The Naxos
Composer of the Month

In July, Naxos released its recording of Roy Harris’s Symphonies 3 and 4, part of a complete cycle of the composer’s symphonies.  

Roy HARRIS: Symphony No. 3 and No. 4, “Folk Song Symphony”
Colorado Symphony and Chorus, Marin Alsop

CD of the Month

Toru TAKEMITSU: A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden, etc.
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop

Roy Harris: Symphonies 3 and 4
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John Tavener: Lament for Jerusalem
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Classical Music Spotlight presents a special interview with Maestro Leonard Slatkin
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William Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and of Experience
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Friday, June 02, 2006
Feel the Burn: Berio's Sequenzas on Naxos

Chris DeLaurenti has written a nice piece in The Stranger (of Seattle) on the new Naxos recording of Berio's Sequenzas, the collection of virtuosic solo pieces that DMA students love (or love to hate).

The Sequenzas--there are 16 in all, written between 1958 and 2002--are not so much etudes as exercise regimens for instrumentalists. And they're not like going to Curves: as DeLaurenti puts it, the works "reveal unthinkably new timbres, codify new instrumental techniques, and push performers to terrifying heights (as well as speeds) of virtuosity."

The Naxos recording includes XIV for cello, the final Sequenza that Berio wrote, which is not on the Deutsche Gramophon collection of 1999. Also absent from the DG release is XIIb, arranged for soprano saxophone and performed by Wallace Halladay.

Those who follow the Canadian classical music scene will certainly be familiar with many of the performers. Among them is Alain Trudel, who just signed on as chief conductor of the CBC Radio Orchestra. Other crazy Canucks include harpist Erica Goodman, violist Steven Dann, violinist Jasper Wood, and Joaquin Valdenpenas.

The Naxos Sequenzas are available anywhere that fine 3-CD sets of avant-garde classical music are sold and are up for downloading on iTunes, Rhapsody, and URGE.