[ Naxos / 30 CD Box Set ]
Release Date: Friday 14 April 2017
In 2017, Naxos Records celebrated its 30th anniversary. Founded in 1987 by Klaus Heymann, the label now boasts a catalogue of over 9,000 albums spanning every genre of classical music. This limited edition anniversary boxed set comprises thirty CDs spanning the wide range of the label's repertoire. Featuring releases from 1987 to 2016 and a host of stellar artists, every one of these discs has received critical acclaim and has contributed towards the huge success of Naxos: the world's largest independent classical record label.
Naxos was launched in 1987 as a budget classical CD label, offering CDs at the price of an LP when CDs cost about three times more than LPs. The focus was on recording the standard classical repertoire in state-of-the-art digital sound with outstanding, if unknown, artists and orchestras, initially mainly from Slovakia and Hungary. The parent company's existing rarity label, Marco Polo had been producing recordings in these two countries since 1982. Having recorded the most popular classical works, Naxos started to tackle complete cycles, beginning with the complete Haydn string quartets performed by the Kodály Quartet. This cycle was the first to bring the fledgling budget label international critical acclaim.
Once the label had established a reputation for sonic and artistic excellence it attracted interest from orchestras and artists in Western Europe and elsewhere.
Recording the complete works by all the most important composers became one of the missions of Naxos. From the beginning, the label established close relations with artists willing to commit to the Naxos mission. These became Naxos house artists, starting with Jenő Jandó, the prolific Hungarian pianist who made the first Naxos recording in 1986 and continues to record to this day. Others include the violinists Takako Nishizaki, Ilya Kaler, Henning Kraggerud and Tianwa Yang; the cellist Maria Kliegel; the guitarist Norbert Kraft; the pianist Idil Biret; and others. Naxos also established close relationships with many conductors and their orchestras - Antoni Wit with the Polish National Radio Symphony and the Warsaw Philharmonic; Marin Alsop with the Royal Scottish National, the Bournemouth Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony and the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra; Helmut Müller-Brühl and his Cologne Chamber Orchestra; Leonard Slatkin with his Detroit Symphony and Lyon National Orchestra; Jun Märkl with the MDR Symphony and the Lyon National Orchestra; James Judd and the New Zealand Symphony; JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic; our American hometown orchestra, the Nashville Symphony with Kenneth Schermerhorn and Giancarlo Guerrero; Kevin Mallon and his Aradia Ensemble; Gerard Schwarz and his Seattle Symphony; and many others.
Today, Naxos has a catalogue of over 9,000 titles and releases about 200 new titles per year, covering a wide range of often unique repertoire, recorded in more than 30 countries. The humble budget label has morphed into one of the most respected classical labels, regardless of price.
Parallel to the growth of the label, Naxos built a worldwide distribution and marketing infrastructure for its own and most other Independent classical labels. Naxos is also the industry leader in the digital presentation of classical music. In 1996, it made the complete catalogues of Naxos and Marco Polo available for streaming. In 2002, the company launched Naxos Music Library, the industry's first subscription streaming platform.
This 30th anniversary box offers a representative selection of landmark recordings from the label's history but is also a tribute to the artists and orchestras with whom the label is identified and who are identified with the label.
"Klaus Heymann's Naxos Records stands as a prodigy in both quantity and quality. …The Naxos history has many twists and turns but its stunning trajectory has always been onwards, upward, outwards. I have not listened to every disc or every track of every disc. That said, listening to and considering these discs I have been reminded, time after time, of the delights on offer even within the confines of this set and this is only an infinitesimal proportion of the music-making that Naxos has presented to the world. While duplication might be an issue for some collectors those who are drawn to this handsome and well thought through collection need have no fears. The price is certainly not an obstacle. It will have a special draw for beginners in the classical field wanting to push the boat out into unexplored waters." MusicWeb
"The Seattle players are excellent, with a confident horn section that has plenty to rejoice in...the excerpts [from The Golden Cockerel] are more substantial, and are not only vividly presented but well-shaped. The pieces are enjoyable as lollipops; perhaps they will also encourage listeners to explore Rimsky-Korsakov's operatic legacy more fully." Gramophone on the Rimsky-Korsakov
"Schwabe and Rimmer bring lots of drive and energy to the outer movements and they build up the tension in the Allegro appassionata to a powerful climax…fluidity and subtlety [are] far more in evidence in their enterprising transcriptions of Six Songs, all of which are projected with affection and bags of charisma." BBC Music on the Brahms
"Readers who place emphasis more on musicianly performances than period versus modern instruments will find the Cologne version invigorating, graceful and light of tread. If there is a more enjoyable set of its kind available at the moment then I have yet to hear it." BBC Music on the Bach
