The World's Leading Classical Music Label
Newsletter 126  
November 2007  

November at

This month, we feature The Music of Joseph Martin Kraus, 'The Swedish Mozart'.  Enjoy and listen to works such as the Symphony in C minor (8.553734), described as "a masterpiece of the age" by Joseph Haydn.  Also check out the recording of the Violin Concerto (8.570334) with Takako Nishizaki, a new release.

Featured also is pianist Christopher Hinterhuber, who has worked with such renowned orchestras as the Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, Vienna and Zurich Chamber Orchestras, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, among others. Hinterhuber is currently engaged by Naxos to record all eight piano concertos by Ferdinand Ries. 

Naxos' Chinese Musical Journeys is the new DVD series that gives a unique glimpse of the history of China. Traditional Chinese music sets the audio backdrop for scenic journeys to Xi'an, Hangzhou, Guilin, Beijing and Shanghai. Find out more about the DVDs in this feature, which includes preview clips.

Finally, check out some of this month's new releases below.

Most Streamed Tracks on - October 2007

Click on each track description to view the full album.

  1. Chants d'Auvergne, Vol. 2: No. 3. La Pastrouletta e lou chibalie (La Bergere et le Cavalier)
    From the album CANTELOUBE: Chants d'Auvergne (selections), Vol. 2 / Chant de France / Triptyque 8.570338
  2. I. Allegro deciso
    From the album BLOCH: Violin Concerto / Baal Shem / Suite hebraique 8.557757
  3. I. Andante espressivo
    From the album TANEYEV: String Quartets (Complete), Vol. 1 (Nos. 1, 3) 8.570437
  4. Hungarian Rhapsody No. 1 in F minor
    From the album LISZT: 6 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S359/R441 8.570230
  5. I. Allegro appassionato
    From the album STANFORD: Symphonies, Vol. 2 (Nos. 2 and 5) 8.570289
  6. Sul America
    From the album VILLA-LOBOS: Piano Music, Vol. 6 8.557735
  7. I. Andante maestoso
    From the album CAUCASIAN IMPRESSIONS 8.570324
  8. Beckus the Dandipratt, Op. 5
    From the album ARNOLD: Concerto for 2 Pianos 3 Hands / Concerto for Piano Duet 8.570531
  9. I. Allegro molto
    From the album HAYDN: Symphonies, Vol. 32 (Nos. 9, 10, 11, 12) 8.557771
  10. Le retour a de Londres, Op. 127
    From the album HUMMEL: Oberons Zauberhorn / Variations on Das Fest der Handwerker / Le retour de Londres 8.557845

Album of the Month

BARTÓK: Bluebeard’s Castle

A modern version of the old European folk-tale about the cruel, blue-bearded prince and his many disappearing wives, Bartók’s opera Bluebeard’s Castle is a metaphor for the impossibility of complete love between a man and a woman. Avast orchestra, one of Bartók’s largest, supports the vocal lines, moving deftly from moments of chamber music-like delicacy to massive thunderheads of sound that underline the characters’ inner agony. No scene is more vividly portrayed, though, or more memorable, than the moment when Judith opens the fifth door to behold a vista looking out over all Bluebeard’s domains. One of the most spine-tingling moments in twentieth-century opera, a violently dissonant wave of sound transforms, in an instant, to a massive C major chord in the full orchestra.

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop

New Releases

NaxosNaxos DVD

Some releases may not be available on CD in all countries – please contact the Naxos distributor
in your territory. For a complete list of new releases available, click here


8.660216-17 Johann STRAUSS II: Jabuka – Operetta

An annual Apple Festival in the Serbian town of Ravica is an opportunity for local young people to choose a partner. The girl bites an apple, gives it to her chosen boy, and if he also takes a bite, the match is made. It is against this backdrop that the impoverished noblemen, Mirko and Vasil, find a way out of their difficulties by finding rich brides at the Apple Festival of the title. With its strikingly fresh and original melodies, great ensembles and some of the finest choruses Strauss ever wrote, Jabuka was a huge success at its première in Vienna in October 1894.

