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

January 1, 2015

SAINT-SAËNS Symphony No 3 ‘Organ’
Warnier • Orchestre National de Lyon • Slatkin
Also available in Blu-ray Audio: NBD0045

Saint-Saëns and the King of Instruments provide the focus of this disc, which features the monumental 1878 Cavaillé-Coll organ, formerly sited in the Trocadéro in Paris, but now restored and relocated in Lyon. This recording celebrates that restoration in grand style, featuring Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3, one of the most famous and brilliant in the symphonic repertoire, plus a formidable transcription of Danse macabre for solo organ. Cyprès et lauriers for orchestra and organ, a rarity on disc, used the very same Cavaillé-Coll instrument at its French première, providing a further incentive for potential buyers.

MORENO TORROBA Guitar Concertos Vol 1
Pepe Romero • V. Coves • Málaga Philharmonic • M. Coves

This fine new release of Torroba’s colourful concertos and solos for guitar is a real feast for fans of the instrument and a showcase for some of the best works from the 20th-century Spanish repertoire. The jewel in the crown is the rarely heard Concierto en Flamenco, which combines specialist flamenco techniques with a classical concerto form. We are proud to present the legendary Pepe Romero as the exceptional soloist, justly famous for his masterful interpretations in both classical and flamenco genres. This is the first of two volumes devoted to Torroba’s complete works for guitar and orchestra.

TURINA Piano Music Vol 10
Jordi Masó

This is the tenth of twelve volumes in Jordi Masó’s ground-breaking series of Turina’s complete piano music. It focuses on the mature output of the composer’s later years and features works that have previously received limited exposure on disc. Masó is generally considered the world’s leading exponent of Turina’s music. He attracted considerable acclaim for his previous volume in the series: ‘In Masó you have an ideally committed and affectionate master of the idiom, finely recorded.’ (Gramophone, of 8.572915).

Argentum et Aurum
Ensemble Leones • Lewon

This pioneering selection of sacred and secular music dates from the period of the early Habsburgs (c. 1340 to c. 1520), the time when a diverse musical culture developed across the Austrian region. The disc is the product of extensive research conducted at the University of Vienna. The content is fascinating and includes a number of world première recordings of recently discovered music, performed by Ensemble Leones, who are highly regarded specialists in this repertoire. The performances allow the listener to eavesdrop on life in the Tyrolean palace, dance hall and bourgeois home, as well as on the singer-poets who travelled the country, fusing old local styles with the latest international fashions.

Through the Centuries
Amadeus Guitar Duo

The Amadeus Guitar Duo is a well-established and internationally admired ensemble—Dale Kavanagh and Thomas Kirchoff have been performing and touring together now for 25 years. During that time they have promoted repertoire both for guitar duo and for two guitars and orchestra, extending it through commissions and first performances. They gave the world première of Carlo Domeniconi’s Fantasie d’Oriente e d’Occidente, which is included on this disc. The programme mixes original works with arrangements and transcriptions and is the duo’s first release for Naxos.

RODE Violin Concertos Nos 1, 5 and 9
Eichhorn • Jena Philharmonic • Pasquet

This is the third of four volumes in our cycle of Pierre Rode’s 13 violin concertos. The series includes world première recordings that use new editions featuring reconstructed cadenzas and inventive features of interpretation. Previous discs have attracted critical admiration, including this from Fanfare on Volume 1 (8.570469): ‘There’s enough double-stopping, rapid runs and bowing tricks to satisfy even the most insatiable appetites for high-wire circus acts. But there is also a depth and breadth … that elicits a strong emotional response and strikes a genuinely responsive chord.’

STANFORD Piano Trio No 2, Piano Quartet No 1
Gould Piano Trio • Adams

Stanford was a major force in the renaissance of British music at the close of the 19th century and a precursor to Elgar. He is already represented in the Naxos catalogue by four volumes of his complete symphonies, and our coverage of his excellent chamber music goes from strength to strength. This third volume, containing the First Piano Quartet and the Second Piano Trio, will no doubt add to the accolades received for the previous volumes. The Gould Trio’s world première recording of his Third Piano Trio (8.570416) was a Gramophone ‘Editor’s Choice’ and acclaimed as “absolutely first-class”, while the First Piano Trio and Second Piano Quartet (8.572452) with David Adams was a MusicWeb International ‘Recording of the Year’.

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

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