Podcast: A dodgy deal. Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale.

Quirky, catchy and disturbing, Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale is also one of his most immediately engaging works. Conceived as a rich procession of narration, acting, dancing and instrumental interludes, the work leaves the listener ruminating on its message long after the final shot from the percussion. Raymond Bisha introduces the work, from its individual parts Read More …

Podcast: Debut on disc. Orchestral works by Enrique Granados.

Enrique Granados was a Spanish nationalist composer and outstanding pianist whose orchestral works have remained understandably overshadowed by the popularity of his piano compositions. This imbalance is now redressed by Naxos with the release of three volumes of orchestral music to mark the centenary of the composer’s death in 1916. Raymond Bisha presents the works Read More …

Podcast: Making overtures. Haydn’s operatic openers.

Although Haydn’s operas are little-performed today, many of them were immensely popular during his lifetime and were staged far beyond the wealthy Esterhàzy court for which they were written. With subject matter ranging from very dramatic to very funny, Haydn sets the atmosphere for each of his stage works (including those for marionettes) with an Read More …

Podcast: Ravel’s treasured time piece – L’heure espagnole

Ravel’s opera L’heure espagnole combines an improbable plot with impeccable melodic charm and orchestral transparency. Raymond Bisha introduces this month’s new recording from Leonard Slatkin and the Orchestre National de Lyon, which is coupled with the last work Ravel composed, the song cycle Don Quichotte à Dulcinée. View album details of Maurice Ravel’s L’Heure espagnole Read More …

Podcast: A Manhattan Medley

Surprising Sedaka…energised Emerson…distinctive Duke…great Gershwin. Manhattan Intermezzo is a musical melting pot of a CD. Join Raymond Bisha in his podcast of discovery. View album details of Manhattan Intermezzo – Piano and Orchestral Works by Neil Sedaka, Keith Emerson, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin at naxos.com Catalogue No.: 8.573490 http://blog.naxos.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/8.573490.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Read More …

Podcast: Let’s case the music, and dance!

This month sees the latest Naxos release of music by Roberto Sierra. A native of Puerto Rico, Sierra’s compositional style marries his cultural heritage with a contemporary idiom. In this podcast, Raymond Bisha showcases the infectious rhythms and colourful orchestrations that pervade the composer’s award-winning Sinfonía No. 3 ‘La Salsa’, throwing into relief the captivating Read More …

Podcast: A hero’s life. A song of strife.

Raymond Bisha presents a new recording of two works written only three years apart at the very end of the 19th century: Albéric Magnard’s Chant funèbre (Funeral Song) and Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life). The former may have been unduly neglected, but the latter is testament to the enduring popularity of Strauss’ tone Read More …

Podcast: Mayr’s remarkable Requiem

Being a contemporary of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven was both a blessing and a curse for Simon Mayr: while he was able to deftly assimilate and rival the triumvirate’s output, he became overshadowed by them in posterity. Raymond Bisha presents the world première recording of Mayr’s Requiem in G minor, a stunning blend of Germanic Read More …

Podcast: Bolcom, Byron, Lorca – rich colours, dramatic swings

Raymond Bisha’s latest podcast focuses on two works by William Bolcom that have been recently recorded for the Naxos American Classics Series. The emotional spectrum of his “Canciones de Lorca” and “Prometheus” is reflected in colourful orchestrations and a mix of musical styles that swing between intense drama and surreal humour. View album details of Read More …

Podcast: Sacred Vivaldi

Known principally for his prodigious output of concertos, Antonio Vivaldi was also a prolific composer of operas, so it’s perhaps no surprise that an engaging and demanding operatic vocal style also permeates Vivaldi’s sacred music. Raymond Bisha introduces both the music and the performers on this fourth volume of Naxos’ survey of Vivaldi’s catalogue of Read More …