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Naxos Classical Spotlights for May & June 2009

May 6, 2009

Visit the Naxos Blog Podcasts page to hear fascinating podcasts about our artists and albums presented by Raymond Bisha, Naxos Radio Promotions Manager for North America. Our Podcasts are FREE and are available in several different ways—you will find all the information you need to subscribe and/or listen to our podcasts anyway you like on the Naxos Blog Podcast page. Enhanced Podcasts may not be available on all platforms. Dates are correct at the time of posting, but are subject to change.


MAY 2009

5 May – The Phoenix and the Composer: an Interview with Bright Sheng
5 May – Montréal’s Mighty Organ: Vincent Boucher Plays Tournemire
12 May – Schütz’s Passion: an Interview with Paul Hillier
12 May – Dark Side of the Moon: the Music of Klaus Ib Jørgensen
19 May – Bohemian Rhapsodies: orchestral suites from Janáček’s operas
26 May – Wild Nights! Exciting New Music for Wind Ensemble

Read more about our May Classical Music Spotlights


JUNE 2009

June 2—Arthur Foote: An American Romantic

Arthur Foote was an American composer in the “classical” tradition. During his life (1853–1937) he worked as a composer, teacher, and was an early advocate of the music of both Brahms and Wagner. This podcast includes an interview with conductor Gerard Schwarz.

8.559365 FOOTE Francesca da Rimini, Air and Gavotte,
Suite in E major

Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Gerard Schwarz

Born in Massachusetts, Arthur Foote was unusual among 19th century American composers in that practically all of his training took place in the United States. His individualistic style recalls the classical structure of Brahms while reveling in exotic harmonies and colorful orchestrations typical of late romanticism. Foote’s ‘Symphonic Prologue,’ Francesca da Rimini, based on the story of the doomed lovers Francesca and Paolo as immortalized in Dante’s Inferno, is a thrillingly original musical vision, and offers a fascinating comparison to Tchaikovsky’s well-known tone poem of the same name. Also featured on this CD are exquisite character pieces inspired by the poetry of the medieval Persian mystic Omar Khayyám.

Gerard Schwarz—a Life in Music Interview on

Gerard Schwarz Biography & Discography

June 9—In This Hid Clearing: The University of Missouri Symphonic Wind Ensemble’s First Naxos Album

This podcast is part of an ongoing series looking at new recordings from the Naxos Wind Band Classics series. The latest CD includes music by Gordon Jacob, Aaron Copland, Percy Grainger, Jack Stamp and George Gershwin. This podcast includes an interview with conductor Thomas J. O’Neal. Podcast with interview.

8.572108 In This Hid Clearing…
University of Missouri Symphonic Wind Ensemble • Thomas J O’Neal

This disc celebrates both the quality and variety of the internationally popular American wind band repertoire. Gershwin’s Catfish Row includes several hits as well as music cut from Porgy and Bess, while Grainger’s Country Gardens and Blithe Bells are heard in delightful arrangements. Gordon Jacob’s Suite showcases the lighthearted, solemn and powerful potential of the symphonic wind band. Intricate counterpoint contrasts with brass chorales in Stamp’s In this hid clearing…Copland’s Lincoln Portrait, an American classic, can also be heard in its orchestral guise on Naxos 8.559373–74.

More Naxos Wind Classics Albums

June 9—Millennium Canons: Looking Forward, Looking Back

In this podcast conductor John Lynch, one of America’s finest wind band musicians discusses his newest CD in the Naxos Wind Band Classics series with the University of Georgia Wind Ensemble playing music by John Mackey and Gustav Holst.

8.572231 Millennium Canons: Looking Forward, Looking Back
University of Georgia Wind Ensemble • John P Lynch

Comprising the University’s most accomplished musicians, The University of Georgia Wind Ensemble commissions and premières new compositions and performs other significant works from the wind band repertoire. From Holst’s Hammersmith, depicting the good natured Saturday night crowds in west London during the 1930s, and Millennium Canons, composed by Kevin Puts to welcome the 2000s with a fanfare, to Lost Gulch Lookout, a piece reflective of the craggy, colorful landscape of Kristin Kuster’s hometown of Boulder, Colorado, a spirit of celebration and lyricism infuses the entire disc.

More Naxos Wind Classics Albums

June 16—Rued’s Langgaard’s Visionary Music for Organ and for Orchestra

A discussion of Rued Langgaard’s Messis and Symphonies. Rued Langgaard’s music was much underappreciated during his lifetime. It was only years after his death in 1952 that his music was really noticed. The late Romantic style of his music put it at odds with much of what was happening in the musical world during the first half of the 20th century. Bendt Viinholt Nielsen, one of the world’s leading authorities on the music of Rued Langgaard, talks about Messis, plus the Langgaard symphonies as well.

