The Naxos World label focuses on two recording series: one featuring the folk music of distinct cultures, the other focusing on adventures in fusion. Appealing to those already familiar with the world music genre, as well as to the casual listener. Music lovers around the world can share the experience of contras, sounds from unique cultures, aided by detailed introductory booklets that inform both newcomers and aficionados alike.
The label aims to create an inspiring space where artists and audiences find each other, make different parts of the world and other cultures more accessible, and bring opportunities to artists who don’t yet have access to global markets. Few things unite people in the way music does; it’s a special force that disregards social barriers and discrimination in all its forms. And world music is the biggest celebration of cultures and diversity that goes beyond languages and borders in today’s world.
The Heart of the Dragon Ensemble and Chinese composer Jiang Li present this elegant union of ‘East meets West’. Featuring the sophisticated Chinese xiao and the Dai nation’s joyous hulusi, they seamlessly blend a range of traditional Chinese music with western drums, bass, guitar, piano and strings. The result is a beautiful amalgamation of classic Chinese heritage, Dai nation folk history and western influence.
Encompassing the Georgian holy trinity of food, wine and song, Iberi invite you to a supra feast full of Georgian polyphonic singing! Celebrate this age-old tradition, its toasts to the motherland, ancestors, love and truth, with traditional Georgian songs – historical ballads, work tunes, sacred songs, lullabies and ‘table songs’ for feasting!
Seven thousand years of Persian musical culture combined with ancient and new sounds from Scotland and Denmark, Open Barrier is an improvisational album proving there are no barricades in improvised music, only an ‘open barrier’. Music from around the world is presented in this stunning album by world-renowned guitarist Jon Hemmersam, international daf-player Asal Malekzadeh and virtuoso percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie.
Jon Hemmersam is a world-renowned musician, composer and improviser, who has worked with some of the greatest names in modern jazz and contemporary classical music. Saxophonist David Liebman compared his talents with those of Miles Davis: ‘Jon is a free music pro, meaning he knows what he wants from the musicians in the textural arena, setting the stage in such a way that the musicians are pulled in a unified direction – much like Miles could’. Hemmersam has also released two books of his compositions: 12 Compositions, for small ensembles, and Danza é Spiritu, for larger ensembles.
Asal Malekzadeh is the founder and manager of the SARMAST Percussion group, which consists of 90 female daf players, based in Tehran. She has received numerous prizes, including two First Prize awards for her solo performances at the 2007 Daf Navazi festival and the 2009 Avaye Mehr festival, both held in Iran. She is practised in various percussive techniques and styles including Konnakol, the south Indian rhythmic system; cajon; congas and bongos; and timbales.
Dame Evelyn Glennie is the world’s premier solo percussionist, performing internationally with the most celebrated orchestras, conductors and artists. Her discography exceeds 40 solo recordings and includes two GRAMMY Award wins, and she has received over a hundred international awards to date, including the Polar Music Prize and an OBE. She was appointed Companion of Honour in 2017.
Hailed by George Bernard Shaw as one of the 19th century’s greatest virtuoso pianists, Agathe Backer Grøndahl was also a pioneer among women composers, juggling marriage, motherhood and an extensive career. She was taught by Liszt in Weimar and, as one of Norway’s most respected composer-pianists, created a large body of work that displays colourful stylistic variety and poetic breadth. The beautiful Sérénade from Trois Morceaux, Op. 15 may well be Backer Grøndahl’s most popular piano composition, but her concert études are virtuoso masterpieces – the folk-tune arrangements drawn from her Op. 30 and Op. 33 sets illustrate her perceptive absorption of her country’s folk music. The remarkable fairy-tale suite I blaafjellet, Op. 44 is possibly the first impressionist piece by a Norwegian composer.
Sara Aimée Smiseth makes her solo debut with this new release. She has toured Scandinavia as well as the United States and Canada giving lecture-recitals – a combination of virtuoso piano playing and captivating storytelling. She regularly plays with some of Norway’s foremost choirs and is also a pianist and a lecturer at the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet.
Five music videos featuring Sara Aimée Smiseth are coming out exclusively on Apple Music this Friday, 25 Feb 2022. Stream the videos via the Apple Music Classical Live playlist.
Recognised for leading a trend towards more overtly emotional styles of playing, Fritz Kreisler was known for the bravura and intensity of his performances. His recordings display his wonderfully flexible sound and a controlled but effective expressivity.
The period covered by this eleventh and final volume of Kreisler’s complete recordings was a momentous one, as the ascent of the Nazis meant he was frozen out of German musical life. In 1930 he had managed to re-record a long sequence of titles in HMV’s Berlin studios that had been unsuccessfully attempted in New York, and included here are three test pressings, unpublished on shellac. In London in 1935, Kreisler along with specially selected colleagues recorded his String Quartet in A minor, a work close to his heart. Additionally, an acoustically recorded bonus track is making its first ever appearance on CD.
