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FEBRUARY NEWS 2021

NEW ON NAXOS

The February edition of NEW ON NAXOS commemorates Camille Saint-Saëns’s centennial with a one of its kind release, dedicated to the composer’s music for wind ensemble presented by Jun Märkl and the Band of the Royal Air Force College. The newest in Märkl’s recording series of Saint-Saëns’s music, the programme explores rarely heard works next to popular excerpts from The Carnival of the Animals and Samson et Dalila, among others.

Other highlights include:
• The musically and visually spectacular Opéra Comique production of Francesco Cavalli’s opera Ercole amante (‘Hercules in Love’), directed by the duo of Valérie Lesort and Christian Hecq. Raphaël Pichon conducts his Ensemble Pygmalion, with a strong cast led by bass Nahuel di Pierro in the title role. The Opéra Comique's previous recordings of Ambroise Thomas' Hamlet and André Messager's Fortunio both won Diapason d'or awards.

• A re-release of renowned pianist Igor Levit’s 2007 debut recording of Piano Concerto No. 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven, accompanied by the Cologne Chamber Orchestra under Helmut Müller-Brühl. The album also includes a performance of the Second Piano Concerto with Xiaohan Wang as soloist, a semi-finalist of the 2005 International Beethoven Competition in Bonn alongside Levit.

• Award-winning artist Daniel Lebhardt’s performance of piano miniatures by Franz Schubert, as part of the recording collaboration project with the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. The 2016 Sydney International Piano Competition ‘Most Promising Pianist’ awardee performs Schubert’s rarely heard sets of Ländler, Minuets and Écossaises.

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Image Music for Wind Ensemble
Release 12th of February

Camille Saint-Saens was involved in every aspect of French music during his long lifetime, and his frequent travels led to a fascinating mixture of Western music with Moorish and African elements in works such as Orient et Occident and the Suite algérienne. Saint-Saëns wrote few works for winds, but the grand biblical themes of Samson et Dalila, patriotic military traditions and the dignity of a British coronation all lend themselves perfectly to arrangement. In The Carnival of the Animals, the roaring lions are superbly evocative; while his perspectives on English and Scottish dances in ballet movements from Henry VIII are brilliantly imaginative.

kr. 80,00
Image Ercole Amante (Bluray)
Release 12th of February

Francesco Cavalli, a natural successor to Monteverdi, was the most famous and influential Italian opera composer during the mid-17th century. Cardinal Mazarin, chief minister to the king, commissioned Cavalli to create a Parisian spectacle to celebrate the wedding of the ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV and the Infanta of Spain. Ercole amante (‘Hercules in Love’) was the flattering subject chosen for this regal extravaganza combining larger-than-life characters with mythology, and genuine human emotions with natural and cosmic phenomena. The result is a sumptuous Baroque spectacle, conceived on a vast scale in this lavish production by directors Valerie Lesort and Christian Hecq.

kr. 189,95
Image Ercole Amante (2DVD)
Release 12th of February

Francesco Cavalli, a natural successor to Monteverdi, was the most famous and influential Italian opera composer during the mid-17th century. Cardinal Mazarin, chief minister to the king, commissioned Cavalli to create a Parisian spectacle to celebrate the wedding of the ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV and the Infanta of Spain. Ercole amante (‘Hercules in Love’) was the flattering subject chosen for this regal extravaganza combining larger-than-life characters with mythology, and genuine human emotions with natural and cosmic phenomena. The result is a sumptuous Baroque spectacle, conceived on a vast scale in this lavish production by directors Valerie Lesort and Christian Hecq.

kr. 189,95
Image Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2
Release 12th of February

In 2005 Igor Levit and Xiaohan Wang performed, together with the Kolner Kammerorchester under Helmut Müller-Brühl, as outstanding talents of the semi-final of the “International Beethoven Competition for Piano Bonn”. The competition had been initiated in the same year by the then President of the Federal Republic of Germany Horst Kohler. The young pianists, today successful all over the world, performed on that occasion Beethoven's piano concertos nos. 1 and 2. On this recording, Igor Levit performs the First Concerto, and Xiaohan Wang the Second.

kr. 80,00
Image Let Fly; Zodiac Tales; Suzhou Overture
Release 12th of February

Inspired by the image of a violin melody ‘flying off’, Chinese-American composer Bright Sheng’s virtuosic three-movement concerto Let Fly interweaves Chinese and Western classical elements. Vivid legends of astrological animals inform Zodiac Tales, a tour de force concerto for orchestra. Reflecting the city of Suzhou’s ancient, continuous cultural heritage, traditional nostalgia fuses with contemporary rhythms in the exciting Suzhou Overture. These works are featured here in their world premiere recordings.

kr. 80,00
Image La Magnifique - Flute Music for the Court of Louis
Release 12th of February

This programme portrays the ‘birth’ of the flute in France in the late 17th century and the following 40 years of its life as a new and fashionable instrument. A famous patron of the arts, King Louis XIV gathered elite composers and musicians to create the refinement, elegance and good taste that was demanded at his Paris Court. From the early petites pièces to more virtuoso suites and sonatas with their ornamented lyricism and grand dance rhythms, the mellow, robust and almost husky sounds of flutes from this period blend and weave around each other like the voices of two singers.

kr. 80,00
Image Ballet Music - L'Île enchantee; Thespis
Release 12th of February

Soon after his return from studies in Leipzig, Sir Arthur Sullivan wrote his second work, L’Île Enchantée. This was a ballet score on the subject of a shipwrecked mariner which debuted at Covent Garden in the form of a divertissement at the end of Bellini’s La sonnambula, where it was received with acclaim. This premiere recording restores passages Sullivan cut when presenting the work for concert performances. Thespis, a collaboration with W.S. Gilbert, is a flamboyant opera cum pantomime of which only fragments now remain – the work’s lost ballet has been rediscovered and restored by Roderick Spencer and Selwyn Tillett.

