New On Naxos | Issue: December 2023

The December New On Naxos highlights a new world premiere recording of Giovanni Sgambati's Piano Concerto in G minor, featuring pianist Massimiliano Damerini. Other highlights include the audio version of Cavalli's Il Xerse, new arrangements of Mozart's Piano Concertos by the Fine Arts Quartet, and a new production of Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors, staged by Stefan Herheim and featuring the Arnold Schoenberg Chor and Wiener Symphoniker. Enjoy!

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8.573272 Release Date: 1 Dec 2023


Francesco La Vecchia

Giovanni SGAMBATI (1841–1914) Piano Concerto in G minor * Sinfonia festiva † † WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING


Click to listen to Piano Concerto in G minor, Op. 15: I. Moderato maestoso

Massimiliano Damerini, Piano * Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma Francesco La Vecchia

Giovanni Sgambati led the revival of Italian orchestral music during the late 19th century. He was a favourite student of Liszt, admired by Wagner, and a pivotal figure in the emancipation of his country’s music from the dominance of bel canto opera. The Piano Concerto in G minor is a stirring and inventive work signalling a new beginning for Italian piano music on the international stage. It offers a synthesis of the possibilities of the genre, evoking Liszt, Brahms and Tchaikovsky, as Sgambati constantly transforms his thematic material to heroic effect. Sinfonia festiva is a short, confidently written work inspired by the dance-like character of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony . Francesco La Vecchia and the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma are Naxos’ specialists in late 19th/20th-century Italian orchestral music. • Key Features: • Their recording of Sgambati’s Symphony No. 1 (8.573007) received splendid reviews: ‘these performances by Francesco La Vecchia and the Symphony Orchestra of Rome are nothing short of magnificent…’ ( Fanfare ). • Symphony No. 2 can be heard on 8.572686: ‘The Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma under its artistic director, Italian conductor Francesco La Vecchia gives superb performances of both selections’ ( Classical Lost and Found ). • The same forces have recorded Alfredo Casella’s Symphony No. 3 (8.572415) commended by ; ‘the performances are wholly convincing, well-played and recorded’. •

About Francesco La Vecchia, Conductor In 2002 Francesco La Vecchia took up the position of artistic director and resident conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma. Under his leadership the orchestra rapidly achieved success in highly successful visits to St Petersburg, Madrid, Belgrade, Brussels, Rio de Janeiro, London, Athens, Berlin, Beijing and Vienna. La Vecchia has also conducted at many prestigious venues, including the Kennedy Center, Washington and Carnegie Hall among many others. The ‘Maestro’ series of recordings, named after him, was first released in 1999.

Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma

Companion Titles – Francesco La Vecchia and the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma

Massimiliano Damerini is a renowned Italian pianist and composer. His piano repertoire is vast – ranging from the 18th century to contemporary works – and composers such as Salvatore Sciarrino, Andrea Ferrante, Roberto Carnevale and Vittorio Fellegara dedicated pieces to him. In 1992 he was awarded Italy’s prestigious Franco Abbiati Prize for concert artist of the year.







Dshamilja Kaiser as Amahl’s mother and Tempu Ishijima as Amahl © Monika and Karl Forster

Gian Carlo MENOTTI (1911–2007) Amahl and the Night Visitors Opera in one act (1951) Libretto by the composer Sung in a German translation by Kurt Honolka Tempu Ishijima, Boy Soprano • Dshamilja Kaiser, Mezzo-soprano Paul Schweinester, Tenor • Nikolay Borchev, Bass-baritone Wilhelm Schwinghammer, Bass Arnold Schoenberg Chor • Wiener Symphoniker Premiered in 1951, Amahl and the Night Visitors was the first opera specifically composed for television, though Gian Carlo Menotti admitted that he had conceived it for the stage. The magical story tells of Amahl, a disabled boy who befriends the Three Kings when they stop at his house on their journey to see the newborn Jesus. Amahl decides to give his crutch to Jesus, at which point his leg is miraculously healed. Long a Christmas favourite, this new Viennese production, sung in German, boldly re-examines the story finding its key elements to be fantasy, empathy and the enduring power of love. Magnus Loddgard, Conductor Stefan Herheim, Stage director

