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MAY 2021

NEW ON NAXOS

The May edition of NEW ON NAXOS presents Stanislaw Moniuszko’s operatic masterpiece Halka, recorded by the Poznan Opera House Orchestra and Chorus and conductor Gabriel Chmura. This production was recorded in 2019 during the ‘Moniuszko Year’, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The ensemble of soloists include soprano Magdalena Molendowska in the title role, alongside tenor Dominik Sutowicz and baritone Lukasz Golinski. The release also serves as a memorial to the distinguished conductor, who was artistic director of Poznán Opera House from 2012 until his death in November 2020.

Other highlights include:
• A special audiovisual release of Georges Bizet’s Carmen, recorded at the venue of its original debut at the Opéra Comique in Paris, and staged by Adrian Noble. This acclaimed production features the excellent Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique performing on period instruments, with an outstanding cast led by Anna Caterina Antonacci, and the Monteverdi Choir conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

• Marcel Poot’s Symphonies Nos. 1–7, recorded by various orchestras over many years, and compiled to mark the Belgian composer’s 120th birth anniversary in 2021. This collection includes the 1994-95 Marco Polo recordings by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra and conductor Frédéric Devreese, a student of the composer.

• The latest instalment in Septura’s Music for Brass Septet series, surveying works by two of America’s greatest and most representative composers – George Gershwin and Aaron Copland. Each release in the series has consistently received critical acclaim: the American Record Guide noted on Vol. 5 that Septura 'always sounds terrific—tone qualities, blend, and intonation are always wonderful, ensemble always precise.’


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Image Symphonies Nos. 1-7 (2CD)
Release 14th of May

The Belgian composer, Marcel Poot, was one of the most striking musical figures of his time, with a spicy compositional style that exemplified his zest for life. His cycle of seven symphonies, the earliest of which show the influence of Ravel, Stravinsky and jazz, reveal a clear preference for Classical balance and non-programmatic form. Predominantly tonal, the symphonies are notable for their rhythmic energy, colorful orchestration and lyricism. Symphonies Nos. 1 and 4–7 are first recordings.

kr 159
Image Music for Brass Septet, Vol. 7
Release 14th of May

In this seventh volume of Music for Brass Septet, Septura survey two of America’s greatest and most representative composers. Gershwin’s An American in Paris charts a visitor’s stroll around the French capital, absorbing the city’s atmosphere and charm, whereas the synergy of classical form and jazz animates Gershwin’s unique Preludes. Copland’s Quiet City depicts a contrasting and more understated cityscape, while the suite from the ballet Appalachian Spring displays Septura’s luminous virtuosity.

kr 89
Image Carmen (Bluray)
Release 14th of May

Georges Bizet died at the tragically young age of 36 while Carmen was still in its first run, and he never witnessed the huge international acclaim his opera received. Filled with jealousy and passion, the gripping and ultimately tragic narrative of Carmen initially shocked audiences, but with an abundance of memorable tunes, it remains unchallenged as one of the most popular operas ever written. Carmen received its premiere at the Opéra Comique in Paris in 1875, and this internationally acclaimed production, performed on period instruments, represents a triumphant return to its home theatre. ‘Carmen has never sounded more revolutionary, romantic or thrillingly vibrant’ (The Times, London).

kr 239
Image Carmen (2DVD)
Release 14th of May

Georges Bizet died at the tragically young age of 36 while Carmen was still in its first run, and he never witnessed the huge international acclaim his opera received. Filled with jealousy and passion, the gripping and ultimately tragic narrative of Carmen initially shocked audiences, but with an abundance of memorable tunes, it remains unchallenged as one of the most popular operas ever written. Carmen received its premiere at the Opéra Comique in Paris in 1875, and this internationally acclaimed production, performed on period instruments, represents a triumphant return to its home theatre. ‘Carmen has never sounded more revolutionary, romantic or thrillingly vibrant’ (The Times, London).

kr 239
Image The Devil's Caprice: Guitar Favourites
Release 14th of May

Acclaimed concert artist and laureate of numerous awards, Mabel Millán brings her stunning technique and remarkable musical expressiveness to this programme of some of the most spectacular and best-loved repertoire ever composed for the guitar. From the Andalusian rhythms and atmosphere of Turina and Malats, the Romantic expressiveness and national colors of Ponce and Mertz, to the lyrical beauty and dramatic virtuosity of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Capriccio diabolico, every aspect of the guitar’s refined delicacy and explosive dynamism is explored here to the full.

kr 89
Image Works (6CD)
Release 14th of May

Sigismond Thalberg was a Wunderkind and one of the most accomplished virtuoso pianists of the 19th century. Mendelssohn, Chopin and Clara Schumann were impressed by his technical skills. As legend goes there was a big rivalry between Thalberg and Liszt, though mostly fomented by the press. Thalberg was also a composer whose focus laid mainly on fantasies on operatic themes. In the 19th century this was a genre aiming to delight audiences with the familiarity of known melodies, the ingenuity of the transcriptions and their spectacular virtuosity. Thalberg wrote fantasies on quite a number of opera by Italian composers. These fantasies and other works are presented now in a comprehensive set by the Italian pianist Francesco Nicolosi. Nicolosi specialized in the interpretation of Thalberg's composition and the result is truly remarkable. With an exquisite technique, a wonderful sound and an impeccable legato these recordings have no rival. They came to be in the 1990s as individual releases and brought Nicolosi the Bellini Golden Prize. They are now being made available for the first time as collector's item.

