Our Pick of Naxos' February Releases

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Halvorsen & Nielsen: Violin Concertos

Halvorsen & Nielsen: Violin Concertos


Halvorsen:

Violin Concerto, Op. 28

Nielsen:

Violin Concerto, Op. 33 (FS61)

Svendsen:

Romance for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 26


This is the world première recording of Johan Halvorsens recently rediscovered Violin Concerto. Less well-known as a composer than Carl Nielsen, Halvorsens chamber music (8572522) has been described as delightful (American Record Guide) and effervescent though occasionally darkly hued (Fanfare). Described as tremendously beautiful by its original soloist, this once acclaimed concerto in the tradition of Grieg was long thought to have been lost, its score burned by the composer. Its rediscovery is bound to create a buzz amongst musicians and connoisseurs alike. Brilliant violinist Henning Kraggeruds affection for his native Norwegian composers is well established in Naxos recordings such as his strikingly successful (Gramophone) arrangements of Griegs sonatas with orchestra (8573137), his two volumes of works for violin and piano by Christian Sinding (8572254 and 8572255) and a Sibelius Violin Concerto (8557266) described as a masterly performance by Edward Greenfield in the Gramophone.

“Kraggerud plays with a sense of lithe buoyancy in the faster music, although his double stops are not always infallible. But he has a wide tonal palette, and the langorous slow movement, with its echoes of Bruch, is emotionally charged...The Svendsen Romance is a good bonne bouche to end the CD - the slightest piece here, its gently evocative performance is also the most consistent.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2017 ***

Naxos - 8573738

(CD)

$8.50

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Brahms & Mahler: Piano Quartets

Brahms & Mahler: Piano Quartets


Brahms:

Piano Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 26

Mahler:

Piano Quartet (in one movement) in A minor


Eldar Nebolsin (piano), Anton Barakhovsky (violin), Alexander Zemtsov (viola) & Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt (cello)

After a period as a court composer at Detmold, Brahms returned to the city of his birth, Hamburg, in January 1860. Here, in relative tranquillity, he explored the then rare piano quartet repertoire. The Piano Quartet No. 2 received a very sympathetic hearing in Vienna, Clara Schumann even preferring it to its immediate predecessor, the Piano Quartet, Op. 25 [Naxos 8572798]. Its lyricism is heightened by a romantically beautiful Adagio. Mahler’s vibrant Piano Quartet in A minor dates from 1876, the end of his first year at the Vienna Conservatory, where the only completed movement was first performed.

“Together with violinist Anton Barachovsky, violist Alexander Zemtsov and cellist Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Nebolsin develops an interpretation that benefits from the soloist status of the ensemble players but nonetheless finds a chamber music balance. The strings either blend with the piano sound or else step out in a lively dialogue…I would love to hear more from this ensemble.” FonoForum, July 2017 *****

Naxos - 8572799

(CD)

$8.50

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Richard Strauss: Ariadne Auf Naxos Symphony-Suite

Richard Strauss: Ariadne Auf Naxos Symphony-Suite


Strauss, R:

Ariadne auf Naxos: Symphony-Suite

arr. D. Wilson Ochoa. World Première Recording

Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, Op. 60


Richard Strauss’ Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme suite was one of his own favourite scores, an absolute jewel of incidental music that combines the composer’s romanticism with his love of the Baroque music of Jean-Baptiste Lully. D. Wilson Ochoa has created a new symphonic orchestral suite from Strauss’ opulent Ariadne auf Naxos, enabling the orchestra to revel in music of extreme beauty and sensuous luxury, studded with gorgeous instrumental solos and the composer’s incomparable blend of poignancy, humour and melodic richness.

“A fine addition to the Strauss discography.” MusicWeb International, May 2017

Naxos - 8573460

(CD)

$8.50

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Hawes: Revelation

Hawes: Revelation


Hawes, P:

Revelation

World Première Recording

Beatitudes

World Première Recording

Quanta Qualia


The Elora Singers, Noel Edison

Patrick Hawes has emerged in recent years as one of Englands most popular and inspirational choral composers. The nine pieces that form Revelation are the result of my deep love of the Book of Revelation and its powerful imagery. Where else do you get thunder, lightning and demons as well as a gentle lamb? Another of my favourite New Testament texts is the Beatitudes from St Matthews Gospel these are, quite simply, some of Christs most comforting and beautiful words. Quanta Qualia had such a profound impact on the audience at the 2015 Elora Festival that the choir insisted on its inclusion in this recording. The Elora Singers have provided us with some of the most successful choral releases of recent years, and this program of première recordings of music by Patrick Hawes follows on from a GRAMMY® nominated album of music by Eric Whitacre (8.559677) described by Gramophone as a stimulating and superb discand an absolute must have, a recording of Arvo Pärts choral music (8.570239) draped in luminous colors and arresting timbresa truly enjoyable hour of music (ClassicsToday.com) and Poulencs Mass in G minor (8.572978) in a performance that is finely tailored and buoyantly expressive (Gramophone).

“The Elora Singers have an attractive, well-blended tone, impeccable intonation, and are obviously completely inside this music…n excellent introduction to Hawes’s soundworld and warmly recommended” Choir & Organ, June 2017 *****

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Naxos - 8573720

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