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NOVEMBER 2018

NEW ON NAXOS

The November issue of NEW ON NAXOS marks the completion of the four-year epic saga of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra's Wagner Ring Cycle with Götterdämmerung. Conducted by the orchestra’s music director Jaap van Zweden, the conclusion in this highly-acclaimed project features an all-star international Wagner cast, lead by soprano Gun-Brit Barkmin in her debut as Brünnhilde, tenor Daniel Brenna as Siegfried, bass-baritone Shenyang as Gunther, bass Eric Halfvarson as Hagen, soprano Amanda Majeski as Gutrune and mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung as Waltraute, with the Bamberg Symphony Chorus, Latvian State Choir and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus.

At the same time, we are also releasing the complete Der Ring des Nibelungen, as a special boxed set. Containing 14 CDs, the box also features a USB Card loaded with extra content, including the libretti to all four operas, concert photos and behind-the-scenes video.

Other highlights include:

• Wolfgang Rihm’s works for violin and orchestra – Lichtzwang, Dritte Musik, Gedicht des Malers – recorded by violinist Tianwa Yang, with the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz and conductor Christoph-Mathias Mueller.

• Gioachino Rossini’s Maometto II recorded live from the 2017 Rossini in Wildbad Bel Canto Festival. Antonino Fogliani conducts this performance with bass Mirco Palazzi on the title role, with soprano Elisa Balbo, tenors Mert Süngü and Patrick Kabongo Mubenga, mezzo Victoria Yaroyava, and the Camerata Bach Choir Poznan and Virtuosi Brunenses.

• The last instalment of the Complete Péchés de vieillesse (Sins of Old Age), in time for Rossini's anniversary. This release includes rare vocal works, featuring sopranos Laura Giordano and Maria Candel Scalabrini, mezzo-sopranos Giuseppina Bridelli and Cecilia Molinari, tenor Alessandro Luciano, and baritones Bruno Taddia and Vittorio Prato all accompanied by pianist Alessandro Marangoni. With 11 volumes, this project is now the most comprehensive collection of Rossini’s piano and other miniature works available.




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Image Der Ring des Nibelungen (14 CD)
14CD box set of the Hong Kong Philharmonic / Jaap van Zweden live recordings. Includes a usb card with the complete German librettos and English translations.

kr 629
Image Götterdämmerung (4 CD)
"Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods) is the epic fourth and final opera of Wagner’s great Ring cycle, with a plot that depicts the fall of heroes, gods, and the entire world. Also released as part of The Ring box set. See below."

kr 359
Image String Quartets Nos. 2-5
Wirén's four String Quartets (the First was withdrawn) span 25 years of his creative career, from the relaxed and affirmative mood of the Second Quartet to one of of pessimism and uncertainty in the Fifth, completed not long before his retirement as a composer.

kr 89
Image Maometto II (Original Version) (3 CD)
Maometto II is considered Rossini’s most radical and innovative opera. Against the background of the violent and cruel tumult of war as the Venetian colony of Negroponte is invaded and defeated by Sultan Mehmet II ‘the Conqueror’ in 1470, Rossini contrasts this clash of civilisations with the tender emotions of a doomed romance expressed in some of the most beautiful melodies he ever wrote. Heard here in its original Naples version – the more conventional 1822 Venice version with its overture and happy ending can be heard on Naxos 8.660149-51 – this is a movingly tragic drama ending with the suicide of the main female role.

kr 239
Image Péchés de vieillesse, Vol. 11 & Chamber Music and
Volume 11 completes Alessandro Marangoni’s monumental project, covering 13 albums, to record all 200 or so individual works comprising the Péchés de vieillesse or ‘Sins of Old Age’ (including some preliminary sketches). Highlights of Volume 11 include all four duets from the collection, from the highly operatic Le gittane to Un sou, in which two beggars try to sell the collar of their dead dog.

kr 89
Image Music for Violin and Orchestra, Vol. 1
The violin works of the leading German composer Wolfgang Rihm encompass almost his entire career and reflect the variety of his stylistic thinking. Lichtzwang, the earliest of his concertos, draws on chorale-like sequences and piercing outbursts alike in its memorialising of the writer Paul Celan. Dritte Musik begins almost imperceptibly before growing in intensity and eventually slipping beyond audibility. Defter and more subtle than the preceding pieces, Gedicht des Malers ('Poem of the Painter') was inspired by an imagined painting of the great Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaÿe. As Rihm has written: 'The soloist virtually embodies the painter's brush as it moves over the canvas in sometimes faster and sometimes more deliberate ways.'.

