (Italy 2010), the Agustín Barrios prize (Italy 2012) and the coveted Pittaluga prize (Italy 2013). When you hear this recording you will immediately understand why. Once heard, Buono’s beautiful legato touch and rich sonorities are hard to forget. Although still in his 20s, he is already an established artist, and one I am delighted to have as part of the Naxos stable of performers.

ALBÉNIZ Piano Music Vol 5
Juan José Mudarra Gámiz

This latest volume in our complete survey of the piano compositions by Isaac Albéniz focuses on the composer’s early period. It features works that are rarely heard on disc, or even performed in recital, but showcase his already established gift for variety and flair, witness the colour and evocative power of his wonderful miniature mazurkas. The series is building to be probably the most complete edition of the composer’s music yet to be recorded and is proving very popular among piano music devotees. Vol. 3 was hailed as “…essential to all lovers of Spanish music in particular, and nineteenth-century piano music in general.” (MusicWeb international)

We hope you will enjoy these selections and more from Naxos Records.

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