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

December 1, 2014

DVOŘÁK Requiem
Libor • Wolak • Kirch • Monarcha • Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra • Wit
Blu-ray Audio NBD0046

Premièred in 1891, Dvořák’s Requiem enjoyed immediate success. More reminiscent of Cherubini than Verdi in style, its tone is one of compassion and reflection, devoid of unnecessary drama, and movingly crafted with great sophistication. Featuring a superb line-up of orchestral, choral and solo forces, this new recording is under the authoritative direction of Antoni Wit, who is both a Naxos house conductor and renowned interpreter of Slavic music.

FIBICH Orchestral Works Vol 4
Czech National Symphony Orchestra • Štilec

Zdeněk Fibich was one of the greatest Czech composers of the late 19th century. This fourth volume in our première edition of his complete orchestral works contains rich pickings, both in terms of rarely heard works and first recordings of pieces in special new editions prepared by conductor Marek Štilec. Volume 1 (8.572985) in the series received a ‘Recording of the Year’ award from MusicWeb International, with the same source noting how the use of scholarly versions of the music on Volume 2 (8.573157) “gives this new CD a real edge over its rivals.”

BECK Symphonies Opp 3 and 4
Czech Chamber Philharmonic, Pardubice • Štilec

Franz Ignaz Beck’s symphonies rank among the most striking works of their kind from the mid-18th century. Having absorbed new approaches to orchestral writing from his celebrated teacher Johann Stamitz, who was director of the renowned Mannheim court orchestra, Beck’s works proved remarkable for their dramatic flair, rich harmonic language and inventive part writing. His progressive use of woodwind instruments in the Symphony in G major, Op. 4 No. 5 is among the notable developments to be heard in this second recording of Beck symphonies by Marek Štilec and the Czech Chamber Philharmonic

Sensations – Music for Bandoneon
Chiacchiaretta • Croatian Philharmonic • Vaupotić

With tango music and the bandoneon being so hugely popular, Roberto Di Marino rewards our expectations with his brand new Concerto for Bandoneon and String Orchestra. This impressive work builds on the romantic idiom of Ástor Piazzolla, spectacularly extending the virtuoso boundaries of the solo instrument over exciting rhythms and heartwarming harmonies. Coupling this with some of Piazzolla’s most evocative music is a natural choice, which will add to the attraction of this release. Acclaimed soloist Cesare Chiacchiaretta is universally admired among fellow musicians and audiences as a noted ambassador for his instrument.

MOSCHELES Flute and Piano Music
Kazunori Seo • Makoto Ueno

This release will both surprise and delight anyone who thought Moscheles composed exclusively for his own instrument, showcasing his virtuoso skills in a number of demanding piano concertos. In contrast, these works for flute and piano are lighter fare, exhibiting vivacious melodies and contrapuntal interest. The rarely heard pieces are given an excellent account by flautist Kazunori Seo, who has a big following in Japan and who made the première recordings of Leopold Hofmann’s 8 flute concertos for Naxos on 8.554747 and 8.554748.

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

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