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MAY NEWS 2022

NEW ON NAXOS

The May 2022 issue of NEW ON NAXOS highlights Vincenzo Bellini’s operatic masterpiece I Capuletti e i Montecchi. This 2015 production takes place at the Teatro La Fenice – the same venue in which the opera was premiered in 1830 – and is directed by Arnaud Bernard and conducted by Omer Weir Wellber. The star-crossed lovers are portrayed by soprano Jessica Pratt and mezzo Sonia Ganassi, joined by tenor Shalva Mukeria and basses Rubén Amoretti and Luca Dall’Amico. Filmed to the highest production values, this is a release set to become a popular and enduring choice in this classic narrative of love, dramatic tension and the deepest tragedy.

Other highlights include
• Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème staged by Stefan Herheim for the Oslo Opera House. Conducted by Eivind Gullberg Jensen, this production has been described by the The New York Times as a ‘surreal, moving experience’, featuring a strong cast led by soprano Marita Sølberg and tenor Diego Torre.

• The second volume of Camargo Guarnieri’s Choros, performed by São Paulo Symphony Orchestra under conductor Roberto Tibiriçá – the latest in our critically acclaimed ‘Music of Brazil’ series. This release follows the previous volume’s ‘excellent’ performances (Fanfare) with principal players of OSESP as soloists.

• A joyous, moving and hauntingly beautiful programme – featuring all world premiere recordings – of William Grant Still’s works for violin and orchestra, presented by the mother and daughter pair of violinist Zina Schiff and conductor Avlana Eisenberg, with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

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Image I Capuleti e i Montecchi (DVD)
Release 13th of May

Vincenzo Bellini’s first great operatic success I Capuleti e i Montecchi is based on an Italian version of Romeo and Juliet in which the feuding clans seek reconciliation through the wedding of Giulietta and Tebaldo. Giulietta’s lover, Romeo, begs her to elope with him, but fate has other plans for the couple. Topped with the ‘agile coloratura runs and lyrical grace’ (The New York Times) of soprano Jessica Pratt, this acclaimed production takes place in the historical and beautifully atmospheric Teatro La Fenice, the same venue in which I Capuleti e i Montecchi had its triumphant premiere in 1830.

kr. 189,95
Image I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Bluray)
Release 13th of May

Vincenzo Bellini’s first great operatic success I Capuleti e i Montecchi is based on an Italian version of Romeo and Juliet in which the feuding clans seek reconciliation through the wedding of Giulietta and Tebaldo. Giulietta’s lover, Romeo, begs her to elope with him, but fate has other plans for the couple. Topped with the ‘agile coloratura runs and lyrical grace’ (The New York Times) of soprano Jessica Pratt, this acclaimed production takes place in the historical and beautifully atmospheric Teatro La Fenice, the same venue in which I Capuleti e i Montecchi had its triumphant premiere in 1830.

kr. 189,95
Image Choros, Vol. 2
Release 13th of May

In his Choros, Guarnieri wrote music that conjures up the landscape and essence of Brazil. These very personal concertos reveal the composer’s refined instrumental combinations and elegant contrapuntal writing, while their dance rhythms are vivacious, drawing on the baião, maracatu and embolada. The Chorosin this second volume represent all stages of Guarnieri’s compositional development. Also included is the delightful and inventive Florde Tremembé, an early work with choro-like features. The first volume is also available on Naxos.

kr. 119,95
Image Three Contrasts; Scenes de ballet; Pastiche Variat
Release 13th of May

Robert Docker was one of the giants of light music – a composer and arranger whose works graced stage, screen, radio and television. Two of his best pieces were written for piano and orchestra: Legend, which can rank alongside Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto (Naxos 8.554323); and the brilliantly witty inventions of the Pastiche Variations. Not only was Docker a distinguished orchestrator, he was also a rich melodist as his classic Scèneduba lillustrates, while the composer’s impish humor can be savored in Tabarinage. Docker’s early training as a classical violinist fully equipped him to explore the British pastoral tradition in the languid and beautiful Air.

kr. 119,95
Image L’etoile du Nord (3CD)
Release 13th of May

After composing a spectacular series of grand operas for the Paris Opéra, Meyerbeer turned to two comic operas with spoken dialogue. One of these was L’Étoile du Nord (‘The North Star’) which is strictly an opéra de demi-caractère, containing both comic and serious elements. This fusion was one of Meyerbeer’s most important contributions to the development of grand opera. The plot is a peculiar mixture of village wooing and military life, with music that is full of color, featuring superb choruses and exceptional orchestration. This 1996 Wexford Festival Opera production features a dazzling young cast under the direction of Vladimir Jurowski.

