Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

James H. North
Fanfare, March 2014

This is a sensational performance [of the Symphonic Metamorphosis], right up there with the best. Tempos are lively, the playing crisp, and the music sizzles.

This Concert Music is also very fine…The string playing in the Finale’s opening fugal passages is exemplary…Kudos to the NDR Symphony.

…this is a wonderful disc, a strong candidate for Want List 2014. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Phillip Scott
Fanfare, March 2014

…the North German Radio Orchestra; under Eschenbach’s direction…plunge headlong into Hindemith’s music and generate plenty of excitement in the outer movements of the Symphonic Metamorphosis…The conductor also understands the particular need for Hindemith’s music to move forward…

Eschenbach…gives a strong and at times fleet reading of the granite-like Konzertmusik for Brass and Strings…Eschenbach always goes for clarity and does a good job in balancing the opposing forces.

The sound on the new disc is rich and the percussion has great presence. In sum, this is a worthwhile addition to the Hindemith catalog, coupling fine performances of two of the composer’s masterworks with a compelling version of his violin concerto… © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, January 2014

This new version…is very good. Christoph Eschenbach…draws solid playing and burnished sound from the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra’s brass players, and full-textured, multi-layered tone from its strings.

…Eschenbach’s effort is a worthy one and a perfectly good introduction to the composer’s music. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb International, December 2013

Midori and Eschenbach approach the work in the spirit of refinement and purity of tone. They project much that is admirable and the conductor takes care to balance the winds in the opening movement, and to control but not underplay the brassy vitality of the finale. The rhythmic engine of the performance is fine. Midori’s approach is one of concentration of tonal projection—a ringing, tight, silvery sound that opens up principally in the slow section of the finale where she widens her vibrato appreciably. Of its type it’s an excellent reading… © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

BBC Music Magazine, December 2013

Midori taps into the music’s vein of anxiety, delivering taut sinewy playing in the outer movements and bringing lyrical eloquence to the more reflective passages in the central Langsam…Eschenbach is absolutely inspired in the ‘Konzertmusik’, the NDR’s strings and brass relishing the music’s ebullience and dynamic power. © 2013 BBC Music Magazine

Julian Haylock
The Strad, November 2013

‘Cool’ but not ‘cold’, as Midori triumphantly confirms in this soaring, meticulously balanced live performance, throughout which she strikes an ideal balance between radiant charm and exquisite micro-inflections of dynamic and phrase. While ensuring that Hindemith’s neo-Classical gesturing is fully indulged she is careful not to set up the forlorn hope of a ‘big melody’.

Christoph Eschenbach and his Hamburg players accompany with exceptional precision and sensitivity and offer gripping accounts of the Symphonic Metamorphosis and op 50 Konzertmusik as the ideal couplings. © 2013 The Strad Read complete review

Chris Morgan
Scene Magazine, October 2013

This recent release from Ondine does an excellent job of demonstrating the unique qualities of Hindemith’s music in light of its historical context, thanks to the virtuosic performance of violinist Midori, the superlative playing of her accompanists in the NDR Symphony Orchestra, and the direction of conductor Christoph Eschenbach. The CD opens with the lush and lovely Symphonic Metamorphosis…Later, nimble phrasing and energetic expression throughout 1939’s violin concerto offers aural delight in a composition that demonstrates Hindemith’s intimate understanding of live performance as well as his mastery of contrapuntal dynamics. Most impressive. © 2013 Scene Magazine Read complete review

Jeff Dunn
San Francisco Classical Voice, September 2013

The Concert Music, recorded a year before the other two works on this disk, receives the finest performance of the three. Conductor Christoph Eschenbach provides here a spirited and driving interpretation, with excellent contributions from the brass section of the NDR Sinfonie Orchester. The same drive animates the Metamorphosis…Eschenbach throughout the release does have a fine sense of architecture for these works.

Midori…is at her best in the slow movement of the Concerto. Her very pure tone with an air of mystery is a joy to hear. © 2013 San Francisco Classical Voice Read complete review, September 2013

The soloist on this CD, violinist Midori, handles the concerto with sureness and sensitivity, exploring its solo part…with clarity and concentration. The concerto comes across as more fully formed in this performance than it does in some others…Christoph Eschenbach is an erratic conductor, but he takes to Hindemith’s music and to the NDR Sinfonieorchester very well, accompanying Midori with care and a fine sense of style—and also producing very effective readings of the other two works heard here. Eschenbach sometimes rises to the occasion in live performance, as these live recordings indicate: his interpretations are pointed, well-crafted and thoughtful, with particularly good orchestral balance and some real flair in the orchestra’s fine brass section in the Concert Music. © 2013 Read complete review

Ronni Reich, August 2013

Christoph Eschenbach and the NDR Sinfonieorchester offer polished accounts of works from the 1930s and ’40s by Paul Hindemith…Most interesting is the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, with Midori as the soloist. She plays with an effective mix of drive and idyllic smoothness and handles the work’s virtuoso turns with aplomb. The Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by CM von Weber is not without bombast, but the orchestra handles its frills with finesse. Eschenbach’s account is well balanced, particularly appealing in the “Turandot” second movement, which begins serenely and builds until it buzzes with commotion. The Concert Music for String Orchestra and Brass Instruments is played with similar exactitude… © 2013 Read complete review

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group