kr 259
Image Naxos English Song Collection Box Set (25 CD)
Release 14th of May

The acclaimed English Song Series celebrates the richness and diversity of British composers, performed by leading interpreters of the repertoire. Growing out of an ancient tradition that still echoes in the folk song arrangements of Benjamin Britten, the British art song draws its inspiration from the English poetic language, the nation’s unique land and seascapes, and the suffering and joy of human emotions. From the delightfully light-hearted songs of Liza Lehmann to the abundance of invention and imagery from today’s composers, this collection is a repository of the essence of British musical craftsmanship at its finest.

kr 789
Image Dance of the Waves
Release 14th of May

Nikos Skalkottas was the foremost Greek composer of the 20th century, and his 36GreekDancesisundoubtedly the most popular work of Greek art music today and a monument to the nation’s rich cultural heritage. The Sea describes the experiences of a trawler on waters both calm and stormy, while the Suite No. 1 is a cornerstone of Skalkottas’ symphonic output that balances the worlds of atonality and neoclassicism. The piece was amongst manuscripts Skalkottas left behind in Berlin in1933, and he later reconstructed it from memory. The first volume in this series from the Athens State Orchestra (8.574154) was considered ‘a revelation’ by ClassicsToday.com.

kr 89
Image History of the Russian Piano Trio, Vol. 4
Release 14th of May

Both Anton Arensky and Sergey Taneyev belong to the generation of Russian composers who came to prominence at the end of the 19th century, midway between Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. With its expansive themes and wonderfully elegiac mood, Arensky’s Piano Trio No. 1 is dedicated to the memory of cellist Karl Davydov. The subtle use of counterpoint in Taneyev’s Piano Trio in D major reveals his expertise in combining earlier techniques with the emphatically Romantic style that both composers inherited from Tchaikovsky. These two masterpieces summarize the development of the piano trio genre in Russian music of the 19thcentury, and subsequently laid the foundations for its further evolution.

kr 89
Image Liszt Complete Piano Music, Vol. 55: Music on Nati
Release 14th of May

Volume 58 of the critically acclaimed Liszt Complete Piano Music edition spans Canzone napolitana and the Hungarian Folk Songs to a paraphrase of God Save the Queen. Includes numerous rarely recorded rarities. Performed by award-winning pianist Domonkos Csabay, a native of Hungary. This is his debut on Naxos. Based in the UK since 2015, Hungarian accompanist, répétiteur and chamber musician Domonkos Csabay performs a wide range of classical repertoire. Domonkos has won numerous prizes in the last two years, including first prize in the Brant (now renamed as ‘Birmingham’) International Piano Competition. He played as a pre-concert showcase performer for concerts by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and pianist Paul Lewis and made his debut on BBC Radio 3 in 2018, broadcasting the famously virtuosic Eroica variations by Beethoven.

kr 89
Image Kavanagh Plays Kavanagh
Release 21st of May

Dale Kavanagh writes: “This is the first album that I have made that features my own compositions. Although some of my pieces were released on various discs, this is the first which only included my solo works, performed by myself.The album opens with Going Nowhere, written in an aphoristic style, ephemeral in nature. Toronto 98, in three movements, is a musical description of the time I lived in Toronto, Canada. This is a wild and rhythmic piece which celebrates the happy life, filled with slurs, scales and rasgueados. The Three Preludes are inspired by some significant people in my life, including my daughter Melissa (Prelude No. 1) and the great guitarist-composer Roland Dyens (Prelude No. 3, ‘Fuoco’). The final work, Fundy, is a short piece describing both the rolling waves and mighty tides of the Bay of Fundy as seen from the Nova Scotian coast, where I grew up.”

kr 89
Image Halka
Release 28th of May

Polish composer, conductor and teacher Stanislaw Moniuszko is widely known as ‘the father of Polish national opera’. Halka tells the tragic story of its title character, a peasant girl whose love for the noble Janusz is betrayed when he abandons her to wed Zofia, daughter of the Esquire. Recorded here in an acclaimed production by Poznan Opera House, Halka possesses a deeply lyrical character making it one of the composer’s greatest works. The aria ‘Szumia jodly na gór szczycie’ (‘The firs are rustling on the mountain top’) is considered one of the most beautiful of the 19th century. Moniuszko’s opera Halka, with its tragic tale but often light and uplifting music, is full of lively and distinctive Polish national character. This Poznán production was made during ‘Moniuszko Year’ in Poland, marking the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth. It also serves as a memorial to the distinguished conductor Gabriel Chmura, who was artistic director of Poznán Opera House from 2012 until his death in November 2020.

