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APRIL 2021

NEW ON NAXOS

The April edition of NEW ON NAXOS presents a special 6-disc boxed set of Sergey Prokofiev’s Complete Symphonies, performed by the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP) under Marin Alsop. Each individual release has been critically acclaimed, which such accolades as ‘an outstanding achievement’ (BBC Music Magazine on Symphony No. 5, 8.573029) and ‘breathtaking – both the performances and the sound’ (American Record Guide on Symphony No. 3, 8.573452). The set follows the OSESP’s award-winning edition of the Villa-Lobos symphonies, as well as Alsop’s boxed set of her complete Bernstein recordings on Naxos.

Other highlights include:
• The Norwegian Radio Orchestra under Miguel Harth-Bedoya presenting Inca Trail Connections, a recording inspired by Caminos del Inca or Inca Trail’s ancient and varied traditions which took indigenous sounds as well as European influences that captures and celebrates village life.

• The classic pairing of Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci and Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, in a unique staging by Robert Carsen for Dutch National Opera in 2019. Lorenzo Viotti conducts the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, with a strong cast led by baritone Roman Burdenko and mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili.

• Vol. 1 of Paul Wranitzky’s orchestral works, featuring world premiere recordings of the Symphonies in C major and B flat major, performed by Marek Štilec and the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice. The similar forces have established themselves leading interpreters of Czech orchestral music, with numerous releases in the Naxos catalogue.

Viser 18 varer
Image Complete Symphonies (6CD)
Release 9th of April

Sergey Prokofiev’s seven symphonies are acknowledged as one of the major cycles of the 20th century, and these recordings with Marin Alsop and the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra have received widespread critical acclaim. From the crisp vitality of the youthful ‘Classical’ Symphony to the viscerally exciting Third, the Fifth Symphony which for Prokofiev represented ‘the grandeur of the human spirit’ and the deeply moving and heartfelt Sixth Symphony, this is an unforgettable collection crowned by the bittersweet Seventh Symphony, the composer’s final significant work.

kr 389
Image Leoncavallo: Pagliacci - Mascagni: Cavalleria rust
Release 9th of April

These two pinnacles of Italian opera, Pagliacci and Cavalleria rusticana have it all – love, infidelity, betrayal, jealousy and murder. Both are classic examples of verismo operas that dramatise the lives of ordinary people: Pagliacci fuelled by the tension between everyday life and the aesthetic world of the stage, Cavalleria rusticana juxtaposing unbridled passion with profound faith. Robert Carsen’s widely acclaimed 2019 production plays a masterful game of theatre-in-theatre, avoiding clichés and calling into question the nature of reality.

kr 239
Image Leoncavallo: Pagliacci - Mascagni: Cavalleria rust
Release 9th of April

These two pinnacles of Italian opera, Pagliacci and Cavalleria rusticana have it all – love, infidelity, betrayal, jealousy and murder. Both are classic examples of verismo operas that dramatise the lives of ordinary people: Pagliacci fuelled by the tension between everyday life and the aesthetic world of the stage, Cavalleria rusticana juxtaposing unbridled passion with profound faith. Robert Carsen’s widely acclaimed 2019 production plays a masterful game of theatre-in-theatre, avoiding clichés and calling into question the nature of reality.

kr 239
Image Orchestral Works, Vol. 1
Release 9th of April

Czech-born Paul Wranitzky, a contemporary of Mozart, was the most important symphonist in Vienna at the turn of the 18th century. To mark the ascension to the throne of Franz II in 1792, Wranitzky wrote the grand Symphony in C major, a work of regal quality and festive exuberance. Wranitzky’s mature symphonic style is on display in the Symphony in B flat major, with its expanded orchestral forces, contrasting textures and broad musical invention. Overtures from two operas offer a sampling of Wranitzky’s dramatic writing for the stage.

kr 89
Image String Quintets, Vol. 4 - Nos. 23 & 31
Release 9th of April

Georges Onslow is best known for a body of chamber music that follows the musical lineage of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. A master of the quintet medium, Onslow offered variations of ensemble to players, the two presented here being cast for string quartet and double bass. The tempestuous Quintet No. 23 in A minor is charged with almost ceaseless nervous energy and Schubertian lyricism; the mature Quintet No.31 in A major is both subtle and elegant, with a brilliant assemblage of details such as walking bass and violin-cello duets.