Gaudeamus Choir Brno (Chorus-master: ·tûpán Policer), European Johann Strauss Orchestra, Christian Pollack

8.570300-02 HAYDN: Il ritorno di Tobia

VokalEnsemble Köln (Chorus Master: Max Ciolek), Capella Augustina, Andreas Spering

8.570439 VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Hodie

Vaughan Williams’s Christmas Cantata Hodie (This Day) is a brilliant mosaic of musical styles set to poetry from the most diverse sources. With its gripping blend of mysticism, heavenly glory and human hope, Hodie flows with a vitality and inventiveness that belie a work written in Vaughan Williams’s old age. The Fantasia on Christmas Carols, which incorporates a number of traditional English carols, is notable for the obbligato cello part and for the varied treatment of the choir, which provide an atmospheric choral-orchestral texture.

Janice Watson (soprano 1), Peter Hoare (tenor 2), Stephen Gadd (baritone 3), Guildford Choral Society 4, St Catherine’s School Middle Chamber Choir 5, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Leader: Clio Gould), Hilary Davan Wetton

8.557711 RESPIGHI: Church Windows

The four symphonic impressions Vetrate di chiesa (Church Windows) began life as Tre preludi sopra melodie gregoriane for piano (Naxos 8.553704), with the addition of a fourth movement to make a symphonic suite. Making full use of indigenous melodic and rhythmic shapes, Impressioni brasiliane (Brazilian Impressions) are a musical snapshot of the composer’s visit to Brazil in 1927. Rossiniana, Respighi’s orchestration of piano ‘trifles’ by Rossini, is one of his most brilliantly and colourfully scored works. It concludes with a wonderfully infectious Tarantella.

Philharmonic Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta

8.570334 KRAUS: Violin Concerto

Joseph Martin Kraus was one of the most gifted and unusual composers of the 18th century. While he played keyboard instruments with a fair degree of proficiency, his training was initially as a violinist. His Violin Concerto in C major is a monumental three-movement work similar in format, structure and length to large-scale virtuoso works by Cramer and Viotti. The incidental music for Johan Henrik Kellgren’s tragedy Olympie consists of a powerful Sturm und Drang overture, an off-stage march, four entr’actes and an epilogue. The final work here represents virtually the only portions that have survived from Kraus’s 1779 Swedish opera Azire.

Takako Nishizaki (violin), New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Uwe Grodd

8.570190 RÓZSA: Music for Violin and Piano

One of the pre-eminent composers of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Miklós Rózsa was also a committed writer of works for the concert hall. The overtly Hungarian Variations and Peasant Songs and Dances, two of only three Rózsa works to use actual folk melodies, are early works (1921-31). Over 50 years later, at a time when illness forced him to concentrate principally on music for single instruments, Rózsa wrote his Sonata for Solo Violin, the most complex, challenging and dissonant of his late works.

Philippe Quint (violin), William Wolfram (piano)

8.570192 SARASATE: Music for Violin and Piano, Vol. 2

One of the great violinists of his generation, Pablo Sarasate not only inspired concertos and other works for solo violin from the leading composers of his time, but himself contributed to violin repertoire, not least in his operatic fantasies, many of which have suffered neglect since his death. In 2004 the violinist Tianwa Yang was awarded the ‘Star of Tomorrow’ prize of the Volkswagenstiftung (China) from Seiji Ozawa.

Tianwa Yang (violin), Markus Hadulla (piano)s

View all Naxos new releases

  Naxos DVD

2.110224 The Full Monteverdi

Claudio Monteverdi's Fourth Book of Madrigals (1603) explores differing emotional states of abandoned lovers through the most dramatic and amazingly modern music for vocal ensemble. The Full Monteverdi follows the simultaneous break-up of six couples from shocking revelation, vengeful anger and erotic longing for reconciliation, as an ensemble film. Vulnerable and disarming, it will draw you into its emotional journey and intensely moving portrait of contemporary love.

Christmas Quiz Contest

What is the Most Streamed Christmas Track on in December 2006?

Pick the correct answer and get the chance to win a free 3-month Naxos Music Library subscription!

This contest runs until 23 November 2007.

Click here to join

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