Recent Picks from Naxos Music Library

Check out our recent picks form Naxos Music Library including the third Elgar album from Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. If you haven’t started streaming, please check our guide to streaming.

Cover from Naxos SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Piano Concertos Nos. 3, 4, 5 (A. Kantorow, Tapiola Sinfonietta, J.-J. Kantorow)
Performed by: Kantorow, Alexandre; Kantorow, Jean-Jacques; Tapiola Sinfonietta
“Composer, piano virtuoso, conductor, teacher Camille Saint-Saëns was all of these things, but also a keen archaeologist, astronomer, botanist, historian, illustrator, poet, playwright A seasoned traveller, he was the most famous French musician in his own lifetime. Jean-Jacques Kantorow and the Tapiola Sinfonietta have championed the music of Saint-Saëns on a series of acclaimed albums, and are now joined by the young Alexandre Kantorow son of the conductor for a survey of his works for piano and orchestra.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Cover from Naxos MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 3 (Mingardo, Cologne Cathedral Children’s Choir, Schola Heidelberg, Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra, F.-X. Roth)
Performed by: Cologne Cathedral Children’s Choir; Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra; Mingardo, Sara; Roth, François-Xavier; Schola Heidelberg, female section
“The work calls for enormous forces (large orchestra, women’s choir, boys’ choir and contralto soloist) and, at each hearing, leaves an unforgettable impression on the audience. Such was the case in October 2018, when François-Xavier Roth led the esteemed successors of the work’s first interpreters.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Cover from Naxos HAYDN, J.: Symphonies, Vol. 7 – Nos. 9, 65, 67 (Haydn 2032 Project, No. 7. Gli impresari) (Basel Chamber Orchestra, Antonini)
Performed by: Antonini, Giovanni; Basel Chamber Orchestra
“Under the title Gli impresari, The Impresarios i.e. the directors of the theatre troupes that Nikolaus I, Prince Esterházy engaged to perform in his opera houses this CD gathers together some of the orchestral works by Joseph Haydn linked by their origin and their reception; they were originally conceived as theatre music, before their metamorphosis into symphonies(…).” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Cover from Naxos ELGAR, E.: Enigma Variations / In the South Overture, “Alassio” / Serenade (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, V. Petrenko)
Performed by: Petrenko, Vasily; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
“The third Elgar album from Petrenko and the RLPO , a critically acclaimed team of Elgarians, brings together three masterpieces, In the South, a vibrant and colourful depiction of the Southern Italian coast, the Serenade for String Orchestra, and the Variations on an original theme, know as the Enigma Variations.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

New Classical CDs at Arapaki

We have recently added some new classical CDs to our small collection at Arapaki (Manners Street). Come in and flick through them the next time you’re in town! The new additions include some compilations by notable singers.

Lise Davidsen. Songs and arias by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. Performed by Lise Davidsen.
“‘The young Norwegian soprano’s voice, silken at the top, rich with deep mezzo colours, pours forth flawlessly as if in one clear, stupendous breath. It’s one of the greatest voices I have heard'” (Observer review, printed on CD cover).

Si j’ai aimé. Performed by Sandrine Piau with Le Concert de la Loge.
“[Sandrine Piau’s] new project is a recital with orchestra celebrating French songs from the period when they moved from the private salon to the concert hall. Planned in partnership with the Palazzetto Bru Zane, this programme evokes all the vagaries of love experienced by a romantic heroine.” (amazon.com)

Lieder, Brahms, Schumann, Mahler. Performed by Renée Fleming.
“Four-time Grammy winner Renée Fleming presents her first full-length Lieder album in almost two decades, featuring a selection of favorite songs from Brahms, Schumann, and Mahler, including Brahm’s “Lullaby” and a breathtaking performance of Mahler’s Rückert Lieder with Christian Thielemann and the Munich Philharmonic.” (amazon.com)

New Streaming Picks from the Naxos Music Library

New music keeps coming to the Naxos Music Library; the most comprehensive collection of classical music available online. If you haven’t started streaming from them, please check our guide to streaming. Check out our recent picks below and enjoy streaming!