kr 89
Image Instrumental Music
Release 9th of April

Edward Gregson’s career has followed two parallel paths, one to the top tier of music education and the other towards the international reputation he now enjoys as a composer. This representative selection is Gregson’s own and spans more than half a century, from the youthful exuberance of his Oboe Sonatato specially prepared versions of two of his most evocative compositions, Three Matisse Impressions and Love Goddess. The selected soloists are drawn from two leading symphony orchestras with which Gregson enjoys special relationships.

kr 89
Image Guitar Duos
Release 9th of April

Little is known about the Italian guitarist-composer Filippo Gragnani, but he had a reputation as a ‘skilled concert player’, and composed his Duos for Two Guitars in the troubled post-revolutionary city of Paris. Aimed at professional players, the Duos stand as a testament to Gragnani’s virtuoso technique and vivid imagination while presenting the utmost in stylistic taste and refinement. He gave both players concertante importance in these works, combining fin de siècle Viennese rigor with a fresh Latin temperament, and using contemporary musical conventions with assurance to craft evocative cameos of time and place.

kr 89
Image Organ Symphonies, Vol. 5 - Nos. 5 & 6
Release 9th of April

Widor’s cycle of ten organ symphonies underwent profound development and transformation over many years. Classical elements became more obviously virtuosic and, by the time of these Op.42 symphonies, his musical language had become monumental. Symphony No. 5 in F minor is world famous for a single movement, its concluding Toccata, a moto perpetuo of astonishing brilliance, but the whole work is imbued with structural and musical genius. Striking rhythms, dynamic contrasts and technical roulades mark out Symphony No. 6 in G minor. Also included is a graceful movement from Symphony No. 8 (8.574207) that Widor later omitted.

kr 89
Image Inca Trail Connections
Release 23rd of April

The Caminos del Inca, or Inca Trails, is a road network that traverses South America connecting lands and peoples. The area’s musical traditions are ancient and varied, taking in indigenous sounds as well as European influences, and the composers represented on this album have all been inspired by this musical legacy, the people of their homeland, and the land itself. The interconnections include late-Romanticism, folkloric dances, reinterpretation of popular music, mestizo (‘hybrid’) elements, Stravinsky-like primitivism, and music of simplicity and beauty that both captures and celebrates village life. This unique programme of world premiere orchestral works is one with a mission. Based in Oslo, the home of the Nobel Peace Prize, conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra have sought to explore places that are not normally associated with symphonic music. It follows their February 2021release Journeys, featuring music that represents every continent – from Europe and the Americas to Africa, Asia and Australasia.

kr 89
Image Archivo de Guatemala: Music from the Guatemala Cit
Release 23rd of April

Spanish colonies in Central and South America emerged as wellsprings of cultural activity throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. The meeting of indigenous populations with Latin American cathedrals and courtly life resulted in styles bearing the imprint of folk music, even in sacred compositions. The sophisticated musical culture of Guatemala City Cathedral is represented in an archive of hundreds of works, several of which are recorded here. The guitars, harp, voices and percussion of acclaimed ensemble El Mundo bring to life the vibrant and at times hypnotic dance rhythms of Spain, Africa and the New World, creating a sound unique to this region, and one that still flourishes to this day.

kr 89
Image Messa di Gloria in E Minor & Messa di Gloria in F
Release 23rd of April

Mayr’s Masses were in demand across Europe, and their composition is rooted in the Italian tradition of the messa concertata which demands division into separate vocal numbers. The Mass in E minor has long been recognized as an outstanding example of Mayr’s late style, with its polyphonic mastery and dialogues between singers and concertante solo instruments being exceptionally convincing. The Mass in F minor evokes both joy and deep melancholy, though accompanied, as always, by Mayr’s notable gift for melodic beauty. Conductor Franz Hauk has been responsible for re-establishing the music of Johann Simon Mayr, one of the most significant operatic and vocal composers residing in Italy before the rise of Rossini. This latest album is another in the series of ground-breaking world premiere recordings of Mayr’s music by the same forces under Hauk.

kr 89
Image La Filleule des fées
Release 23rd of April

Adolphe Adam is best known today for the ballets Giselle and Le Corsaire, but his prolific output included 39 operas and several other ballet scores, including the vivacious tale of La Filleule des fées (‘The Fairies’ God-daughter’). The story takes place in an idealized countryside, revolving around the god-daughter Ysaure’s complex amorous affairs and the magical interventions of good and wicked fairies. With its brilliantly colorful orchestration, memorable themes and rhythmic momentum, this work is very much the equal of Giselle.