kr. 239,95
Image Chamber Music
Release 13th of May

Edward Gregson is a composer of international standing whose music has been performed, broadcast, and commercially recorded worldwide. Gregson is renowned for his concertos and music for band, but his chamber music reveals a more enquiring voice. In recent years these works have been enriched with greater expressive and emotional depth, ranging here from youthful impressionism to the fearsome virtuosity of Triptych, a competition test piece. Gregson’s First String Quartet was acclaimed by one critic as ‘an extraordinary work, both gritty and serene’, while the evocative colors of the Second are framed by the gentle lilt of a Siciliana.

kr. 119,95
Image Keyboard Trios, Vol. 6
Release 13th of May

Haydn’s 30 Piano Trios were written at a time when the harpsichord was being replaced by the pianoforte and when a parallel change saw the emergence of sonata-allegro form. His earliest trios, such as the Trio in F major, Hob. XV: 40, were also known as Divertimentos or Partitas, whilst the Trio in G major, Hob. XV: 15, was part of a group that offers the performer the alternative scoring of flute over the more usual violin. They reflect the airy and nimble qualities that grace all of Haydn’s works in the genre.

kr. 119,95
Image Songs & Piano Music
Release 13th of May

Lord Berners was essentially self-taught as a composer, profiting from experiences gained while travelling in Europe, and receiving advice and encouragement from Stravinsky. Atone of wit and humor is established in his masterful settings of Heine in the Lieder Album, and his subtle touch with the French language is well represented in the Trois Chansons. The Fragments psychologiques is a piano cycle that is both virtuosic and expressive. Frommock parlor-song parodies to a poem about a dejected goldfish, Lord Berners’ keen sense of observation and ironic view on life is here in abundance.

kr. 119,95
Image Piano Works for the Left Hand
Release 13th of May

Takashi Yoshimatsu’s wide-ranging musical influences often combine jazz and rock elements with classical, folk and world music. This album focuses on a unique series of three solo piano works for the left hand, inspired by his great friend Izumi Tateno. These lyric and beautiful miniatures are saturated in nature and birdsong, as can be heard in the evocative Tapiola Visions and in the seven bouquets that form Ainola Lyrical Ballads which are dedicated to Sibelius. In Gauche Dances, we hear a sequence that includes the tango and boogie woogie, displaying how eagerly and ebulliently Yoshimatsu breaks boundaries.

kr. 119,95
Image Great Composers in Words & Music
Release 13th of May

Tchaikovsky declared that Mozart was ‘full of divine beauty’, and Schubert’s wonder at the ‘countless images of a brighter and better world’ that Mozart was able to conjure up through his music knew no bounds. Many of us carry the image of Mozart as a transcendent genius, but what do we really know about his life and career, and indeed his music? This entertaining and informative biography takes us from Mozart’s beginnings as a child prodigy to his greatest successes and cruelest setbacks. The narrative is illustrated with music from each stage of Mozart’s intense career, including the ‘Jupiter’ Symphony, Clarinet Concerto, Coronation Mass, Requiem, Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro and many more.

kr. 119,95
Image Great Composers in Words & Music
Release 13th of May

Johann Sebastian Bach today has a reputation as the Godfather of Western European music, as a fountainhead of classical music theory and the creator of some of the greatest works the world has ever produced. Better known as a keyboard virtuoso, Bach was not regarded as a genius in his day, so how did this headstrong and belligerent but ambitious young musician become so extraordinarily productive? What were his influences? How did he end up in jail and what did he get up to in Café Zimmerman? Discover all of this and more in this fascinating biography of a composer who, to Max Reger, represented ‘the beginning and the end of all music’. The narrative is illustrated with musical excerpts including the Brandenburg Concertos, Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, Harpsichord Concerto in D minor, The Art of Fugue, St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor among many others.

kr. 119,95
Image Great Composers in Words & Music
Release 13th of May

When we think of Ludwig van Beethoven images of a stormy and passionate but tortured genius are brought to mind, alongside the transformative effect of his work on musical history. All of these things are true, but no artist lives in a vacuum, and even music that opens a portal onto ‘the infinite realm of the spirit’ has its wider context. Illustrated with music from each period, this enlightening life history tells us about Beethoven’s place in society from his earlier career as a fine pianist, his life on the edge of the Napoleonic war, his professional triumphs and many romantic misfortunes, and that famous defiance of deafness and declaration that he would ‘seize Fate by the throat’. The musical excerpts include the ‘Pathétique’ and ‘Moonlight’ Sonatas, ‘Diabelli’ Variations, Symphonies Nos. 2, 3, 6 and 9, ‘Emperor’ Concerto, Missa solemnis and Fidelio, among many others.

kr. 119,95
Image Summerland; Violin Suite; Pastorela; American Suit
Release 27th of May