2.110763 Picture format: NTSC 16:9 Sound format: PCM Stereo and DTS Surround 5.1 Language: German Subtitles: German, English, Japanese, Korean Region code: 0 (worldwide) No. of disc/s: 1 (DVD 5) Release Date: 1 Dec 2023


Key Features: •

Bachtrack wrote of this production that ‘There was magic aplenty in director Stefan Herheim ’s bold recontextualisation of the tale. Magically and skilfully done... Musically there is not a complaint to be had [and] the Wiener Symphoniker played beautifully’. • Conductor Magnus Loddgard has worked with Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, The Norwegian State Opera, The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra and the Oslo Sinfonietta. Since 2008 he has been conductor of Ensemble neoN, a new music ensemble based in Oslo. They received a Norwegian GRAMMY (Spellemannprisen) for their 2013 album The Forester with Susanna & Ensemble neoN. • There is an English disc which can be heard on Naxos 8.669019 played by the Nashville Symphony directed by Alastair Willis: ‘This Amahl is a real cracker, deserving of its place at the top of the tree’ ( Musicweb International ). ‘Alastair Willis shapes the music lovingly and with energy, and the Nashville Symphony plays with both skill and involvement’ ( Fanfare ).

Also available on Blu-ray Video: NBD0175V Picture format: HD 16:9 Sound format: PCM stereo and DTS-MA 5.1 Language: German Subtitles: German, English, Japanese, Korean Region: A, B, C No. of disc/s: 1 (BD 25) Release Date: 1 Dec 2023




Francesco CAVALLI (1602–1676) Il Xerse Dramma per musica in a prologue and three acts (1655) Libretto by Nicolò Minato (c. 1627–1698) Critical edition by Sara Elisa Stangalino and Hendrik Schulze (2019) – abridged version Sung in Italian BUY NOW!

Dioklea Hoxha, Carolina Lippo, Ekaterina Protsenko, Sopranos Gaia Petrone, Mezzo-soprano • Carlo Vistoli, Countertenor Orchestra Barocca Modo Antiquo • Federico Maria Sardelli

Francesco Cavalli was successor to Monteverdi and the most influential opera composer in Venice during the mid-17th century. His dramma per musica , Il Xerse , was innovative for the period, with a tangled plot of affections and relationships based on history rather than mythology. Its enormous success was due in no small part to Xerse’s bizarre and overblown character and his famous declaration of love for a tree, ‘Ombra mai fu’. Cavalli’s Il Xerse is commedia dell’arte theatre that creates an exotic world aimed at inspiring awe in its audiences, enhanced with music that conveys an avalanche of emotions. Key Features: • The audiovisual premiere performance of this release has previously been available from the Dynamic label (DYN-37983/DYN-57983) released in June. • The strong cast for this production is led by countertenor Carlo Vistoli (Xerse) who has worked closely with conductors such as William Christie and John Eliot Gardiner.

8.660536-37 Release Date: 1 Dec 2023

Companion Titles – Italian baroque opera


8.660187-88 8.660529-30

Click to listen to Act I: Sinfonia –





Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Piano Concertos Nos. 19 and 25 (arr. Ignaz Lachner) Alon Goldstein, Piano • Fine Arts Quartet


Mozart’s return to Vienna in 1781 initiated a remarkable period of inventiveness and productivity. In late 1784 he wrote the Piano Concerto No. 19 in F major , a work Mozart performed in Frankfurt on the occasion of Leopold II’s election as Holy Roman Emperor and which is notable for its rhythmic vivacity and sense of colour. In 1786 he wrote the Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major – a work that stretched the concerto genre considerably with its operatic qualities and dramatic dialogue. Ignaz Lachner’s ingenious transcriptions show a complete grasp of Mozart’s idiom, incorporating much instrumental detail and reinventing the music’s underlying dramatic scheme within a chamber context. Key Features: • Pianist Alon Goldstein performs on Volume 24 of the complete Scarlatti keyboard edition which can be heard on 8.574196. Crescendo (France) wrote, ‘The ornamentation is precise, the accents are deliberately striking, even provocative, the beautiful overall architecture well thought out. We ask for more Scarlatti to be played like this!’ •

8.574477 Release Date: 1 Dec 2023

Companion Titles – Previous releases in Mozart’s Piano Concertos series

The Fine Arts Quartet has made a number of Naxos recordings, for example Mendelssohn’s String Quintets (8.570488) and Glazunov’s chamber music (8.570256) which were named Recordings of the Year by MusicWeb International , Schumann’s string quartets (8.570151) hailed by the American Record Guide as ‘one of the very finest chamber music recordings of the year’.




