February, 2012  
Klaus Heymann Recommends - ClassicsOnline

Dear ClassicsOnline Fans,

Founder and Chairman Klaus Heymann offers his insights on a selection of February Naxos releases.

GERSHWIN, G.: Piano Concerto / Second Rhapsody / I Got Rhythm Variations (Weiss, Buffalo Philharmonic, Falletta)
8.559705  Gershwin: Concerto in F, Rhapsody No. 2, I’ve Got Rhythm Variations

The existing Naxos recording of the Concerto and the Rhapsody in Blue, featuring Australian pianist Kathy Selby and veteran arranger/conductor Richard Hayman, has been in our catalogue for more than 20 years. It has been one of our best-selling albums of all time, with more than 300,000 copies sold since its release in 1989. Still, I thought it was time to come up with a genuinely American version and I asked JoAnn Falletta to record the complete works for piano and orchestra with her Grammy®-winning Buffalo orchestra and award-winning young American pianist, Orion Weiss. This first volume of the two-CD project is a tremendous success – idiomatic performances by both soloist and orchestra and terrific sound. The second volume will include Rhapsody in Blue and the remaining works for piano and orchestra of Gershwin.

GRIEG, E.: String Quartets (arr. for string orchestra) / NORDHEIM, A.: Rendezvous (Oslo Camerata, Barratt-Due)
8.572441  Grieg: String Quartets / Nordheim: Rendezvous

The Grieg G minor string quartet is one of the finest string quartets of the second half of the 19th century, but is hardly ever performed. I hope that this new recording of Alf Årdal’s arrangements for string orchestra will make the work, and the unfinished F major quartet, better known. The players of the Oslo Camerata have lived with the quartets all their musical lives and give convincing, heartfelt performances under their director Stephan Barratt-Due. Rendezvous, an original composition by Arne Nordheim makes an interesting addition. There is no other recording of these arrangements – enjoy!

WEISS, S.L.: Lute Sonatas, Vol. 11 (Barto) - Nos. 30, 39 and 96
8.572680  Weiss: Lute Sonatas, Vol. 11

This is another of my pet projects – there is so much great music among these sonatas – it’s a pity they are not better known. If Weiss had composed these sonatas as concerti grossi or string symphonies he would be as well known as Bach and Handel. The recordings by lutenist Robert Barto have met with universal acclaim.

This is wonderful music to be listened to late at night with a glass of good wine – even not so great wine will taste wonderful if consumed while listening to this music. One of these days, I hope to commission orchestrations of the best of these works to make them better known, along the lines of the Respighi Ancient Airs and Dances. Incidentally, this is the only project to record all the sonatas – there are probably another four or five CDs to go.

Also Available:
Weiss Lute Sonatas, Volume 7  8.557806
Weiss Lute Sonatas, Volume 8  8.570109
Weiss Lute Sonatas, Volume 9  8.570551
Weiss Lute Sonatas, Volume 10  8.572219

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

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