Klaus Heymann Recommends - ClassicsOnline
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Each month Naxos Founder and Chairman Klaus Heymann shares his thoughts on a few key new releases from Naxos. See all Naxos new releases here.

BERLIOZ, H.: Harold en Italie / Le carnaval romain / Benvenuto Cellini: Overture (Berthaud, Lyon National Orchestra, Slatkin)
8.573297  Berlioz, H.: Harold en Italie
Berthaud, Radivo, Orchestre National de Lyon, Slatkin

Scored for viola and orchestra, Berlioz's Harold en Italie was written with the great violin virtuoso Nicolo Paganini in mind as the soloist. It now receives an impressive account from Leonard Slatkin and the Orchestre National de Lyon, who scored a remarkable success with their Grammy® nominated recording of Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique (8.572886). The release was also a MusicWeb International 'Recording of the Month', described as "quite simply one of the best performances of the Symphonie fantastique on disc". With this kind of response, and with the young soloist Lise Berthaud unanimously praised as an outstanding rising figure on the French music scene, I expect this new Harold en Italie will prove to be one of the year's hottest sellers.

HINDEMITH, P.: Nobilissima Visione (Complete Ballet) / 5 Pieces for String Orchestra (Seattle Symphony, Schwarz)
8.572763  Hindemith, P.: Nobilissima Visione
Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Schwarz

Most recordings of Hindemith's attractive, moving and majestic score for the ballet Nobilissima Visione (The Noblest Vision) come in the form of a three-movement suite the composer extracted for concert performance, and which lasts only about 20 minutes. Performances of the complete score are seldom encountered on disc, making this release particularly attractive for fans both of Hindemith and the medium of ballet. The disc also enjoys a unique pairing alongside the earlier Suite for Strings, a short, spirited work which Hindemith wrote in 1927.

MERCADANTE, S.: Briganti (I) [Melodramma serio] (Mironov, Ivanova, Prato, Poznań Camerata Bach Choir, Virtuosi Brunensis, Fogliani)
8.660343-44  Mercadante, S.: I Briganti
Praticò, Prato, Mironov, Ayllón, Ivanova, Fiocco, Mladenov, Camerata Bach Choir, Poznań Virtuosi Brunensis, Fogliani

Naxos has scored notable successes with its previous releases of works by the 19th-century Italian opera composer, Saverio Mercadante, who was considered the equal of Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti in his day. Don Chisciotte alle nozze di Gamaccio (8.660312-13) was described as "truly a delight" by American Record Guide. This production of I briganti from the Rossini in Wildbad Festival 2012 was warmly received by critics, including the New York Times, which considered it "impeccably crafted", with Maxim Mironov "outstanding" in the central role of Ermano. Using a new edition based on contemporary manuscripts, this performance represents the unique revival of a version of I briganti last heard in 1847, with no other such recording currently available.

LOUSSIER, J.: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 / PADEREWSKI, I.J.: Violin Sonata (Kostecki, Iwicki, Hauer, Polish Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra)
8.573200  Loussier, J.: Concerto No. 1 for Violin and Percussion / Concerto No. 2 for Violin and Tabla
Kostecki, Iwicki, Polish Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra


The name Jacques Loussier hardly needs any introduction but, even with his famously jazz-based forays into the music of Bach and beyond, not many will associate his name with 'serious' or 'classical' compositions that further display his gift for stylistic fusion. This exciting release is the first time Loussier's First Violin Concerto has been brought together with the Second Violin Concerto from 2006, and I have no doubt that his many fans worldwide will be eager to discover his most recent original work in a programme of fine new performances. Like Loussier, Paderewski was a piano virtuoso who came to composing in later life, his Violin Sonata being one of the finest of his earlier works.
FAURÉ, G.: Piano Quartet No. 2 / Piano Trio (version for clarinet trio) / 3 Romances sans paroles (Kungsbacka Piano Trio, P. Dukes, R. Hosford)
8.573223  Fauré, I.: Piano Quartet No. 2
Dukes, Hosford, Kungsbacka Piano Trio

The Kungsbacka Piano Trio has established an excellent reputation over the years through their acclaimed Naxos recordings of Haydn and Mozart Piano Trios. Joined once again by viola player Philip Dukes for Fauré's Second Piano Quartet, this new release follows their recording of his First Piano Quartet and other chamber works (8.573042), which was admired for its "crystal clear and well balanced" sound quality by MusicWeb International. Their new disc includes the less frequently heard original version of the Piano Trio (for clarinet, cello and piano), featuring the renowned clarinettist Richard Hosford, a performer whose contribution to our recording of the music of Ian Venables (8.572514) was considered 'exemplary', the release given five stars by BBC Music Magazine.

SPOHR, L.: String Quartets (Complete), Vol. 17 - Nos. 10 and 18 (Moscow Philharmonic Concertino String Quartet)
8.225352  Spohr, L.: String Quartets Vol. 17
Moscow Philharmonic Concertino String Quartet


This final volume of our unique collection of the entire String Quartets by Louis Spohr is once again in the skilled hands of the Moscow Philharmonic Concertino String Quartet, whose "tuning, intonation, technique, ensemble, sensitivity, and depth of expression result in total musicality", to quote the American Record Guide (Vol. 13, 8.225315). As with so many of the other volumes in our comprehensive edition, this release contains two major world première recordings, including that of the Quartet No. 10 in A major, which Spohr himself identified as one of his main calling-cards as a performer and composer.

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

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