The items on this final volume in our edition of Fritz Kreisler’s complete recital recordings were again restored and transferred by the renowned record producer, engineer and pianist Ward Marston, whose skills have been suitably recognised with GRAMMY and Gramophone Awards, as well as an ICMA Special Achievement Award.
* Naxos Historical titles are not available in United States
‘Kreisler’s golden sound and inimitable sense of timing remains unequalled in these sweetmeats.’
– BBC Music Magazine on Vol. 5
‘Kreisler in the late 1920s (the period covered by these Victor recordings), with pianist Carl Lamson, drew from his bow a sound that for warmth, vibrancy and elegance would brook no comparison, and don’t forget that this was an age when numerous great violinists were regularly treading the boards.’
– Gramophone on Vol. 10
The A–Z of String Players surveys the lives, careers and recordings of over 300 string players from the past and present. Many great string players who have made recordings are included, from Salvatore Accardo to Pinchas Zukerman.
Enjoy up to 35% off on select Naxos Historical titles on PrestoMusic! Offer runs until 5 April 2022.
The German record label Orfeo is best known for releasing live recordings of German orchestras and artists. The historic series ‘Orfeo d’Or’ has made available a huge number of important archive recordings, including those of the Salzburger Festspiele, the Bayreuther Festspiele, the Bayerische Staatsoper and the Wiener Staatsoper. Recent releases also feature some high-profile young artists.
Until 21 March 2022, PrestoMusic is offering up to 20% off selected titles on Orfeo, including downloads.
Internationally renowned conductor Leonard Slatkin is one of Naxos’ top artists, making recordings of music by Leroy Anderson, Berlioz, Copland, Ravel, Rachmaninov, Saint-Saëns and others that have been received with critical acclaim. His performance of William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and Experience (8.559216-18) won three GRAMMY Awards including Best Classical Album. The world premiere recording of Kastalsky’s Requiem for Fallen Brothers (8.574245) also received a GRAMMY nomination.
His new release Slatkin conducts Slatkin is a special anthology of three generations of his family, featuring his own compositions, as well as by his father Felix Slatkin, and son Daniel Slatkin. The album features a performance of The Raven, a setting of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, recited by the award-winning actor Alec Baldwin. Historical recordings include Leonard’s cellist mother, Eleanor Aller, being conducted by Korngold in the Haydn concerto, and a 1944 broadcast featuring Felix as solo violinist in the Brahms.
Three bonus tracks, available on streaming and download platforms, feature an arrangement by Leonard’s wife Cindy McTee, a work by Modest Altschuler (member of the Aller family), and a performance by his brother, cellist Frederick Zlotkin.
A recipient of the prestigious National Medal of Arts, Slatkin also holds the rank of Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor. He has received the Prix Charbonnier from the Federation of Alliances Françaises, Austria’s Decoration of Honor in Silver, the League of American Orchestras’ Gold Baton Award, and the 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award for his debut book, Conducting Business. A second volume, Leading Tones: Reflections on Music, Musicians, and the Music Industry, was published by Amadeus Press in 2017. His latest book, Classical Crossroads: The Path Forward for Music in the 21st Century (2021), is available through Rowman & Littlefield.
In 2018, internationally renowned violinist Gil Shaham recorded Mozart’s complete violin concertos for the first time. He was accompanied by the SWR Symphony Orchestra – which was formed in 2016 following the merger of the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg and the SWR Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra – and by conductor Nicholas McGegan, noted for his expertise in historically informed performance style.
Although Mozart’s five violin concertos represent only a very small part of his output (when compared to the 27 piano concertos and the 41 symphonies), they nevertheless belong to the core repertoire of all violinists. As with his piano concertos, Mozart’s violin concertos were all written in his younger years and are built on a constant dialogue between the solo instrument and the orchestra. Even in the first concerto, the violin is integrated into the orchestral texture, which in itself is much more than a mere accompaniment.
Gil Shaham creates gems of performances with these works and the SWR sound engineers made a wonderful musical experience out of it. Definitely a highlight of the SWR CLASSIC label this year!
Riccardo Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini is a four-act opera set during the Renaissance period. The plot concerns an arranged marriage between Francesca and Giovanni, also known as Gianciotto, who is impersonated by his handsome brother Paolo, and with whom Francesca falls passionately in love. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Italian Tristan’, the opera ends in betrayal and a double murder. The production of this rarely performed opera from the Deutsche Oper Berlin proved to be a huge critical success.
