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Naxos Announces the Release of Two Titles by
Nashville Symphony Led by Kenneth Schermerhorn
Beethoven’s Epic Missa Solemnis and
Elliott Carter’s Piano Concerto Available Now

Nashville, TN. - March 16, 2004 - Today marks the release of two new recordings on the Naxos label featuring The Nashville Symphony under the direction of its music director, Kenneth Schermerhorn.  The partnership between The Nashville Symphony and Naxos has been dubbed "the American music happening of the new millennium" by, and their five discs currently available on the Naxos American Classics Series have been acclaimed by critics worldwide.

Already hailed by Gramophone as "a crowning achievement" for Maestro Schermerhorn and The Nashville Symphony, the recording of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis has also been called a "truly awe-inspiring performance. Outstanding. Naxos have struck gold with this release," by Music Web. Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis isone of the greatest masterworks in the history of music, which makes considerable technical demands - particularly of the soloists and the choir.  Missa Solemnis was composed from 1819-1823, when Beethoven was completely deaf.  The work was regarded by the composer as the summit of his artistic achievements.  The piece is dedicated to "My God who has never deserted me," and the composer’s profound faith can be heard in every measure.

Elliott Carter, often called the most eminent living American composer, is still actively composing at the age of 95. Famous for highly demanding scores using extraordinarily sophisticated rhythms, he is a prime architect of modernist music in the United States. The three orchestral works presented here include two works from Carter’s little-known earlier 'populist' style of the 1940s - the Holiday Overture and Symphony No. 1 - along with his spiky Piano Concerto from 1965, which was dedicated to Stravinsky on his 85th birthday. This is an unprecedented combination of repertoire, revealing that Carter composed highly individual, complex works, as well as more approachable pieces.  Mark Wait, an accomplished pianist and dean of Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, is the soloist in the concerto.
"The release of these two discs showcases the tremendous range of The Nashville Symphony - from the apotheosis of romantic choral music to the thorny, modern beauty of the music of Elliott Carter," says Symphony Executive Director Alan D. Valentine. 

"The Symphony will partner with Naxos again in the not so distant future when it releases a multi-disc recording of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras."

Beethoven: Missa Solemnis (Naxos 8.557060) and Elliott Carter: Piano Concerto/Symphony No. 1 (8.559151) and all Naxos recordings are available for the suggested retail price of $7.99 in fine book and music retailers throughout the country and around the world.  For more information, please visit or


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