Naxos American Classics Naxos Web Radio 20th Century French Classics Naxos Books Life and Music Series

May at

This May, presents 20th Century French Classics. Listen to the finest French music by the greatest composers of the era, including two new releases: Claude Debussy’s Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 - La mer / Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune / Jeux (8.570759) and Edgard Varèse’s Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 - Ameriques / Equatorial / Nocturnal / Ionisation (8.557882).

Naxos’ American Classics series offers the most comprehensive collection of music available elsewhere. This month’s new additions to the series feature the world première recording of Charles Ives’ completed Orchestral Set No. 3 (8.559353) and a vibrant new CD of Aaron Copland’s Piano Concerto and Outdoor Overture (8.559297).

Our Critics’ Choice for May section presents a selection of recordings that have received outstanding reviews.

What better way is there to sample highlights from our latest new releases than to listen to them via the New Release Channel on Naxos Web Radio

Naxos Books’ Life and Music series offers you a ground-breaking multi-media experience.  The series combines definitive text, excerpts from our finest CDs, and access to a website that lists the complete works and timeline of each composer.  

For more of Naxos’ new releases available for streaming on the site, click here

Most Streamed Tracks on - April 2008

Click on each track description to view the full album.
  1. Beethoven - Symphony No. 9 in D minor, S657/R376, “Choral” - I. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
    From the album LISZT: Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (arr. for 2 pianos) (Liszt Complete Piano Music, Vol. 28) 8.570466
  2. Beethoven - Symphony No. 9 in D minor, S657/R376, “Choral” - IV. Finale: Presto
    From the album LISZT: Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (arr. for 2 pianos) (Liszt Complete Piano Music, Vol. 28) 8.570466
  3. Violin Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BMV 1001 - I. Adagio
    From the album BACH, J.S.: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, BWV 1001-1006 8.570277-78
  4. Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 27 - I. Molto moderato, maestoso e rubato
    From the album DOHNANYI, E.: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 8.570833
  5. Cantos del alma - I. Pajaro del agua! (Bird of Water!)
    From the album PALOMO: Cantos del alma / Sinfonia a Granada 8.570420
  6. Missa L’homme arme - Kyrie
    From the album JOSQUIN: Missa L'homme arme / Ave Maria / Absalon, fili mi 8.553428
  7. Ave Maria
    From the album JOSQUIN: Missa L'homme arme / Ave Maria / Absalon, fili mi 8.553428
  8. Woodbury Fanfare
    From the album ANDERSON, L.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 8.559356
  9. Fugue in B flat major, BuxWV 176
    From the album BUXTEHUDE: Harpsichord Music, Vol. 1 8.570579
  10. Faute d'argent
    From the album French Chansons 8.550880
Album of the Month

DEBUSSY: Orchestral Works • 1

Debussy was one of the most important and influential composers of the early twentieth century. This recording features two of Debussy’s most harmonically innovative and imaginatively orchestrated works. Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun) evokes a pagan world, as the faun of the title takes his ease in the afternoon shade on a summer day. The three symphonic sketches that constitute La mer (The Sea), inspired partly by Katsushika Hokusai’s famous colour woodcut The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, offer subtly nuanced evocations of the sea from dawn to midday, of the waves and of the dialogue of wind and sea.

Orchestre National de Lyon, Jun Märkl

New Releases

Naxos  | Naxos American Classics

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


8.570483 HAYDN: Violin Concertos

Of the nine violin concertos at one time ascribed to Haydn only four were genuine, and one of the four is lost. With their considerable use of the relatively higher register of the violin, chains of dotted notes, double stopping and ornamental figuration, the concertos were written to showcase the considerable virtuosity of the principal violin in Haydn’s orchestra, Luigi Tomasini.

Gold medalist of the 2006 Indianapolis International Violin Competition and recipient of several of the competition’s special awards, Augustin Hadelich has established himself as one of the most eloquent of the new generation of violinists.

Augustin Hadelich, violin / Cologne Chamber Orchestra, Helmut Müller-Brühl

8.557983 VON BINGEN: Celestial Harmonies

Now enjoying cult status since her ‘re-discovery’ 25 years ago, Hildegard von Bingen, the tenth child of an aristocratic family, entered a convent at the age of eight and spent the remainder of her eighty years as a nun as well as a mystic, the latter half as abbess of her own convent. Hildegard’s great musico-poetic collection was completed around the year 1150. Symphonia armonie celestium revelationum (Symphony of the Harmony of Heavenly Revelations) is a collection of 77 songs and one music drama. The subjects of these songs are an idiosyncratic collection of individuals and groups – the pieces included on this recording are variously addressed to the Creator, the Redeemer, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St John the Evangelist, Apostles, Confessors, and Martyrs.

