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Opera - To be released October 8, 2021 | Naxos

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Classical - To be released October 8, 2021 | Naxos

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Classical - To be released September 24, 2021 | Naxos

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Chamber Music - To be released September 24, 2021 | Naxos

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Classical - To be released September 24, 2021 | Naxos

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Classical - To be released September 24, 2021 | Naxos

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Chamber Music - Released September 10, 2021 | Naxos

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Saint-Saëns composed many original works for the violin. He also took the art of arrangement to new heights of refinement, believing his transcriptions were independent of their models, following the precedent of composers such as Liszt. This album presents early or alternative duo versions of some of Saint-Saëns’s most popular works, in which the declamatory style of the originals - such as the ever-popular Danse macabre or the habanera-infused Havanaise - is made more intimate and subtle. Composed for the exclusive use of Queen Elisabeth of Belgium in 1918, the Air de Dalila here receives its world premiere recording. © Naxos
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Classical - Released September 10, 2021 | Naxos

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Symphonic thinking dominated Mieczysław Weinberg’s final decade, and these chamber symphonies are part of an interrelated sequence that reworks and cites earlier pieces. The Second Chamber Symphony draws on a string quartet from 1944, reflecting the sombre and fatalistic tone of the period. The Fourth Chamber Symphony was Weinberg’s last completed work, and uses a haunting chorale melody that he once referred to as a constant presence throughout his creativity. © Naxos
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Opera - Released September 10, 2021 | Naxos

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Johann Strauss II’s operetta Waldmeister was staged for the first time in December 1895. The plotline - a case of mistaken identity somewhat reminiscent of Die Fledermaus - is lively, but the libretto itself proved to be less than satisfying. However, the vivacious and immaculately orchestrated music featuring several pieces that would go on to become famous, including the waltz Trau, schau, wem and the polka Klipp-Klapp-Galopp, earned Strauss immense admiration. Attending the opening night with Johannes Brahms was Vienna’s leading critic Eduard Hanslick who hailed the new work by asserting that "Mozart’s golden sound reigns in [Strauss’s] orchestra". © Naxos
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Classical - Released September 10, 2021 | Naxos

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Although Paderewski is more readily associated with his career as a legendary virtuoso pianist, his modest output of 70 orchestral, instrumental and vocal works deserves to be more widely known. Prominent among his vocal output is a series of early songs that reveal natural flowing patterns while exploring both melancholy and folk idioms. The Douze Mélodies, written at the end of his compositional career, is the most original and striking Polish set of songs of the period, notable for dissonance, chromaticism and a palette of rich and unusual musical colours, to which this orchestral arrangement adds a whole new dimension. Little known, the early Suite in G major offers youthful warmth and brio. © Naxos
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Classical - Released September 10, 2021 | Naxos

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Carl Czerny’s instructional exercises may be his lasting legacy but there remain numerous largely forgotten pieces that reveal important elements of his compositional range. The four Romantic Fantasies named after Sir Walter Scott’s famous Waverley novels are piano duets of epic breadth. In them Czerny ingeniously develops popular Scottish melodies, including the use of the "Scotch snap", to generate a vivid programmatic quality that explores numerous genres. Scherzos, fugal passages, chorales and marches are all featured, and raise the music - full of beauty, virtuosity and unpredictability - to orchestral proportions. © Naxos
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Classical - Released August 27, 2021 | Naxos

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The three cello concertos on this recording illustrate that fertile period in the second half of the 18th century when features of the Baroque were gradually replaced by the so-called galant style. Foremost amongst the composers inaugurating this change was Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach whose Concerto in A major is a perfect example of the passionate and dramatic range that marked him out as a pivotal figure of his time. Haydn’s Concerto in C major modulates between older and newer styles, whereas his Concerto in D major is a Classical masterpiece, and a worthy companion to his greatest symphonies. © Naxos
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Classical - Released August 27, 2021 | Naxos

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Among Schubert’s compositions are rare and overlooked works for solo piano that reflect staging posts of his short compositional life. As a boy he had studied with Salieri who almost certainly encouraged him to explore contrapuntal techniques in 1812 – the fugues and fugal expositions he wrote are testament to his secure grounding in the form. Schubert’s admiration for Mozart is clear in the Fantasy in C minor, while the substantial Two Scherzi, D. 593 show early mastery. Also included is the Allegro in E major, Schubert’s first, unfinished attempt at a piano sonata. © Naxos
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Classical - Released August 27, 2021 | Naxos

