ArkivMusic Newsletter

Dear ArkivMusic Customer,

Over the past quarter century, Naxos has grown to become not only the go-to label for acclaimed yet inexpensive CDs of standard repertoire but also frequently the sole source to hear neglected works by underappreciated masters. Now ArkivMusic has this rich catalog of widely varied listening experiences available at 3 CDs for just $20* – essentially 3 for the price of 2! (MP3 downloads are also on sale, for $4.99 per "disc.")

Here are a dozen of our favorite recent Naxos CDs to get you started:

Ellington: Black, Brown & Beige / Falletta, Buffalo Philharmonic
Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic have yet to make a finer record. The performances are just marvelous. They catch the music’s “swing” in vivid interpretations, and are captured by Naxos’ engineers in bright, natural, high-impact sound. It’s a joy.

Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Tianwa Yang
Yang has exceptional technique, and her vision in the great E minor concerto is unfailingly intelligent. What makes this disc such a smart one, though, is the inclusion of the youthful D minor concerto and the F minor violin sonata. Yang plays them very well indeed.

Janacek: Taras Bulba, Lachian Dances / Wit, Warsaw
Everything about this disc is fabulous: the performances, the coupling, and the sonics. Antoni Wit’s Taras Bulba sounds like no other.

Villa-Lobos: Symphonies No 3 & 4 / Karabtchevsky
Villa-Lobos’s War and Victory Symphonies, commissioned by the Brazilian government at the end of the country’s involvement in World War I, convey the composer’s feelings about the conflict and display a confident use of unusual and evocative effects.

Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra; Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta / Alsop, Baltimore
A fine, fine effort, and wholly recommendable as a pairing of these two iconic works.

Penderecki: Piano & Flute Concertos / Douglas, Wit
Penderecki’s Piano Concerto, heard here in its 2007 revision and performed by Barry Douglas, renews the composer’s direct involvement with the "grand" concerto tradition that culminated in Rachmaninov and Prokofiev.

Karabits: Concertos for Orchestra / Karabits
An inspirational composer and teacher, Ukraine’s Ivan Karabits absorbed into his music three particular traditions: Mahler, Shostakovich, and the folk-music of his native country. His colorful, virtuosic, and at times theatrical Concertos for Orchestra reflect the influence of his friend and mentor, Rodion Shchedrin.

Saint-Saens: Piano Quartet, Piano Quintet / Ortiz
The 1875 Piano Quartet remains one of the great works in the chamber repertory, a masterful example of the composer’s organizational skill and lyric gifts. Also included are the gorgeous Barcarolle and the youthful Piano Quintet, with its concerto-like role for the piano.

Rimsky-Korsakov: Snow Maiden, Sadko, Mlada, Le Coq d'Or / Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
The Seattle orchestra's by now familiar characteristics – plangent strings, hugely characterful winds, and strong, assertive brass – are evident right from the opening suite and are maintained consistently throughout all the tracks. Add this disc to your collection.

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique / Slatkin, Lyon NO
This may well be the most amazing performance and recording of the Symphonie Fantastique I’ve ever heard. No matter how many Fantastiques you have in your collection, this is one you should not be without.

D'Albert: Symphony in F / Markl, MDR SO
Nicknamed "Albertus Magnus" by Liszt, d’Albert wrote but a single work in symphonic form, the ambitious Symphony in F major, which shows him as a gifted composer in the tradition of Brahms.

Casella: Concerto for Orchestra / La Vecchia, Rome
Francesco La Vecchia and his Roman orchestra continue their acclaimed Casella series with three world-premiere recordings, including what the composer believed was his "most complete achievement in the field of orchestral music."

See all of our featured Naxos CDs while the entire catalog is available at 3 for $20!*

As always, I thank you for your support and love of classical music.

The Arkiv Team

*Purchase 3 or more CDs from our section of eligible Naxos titles and you will be charged only $6.66 per disc. The more you buy, the more you save! (Note: Eligible two-disc sets count as two CDs and eligible three-disc sets count as three CDs toward the 3-for-$20 price. All other multi-disc sets, Super Audio CDs, MP3s, DVDs, and Naxos audiobooks are sale-priced separately and are not part of the "3-for-$20" promotion. The "3-for-$20" pricing ends on 4/15/13, while the entire Naxos label continues on sale until 4/30/13.)