Oxford Camerata, Jeremy Summerly

8.570488 MENDELSSOHN: String Quintets Nos. 1 and 2

Mendelssohn’s musical precocity, both as a player and as a performer, manifested itself at a remarkably early age. In 1826, when he was only 17, Mendelssohn wrote not only his Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream but the first of his two string quintets. The String Quintet No. 2 followed 19 years later, in 1845, two years before his death. Despite the intervening years, the two Quintetsare similar in style and form, with richly melodic and haunting slow movements and two wonderfully contrasting scherzos. It is interesting to compare the two Quintetswith the impressive Octet of 1825 (recorded on Naxos 8.557270).

Fine Arts Quartet

8.570368 D. SCARLATTI: Keyboard Sonatas Vol. NAXOS 9

The son of Alessandro Scarlatti, who created a new school of opera in Naples, Domenico Scarlatti is particularly distinguished for his remarkable keyboard sonatas, of which some 555 are known. This significant addition to early 18th century keyboard repertoire was written for performance on the various keyboard instruments of the Spanish court, where he was employed for many years, and in all their variety have long provided a valuable repertoire for pianists.

Francesco Nicolosi, piano


8.570525 HAYDN and the EARL of ABINGDON

Willoughby Bertie, Fourth Earl of Abingdon, was among the leading English musical amateurs in late 18th century London, a composer himself and a noted patron. He was particularly associated with Haydn's two visits to London in the 1790s, occasions reflected in some of the music included in the present recording, works by Haydn and by the Earl himself.

Café Mozart (Windsor), Derek McCulloch

  Naxos American Classics

8.559297 COPLAND: Piano Concerto • The Tender Land

Aaron Copland’s little-known opera The Tender Land takes place on a farm in the American South during the Depression. The composer later wrote, “I was trying to give young American singers material that they do not often get in the opera house... The result was closer to musical comedy than grand opera.” The suite that Copland extracted from The Tender Land is in three movements,with the second and third linked without pause. The 1926 Piano Concerto, like Gershwin’s Concerto of the previous year, is a 1920s “New York” piece – brassy, exuberant, ever confident in its bluesy swagger. Copland composed two sets of Old American Songs, originally for voice and piano but heard here transcribed for chorus and orchestra.

Benjamin Pasternack, piano / St Charles Singers / Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Robert Hanson


8.559353 IVES: The Orchestral Sets

The works on this recording focus on a singular genre created by a singular composer. The kind of piece Charles Ives called a ‘set’ is usually a larger work made by putting together independently-written smaller pieces. The First Orchestral Set, variously titled Three Places in New England and A New England Symphony, is one of Ives’s great tributes to his roots. Put together around 1913-14 from material going back years, it is typically Ivesian in that each movement has an underlying program. Like the other sets, the Second has a slow-fast-slow pattern and a visionary hymn-based finale. The unfinished Third Orchestral Set was the only set Ives planned as a whole from the beginning. It may stand as the most profound discovery of the many and ongoing efforts to reconstruct Ives’s incomplete works. This is its first complete performance and recording.

Malmö Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Chorus, James Sinclair


8.559364 CORIGLIANO: The Red Violin Caprices

John Corigliano has revisited his score for the 1997 film The Red Violin several times. In The Red Violin Caprices, content is allied to a technique making strenuous demands on the performer. The pensive Theme is identical in substance to that heard in the earlier Chaconne (Naxos 8.559306), and its five variations range in style from the Paganinian virtuosity of the first, to the restrained ‘folk’ tinge of the third. Corigliano’s Violin Sonata is among his earliest acknowledged works, its final Allegro enhanced by some scintillating instrumental interplay. Coming from a very different musical background, and representing a very different musical aesthetic, Virgil Thomson’s music displays a skilful assimilation of Gallic clarity and an American-derived nostalgia, with hymn tunes and traditional songs often being evident.

“I just heard Philippe Quint’s new recording of my Red Violin Caprices and he was absolutely amazing.” – John Corigliano

Philippe Quint, violin / William Wolfram, piano


8.559376 COHN: Symphonies Nos. 2 and 7

Celebrating his 80th birthday year in 2008, American composer James Cohn studied with Roy Harris, Wayne Barlow and Bernard Wagenaar, graduating from the Julliard School in 1950. Cohn’s first love is the symphony orchestra, and the works presented on this disc are like pages from a diary. The four movements of Symphony No. 7 are essentially four landscape paintings in sound. Symphony No. 2 is a musical equivalent to four scenes from a drama. Variations on ‘The Wayfaring Stranger’ is a memorial to two dear and generous friends who were like parents to the composer and the Waltz in D is essentially a bittersweet dance in waltz tempo.

Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Vakhtang Jordania (Symphony No. 7 • Variations on ‘The Wayfaring Stranger’), Kirk Trevor (Symphony No. 2 • Waltz in D)

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