Cover from Naxos SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Symphonies Nos. 6 and 7 / Korol’ Lir (King Lear) Suite (Hudgins, Boston Symphony, A. Nelsons)
Performed by: Boston Symphony Orchestra; Hudgins, William R.; Nelsons, Andris
Andris Nelsons is the Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and new Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. With both appointments, and in leading a pioneering alliance between these two esteemed institutions, he is firmly underlined as one of the most renowned, exciting and innovative conductors on the international scene today. Nelsons and the BSO continue the acclaimed cycle with the ‘Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7’.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Cover from Naxos BUXTEHUDE, D.: Membra Jesu nostri / Gott hilf mir (Ricercar Consort, Pierlot)
Performed by: Bayodi, Hanna; Keohane, Maria; Mena, Carlos; Pierlot, Philippe; Ricercar Consort; Thompson, Jeffrey; Vieweg, Matthias
“In 1680, Dietrich Buxtehude sent his friend Gustav Düben the score of ‘Membra Jesu Nostri’. In this perfectly balanced work, he addresses the senses directly, immersing us in the sufferings of Christ: we feel the hammer blows, the heart that stops beating. Through the genius of his music Buxtehude succeeds in moving us, enlightening us and instructing us in the profound meaning of the text.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Cover from Naxos RACHMANINOV, S.: Préludes, Op. 3, No. 2, Opp. 23 and 32 (Giltburg)
Performed by: Giltburg, Boris
“Written over a period of 18 years, Rachmaninov’s sets of Préludes are a mirror and a record of his compositional development. With so rich a variety of character, colour, texture and mood, no two préludes are fully alike, and differentiation of tempo and register ensures that each prélude’s character is clearly defined. The first eleven pieces were conceived by Rachmaninov as a single cycle, and their full-hearted Romanticism contrasts with the significantly more angular, modernistic Op. 32. Whether evoking ballad or bell toll, the exotic or folk influences, the Préludes stand in the great tradition of works by Bach and Chopin written in all 24 major and minor keys.” (Naxos Summary)

Cover from Naxos HANDEL, G.F.: Acis and Galatea (1718 original version) [Opera] (Crowe, A. Clayton, Hulett, N. Davies, Budd, Curnyn)
Performed by: Budd, Jeremy; Clayton, Allan; Crowe, Lucy; Curnyn, Christian; Davies, Neal; Early Opera Company Orchestra; Hulett, Benjamin; Pierce, Rowan
“The award-winning Early Opera Company under the direction of founder Christian Curnyn celebrates the 300th anniversary of the premiere of one of Handels most sublime creations: Acis and Galatea. This unique interpretation is performed as Handel himself specified in the manuscript: supported by fourteen period instruments, the outstanding cast of singers takes on the solo parts as well as the magnificent choruses. This is Handel writing at his highest levels of intimacy and intensity; the music superbly supports the libretto’s evocative portrayal of the story, simultaneously restrained, economical, and deeply moving.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Cover from Naxos DUBHLINN GARDENS (THE) (Besson, Van Mechelen, A Nocte Temporis)
Performed by: A Nocte Temporis; Besson, Anna; Van Mechelen, Werner
“The Dubhlinn Gardens: an evening in the high society of 18th century Dublin, where traditional music was civilizing itself for the salon This programme was inspired by the passion for traditional Irish music that flautist Anna Besson has felt since she was a child. Surprising as it may seem, it was playing the Irish flute that led her to study the baroque instrument For the past few years Reinoud Van Mechelen too has begun to train himself in the traditional Irish song. This twofold practice of early as well as traditional music has led the ensemble A Nocte Temporis to offer a programme that is both vivacious and extremely touching.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Cover from Naxos TRISTANO, F.: Tokyo Stories (Tristano)
Performed by: Guti; Portal, Michel; Shibuya, Keiichiro; Tristano, Francesco; U-zhaan, ; Watanabe, Hiroshi
“Born and raised in Luxembourg, Francisco Tristano is one of the most innovative pianists of today, performing from baroque to avant-garde. He has issued unique recordings from Deutsche Grammophon including the acclaimed ‘Bach Cage’, which can be listened from Naxos Music Library. He is a musician more like Ryuichi Sakamoto or Nils Frahm than a traditional classical pianist, and his new album is inspired by the city of Tokyo that he loves and has visited so many times. It’s another intriguing music; somewhere between classical, techcho and ambient, by the unconventional artist.” (Shinji)

More Classical Music Streaming from Naxos Music Library

Although no physical CDs are available from our libraries at the moment, we still offer a lot of fine music through the Naxos Music Library. If you haven’t started streaming from the Naxos Music Library yet, please check the quick guide to start enjoying. Check also our new picks from the 2018/2109 releases below. Happy streaming!

We interviewed Yuka Eguchi, an assistant concertmaster of New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Please check it (A Classical Note) as well.