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The repertoire of Finnish music for violin and orchestra is full of hidden gems, with a substantial amount of works remaining unperformed and unpublished. The music on this recording represents a style of light classical music that was popular from the 1930s to the 1960s but remains largely forgotten today. All of the composers represented here created highly lyrical and charming works, including Uuno Klami who, after Sibelius, is considered one of the most important composers in the history of Finnish music. © Naxos
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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Naxos

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A student of Rimsky-Korsakov and the teacher of Rachmaninov and Scriabin, Anton Arensky holds a distinguished place in the history of Russian music as both an academic and a composer. For his 1900 ballet Egyptian Nights, based on Pushkin, he chose an exotic theme – the dangerous love of the handsome Amoun for Queen Cleopatra – and sought authentic melodic material in scholarly texts. With his gift for orchestration and colour, Arensky fashioned a sensuous and vivid score, featuring a brilliantly conceived series of dances. © Naxos
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Classical - Released August 27, 2021 | Naxos

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Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations is a contrapuntal tour de force, and one of the pinnacles in the history of the variation genre. Composed "to refresh the spirits of music-lovers", it is a constantly fascinating and deeply enriching evocation of an entire musical universe. This arrangement with two ten-string guitars is a transcription of the original text including later corrections and additional musical indications made by the composer. The additional bass strings of these instruments provide an entire lower octave, giving access to the full range of musical timbres in this eternal masterpiece. © Naxos
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Chamber Music - Released August 13, 2021 | Naxos

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Virtuoso duo Sándor Rigó and Christina Leeb-Grill have taken Jean Françaix’s description of his own work, "musique pour faire plaisir", as the motto for this programme. Dance styles and rhythms are at the heart of this repertoire, from the spectacular Brazileira with which Milhaud concludes his theatrical Scaramouche, through Piazzolla’s refinement of tradition in his Tango-Études, to the Brazilian rhythms showcased in Villa-Lobos’s Fantasia. Paquito D’Rivera adapted his Invitación al Danzón especially for this recording, providing Sándor Rigó with space to demonstrate his brilliance in improvisation. © Naxos
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Classical - Released August 13, 2021 | Naxos

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Antonio Ruiz-Pipó was a versatile musician whose compositions display both Andalusian and Parisian influences as well as reflecting his own life story of non-conformism coupled with an infinite love for humanity. This programme reveals his inclination towards South American music, and in the duets Homenaje a Villa-Lobos and the quartet Américas he looks towards the "habanera" and "samba" (as well as a little "boogie-woogie"). Ancient sounds from a faraway land echo in the Homenaje a Antonio de Cabezón, while Cuatro para Cuatro and A Sevilla are pure Andalusian Ruiz-Pipó in terms of their colours, rhythms and narrative. © Naxos
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Classical - Released August 13, 2021 | Naxos

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Lord Berners’ early music was avant-garde in style earning the admiration of Stravinsky, and while it was soon to become more accessible, it never lost its distinctive style and flavour. The Triumph of Neptune is one of his major works and his most ambitious ballet score, commissioned by Diaghilev with choreography by Balanchine. A ballet-pantomime-harlequinade, its inconsequential plot features music as diverse as it is brilliantly inventive. L’uomo dai baffi is a delicious ballet for puppets with stripped-back instrumentation, and Philip Lane’s deft orchestrations of Valses bourgeoises and Polka offer ripe wit. © Naxos
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Opera - Released August 13, 2021 | Naxos

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The music of Iranian composer Behzad Abdi fuses dastgah (the Iranian modal system) with Western classical forms. He wrote Iran’s first national opera, Rumi, and Hafez also exemplifies his approach to the medium. The opera’s subject is the great Persian poet and mystic Hafez, whose sonnets and poetry are still widely read across the Persian-speaking world today. Behrouz Gharibpour’s libretto traces the poet’s tribulations, memories of keeping his poems from being destroyed by a despotic government, and subsequent exile. Abdi’s polytonal technique serves to reflect the unique concepts of Hafez’s 14th-century poetry with passion, lyricism and power. © Naxos

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