kr 159
Image Guitar Music, Vol. 3
Release 28th of May

Joaquín Rodrigo, composer of the renowned Concierto de Aranjuez(Naxos 8.579053), is acknowledged as one of the great Spanish composers of the 20th century. His music extends the Romantic Impressionist tradition of Albéniz, Granados and Falla, and is inspired by the French style and color Rodrigo experienced during his studies in Paris. From the thrilling and virtuosic Elogio de la guitarra to his swan song in the Dos pequeñas fantasías, Rodrigo’s guitar music explores the Spanish nature of the instrument and blends tradition with innovation. Always filled with variety, contrast and compelling atmosphere, his oeuvre is now appreciated as one of the central pillars of the entire guitar repertoire. Since his concert debut at the age of six, Turkish American guitarist and composer Celil Refik Kaya has received many high accolades. He was the youngest contestant to win First Prize in the 2012 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, and is a prizewinner of international guitar competitions across Europe and the US. In 2017 he was named Rising Young Musician of the Year by the Donizetti Classical Music Awards in Istanbul and awarded a prestigious fellowship from Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks. Kaya’s first recording, Jorge Morel’s Guitar Music was critically acclaimed by American Record Guide.

kr 89
Image Overtures, Vol. 4
Release 28th of May

Daniel-François-Esprit Auber was one of the most famous composers of the 19th century, giving definitive form to the uniquely French genres of grand historical opera and opéra-comique. His overtures became famous all over the world for their dancing elegance and fluent melodies, a reflection both of his genial personality and of the Parisian taste and refinement of his day. This programme includes overtures and entr’actes from Auber’s most famous opera about the notorious robber-chief Fra Diavolo, and from one of his least known works, La Fiancée du Roi de Garbe. Volume 2 of this edition (8.574006) was acclaimed as ‘wonderfully articulated and lovingly brought to life’ by MusicWeb International.

kr 89
Image The Intimacy of Distance & My Green Shade Forest
Release 28th of May

The soprano voice occupies a central place in Robert Groslot’s vocal music, and in The Intimacy of Distance he has created his most ambitious composition yet for voice and orchestra. Exploring how elements of life can only be realized through the experience of distance, this concerto for soprano and orchestra moves through various contrasts to huge transformative effect. The calm sounds of nature alternate with melodic lines and dissonant chords in My Green Shade Forest, while Trittico incantevole is a radiant piece composed in honor of the painter Peter Paul Rubens. Composer Robert Groslot is 70 this year; an appropriate anniversary disc with three more premiere recordings. He is one of Belgium’s leading living composers – his catalogue consists of large orchestral works, 50 concertos, three multimedia works and many solo and chamber music works.

kr 89
Image Beethoven: Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello and P
Release 28th of May

Prolific in every aspect of music throughout his long and distinguished career, Carl Reinecke represented the complete musician with the belief that ‘art should bring happiness to mankind’. His imaginative transcription of Beethoven’s bravura Triple Concerto sees the three instruments retaining their solo essence and sharing in the orchestral tutti to create a quintessential addition to the piano trio repertory. Heard here in its world premiere recording, Reinecke’s First Piano Trio inhabits the passionate and expressive sound world of Schumann and Mendelssohn.

kr 89
Image Franck, Debussy & Others: Piano Works
Release 28th of May

Alexander Koryakin, winner of the 2019 Jaén Prize International Piano Competition, has selected two perfectly paired masterpieces for his first Naxos recording. Liszt’s Vallée d’Obermann is inspired by his travels in Switzerland, and is a true symphonic poem for piano. Franck’s Piano Quintet in F minor, which Liszt himself found shockingly intense, is a cyclical work of passionate extremes, and a masterpiece of Franco-Belgian repertoire. Also included are Debussy’s L’Isle joyeuse, which offers crystalline brightness, and Jorge Sastre’s Jaenera ‘Ecos y temple’, with virtuoso expression drawing on a wide range of influences. Alexander Koryakin began playing piano at the age of nine, gave his first recital at the age of ten and at eleven won his first competition. Over the course of his career, Koryakin has given over 500 recitals throughout Russia and Europe, including appearances at the Piano Loop Festival in Croatia and Gegen den Strom Festival in Germany.

kr 89
Image Songs for Lena
Release 28th of May

Albrecht Mendelssohn Bartholdy was the grandson of Felix Mendelssohn. He was also a polymathic intellectual – a prestigious jurist, political scientist, and one of Germany’s observers to the Treaty of Versailles negotiations in 1919. Conscious of his heritage he also wrote songs, taking texts from Eichendorff, Goethe, Heine and the folk collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn, as had Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn. These ardent love songs were inspired by his student Magdalene ‘Lena’ Schoch who, soon after her graduation, became the composer’s indispensable and trusted colleague and confidante. Through songs Albrecht Mendelssohn Bartholdy was able to reveal and profess his true sentiments, in a form seemingly acceptable to his family. And by setting to music poets whom Felix and Fanny had chosen earlier (Eichendorff, Goethe, Heine, and the folk song collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn), Albrecht paid tribute to his ancestors while consciously joining the lineage of the Mendelssohn family’s musical tradition. Albrecht’s commitment to the cultural heritage of his hometown is reflected in his frequent choice of lesser-known poets from Karlsruhe.

kr 89
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