Following the enthusiastic reception of Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane (‘Rediscovery of the Year’ by Opernwelt in 2018, Opus Klassik Award 2020 ‘Best Opera Recording’) [2.110584-85 / NBD0083V] stage director Christof Loy teamed up again with soprano Sara Jakubiak exploring the psyche of a passionate woman loving to the utmost.
‘Carlo Rizzi conducts…with the greatest diligence and energy… a wonderful discovery.’
– br klassik
‘The cast would triumph on any stage worldwide.’
‘Perhaps the best streaming premiere in these miserable times of the pandemic.’
– Süddeutsche Zeitung
|Paolo il Bello||Jonathan Tetelman|
|Giovanni lo Sciancato||Ivan Inverardi|
|Malatestino dall’Occhio||Charles Workman|
|Ostasio||Samuel Dale Johnson|
|Ser Toldo Berardengo||Andrew Dickinson|
|Il giullare||Dean Murphy|
|Il balestriere||Patrick Cook|
|Il torrigiano||Thomas Lehman|
|Chorus Master||Jeremy Bines|
|Stage Director||Christof Loy|
|Set Designer||Johannes Leiacker|
|Costume Designer||Klaus Bruns|
|Lighting Designer||Olaf Winter|
More full-length videos? NaxosVideoLibrary.com brings you an extensive streaming video library of classical music performances, opera, ballet, live concerts and documentaries. Watch the world’s greatest opera houses, ballet companies, orchestras and artists perform on demand!
In a career that spans five decades, John Williams has become one of America’s most accomplished and successful composers of music for film and for the concert stage. He has received a variety of prestigious awards, including the National Medal of Arts, the Kennedy Center Honor, the Olympic Order, and numerous Academy Awards, GRAMMY Awards, Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards.
Williams has composed the music and served as music director for more than one hundred films. His 40-year artistic partnership with director Steven Spielberg has resulted in many of Hollywood’s most acclaimed and successful films, including Schindler’s List, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, four Indiana Jones films, and many more. He has appeared on recordings as pianist and conductor with Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Jessye Norman and others. Williams has received five Academy Awards and 50 Oscar nominations, making him the Academy’s most-nominated living person and the second-most nominated person in the history of the Oscars. His most recent nomination was for the film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He also has received seven British Academy Awards (BAFTA), 22 GRAMMYs, four Golden Globes, five Emmys, and numerous gold and platinum records.
Featuring acclaimed soloists and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, conductor Leonard Slatkin has recorded five of Williams’ concertos – namely for violin, cello, bassoon, horn and tuba – released on Naxos Portara*.
* Available only on streaming and download platforms
Ulysses is one of the greatest literary works in the English language, first published on 2 February 1922. In his remarkable tour de force, James Joyce catalogues one day – 16 June 1904 – in immense detail as Leopold Bloom wanders through Dublin, talking, observing, musing – and always remembering Molly, his passionate, wayward wife.
This award-winning audiobook, one of the most popular and bestselling titles on Naxos Audiobooks, was produced in 2004 and features the celebrated Jim Norton, with Marcella Riordan. The spoken-word format is ideal for Joyce’s work – not just in assisting comprehension (and completion!), but in inviting the listener to become fully immersed in the language of the book. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the lengthy stream-of-consciousness passages, most notably Molly Bloom’s Soliloquy, where the lack of punctuation gives little help to the performer (or reader). The audiobook adds a further layer to a book that, a century after its first appearance, never fails to reveal new depths each time it is encountered.
Stream Naxos Audiobooks titles on Audible.com
Peter Breiner is one of the world’s most recorded musicians with over 200 releases and more than two million albums sold. His latest project on the Naxos label, Calm Romantic Piano, continues with its third instalment.
These calm and soothing piano compositions meld melodic substance with the musical expression so often lacking from the extant market recordings of ‘relaxing music’. The early recording sessions took place at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Norwegian pianist and composer Helge Iberg says listening to the Beatles in his childhood and early youth left lasting impressions. Their style of melody and harmony were as fresh and challenging as their attitude and concepts. No doubt they revealed groundbreaking ideas in the field of popular music. We talk to him about his upcoming release on NXN Recordings.
NMG: Tell us a bit about your background.
Helge Iberg: I was born in a small town in the county of Telemark which is famous for its beautiful mountain scenery, its folk traditions and Hardanger fiddle music. However, I grew up in the rural industrialised part of the county where my early musical experiences were the provincial, but urbanised, musical culture. My father was an amateur musician and encouraged me to take piano lessons and listen to all kinds of music. So I developed an early interest in both classical and jazz music. Later on I studied music, religion and the History of Ideas at Oslo University. The main occupation of my adult life has been contemporary composition, but beside that I have also written essays and two books about society and culture. As you know, my piano career has been somewhat limited because of a neurological problem, but in the last decade I have ‘restarted’ my activities as an improviser and jazz-player.
