Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Dan Morgan
MusicWeb International, December 2014

Darrell Ang and the New Zealand Symphony’s collection of Meyerbeer overtures and entr’actes is probably the most enjoyable recording I’ve heard this year. Played with gusto and a keen sense of drama these pieces have never sounded so good. A sterling effort by Naxos and an impressive calling card for this up-and-coming conductor. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Robert Markow
Fanfare, November 2014

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra…plays with spirit and has been well trained. Singaporean conductor Darrell Ang brings to these performances an obvious love for the music, infusing them with taut rhythms, crisp attacks, and bountiful energy. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Arthur Lintgen
Fanfare, November 2014

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra…sounds like an A-list ensemble, and conductor Darrell Ang keeps things going with plenty of rhythmic vigor and excitement.

This is strongly recommended for anyone interested in a delectable and easily accessible concert of rarely heard music. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, November 2014

Ang and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra present this attractive if not overly distinctive music in the best possible light, and it has been gorgeously captured by the sound engineers. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

WQXR (New York), September 2014

This collection, by the New Zealand Symphony, includes the overtures to Robert le diable, Les Huguenots and L’Africaine. While the entr’actes and other selections on this album are quite obscure to all except dedicated students of French opera, the effervescent Coronation March from Le prophète is probably the best known in this collection. © 2014 WQXR (New York) Read complete review

Don O’Connor
American Record Guide, September 2014

Ang’s conducting is generally excellent…The Down Under Folks (New Zealand Symphony) do a great job reinforcing the music’s virtues, with the proper gusto added for no extra charge. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Ian Dando
New Zealand Listener, August 2014

…there is some good writing in this well-played NZSO offering. Excerpts from Meyerbeer’s quality operas Les Huguenots, Robert le Diable and Dimorah written for Paris Opera Comnique are good listens. © 2014 New Zealand Listener

Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International, August 2014

MEYERBEER, G.: Ballet Music from the Operas (Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra, Nesterowicz) 8.573076
MEYERBEER, G.: Overtures and Entr'actes from the French Operas (New Zealand Symphony, Darrell Ang) 8.573195
MEYERBEER, G.: Patineurs (Les) (arr. C. Lambert) / MASSENET, J.: Le Cid: Ballet Music (Robert Irving) (1952, 1957) 9.80453
MEYERBEER, G.: Struensee / Patineurs (Les) (arr. C. Lambert) / L'Africaine (North German Radio Chorus, Hannover Radio Philharmonic, Jurowski) 999336-2

Naxos have been doing Meyerbeer proud recently. I have to admit that I have never been a great fan of his operas—‘sub-Meyerbeer’ is one of my favourite terms for music that I don’t like—but I have very much enjoyed listening to both the recent orchestral releases.

It’s that old favourite Les Patineurs, however, arranged by Constant Lambert from some of the music on the Nesterowicz recording, that really tickled my fancy, an enjoyable confection like Walton’s Bach arrangements, The Wise Virgins. Robert Irving’s recording dates from 1952 but the Naxos transfer has made the most of it, especially in the lossless version…The other works on the album also receive fine performances. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Robert Benson, August 2014

Here’s another delectable issue from Naxos!! Most familiar are excerpts from the skating sequence in Le Prophète which were arranged by Constant Lambert for the ballet Les Patineurs which premiered in England in the late ’30’s with an all-star cast including Margot Fonteyne and Robert Helpmann. All of this music is delightful and superbly played by the Barcelona Orchestra this time directed by Michael Nesterowicz. Excellent audio. © 2014 Read complete review

Gary Higginson
MusicWeb International, July 2014

…Darrell Ang takes this music totally seriously. He does this without overplaying his hand which must sometimes have been very tempting especially with Meyerbeer’s ‘full-fat’ orchestration. The orchestra are clearly enjoying themselves and often let rip but play with clarity and judgement. It’s quite possible that this music has never sounded so good.

So this is vibrant music, well worth exploring. It’s performed with a depth of understanding which allows the music every chance of presenting itself at its best. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, June 2014

MEYERBEER, G.: Overtures and Entr'actes from the French Operas (New Zealand Symphony, Darrell Ang) 8.573195
MEYERBEER, G.: Ballet Music from the Operas (Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra, Nesterowicz) 8.573076

Polish conductor Michal Nesterowicz gets magnificent playing from the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, which also bills itself as the National Orchestra of Catalonia. His fine-tuned interpretation of “Ballet des patineurs” yields one of the most dignified performances of it on disc.

…the recordings are superb. They project a wide, yawning soundstage that will appeal to those liking wetter sonics. The instrumental timbre is characterized by shimmering highs, a life-like midrange, and clean bass. © 2014 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review

Dan Morgan
MusicWeb International, June 2014

Listeners of a delicate disposition may well need a whiff of the sal volatile after all that unbridled energy; hardier souls will simply press Play and relish these head-banging performances once more. The marketing of Darrell Ang may be targeted at more youthful listeners, but he’s certainly converted this older one. It’s a fun CD, and a perfect opportunity to celebrate both the genius of Meyerbeer and the runaway talent of this young Singaporean conductor.

Intoxicating performances, thrillingly recorded; Darrell Ang is one to watch. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

John Warrack
International Record Review, June 2014

They are all…interesting pieces which should have an appeal to those who do not feel like embarking on the full length of one of the operas, or might now be encouraged to take the plunge. Darrell Ang relishes all their effects, and draws lively performances from the enthusiastic New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. © 2014 International Record Review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2014

Though born in Germany to a wealthy family, Giacomo Meyerbeer, spent most of his life working in Paris where he wrote a series of fashionable flamboyant operas. Calling for exotic and expensive productions, he looked towards all forms of the ‘tricks of the trade’ in the staging, but in addition he often wrote extended overtures…and entr’actes that set the scene for the action that would follow. In total he wrote six Paris operas, each one represented on this well-filled disc…Darrell Ang, is a very gifted and multi-award winning conductor, and in these short spans of music he draws an energetic response from his New Zealand Orchestra… © 2014 David’s Review Corner

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group