"these are really classy performances, brimming with style, wit and poetry...Slatkin and his orchestra turn in a brilliantly idiomatic reading [of Rodeo], matched by a perfectly balanced recording." (Musicweb International on the Copland)
."The all-star Tempest Trio make their recording debut with two Romantic masterworks that fully capture the music's emotional changeability and power." BBC Music on the Dvorak Piano Trios
"The orchestral playing is exemplary and the sonics are first rate. There's just enough resonance to deliver a true Debussian sound to the listener but all the inner details can still be clearly heard. Both conductor and orchestra were in splendid form during this session. Well worth having and hearing" (MusicWeb on the Debussy)
"Nowadays, no one should be surprised to see Elgar being recorded in New Zealand, albeit with a British-born conductor. The orchestral playing is excellent and the recording has both depth and refinement...a disc of music which is performed, recorded and presented well. This is a desirable bargain-price collection which should certainly find a niche in the market." - MusicWeb April 2005 on the NZSO Elgar
"Tianwa Yang is a sensationally talented young violinist. She has technique to burn. Best of all, she has a beautiful tone in cantabile phrases (check out the Romeo and Juliet fantasy) and a really seductive way with rubato that conveys emotion without distorting the rhythm." (10/10 ClassicsToday on the Sarasate)
"Nebolsin, winner of the first Sviatoslav Richter International Piano Competition in 2005, is a virtuoso of power and poetry. Try the scintillating final pages of the E flat Concerto in which Petrenko, always an alert partner, catches the ball and runs with it." Gramophone on the Liszt
Suite No. 3, Op. 19 No. 1 for violin, viola and string orchestra
Bach, J S:
Orchestral Suites Nos. 1-4, BWV1066-1069
(Cologne Chamber Orchestra, Helmut Muller-Bruhl)
Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 'Pathetique'
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2 'Moonlight'
Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 'Appassionata'
(Jeno Jando, piano)
Cello Sonata No. 1 In E Minor, Op. 38
Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major, Op. 99
Die Mainacht, Op. 43 No. 2
Botschaft, Op. 47 No. 1
Liebesglut, Op. 47, No. 2
Verzagen, Op. 72 No. 4
Sommerabend, Op. 85 No. 1
Nachtigall, Op. 97 No. 1
(Gabriel Schwabe, cello)
Symphony No. 5 in B flat major
(Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Georg Tintner)
Los Recuerdos de la Habana (Memories of Havana)
Et Sæterbesøk (A Mountain Vision)
Guitar Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 99
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21
(Idil Biret, piano)
El Salón México
(Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin)
Metropolis Symphony for Orchestra
Deus ex Machina for Piano and Orchestra
(Nashville Symphony, Giancarlo Guerrero)
Préludes - Books 1 & 2 (24, complete)
[Lyon National Orchestra, Jun Markl]
Piano Trio No. 3 in F minor, Op. 65 (B130)
Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor, Op. 90 (B166) 'Dumky'
Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 'From the New World'
Symphonic Variations, Op. 78
Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85
Pomp and Circumstance Marches Nos. 1-5, Op. 39
Coronation March, Op. 65
March from Caractacus
Crown of India, Op. 66: March of the Mogul Emperors
[New Zealand Symphony Orchestra]
Symphony No. 3 in B minor, Op. 42 'Il'ya Murometz'
Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 'Symphony of Sorrowful Songs'
(Zofia Kilanowicz, soprano)
Three Pieces in the Old Style
Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46
Peer Gynt Suite No. 2, Op. 55
Six Songs for voice & orchestra
Det første møde, Op. 21 No. 1
Fire digte af 'Fiskerjenten'. Op. 21
Den Bergtekne, Op. 32
(Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Bjarte Engeset)
Norwegian Dance No. 3 for violin and orchestra
Water Music Suites Nos. 1-3, HWV348-350
Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351
(Aradia Ensemble, Kevin Mallon)
String Quartet, Op. 76 No. 4 in B flat major 'Sunrise'
String Quartet, Op. 76 No. 5 in D major
String Quartet, Op. 76 No. 6 in E flat major
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S124
Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major, S125
Totentanz, S126 for piano & orchestra
(Eldar Nebolsin, piano)
Olsen, C G S:
Old Village Songs (6) from Lom in Norway
Snow Maiden Suite
Sadko (tone poem), Op. 5
Le Coq d'Or Suite
(Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz)
Concierto de Aranjuez
(Norbert Kraft, guitar)
Il barbiere di Siviglia (highlights)
(Ramon Vargas, Sonia Ganassi, Angelo Romero)
Carmen Fantasy, Op. 25
Fantasy on Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, Op. 5
Chansons Russes, Op. 49
El canto del ruiseñor, Op. 29
La chasse, Op. 44
Jota de Pablo, Op. 52
(Tianwa Yang, violin)
Spem in alium for eight five-part choirs '40-part Motet'
I call and cry to thee, O Lord
With all our hearts and mouths
Discomfort them, O Lord
Missa Salve intemerata
(Oxford Camerata, Jeremy Summerly)
Manfred Symphony, Op. 58
The Voyevoda, symphonic ballad Op. 78
(Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko)
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35
Sérénade Mélancolique for Violin & Orchestra in B minor, Op. 26
Souvenir d'un lieu cher, Op. 42 orch. Glazunov
Valse-scherzo in C major for violin & orchestra (or violin & piano), Op. 34
(Ilya Kaler, violin)
and much much more