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    JANUARY CD OF THE MONTH

    William Mathias - Choral Music

    £7.99
    William Mathias wrote some of the most imaginative, communicative and joyful choral music
    of the mid- to late 20th century. These qualities are perhaps most clearly represented in his
    substantial catalogue of works for choir and, in particular, his settings of sacred texts, notably
    the invigorating A Babe is Born and the hauntingly beautiful Ave verum corpus, one of his last compositions. This selection also includes the both serious and entertaining sequence
    of Riddles and the rapt, ecstatic A May Magnificat. More Mathias choral music can be heard
    on 8573523.
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    Ludwig van BEETHOVEN

    Konig Stephan

    £7.99
    Aside from his only opera Fidelio, Beethoven’s general link with the theatre in Vienna came
    about largely with incidental music or songs to be inserted into the works of other composers –
    insertion arias. König Stephan was written to celebrate the politically significant opening of a
    new theatre in Pest, its triumphant mood honouring the ruling Austrian Emperor. Standardbearer of female heroism Leonore Prohaska is commemorated with a Soldier’s Chorus and a Romance with harp accompaniment. In Friedrich von Matthisson’s poem Opferlied (‘Sacrificial
    Song’), a young man prays to Zeus to bestow upon him beauty and goodness in youth and old
    age. Two of Beethoven’s four settings are heard on this wide-ranging programme.
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    Ludwig van BEETHOVEN

    Fugues and Rarities for String Quartet

    £7.99
    The string quartets of Beethoven are among the greatest works of their kind, but he composed
    other works for quartet which have been neglected. This album is dedicated to these intriguing rarities. Alongside the wild and monumental Grosse Fuge, in many ways the culmination of Beethoven’s achievements in the string quartet genre, this recording further displays his mastery of counterpoint by bringing to light brilliant yet forgotten original versions of his quartets Op. 18, No. 1 and Op. 131, plus six virtually unknown miniatures, including his Preludes and Fugues.
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    Philip GLASS

    Violin Concerto No.2

    £7.99
    Philip Glass has become an iconic figure in American music. His works are often inspired by collaborations with other leading musicians, and the proposal of an ?American Four Seasons' by the violinist Robert McDuffie to reflect Vivaldi’s famous masterpiece resulted in a concerto which evokes the Baroque spirit of early 18thcentury
    violin tradition. With the Concerto’s range of moods, listeners are invited to decide for themselves which season the music evokes. The Violin Sonata sees Glass’s melodic and harmonic language haunted by the ghosts of Brahms, Fauré and Franck, ?the meditativeness of this piece bringing a unique energy' for award-winning violinist Piotr Plawner.
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    Gioachino ROSSINI

    Zelmira

    £19.99
    Zelmira was the last opera Rossini wrote for Naples, knowing it would also be his calling card to
    Vienna where he had been assured performances. Keen to reconcile the alleged incompatibility
    between ‘Italian’ melody and ‘German’ harmony, Rossini employed exciting and daring harmonies and a raft of dazzling orchestral effects in this tragedy in which a daughter saves her father, the king, and her son, from usurpers to the throne. The opera was acclaimed wherever it was heard, and this recording presents the revised and triumphant Paris version.
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    Alberic MAGNARD

    Symphonies Nos.1 and 2

    £7.99
    The tragic death of Albéric Magnard, killed defending his home against German troops in 1914, brought a premature end to the composer’s life but not before he had completed four powerfully expressive symphonies (the Third and Fourth are on 8.574082). Symphony No. 1, with its strangely beautiful chorale, was first performed in 1893 but was then not heard again for a century. Symphony No. 2 caused a scandal at its premiere due to its length and complexity, but in its revised version offers radiant serenity and a dazzling confidence that reveals Magnard’s
    true compositional voice.
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    Boris TISHCHENKO

    Harp Concerto

    £7.99
    Boris Tishchenko, often considered to be the direct musical heir of Shostakovich, maintained a prolific output across all genres. The concise vocal trios – one written in memory of the composer’s brother – are alternately plaintive and urgent. The five movements of the Harp Concerto are played without pause, and the work is significant for expanding the harp’s expressive range and requiring the soloist to alternate between two instruments.
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    Anton RUBINSTEIN

    Piano Sonatas Nos.1 and 2

    £6.99
    Anton Rubinstein was the equal of Liszt as a pianist and a technically gifted composer but, in his own words, he was perceived by his contemporaries as too German to be Russian and too Russian to be German, and his music was frequently disparaged. Although occasionally derivative, the first two sonatas are impressively
    bravura and passionate works which pianist Han Chen approaches as if reading a 19th-century Russian novel, digging down to the very essence of the human soul. It is perhaps an irony of the history of taste that Rubinstein’s very real achievements are beginning to be valued only some 125 years after his death.

Recent Naxos Releases

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    £59.99
    British String Quartets
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    £49.99
    Various: The Choral Collection
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    £7.99
    Pytor Il'yich Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, arranged for Brass Septet. (Narrated by Derek Jacobi)
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    £7.99
    Festival of Carols

New DVD and Blu-ray Releases

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    Johann Sebastian Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I
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    £19.99
    Johann Sebastian Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I
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    £24.99
    Within the Golden Hour; Medusa; Flight Pattern
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    £29.99
    Within the Golden Hour; Medusa; Flight Pattern
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    £32.99
    George Benjamin: Written on Skin; Lessons in Love and Violence
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    £39.99
    George Benjamin: Written on Skin; Lessons in Love and Violence
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    £19.99
    Giuseppe Verdi: Traviata - Vous méritez un avenir meilleur (You deserve a better future)
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    £24.99
    Giuseppe Verdi: Traviata - Vous méritez un avenir meilleur (You deserve a better future)
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    £27.99
    Gaetano Donizetti: Enrico di borgogna (Melodramma per musica)
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    £27.99
    Gaetano Donizetti: Enrico di borgogna (Melodramma per musica)
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