Cover from Naxos BACH, J.S.: Keyboard Music (Ólafsson)
Performed by: Ólafsson, Víkingur
“As if making an ultimate Bach playlist, a young Icelandic pianist Vikingur Olafsson excellently juxtaposes Bach’s compositions, and tackles them from a variety of angles with fresh ideas. His pianism is sophisticated and refreshing, and brings out astonishingly colourful faces of Bach. This incredible Bach should reach beyond the classical music lovers like Glenn Gould did.” (Shinji)

Cover from Naxos MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 6 (Musica Aeterna, Currentzis)
Performed by: Currentzis, Teodor; Musica Aeterna
“Without dispute Teodor Currentzis is todays hottest & most sought after conductor- alongside his orchestra & choir MusicAeterna. The Greek-Russian conductor who has taken the classical music world by storm. (The Times) This is Currentziss first ever recording of Mahler. Mahlers symphonies feature heavily in their tour programme, but this is the first time Currentzis has gone into the studio with this composer.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Cover from Naxos STENHAMMAR, W.: Symphony No. 2 / Serenade (Gothenburg Symphony, Blomstedt)
Performed by: Blomstedt, Herbert; Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
“Blomstedt has told of how an international career gave him little opportunity to study and conduct Stenhammars music. At the age of 85, however, when he no longer had any obligations as a chief conductor, he thought now or never and began to study the composers major scores in earnest. The works on this disc are possibly the finest orchestral music that Stenhammar composed and he gave the premières of both with the orchestra, Symphony No. 2 in 1915 and the revised version of the Serenade in 1920.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Cover from Naxos BERLIOZ, H.: Harold en Italie / Les nuits d’été (T. Zimmermann, Degout, Les Siècles, F.-X. Roth)
Performed by: Degout, Stéphane; Roth, François-Xavier; Siècles, Les; Zimmermann, Tabea
“A new aesthetic calls for new forms: such is the challenge the composer set for himself in the two works presented here. In Les Nuits dété, Berlioz pioneered, well before Mahler and Ravel, a song cycle for voice and orchestra. In Harold in Italy, scored for large orchestra and solo viola, he experimented with the symphonic genre.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Cover from Naxos DEBUSSY, C.: Préludes, Book 1 / Estampes (Perianes)
Performed by: Perianes, Javier
“After an earlier album devoted to the intangible links between Chopin and Debussy, Javier Perianes returns to Debussy’s Préludes, which are among his favorite works. His recording of Book I, presented here in its entirety alongside the sublime Estampes, emphasizes the colorful, programmatic nature of these works.” (adapted from amazon.com)

A Guide to Classical Music Streaming from the Naxos Music Library

Naxos Music Library is the most comprehensive collection of classical music available online offering over 2,218,800 tracks of Classical music, Jazz, World, Folk and Chinese music.

CLICK the green panel under NAXOS MUSIC LIBRARY.
They will ask you for your Library Card number and Surname to access the site.

On the main webpage you will find at the top 2 searches: one for new releases, the other for recent additions. These change constantly. If you are a fan of particular labels – then click on the left hand side list of LABELS.

QUICK GUIDE TO FINDING BEST NEW RECORDINGS RELEASED MONTHLY:
For those eagre to sample the best of new classical recordings we recommend
BBC Radio 3’s weekly podcasts (from every Saturday evening after 10pm NZ time) Record Review with Andrew MacGregor. Over 3 hours of excellent analysis, friendly banter with knowledgeable Guests, and great bleeding chunks of music.

PRESTO CLASSICAL is also the best site to see what has been released each week, with interviews, forthcoming releases. Worth subscribing to their weekly newsletter:

We have chosen 5 exemplary recent discs from the current Naxos catalogue that are performances from musicians that engage, and enthrall for their musicality, and individual performance. Start streaming now!

Cover from Naxos Piano Recital: Levit, Igor – BACH, J.S. / BUSONI, F. / LISZT, F. / SCHUMANN, R. (Life)
Performed by: Levit, Igor

 

Cover from Naxos VAUGHAN WILLIAMS, R.: Symphony No. 1, “A Sea Symphony” / The Lark Ascending (S. Fox, M.Stone, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, Manze)
Performed by: Ehnes, James; Fox, Sarah; Manze, Andrew; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Stone, Mark

 

Cover from Naxos SIBELIUS, J.: Symphony No. 1 / En saga (Claesson, Gothenburg Symphony, Rouvali)
Performed by: Claesson, Urban; Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra; Rouvali, Santtu-Matias

 