kr 89
Image The Versailles Revolution
Jean-Baptiste Lully revolutionised music at the French court in the 17th century, not only transforming ballet entertainments into a spectacular new genre, the tragédie lyrique, but setting new standards in orchestral playing – with him the ‘modern’ orchestra was born. Both Georg Muffat and Marin Marais were profoundly influenced by Lully, as their inventive suites show, while Muffat’s own preserved performance instructions have been closely followed on this recording. Volume 1 of this series, The Lully Effect, can be heard on 8.573867.

kr 89
Image Piano Works
This cross-section of Satie’s piano music presents a perfect distillation not only of his personal eccentricities but of his revolutionary absorption of Minimalism, Surrealism and the Theatre of the Absurd. The Allegro is his earliest known work and only Satie could attempt to fuse a fugue with a waltz, as he does in the Fugue-Valse ‘Danse de tendresse’.

kr 79
Image Wozzeck (DVD)
Based on real events and drawing on Georg Büchner’s revolutionary play, Alban Berg’s Wozzeck turns a grimly tragic narrative of violence and murder into one of the most powerful and original operas of the 20th century. Berg’s uncompromising portrayal of brutality and madness generated much controversy, but the significance of Wozzeck was soon recognised; its compelling lyrical expansiveness, large-scale dramatic gestures and remarkable musical structures producing music of overwhelming emotional intensity. The Financial Times declared this to be ‘a beautiful, moving, engrossing production… this is a consummate Wozzeck, blending clarity, lyricism, compassion and crushing force.’

kr 269
Image Wozzeck (Blu-ray)
Based on real events and drawing on Georg Büchner’s revolutionary play, Alban Berg’s Wozzeck turns a grimly tragic narrative of violence and murder into one of the most powerful and original operas of the 20th century. Berg’s uncompromising portrayal of brutality and madness generated much controversy, but the significance of Wozzeck was soon recognised; its compelling lyrical expansiveness, large-scale dramatic gestures and remarkable musical structures producing music of overwhelming emotional intensity. The Financial Times declared this to be ‘a beautiful, moving, engrossing production… this is a consummate Wozzeck, blending clarity, lyricism, compassion and crushing force.’

kr 269
Image The Creation (DVD)
Haydn’s oratorio The Creation is one of the greatest masterpieces in the repertoire. Its libretto was constructed by Gottfried van Swieten who took texts from the Book of Genesis, the Psalms and employed his own original poetry. In this radical and compelling staging by the ground-breaking Catalan theatre collective, La Fura dels Baus, and internationally acclaimed stage director Carlus Padrissa, the oratorio is seen through the prism of a stream of refugees expelled from Paradise. Stunning light projections encapsulate the stage space and incorporated philosophical and scientific perspectives make this truly an oratorio for our time.

kr 269
Image The Creation (Blu-ray)
Haydn’s oratorio The Creation is one of the greatest masterpieces in the repertoire. Its libretto was constructed by Gottfried van Swieten who took texts from the Book of Genesis, the Psalms and employed his own original poetry. In this radical and compelling staging by the ground-breaking Catalan theatre collective, La Fura dels Baus, and internationally acclaimed stage director Carlus Padrissa, the oratorio is seen through the prism of a stream of refugees expelled from Paradise. Stunning light projections encapsulate the stage space and incorporated philosophical and scientific perspectives make this truly an oratorio for our time.

kr 269
Image A German Christmas
This album contains a collection of partly well-known nativity hymns and traditional German carols for Advent and Christmas, performed by the Early Music ensemble Margaretha Consort, based in the Netherlands.

kr 89
Image Violin Concerto No. 3; String Trio; Sonata for Vio
World premiere recordings of three newly published works, including the Third Violin Concerto, written for Jascha Heifetz.

