Klaus Heymann Recommends - ClassicsOnline
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Dear ClassicsOnline customer,

Naxos Founder and Chairman Klaus Heymann shares his thoughts on a few key April releases from Naxos. Here are his recommendations:

RACHMANINOV, S.: Symphony No. 3 / Symphonic Dances (Detroit Symphony, Slatkin)
8.573051  Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 3 / Symphonic Dances

I have no doubt that this second of three discs featuring Rachmaninov's symphonies will attract a positive critical reaction equal to that received by Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for their recording of the Second Symphony (8.572458): "a performance warmed by musicians who clearly love this symphony" - BBC Music Magazine. The fact that the composer himself regarded the Symphony No. 3 as one of his finest works speaks for itself; coupling it with the Symphonic Dances affords a comparison of two works from his later period, each sporting new directions in stylistic maturity.

DAUGHERTY, M.: Mount Rushmore / Radio City / The Gospel According to Sister Aimee (P. Jacobs, Pacific Chorale, Pacific Symphony, St. Clair)
8.559749  Daugherty: Mount Rushmore / Radio City / The Gospel According to Sister Aimee

I hope you will share my excitement about these splendid world premiere recordings from one of Naxos' most entertaining and best-selling composers, GRAMMY® award-winner Michael Daugherty, who routs the misapprehension that contemporary music is difficult to grasp: "highly accessible, always great fun" - Gramophone; "terrifically entertaining" - ClassicsToday.com. A dramatic oratorio on an iconic sculpture, a symphonic fantasy on the legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini and an organ concerto based on the life of religious celebrity Aimee Semple McPherson form the showcase for this first appearance on Naxos from Carl St. Clair and the Pacific Symphony.

MOERAN, E.J.: Cello Concerto / Serenade / Lonely Waters / Whythorne's Shadow (Johnston, Ulster Orchestra, Falletta)
8.573034  Moeran: Cello Concerto / Serenade / Lonely Waters / Whythorne's Shadow

JoAnn Falletta's association with the Ulster Orchestra got off to a flying start with their first disc of music by Holst claiming a place among the Top 10 Bestsellers in 2012, so I am very pleased to recommend this follow-up recording of works by the Anglo-Irish composer E. J. Moeran that marries what is arguably his most significant and mature composition, the Cello Concerto, with the internationally acknowledged talent of the outstanding young British soloist, Guy Johnston, "one of the country's most promising and distinctive cellists" - The Strad.

FIBICH, Z.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 - Symphony No. 1 / Impressions from the Countryside (Czech National Symphony, Stilec)
8.572985  Fibich: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1

This is a marvellous opportunity to become acquainted with the oeuvre of Zdenek Fibich, a contemporary of Smetana and Dvorak who stands comparison through the distinctive mantle he gave his works, positioning his style between the comparative reserve of Czech Nationalism and the more progressive vein of the New German School. Impressions from the Countryside is a rarity on disc so will be attractive to collectors; coupled here with the Symphony No. 1, the disc also serves first-time buyers as a good appetiser for the 7 follow-up recordings that will cover all of Fibich's orchestral works, conducted by fellow Czech conductor, Marek Stilec.

SAINT-SAENS, C.: Violin and Piano Music, Vol. 1 (Clamagirand, Cohen)
8.572750  Saint-Saëns: Violin and Piano Music, Vol. 1

I have every confidence that this first of two discs devoted to Saint-Saëns' music for violin and piano will whet the appetite for its follow-up companion. Together, they marry comprehensiveness in terms of the repertoire to be included with the exclusivity of the young French violin soloist, Fanny Clamagirand. She not only received a deal of critical acclaim for her recording of the Saint-Saëns concertos on Naxos, but also gained crème de la crème stature when she won the 2007 Monte Carlo Violin Masters Competition.

Choral Music - The Lost City: Lamentations Through the Ages (Sospiri, C. Watson)
8.573078  The Lost City: Lamentations Through the Ages

Connoisseurs of the purity of sound that hallmarks the English a cappella choral style will delight in peeling back the blanket title of this disc to find a string of gems behind it, from the hypnotic flow of John Mundy's renaissance-era polyphony to the mesmerising contemporary reflections of two works commissioned especially for this recording: Cecilia McDowall's pungent The Lord is Good and John Duggan's multi-faceted Three Lamentations for choir, trumpet and solo soprano. I cannot think of a better vehicle for this cutting-edge, yet meditative compilation than the crystalline tone and laser-beam tuning of Sospiri.

PONCE, M.M.: Piano Works (Complete), Vol. 1 (Cendoya)
GP638  Ponce: Complete Piano Works, Vol. 1

My last, but not least, recommendation comes from the Grand Piano label. This is the first of eight volumes devoted to Manuel Ponce's complete piano music. Ponce was the founder of Mexican musical nationalism, who often incorporated folk-song melodies into his music. He was widely travelled and studied in Europe, first in Bologna and then, between 1925 and 1933, as a pupil of Dukas in Paris. Ponce became masterly at assimilating a wide range of styles and influences, all of which are paraded in this disc of utterly charming and easily assimilated music.

We hope you will enjoy these selections and more from Naxos Records and ClassicsOnline.

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