Magic moments.

Do you recall hearing a particularly affecting piece of music for the first time, maybe as a younger newcomer to the world of classical music? I certainly do, and at the risk of peddling in self-indulgence I thought I would share a few of those magic moments in this edition of the Naxos blog. We’re Read More …

Podcast: Villa-Lobos and the art of choral transcription.

Raymond Bisha introduces a new album of choral transcriptions by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) that forms part of Naxos’ Music of Brazil series. The programme represents part of Villa-Lobos’ efforts to create a body of music education resources, following his invitation in 1932 to set up an ambitious programme in the public school system Read More …

Podcast: Orchestral works by Žibouklé Martinaityté – a textural magician.

Raymond Bisha introduces a new album of orchestral works by Žibouklé Martinaityté (b. 1973). Born in Lithuania and now based in New York City, she was awarded both a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Lithuanian Government Award in 2020. The four works on the programme were written between 2013 and 2019 and employ a fascinating use Read More …

A centenary’s outs and ins [2]

Picking up from our last blog that featured musicians who died a century ago, in the year 1921, we consider a selection of singers, instrumentalists and composers who were born in that year. My first pick is the virtuoso British horn player Dennis Brain (1921-1957), who was tragically killed in a car accident when he Read More …

Sounds Interesting: In the wrong place at the wrong time.

This podcast from the Naxos Sounds Interesting series spotlights a collection of unfortunate musicians who became hostages of war at the outbreak of the First World War and whose story is as inspiring as the music that sustained them. The setting is Ruhleben, a racecourse in Berlin. The presenter is Richard Kennedy.      

Podcast: Hit and bliss. Dame Evelyn Glennie performs mallet percussion concertos.

Raymond Bisha introduces a new album of 21st-century mallet percussion concertos performed by virtuoso percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong under Jean Thorel. The works by Alexis Alrich and Karl Jenkins put the marimba in the solo spotlight, while Ned Rorem’s 7-movement Mallet Concerto — written in 2003 and Read More …

A centenary’s outs and ins

Following the 2020 global Beethoven birthday bash, I’m going to run the risk of anniversary fatigue by dwelling on what comes in its wake: 2021 and a collection of milestones marking the centenaries of either the births or deaths of a number of composers and artists. In true Naxos style, the survey will include both Read More …

Podcast: The art and craft of John Adams.

Raymond Bisha introduces a programme of orchestral music by the Pulitzer and Erasmus Prize-winning American composer John Adams. The two works on this new album from the Nashville Symphony under Giancarlo Guerrero demonstrate why Adams is one of today’s most widely performed and recorded composers. Adams describes My Father Knew Charles Ives as “an homage Read More …

Podcast: Bruckner’s Latin motets. Devotions of distinction.

Choral music formed an important part of Anton Bruckner’s output throughout his career, even though the genre was widely underappreciated by a public more inclined to large-scale symphonic and operatic works. Although the big-boned structure of such music also made its presence felt in Church masses and oratorios, there was always a need for smaller Read More …