kr 89
Image Concerto Mediterraneo; Chaconne; Trilogy; Toccata
Domeniconi retains a close relationship with the culture of the Mediterranean whose traditions and customs permeate the Concerto Mediterraneo, Op. 67 in which the two guitars evoke North African and Middle Eastern plucked instruments such as the oud and the saz. Oyun is a vivacious and true hybrid of Turkish and Western influences, while Trilogy demands both unusual tuning and imaginative improvisation from the performer. Toccata in blue includes allusions to boogie-woogie and the blues. Previously released in Germany on 8.551386.

kr 89
Image String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2
"With the belated success of his Third Symphony ‘Symphony of Sorrowful Songs’ (Naxos 8.550822), Górecki emerged in the 1990s as a composer of world stature. Between 1988 and 1995 he wrote three string quartets for the Kronos Quartet that are among his most important mature works. This is the Tippett Quartet’s sixth album for Naxos."

kr 89
Image Works for Solo Piano; Works for Piano and Cello
Argentinian pianist, teacher and composer Graciela Jiménez is inspired by the landscape and folk melodies of her native country which infuse her piano music with evocative imagery whether in the colourful fantasia of En los ojos de las llamas, the aphoristic, dreamlike Tres piezas para piano or in the virtuosic dance rhythms of En la Quebrada de Humahuaca.

kr 79
Image Greek Wind Quintets
The vibrant and colourful works on this recording, while representing the lively contemporary music scene in Greece, make use of traditional melodies and rhythms combined with wider stylistic influences to add further layers of expression. This unique programme of mostly premiere recordings includes works dedicated to the Aeolos Woodwind Quintet.

kr 89
Image The Story of My Life, Volume 3 (33 CD)
The Story of My Life is the explosive and exhilarating autobiography by the infamous libertine Giacomo Casanova. Intense and scandalous, Casanova’s extraordinary adventures take the listener on an incredible voyage across 18th-century Europe – from France to Russia, Poland to Spain and Turkey to Germany, with Venice at their heart. He falls madly in love, has wild flings and delirious orgies, and encounters some of the most brilliant figures of his time, including Catherine the Great, Louis XV and Benjamin Franklin. He holds a verbal duel with Voltaire, a pistol duel with a Polish noble, and finds himself hauled before the court multiple times, including in London, where the judge in question turns out to be none other than Henry Fielding. His appetite for life is voracious; for him, a life lived close to the precipice is the only life worth living. The book is divided into six sections. Volume 3 contains the fifth and sixth sections: ‘5: In London and Moscow’ and ‘6: Spanish Passions’.

kr 1 199
Image Ghost Stories (13 CD)
Charles Dickens was a master of the macabre. His stories of madness, murder and revenge, often imbued with a sympathetic moral undertone, have continued to thrill and chill readers ever since they were written. Here then are 15 tales that display the full range of Dickens’s Gothic talents. The Signalman, perhaps the most well-known, is a chilling story about a mysterious figure and its deathly omen; The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain shows the consequences for those who make deals with the dead; The Portrait-Painter's Story follows an artist who paints a non-living person by memory; and Captain Murderer and the Devil's Bargain, a bedtime story from Dickens’s own childhood, tells of a bloodthirsty man who kills his brides and bakes them into pies. Among others, the collection also includes A Christmas Carol, The Baron of Grogzwig from The Pickwick Papers, and The Ghost in the Bride’s Chamber, a novella co-written with Wilkie Collins.

kr 685
Image Journal of the Plague Year (9 CD)
First published in March 1722, 57 years after the event that struck more than 100,000 people, A Journal of the Plague Year is a compelling portrait of life during London’s horrific bubonic plague. Through the eyes of H.F. (speculated to be Defoe’s uncle, Henry Foe, from whose journals the book was supposedly adapted) we witness great grief, depravity and despair: crazed sufferers roam the streets, unearthly screams resound across the city, death carts dump their grisly loads into mass graves, and quackery and skulduggery feed on fear. But there is kindness and courage too, as mutual support and caring are upheld through the worst of days. Defoe’s Journal is considered one of the most accurate accounts of the plague, and includes many contemporary theories about the disease, along with rolls of the dead and a literary mapping of London, street by street, parish by parish. It is a fascinating and intimate account from one of the earliest proponents of the novel.

kr 379
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