What is your motivation and inspiration behind making this album?
Interestingly the impulse for this album started as an innocent request at a dinner party where a friend encouraged me to play a Beatles song. I was a bit astonished by how easily I was able connect my own musical ideas to this song, and the way the music formed a connection to the people listening. Then someone suggested I should make a recording with my own interpretations of Beatles material. That was really the start of the project.
How did you go about choosing the songs for this album?
After deciding upon the project, I sat down at the piano trying to recall Beatles songs that I love. I also chose some famous songs that are a bit ‘corny’, to see if I could ‘re-frame’ them in a new direction. I did not ‘compose’ my interpretations, but formed them improvising at the piano.
How do you believe your background as a composer plays in to your interpretations on this album?
Although I don’t use the musical language of my composing in these songs, there are obviously tonal colours and a certain freedom to move in a wide musical spectrum that come from my composing experiences. I also think that the composer’s ability to form a musical story or drama can be traced in my playing. Anyhow, I loved using some classical-romantic elements that ‘has a life under my skin’, but which are hard to incorporate in a contemporary musical language.
What do the Beatles mean to you?
Listening to the Beatles in my childhood and early youth left lasting impressions. Their style of melody and harmony were as fresh and challenging as their attitude and concepts. No doubt they revealed groundbreaking ideas in the field of popular music. The Beatles’ songbook has been loved by three generations now. They have formed the best part of western popular culture and left traces in peoples’ hearts.
The first single, Blackbird, is now available on streaming and download platforms. Helge Iberg’s The BLACK on WHITE album comes out in March 2022.
Hosted by African pop star Angélique Kidjo, NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts (Home edition) partnered with globalFEST in January for a thrilling online music festival – three nights, nine bands, and a world of musical traditions – which featured Indian singer-songwriter Kiran Ahluwalia!
Kiran Ahluwalia’s original compositions embody the essence of Indian music while embracing influences from Mali and Western blues, rock, R&B and jazz. With her six-piece group of electric guitar, accordion, organ, tabla, bass and drum kit, Ahluwalia creates boundary-breaking songs that invite us to explore the human condition, transcending the self by losing ourselves in a trance of groove and melody. The two-time JUNO and Songlines award winner’s open-hearted vocals have positioned her as one of global music’s most compelling cross-pollinators. ARC Music released Ahluwalia’s album Sinata: Stillness, in 2015.
Looking for new music? Our selection of curated playlists has you covered with music to complement the season, moment, or activity! Discover iconic recordings in the Celebrate Classical! Black History Month playlist and explore works by legendary Black composers in unCLASSIFIED’s Hues of Music: Black Voices playlist. Need to find a way to set a romantic mood for Valentine’s Day? Stream the Love and Romance playlist or Grand Piano’s Romantic Piano playlist. Happy listening!
Grand Piano celebrates its 10th anniversary with a series of limited-edition boxed sets, starting with a collection of piano music by female composers on 10 CDs. The celebrated International Women’s Day falls on the 8th of March, making this release especially meaningful.
Ranging from the 18th century to the music of our time, this collection of critically acclaimed recordings explores the significant contribution to solo piano repertoire made by a wide variety of women composers. These rare and important pieces include the works of the celebrated pianist Anne-Louise Brillon de Jouy and of Hélène de Montgeroult, whose sonatas are distinctive additions to the Classical and early Romantic periods. Maria Szymanowska’s deft dances contrast with the fearsome demands of Teresa Carreño, herself a great virtuoso. Vítězslava Kaprálová was the most important female Czech composer of the 20th century, while Agathe Backer Grøndahl was one of Norway’s most respected composer-pianists. Tanya Ekanayaka continues the lineage in her own diverse and hybrid pieces.
‘For a New Yorker, anything is possible.’ The Gilded Age begins in 1882 with young Marian Brook (Louisa Jacobson) moving from rural Pennsylvania to New York City after the death of her father to live with her thoroughly old money aunts Agnes van Rhijn (Christine Baranski) and Ada Brook (Cynthia Nixon). Exposed to a world on the brink of the modern age, will Marian follow the established rules of society, or forge her own path?
Season 1 of The Gilded Age premiered in January on HBO and features excerpts from John Knowles Paine’s Second Symphony ‘In the Spring’, recorded by the Ulster Orchestra and JoAnn Falletta (Naxos 8.559748).
Need to license some music for a project and don’t know where to start? Visit Naxos Licensing to find out how!