Cover from Naxos FINZI, G.: Cello Concerto / Eclogue / New Year Music / Grand Fantasia and Toccata (P. Watkins, Lortie, BBC Symphony, A. Davis)
Performed by: BBC Symphony Orchestra; Davis, Andrew; Lortie, Louis; Watkins, Paul

 

Cover from Naxos Vocal Music (Counter-Tenor) – FAGO, F.N. / HEINICHEN, J.D. / TERRADELLAS, D. / ZELENKA, J.D. (Anima Sacra) (Orliński, Il Pomo d’Oro, Emelyanychev)
Performed by: Emelyanychev, Maxim; Orliński, Jakub Józef; Pomo d’Oro, Il

 

Spotlight on new Classical music CDs

Maria Callas CD cover

We have recently received new compilations of works from two French greats: Hector Berlioz and Claude Debussy. To accompany these, we found a selection of digitally remastered recordings of the great Maria Callas. We hope you enjoy them!

Les Trois Sonates: The Late Works, Debussy. Various performers.
“A century after his death on 25 March 1918, many Harmonia Mundi artists are eager to pay tribute to Claude Debussy, the magician of melody and timbre, the great ‘colourist’ and father of modern music. In the three chamber sonatas, here combined with the composer’s final pieces for solo piano, we attain the purity, the absolute concision, the distant and mysterious world that give these works a testamentary dimension.” (Cover)

Harold en Italie, Les Nuits d’été, Hector Berlioz. Performed by Les Siècles and François-Xavier Roth.
“A new aesthetic calls for new forms: such is the challenge the composer set for himself in the two works presented here. In Les Nuits d’été Berlioz pioneered, well before Mahler and Ravel, a song cycle for voice and orchestra. In Harold in Italy, scored for large orchestra and solo viola, he experimented with the symphonic genre. These period-instrument performances by Les Siècles, led by François-Xavier Roth, with violist Tabea Zimmermann, also feature Stéphane Degout in the vocal cycle, heard here in the composer’s own version for baritone. File under: out of the ordinary.” (Cover)

The New Sound of Maria Callas.
“Unforgettable arias sung by the most iconic diva of all time – for the first time remastered in high-definition sound from the original tapes, for an unprecedented sound quality that shines new light on the voice of Maria Callas.” (Cover)

New Classical CDs just in the door!

Vaughan Williams

This week’s new classical CDs include these three albums featuring vocals: A Sea Symphony, which features text from Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’, sung by Sarah Fox and Mark Stone; Howard Goodall’s treatment of the Passion; and a second compilation of Vivaldi arias by Cecilia Bartoli.

A Sea Symphony & The Lark Ascending, Vaughan Williams. Performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir.
“Vaughan Williams’s first symphony A Sea Symphony displays an epic self-confidence in handling large orchestral forces and setting words to music. Walt Whitman’s words had been set by Holst and Harty and inspired orchestral works by Delius. The American poet provided a rich vein of inspiration to Vaughan Williams. The romance The Lark Ascending, originally for violin and piano, was orchestrated in 1920 and has become one of the composer’s best-loved works” (cover).

Invictus: A Passion, Howard Goodall. Performed by Christ Church Cathedral Choir and others.
“Christ Church Cathedral Choir and Stephen Darlington join forces with Soloists from The Sixteen and a stellar group of instrumentalists on this premiere recording. Persecution of the innocent, malevolent authority exerting itself against ideas that threaten and challenge, the power of a peaceful, loving humility in the face of tyranny, the facing-down of fear; all hold profound universal resonance for people of many faiths and those of none. Such is the power of the Passion story and in his new work, Invictus: A Passion, multi-award-winning composer Howard Goodall has found a route directly to people’s hearts, telling the story afresh through his choice of thought-provoking texts combined with heart-rending yet inspiring music” (amazon.com).

Antonio Vivaldi. Performed by Cecilia Bartoli.
“In 1999, Cecilia Bartoli released her landmark Vivaldi Album and introduced Antonio Vivaldi’s forgotten opera works to the world. Now, almost two decades later, she returns to Vivaldi with a brand new album of arias from the baroque master’s finest operas” (cover).

New classical CD’s for all to enjoy

Debussy album cover

Period instruments are the flavour of the month for January’s new classical CD additions; enjoy colours that Bach, Mozart and Debussy would have heard.

Sonatas & Partitas BWV 1001-1006, J. S. Bach. Performed by Giuliano Carmignola.
“With his interpretation of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo, Giuliano Carmignola, dubbed ‘a prince among Baroque violinists’ (Gramophone), adds the first period-instrument recording of these works to DG’s rich catalogue” (cover).