From left to right: Ralph Evans , Efim Boico , Gil Sharon and Niklas Schmidt

Click to listen to Piano Concerto No. 19 in F major, K. 459: III. Allegro assai (cadenza by Mozart)





Piccolo Concertos BAKSA • HIDAS • KREK • PAPANDOPULO Francesco Viola, Piccolo • Nationaltheater-Orchester Mannheim • Salvatore Percacciolo


The idea of a piccolo concerto might have seemed far-fetched at the beginning of the 20th century, but numerous composers have now expanded its role as the highest instrument of the orchestra into a true solo voice. With this recording Francesco Viola has brought together four unknown works by Eastern European composers – the Romanian Andreas Baksa; Slovenian composer Uroš Krek; German-Croatian composer Boris Papandopulo; and Hungarian composer Frigyes Hidas whose Oboe Concerto is recorded here in Francesco Viola’s transcription for piccolo. All of these concertos are filled with atmosphere, passion and high spirits.

8.579132 Release Date: 1 Dec 2023

Companion Titles – Other recordings for wind instruments 8.551419 | 8.579111 | 8.579094 | 8.579083

Johannes BRAHMS (1833–1897) Complete Songs, Vol. 4 Opp. 6, 14, 19 and 48 Alina Wunderlin, Soprano • Kieran Carrel, Tenor • Ulrich Eisenlohr, Piano


Brahms’ early songs express an exuberance that may surprise those who are unfamiliar with this element of his music making. The Op. 6 set includes a Mediterranean-flavoured song in bolero rhythm and songs of hope and joy, displaying an apparent simplicity that was hard-won and the product of constant refinement. Based on folk songs, the Op. 14 collection is astonishingly varied, ranging from folk melodies to medieval harmonies and Baroque-styled richness. Elsewhere Brahms charts more melodious, elegiac settings in the Op. 19 set and confronts melancholy and loss in Op. 48 . Key Features: • The first volume in the series received huge acclaim: ‘The artists field a terrifically compelling start with two of Brahms’ best-known and most moving songs, “Von ewiger Liebe” and “Die Mainacht”. This sixty-five-minutes of music makes an auspicious start to Eisenlohr’s latest endeavour’ ( Opera News ). It also won Opera News ’ Critics’ Choice accolade. • Vol. 3 can be heard on 8.574346: ‘ Alina Wunderlin is a wonderfully pure-voiced soprano, as we hear in “Es steht ein Lind in jenem Tal”…All in all, this is wonderful. The singers are superbly chosen and perfect for this repertoire. Ulrich Eisenlohr does not put a finger wrong (he provides the fine booklet notes, too), and the recording is good, too’ ( Classical Explorer ).

8.574489 Release Date: 15 Dec 2023

Companion Titles – Previous releases in the series 8.574268 | 8.574345 | 8.574346

Other German Lieder 8.574119 | 8.557076 | 8.574142 | 8.503801

Click to listen to Sechs Gesänge, Op. 6: No. 1. Spanisches Lied



Angel Stanislav Wang Piano Laureate Recital Winner, 2022 Jaén Prize International Piano Competition LISZT • SHOSTAKOVICH • GRANADOS • VEGA Angel Stanislav Wang, Piano • Bretón String Quartet


Angel Stanislav Wang, winner of the 63rd Jaén Prize International Piano Competition in 2022, presents his Naxos debut recital with a selection of works he performed during the competition. Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B minor is an undisputed masterpiece of the Romantic era, while Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G minor is one of the most intense and eloquent chamber works of the 20th century. Spanish music is always present at Jaén and is represented here by a selection from Granados’s Goyescas , and by Laura Vega’s competition commission Poema a un amor eterno – a work of intense emotion, calling upon the pianist to be more of a poet or rhapsodist than a virtuoso. Key Feature: Aside from being First Prize winner of the 63rd Jaén Prize International Piano Competition in 2022 Angel Stanislav Wang has also been a laureate of the 21st International Piano Competition ‘Composers of Spain’ (2021), the International Piano Competition Val de Travers (2021), and the 2nd International Rachmaninov Piano Competition (2020).