DACAPO 6.220528-29 LANGGAARD Messis, In ténebras exteriores (Buried in Hell)
Flemming Dreisig, organ
Vor Frue Kantori

In the 1930s the Late Romantic outsider Rued Langgaard (1893–1952) concentrated on a single composition: Messis, a visionary organ drama of the end of the world. As one of the most expansive works in the organ literature it is also a compendium of a vanished Romantic era which goes to the heart of Langgaard’s religious view of art. In ténebras exteriores (Buried in Hell) from 1947 builds further on Messis, but in this case it is Langgaard’s sarcastic pessimism that predominates.

Rued Langgaard Biography & Discography

DACAPO Catalogue

June 23—My Secluded Garden: The Music of Lorenzo Palomo

Lorenzo Palomo is one of the most successful contemporary Spanish composers. Along the way, he has written music for many of Spain’s leading musicians including the Romeros Guitar Quartet who are featured on this CD.

8.572139 PALOMO My Secluded Garden, Madrigal and 5 Sephardic Songs, Concierto de Cienfuegos
María Bayo, soprano
Pepe Romero, guitar
The Romero Guitar Quartet
Seville Royal Symphony Orchestra
Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, conductor

Acclaimed for her ‘beautifully clear, warm and intelligent coloratura’ (The Gramophone) and ‘naturally bright, vernal timbre’ (BBC Music Magazine), Spanish soprano María Bayo has shone as a prima donna internationally, yet reserves a special place for the music of her native country. With legendary guitarist Pepe Romero, she is an ideal interpreter of the heartfelt songs of Lorenzo Palomo, one of Spain’s most successful contemporary composers. The Romero Guitar Quartet premiered Palomo’s beguiling Concierto de Cienfuegos. His equally appealing Andalusian Nocturnes and Spanish Songs are also available (8.557135).

Lorenzo Palomo Biography & Discography

Naxos Spanish Classics Catalogue

June 23—Much Ado About Something: Philippe Quint plays Korngold’s Violin Concerto

Erich Korngold

Philippe Quint
Erich Wolfgang Korngold was a musical child prodigy who at the age of 10 played his cantata Gold for Gustav Mahler. With the rise of the Nazi party in Europe, Korngold was forced to flee, and ended up in the United States where he became one of the leading film composers of his day. This podcast looks at some of his theatre music, as well as his lush violin concerto, written in 1945.

8.570791 KORNGOLD Violin Concerto, Much Ado about Nothing, Schauspiel Overture
Philippe Quint, violin
Orquesta Sinfónica de Mineria
Carlos Miguel Prieto, conductor

Much admired today as a pioneer of film music, Erich Korngold was a precociously talented composer of concert and chamber music, opera and stage works, as his Schauspiel Overture, written when he was only fourteen, shows. The phenomenal success of his Violin Concerto, an ultra-romantic masterpiece drawing themes from his scores for the films Another Dawn, Anthony Adverse and The Prince and the Pauper, has overshadowed much of his other music, though his Much Ado About Nothing Suite has remained popular for its expressivity, humour and robust good spirits.

Erich Korngold Biography & Discography

Philippe Quint Biography & Discography

June 30—Brazillian Masterpieces: Villa-Lobos’s Complete String Quartets

Heitor Villa-Lobos has been described as “The single most significant create figure in 20th century Brazilian art music” His music was deeply influenced by both the folk music traditions of Brazil, and by the European classical tradition, especially the music of Bach. He was a prolific composer who wrote hundreds of pieces, including the 18 string quartets featured in this podcast.

Dorian Sono Luminus DSL-90904 VILLA-LOBOS Complete String Quartets
Cuarteto Latinoamericano

Villa-Lobos Biography & Discography

June 30—Argentinean Accent: Ginastera’s Complete String Quartets

Alberto Ginastera was an important figure in 20th century Argentinean music, both as a composer, and as a teacher. Like Villa-Lobos in Brazil, his music was influenced by the folk music traditions of his homeland. This podcast looks at his compositions for string quartet.

8.570780 GINASTERA Complete String Quartets
Lucy Shelton, soprano • Ensō Quartet

Naxos’s recording of Ginastera’s Complete Music for Cello and Piano (8.570569) was hailed for ‘the music’s percussive rhythms as well as its reflective and mysterious melodic invention’ by The Strad. Similarly, each of his highly individual and engaging string quartets abound in kinetic energy, glowingly evocative writing and the ever-present rhythms and sounds of his native Argentinean music. In his expressive Third String Quartet a solo soprano, fully integrated into the quartet texture, sings texts by Alberti, Jiménez and Lorca to create an intensely coloured spectrum of words and music.

Alberto Ginastera Biography & Discography


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