Sonatas for Fortepiano & Violin, Mozart. Performed by Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov.
“In this first volume of Mozart’s duos, Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov revive on period instruments the tradition of the ‘sonata for keyboard with violin accompaniment’. Born in the middle of the Age of Enlightenment, this rather unusual concept continued to thrive in the era of Viennese Classicism, even if, long before Beethoven, Mozart swiftly sealed its fate by instigating (or, in a sense, restoring) an increasingly lively conversation between the two instruments” (cover).

Jeux/Nocturnes, Debussy. Performed by Les Siècles and François-Xavier Roth.
“With the musicians of Les Siècles, we have the opportunity to discover on period instruments the original colours of [some of Debussy’s key works] as Jeux and the Nocturnes. After his sumptuous recording of Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe, François-Xavier Roth adds a new and splendid achievement to his discography” (cover).

New Classical CDs

Anima Sacra album cover

We have recently added some interesting compilations by solo performers, including Delphine Galou, an alto from France, and the ever-reliable Andrea Bocelli. Other offerings include:

Anima Sacra. Performed by Jakub Józef Orliński.
“Offering no fewer than eight world-premiere recordings on his debut solo album, Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński plumbs the depths of sacred Baroque music for a spiritual journey through largely unknown arias from oratorios and motets of the 18th century, breathing new life into music by lesser-known masters.” (Cover)

Piano Magic. Peformed by Lang Lang.
A compilation of some of Lang Lang’s previously-recorded successes. “All works are very well known and loved – including Mozart’s ‘Rondo alla Turca’, Liszt’s ‘Rakoczy March’ Chopin’s ‘Minute Walt’z and Scott Joplin’s ‘The Entertainer’. The album also includes some of Lang Lang’s most streamed tracks to date; Bach’s ‘Air on the G-string’ (currently 11 million streams) and Liszt’s ‘La Campanella’ (4.5 million streams).” (amazon.com)

Sonatas Opus 109, 110, 111, Beethoven. Performed by Alexandre Tharaud.
This recording of Beethoven’s last three piano sonatas (30, 31 and 32) comes with a bonus 64-minute DVD. “This last group of sonatas had a three-fold purpose: didactic, spiritual and promotional. Beethoven had to keep on offering new works to different publishers in order to earn a living, but he was also motivated by the desire to exhort future pianists to aspire to ever greater heights, by writing for them music that exuded a lofty spirituality.” (Cover)

New Classical CDs

Destination Rachmaninov CD cover

This week in new classical music we feature recordings from each end of the romantic period, and one more in the middle-ish. Happy listening!

Destination Rachmaninov – Departure, Rachmaninov. Performed by Daniil Trifonov and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
“Daniil Trifonov’s captivating, Romantic soul and limitless virtuosity are thrillingly displayed [in this] musical exploration of two of Rachmaninov’s piano concertos – the heart-rending Second and the cosmopolitan Fourth – supported by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the glorious Philadelphia Orchestra… ‘Rachmaninov mastered the musical languages of the composers he admired,’ explains Trifonov, ‘and with humour, reverence, brilliance and affecting sentiment, created his own very Russian syntheses. In that sense, his music is both a journey and a destination’.” (cover)

The Complete String Quartets 5, Beethoven. Performed by the Elias String Quartet.
“The penultimate performance in the Elias String Quartets complete presentation of Beethoven’s String Quartets at Wigmore Hall brings to life the joyous and optimistic String Quartet in A Op.18 No. 5, the varied yet subtle String Quartet in C Op. 59 No. 3 ‘Razumovsky’ and finally the visionary String Quartet in C sharp minor Op. 131. The five-starred reviewed series of live recordings continues to excite, with committed performance from the ensemble earning them high praise from audience and critics alike. The Elias String Quartet’s brilliant performance continues to bring a fresh energy and emotion to this exploration of the masterworks of Beethoven.” (amazon.com)

Symphony No. 6, Mahler. Performed by MusicAeterna, Teodor Currentzis, conductor.
“‘Without dispute Teodor Currentzis is today’s hottest & most sought after conductor – alongside his orchestra & choir MusicAeterna. The Greek-Russian conductor who has taken the classical music world by storm.’ (The Times) This is Currentzis’s first ever recording of Mahler. Mahler’s symphonies feature heavily in their tour programme, but this is the first time Currentzis has gone into the studio with this composer.” (amazon.com)