kr. 80,00
Image String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2; Sonnets
Release 12th of February

Janácek’s final decade saw an almost unprecedented creative renewal during which he wrote some of his greatest works. Among them were his chamber music masterpieces, the two String Quartets. The first was inspired by Tolstoy’s novella The Kreutzer Sonata, a torrid tale of adultery and murder to which Janácek responded with music of increasingly frenzied passion. The second was subtitled Intimate Letters, a freely evolving work full of yearning and amorous defiance. originally cast for four violins, the two youthful Sonnets date from 1875 and balance the archaisms of the first with the lyricism of the second.

kr. 80,00
Image Sonnenflammen (DVD)
Release 12th of February

The production of Siegfried Wagner‘s “Sonnenflammen” in Bayreuth was unanimously highly praised in the media, describing it as “a discovery, at least in musical terms. The two and a half hours of performance will not be long at any time. The music is pleasant, pleasing, very onomatopoeic, narrative, the composition is well done, the orchestration post-romantic revelling.” (IOCO) About the effect of the music, Opera Lounge says: “There is wonderful music in Sonnenflammen. Perhaps more than anything else, the richness of colour and stylistic variety fascinates: even the secondary characters, the fortune teller announcing the end of the world, Fridolin‘s father cursing his son, each have their own idiom. When Fridolin remembers his homeland now forever lost, his singing is unusually simple and intimate. Some of it, like the mocking choir of the girls who shave the new court jester, is almost operatic.” The artists involved are members of piano-pianissimo-musiktheater, which was founded in 1980 by Peter P. Pachl thanks to the encouragement of August Everding, director of the Munich Opera at that time. At the biannual Wagner-Spectacular in Upper Franconian Pegnitz, Richard Wagner’s unknown works were staged for the first time, as were works by Franz Schreker and Alexander Zemlinsky, and works by writers such as Herbert Rosendorfer and Bernd Schünemann.

kr. 205,00
Image Landler, Minuets, Écossaises
Release 26th of February

Social and musical life in Biedermeier Vienna during the first decade of the 19th century created a great demand for dances which took place in the residences of wealthy citizens. With their echoes of the Austrian countryside Schubert’s folk-type Ländler are dances in 3/4 time, precursors of the waltz. Composed towards the end of his life when Schubert wrote his greatest music, the sets of 16and17Ländlerare notable for their melodic inventiveness. The 16arededicated to the ladies of Vienna and known as the Wiener Damen-Ländler; while the Écossaises were intended for facing lines of dancers rather than couples. Daniel Lebhardt relishes the joy and ‘irresistible and sometimes quite delirious’ ingenuity of these jewel-like dances.

kr. 80,00
Image Journey - Orchestral Music from Five Continents
Release 26th of February

Peruvian-born, American-trained conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya, is inspired to look at how music, like the poetic concept of peace, can unite the world. The idea behind Journeys is to create an example of that unity in a tangible form by bringing together music from every continent into one album. With works inspired by myths and mechanics, cosmic motion and human emotion, originating from Europe and the Americas to Africa, Asia and Australasia, the themes in this collection of world premiere recordings range as widely as their origins.

kr. 80,00
Image Concerto all'antica; Ancient Airs & Dances Suites
Release 26th of February

Ottorino Respighi was in the vanguard of the 20th-century rebirth of Italian symphonic music. Famed for his Roman Trilogy, Respighi was also prominent in the synthesis of pre-Classical melodic styles and late-Romantic harmonies and textures. These are the elements that make the Ancient Airs and Dances so captivating and expressive, as Respighi draws on dances by 16th-century composers to brilliant effect. The Concerto all’antica is an early, beautifully poetic work that again draws on ancient styles, in a recording that uses the first printed critical edition of the work by Salvatore Di Vittorio, published in 2019.

kr. 80,00
Image Piano Concertos Nos. 9 & 17 (arr. Ignaz Lachner)
Release 26th of February

Mozart himself had arranged four of his earlier concertos for the ensemble of piano, string quartet and bass, to enable his works to be performed domestically. Numerous subsequent transcriptions followed during the course of the 19th century, prominently those of the conductor and composer Ignaz Lachner. The concertos here are K.271‘Je-unehomme’, a particularly brilliant work, and the charming K.453. Leaving the piano part untouched, Lachner ingeniously incorporates all the orchestral music, including wind parts, into his string transcriptions.

kr. 80,00
Image The Art of the Modern Trumpet, Vol. 2
Release 26th of February

The second volume of this series visits 20th-century France, where the combination of trumpet and piano inspired music of ravishing beauty, intimacy and wit. Through the bluesy retrospection of Jean Hubeau’s Sonata, the voluptuous rhapsody of Florent Schmitt’s Suite and the avant-garde eclecticism of Antoine Tisné’s Héraldiques, this album explores the quintessentially Gallic sonorities that came to re-define the instrument’s voice for the modern era.

kr. 80,00
Image True Light; Missa Brevis; The First Kiss
Release 26th of February

Alexander Campkin is renowned as a leading young choral composer who has been commissioned by some of the most prestigious musical organizations in Britain. True Light reveals the energy and majestic sound world that he commands, as well as qualities of reflective intimacy. His Missa Brevis was inspired by seeing a beam of sunlight pierce a cloud of moving incense, the resultant music being built around a sustained pitch, ebbing and flowing. In The First Kiss, he sets two poignant and daring Epigrams by the Greek philosopher Strato.

kr. 80,00
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