kr 159
Image 13 Times the Same and 13 Times Different (2CD)
Release 23rd of April

Three Gs and an E flat, declaimed Ta-ta-ta-taaa!, is perhaps the best known phrase in all of classical music. The notes form the opening motif of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, a work that has enjoyed enduring popularity since its first performance in 1808.This album presents various interpretations the symphony’s opening movement has received from a number of conductors, including Otto Klemperer (1885–1973), Michael Gielen (1927–2019), Stanislaw Skrowaczewski (1923–2017) and Ádám Fischer (b. 1949), giving the listener convenient comparisons and historic hindsight. Additionally, Robert Trevino conducts the Malmö Symphony Orchestra in a recording of the complete work, while Konstantin Scherbakov complements the collection with a performance of Liszt’s transcription of the work for solo piano.

kr 79
Image Sinfonia No. 3 ‘Templi di Sicila’ & Sinfonia No. 4
Release 23rd of April

Salvatore Di Vittorio is seen as heir to the Italian neo-Classical orchestral tradition with a narrative style notable for its colorful orchestration and ‘swelling lyricism’ (American Record Guide). This second volume of his orchestral works includes a vivid portrayal of the cultural and historical diversity of his home city in Overtura Palermo. Sinfonia No. 3 evokes the beauty and magnificence of Sicilian temples, while Sinfonia No. 4 ‘Metamorfosi’, based on Ovid, is Di Vittorio’s most important work to date. His Overtura Respighiana and Sinfonias Nos. 1 and 2 can be heard on Naxos 8.572333.

kr 89
Image British Guitar Music, Vol. 2
Release 23rd of April

The iconic guitarist Julian Bream commissioned music from a number of British composers with international reputations, thus creating a whole new repertoire of guitar music. He also played an important role in the revival of interest in the Elizabethan lute, his recitals bringing Early Music to a new audience. John Dowland’s beautiful Pavanis followed by Britten’s Nocturnal after John Dowland, written for Bream and one of the most significant guitar works of the 20th century. Cyril Scott’s Sonatina, overlooked for decades, is heard here in the premiere recording of Bream’s revised edition. Volume 1 can be heard on 8.557040.

kr 89
Image Dreams & Drama
Release 23rd of April

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari’s reputation rests largely on his operas, but the instrumental music he composed at the beginning and end of his career deserves a wider currency. The influence of Brahms can be detected in the First and Second Violin Sonatas, though Wolf-Ferrari’s distinctive long-breathed melodies and chromatic flow are clearly present; the dramatic and expressive Second also includes references to Wagner’s Tristan. With its neo-Bachian figuration, passages of intense melancholy and uplifting operatic fantasy, the final Third Sonata is an enigmatic work, and unlike any other in the repertoire.

kr 89
Image Marvellous Mezzo-Soprano and Contralto: Best Loved
Release 23rd of April

For anyone new to opera, the first question is often: where to start? The ‘Best Loved’ series offers an easy answer to that question with a perfect introduction to the wonderful, varied world of operatic music. Highlighting some of the best-loved arias ever written, the series provides a convenient introduction to opera’s extensive variety of sounds and styles. Opera can be defined as drama told through music and, at the height of its popularity, conventions arose in which certain voice types came to share features of the characters they represented. This series presents the main vocal categories (soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, tenor, baritone and bass) by dividing them across four albums. The ‘Best Loved’ Arias series aims to demonstrate why opera as an art form remains as relevant and entertaining today as it was at its inception 400 years ago.

kr 79
Image Booming Bass and Baritone: Best Loved Opera Arias
Release 23rd of April

For anyone new to opera, the first question is often: where to start? The ‘Best Loved’ series offers an easy answer to that question with a perfect introduction to the wonderful, varied world of operatic music. Highlighting some of the best-loved arias ever written, the series provides a convenient introduction to opera’s extensive variety of sounds and styles. Opera can be defined as drama told through music and, at the height of its popularity, conventions arose in which certain voice types came to share features of the characters they represented. This series presents the main vocal categories (soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, tenor, baritone and bass) by dividing them across four albums. The ‘Best Loved’ Arias series aims to demonstrate why opera as an art form remains as relevant and entertaining today as it was at its inception 400 years ago.

kr 79
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