William Grant Still, the “Dean of Afro-American Composers,” was part of the Harlem Renaissance and wrote nearly 200 works including nine operas and five symphonies. Still’s many awards included three Guggenheim Fellowships and eight honorary doctorates. His work combines Classical forms with jazz and blues idioms and was inspired by the rich tradition of African American spirituals. Still hoped that his music would serve a larger purpose of interracial understanding, and this joyous, moving and hauntingly beautiful program –featuring all world premiere recordings – is infused with Still’s love of God, country, heritage, and even his mischievous dog Shep.

kr. 119,95
Image Mozart – Incidental Music
Release 27th of May

Universally famous for his glorious overtures Light Cavalry and Poet and Peasant (Naxos 8.553935),Franz von Suppé was one of the greatest exponents of the golden Age of Viennese Operetta. But he was also a master of incidental music for popular plays, one of which is Mozart– an example of Künstler-Lebensbild (‘life portrait of an artist’). Suppé’s music subtly accompanies the stage action as the story of the composition of Mozart’s music unfolds, offering a potpourri of Mozart’s works served up with Suppé’s trademark flair. Die Afrikareise presents a piquant and brilliant travelogue.

kr. 119,95
Image Six Concertante Quartets
Release 27th of May

A brilliant swordsman, athlete, violin virtuoso and composer, Joseph Bologne, Chevalierde Saint-Georges might well lay claim to being the most talented figure in an age of remarkable individuals. The string quartet was still in its infancy in France in the 1770s,but while these pieces are small in scale they are exceptionally rewarding. Saint-Georges appreciated the intimate nature of this genre, avoiding overt soloistic virtuosity and exploring chamber music timbres, amply demonstrating his rich lyrical gifts and a natural ability to delight performers and audiences alike.

kr. 119,95
Image Orchestral Works (4CD)
Release 27th of May

Sergey Taneyev was a monumental figure of late 19th-century Russian music. He was a student of Rubinstein and Tchaikovsky, and became teacher to Rachmaninov and Scriabin. Thomas Sanderling’s acclaimed recordings of Taneyev’s symphonies trace a development from the early influence of Brahms to a large-scale masterpiece in the final Fourth Symphony. This collection includes the mammoth overture Oresteia which has all the force of a Romantic symphonic poem, and the sublime cantata John of Damascus in which ancient sacred chant is woven into rich passages of expressive counterpoint.

kr. 215,00
Image 3 Portuguese Orchestras
Release 27th of May

Álvaro Cassuto’s importance to Portuguese cultural life over the last half-century is immense. A significant composer as well as conductor (his music can be heard on Naxos 8.573266), he had already won the Koussevitzky Prize at Tanglewood when he was appointed deputy music director of the Lisbon Radio Orchestra in 1970. This album focuses on the three orchestras he established in later years, all of which set new levels of musical excellence in Portugal. The performances show how, across a variety of repertoire, he revolutionized orchestral standards of music-making in his country and how he personally spearheaded the revival of the music of Joly Braga Santos.

kr. 119,95
Image Flamenco Odyssey - A Mediterranean Guitar Cycle
Release 27th of May

Athens-born Christos Tzifakis has performed internationally as a solo classical guitarist and composed widely for solo guitar, flamenco-jazz groups and for the theatre. Flamenco Odyssey is one of his major works in which he allows the listener to experience flamenco from the vantage point of a traveler immersed in the timbres and flavors of both Eastern and Western cultures. The rhythms of the bulería, soleá and fandango offer intoxication as do improvisations on ancient Cretan songs. There are also darker, more melancholic impulses, while the festive nature of this wide-ranging and exhilarating work draws on blues-rock influences.

kr. 119,95
Image Fantasies on Operas by Donizetti
Release 27th of May

Sigismond Thalberg was one of the most distinguished pianists of his time, embarking on a solo career in the 1830s and touring as far as the Americas. Thalberg was considered a rival to Liszt though their supposed animosity was largely a journalistic invention. The creation of transcriptions of popular operatic melodies and their transformation into virtuoso concert pieces was hugely fashionable, but Thalberg’s treatments were also admired by Schumann for their Classical transparency, and for stylish technical innovations that saw him imitated throughout Europe. These fantasies on themes by Donizetti are full of the lyrical charm and drama of the original operas, combined with pianistic fireworks that delighted audiences worldwide.

kr. 119,95
Image German Dancea, Landlers & Ecossaises
Release 27th of May

Schubert was known in his time primarily as a composer of songs, but he was also a master of the dance form and wrote prolifically for a middle-class society eager for domestic entertainment. He loved Ländler (triple time country dances), the Écossaises (supposedly Scottish), and the rich variety of genial German dances. Viennese pianos of the day produced a sound that was clear and transparent, very different from modern instruments, and in this recording Yang Liu plays on a Steinway grand and a copy of a mid-1820s fortepiano by Conrad Graf, a maker well known to Schubert.

kr. 119,95
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