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Naxos Classical Music Spotlight Podcasts

October 13, 2009

Naxos Classical Music Spotlights are a great way to hear more about Naxos recordings, including artist and composer interviews and background to the music. They are available free from the Naxos Blog.

During September, the following Naxos Classical Spotlights have included:

Sep 8: Romantic Violin Concertos

Romantic Violin Concertos

Astrand, Tampere Philharmonic, Storgards
DACAPO 6.220562

Danish music may be one of the finest under-discovered realms in all classical music. This is particularly true of music from the Romantic era, as this podcast and CD show. These violin concertos by Niels Gade, Peter Erasmus Lange-Müller and Rued Langgaard—hardly household names—deserve to be heard more widely on CD, and much more often in concert. These performances were recorded in 2009 with violin soloist Christina Åstrand and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by John Storgards.

Sep 16: Richard Strauss’ Orchestral Suites

R STRAUSS Der Rosenkavalier Suite
Symphonic Fantasy on Die Frau ohne Schatten
Symphonic Fragment from Josephs Legende

Buffalo Philharmonic, Falletta
Naxos 8.572041

Richard Strauss wrote some of the finest operas of the 20th century. Pieces like Elektra, Salome and Der Rosenkavalier helped push the limits of the operatic artform, and also established Strauss as one of the truly great composers for the media. In a few cases, he created orchestral suites from these stage works, and it’s this music that is featured in this podcast, including his suites for Der Rosenkavalier, Die Frau Ohne Shatten and Josephs-Legende. JoAnn Falletta conducts the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in this new Naxos CD.

Sep 22: Fanfares and Overtures with Rutgers Wind Ensemble

Fanfares & Overtures with Rutgers Wind Ensemble
Rutgers Wind Ensemble, Berz
Naxos 8.572230

Fanfares and Overtures’ aptly conveys the spirit of this wide-ranging album, which marks the début on Naxos’s popular Wind Band Classics range of the Rutgers Wind Ensemble. Hailed by one critic as ‘the Rolls Royce of wind ensembles’, it here presents music whose haunting moods, contrasting compositional styles and sophisticated characters call forth both the ‘sweet, sighing sonorities’ and ‘impressive unanimity and sheer technique’ for which the Ensemble is renowned. Previous recordings have gained the Ensemble an impressive 33 Grammy® entry listings.

Sep 23: Rautavaara’s 12 Concertos

RAUTAVAARA 12 Concertos
Various Artists
Ondine ODE1156-2Q

Einojuhani Rautavaara is Finland’s best known composer, especially internationally. Rautavaara’s music has been described as a mixture of modernism and mystic romanticism—an attempt to define a compositional style that is unique, personal, and very hard to define. Among his finest works are 12 concertos, composed over the past four decades, and collected together in this 4-CD box set on the Ondine label. Performers include violinist Elmar Oliveira, cellist Marko Ylonen, harpist Marielle Nordmann, organ player Kari Jussila, clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, and pianists Ralf Gothoni and Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Sep 28: Michael Daugherty’s Metropolis Symphony

DAUGHERTY Metropolis Symphony, Deus ex Machina
Wilson, Nashville Symphony, Guerrero
Naxos 8.559635

The inspiration for Michael Daugherty’s Metropolis Symphony can be traced all the way back to his youth, as he watched on television as the caped superhero rescued humanity—as especially Lois Lane—from all kinds of deadly situations. Daugherty’s ability to allow the visual world to inspire the musical is evident in many of his works such as Deux Ex Machina, included on this CD, and Fire and Blood that was inspired by murals by Diego Rivera [Available on 8.559372]. The performers on this present CD include the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, pianist Terrence Wilson, and conductor Giancarlo Guerrero.

Sep 29: Johan Svendsen’s Norwegian Rhapsodies

SVENDSEN Norwegian Rhapsodies Nos 1–4
Romeo & Juliet, Zorahayda

South Jutland Symphony, Engeset
Naxos 8.570322

Johan Svendsen was the one of the leading figures in Norwegian music during the romantic era, both as a composer and a conductor. This podcast introduces you to his Norwegian Rhapsodies, as well as the music he wrote for Romeo and Juliet, and his piece Zorahayda, based on the story Rose of Alhambra by the American author Washington Irving (who also wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow). The performers are the South Jutland Symphony Orchestra, and conductor Bjarte Engeset.

Oct 6: David Aaron Carpenter plays Elgar and Schnittke

ELGAR Cello Concerto
SCHNITTKE Viola Concerto

Carpenter, Philharmonia Orchestra, Eschenbach
Ondine ODE1153-2

With his CD of Elgar’s Cello Concerto, and Alfred Schnittke’s Viola Concerto, New York-based violist David Aaron Carpenter puts himself onstage as one of the leading violists of the new generation. His performance of Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto also makes a compelling case for performing the piece more often on viola. In this CD, Carpenter is accompanied by the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach.

There are many more to come during October.

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