8.574569 Release Date: 1 Dec 2023

Companion Titles – Piano Laureate series 8.574468 | 8.574280 | 8.574232 | 8.573945

Click to listen to GRANADOS, E.: Goyescas, Book 1 – III. El fandango de candil (‘The Oil Lamp Fandango’)





Catalan Cello Works CASABLANCAS • CASALS • CASSADÓ • GRANADOS • MOMPOU Dmitry Yablonsky, Cello • Laia Martín, Piano


The cello was a vital part of Catalan musical expression in the first half of the 20th century. Pablo Casals as composer and cello virtuoso was its revolutionary force, and his student Gaspar Cassadó joined him in writing superb transcriptions and expressive original works with a strong sense of tradition and national melodic flavour. Casablancas’ Cant per a Frederic Mompou ‘Remembrança’ pays homage to another great friend and colleague, while Enrique Granados’s soulful Madrigal is accompanied by delectable arrangements of piano works with cello such as the Goyescas . A digital single featuring more pieces by Casals, Cassadó and Mompou is available on 9.70354.

Click to listen to CASSADÓ, G.: Sonata nello stile antico spagnuolo: III. Danza con variazioni



8.579097 Release Date: 1 Dec 2023

Catalan Cello Works CASALS • CASSADÓ • MOMPOU * Only available for download and streaming

Companion Titles – Other Catalan music releases 8.570457 | 8.570533 | 8.573547 | 8.573602

9.70354 * Release Date: 1 Dec 2023

Zygmunt NOSKOWSKI (1846–1909) Władysław ŻELEŃSKI (1837–1921) Violin Sonatas Laurence Kayaleh, Violin • Bernadene Blaha, Piano


Both Zygmunt Noskowski and Władysław Żeleński were leading exponents of Polish nationalism in the period from the last quarter of the 19th century. Noskowski is best remembered as a symphonist but his large-scale Violin Sonata in A minor is an imposing work that suggests the influence both of Beethoven’s ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata and of Brahms. Żeleński was as eminent a teacher as he was a composer, seeking to broaden Poland’s provincial outlook through works such his opera Janek (Naxos 8.660521-22). His Violin Sonata in F major typifies the essentially conservative idiom that Żeleński pursued in his maturity.


8.574220 Release Date: 1 Dec 2023

Companion Titles – Laurence Kayaleh, Violin 8.573345 | 8.572192 | 8.570298 | 8.573841


Billy ARCILA (b. 1968) ARDILA • BECERRA • BIGNEY • OROZCO • SUPA Same River Twice Works for Guitar Billy Arcila, Guitar • Somnuek Saeng-arun, Khlui


Billy Arcila, raised in Medellín, Colombia, has lived in the United States for over 40 years, where he teaches and performs as one of California’s foremost guitarists. This album, the first to be made of Arcila’s music, contains works ranging across his entire compositional life, from his first published work to the most recent. Interspersed with the music of other admired composers which exploit nationalist elements, such as the bambuco and pasillo rhythms, Arcila’s autobiographical guitar music embraces the nostalgic, the verdant and the vibrant. Key Feature: This is the first album devoted to Colombian-born but long-time American resident Billy Arcila . He is considered one of Southern California’s prominent classical guitarists. He studied with William Kanengiser and Scott Tennant, members of the GRAMMY Award winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. He has also studied the Baroque guitar and vihuela, a historic precursor to the guitar, an interest that deepened during his studies in Spain.

8.574488 Release Date: 1 Dec 2023

Companion Titles – Latin American Guitar Music 8.573059 | 8.574016 | 8.573631 | 8.573674

Click to listen to OROZCO, F.S.: Luna de Cristal (Bambuco)


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