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 …

Podcast: A fascination with sound – Ravel’s spellbinding works for the stage.

Fantasy, fairy tales and Maurice Ravel’s flair for orchestral colour are all to the fore in this new release of two examples of the composer’s music for the stage—the scores for his opera L’Enfant et les sortilèges and his ballet Ma mère l’Oye. This highly imaginative music, projected through a childlike lens, is instantly attractive Read More …

Podcast: 20th-century harpsichord music. An irresistible revival.

It was the great virtuoso Wanda Landowska who spearheaded a revival of interest in the dormant harpsichord at the turn of the 20th century. Working closely with Pleyel of Paris, the instrument manufacturer, she helped develop and promote a sturdier and more sonorous instrument than was hitherto the case. Composers of the time weren’t slow Read More …