Just released… and already a success!

Our May releases are available! Did you already listen to them? The Independent did and attributed 4 stars to Henryk Górecki’s works performed by the Schonberg Ensemble!

You can read the review below and click on the links to this month’s releases for more information about the works, composers and performers.

“This is a rather Messiaen-ic study in contrasts: the opening five minutes is almost supernaturally calm and quiet, suddenly shattered by a shrill burst of violins and chimes that disappears as enigmatically as it appeared, shifting between extremes of amplitude; in the second movement, a brash tumult of horns gives way to solitary clarinet, underpinned by doomy piano monochord, while the finale is almost completely stationary and barely audible, a still string pad with wanly tolling chimes.

“Lerchenmusik” features a similarly startling blend of calm and stridency, before the final movement offers a gloss on the theme of Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto.” By Andy Gill

This month’s Newton Classics releases include:

We hope you will enjoy them! Do not hesitate to share your comments on this blog.

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Vote for your favourite Newton Classics March release on Facebook and win!

For those of you who didn’t visit our Facebook page recently, you may not have noticed the question we asked on the page’s wall.

Simply click on the link below and tick your favourite recording from the list of Newton Classics albums which were released last month. By doing so, you will be automatically entered in our prize draw to win the ‘album of the month’!

Click here to vote for your favourite Newton Classics release!

It is a quick way for you to share your impressions and a nice way for us to know which recordings you prefer! And while you are visiting our Facebook page, why not hit the ‘like’ button to become part of the community and be informed of our latest posts and releases?

Many thanks to you all!

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Berio’s Sequenzas III & VII praised in the press

Following last week’s post about the success of Leopold Stokowski’s recording of Rachmaninov’s Third Symphony in the press, we are now sharing with you some extracts from the best reviews of Berio’s Sequenzas III & VII on Newton Classics.

Do you agree with the reviews below?

The Independent ★★★★
“It is Différences, composed for five instruments playing alongside tape treatments of themselves, that most impresses here: always lively and inquisitive, the breezy interplay of wind, harp and strings flourishing while never baulking at the more astringent discordancies.”

Sunday Times ★★★
“Live music is confronted none to subtly with variants of itself on tape; the wonky, echoey electronic sounds have a sort of period flavour, and the spikily dissonant, harp-dominated instrumental writing has an invigorating lemon flavour.”

MusicWeb International
“Berio’s fascinating music rarely disappoints me, although its accessibility is dependent on a reasonable degree of concentration from the listener and a propensity to keep an open mind.”
“The forty year old sound presented no problems being clear and extremely well balanced. I cannot find words to describe the performances on this disc other than impeccable and extremely impressive.”

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Leopold Stokowski on Newton Classics acclaimed by the critics

Since its release on Newton Classics in October 2010, Leopold Stokowski’s recording of Rachmaninov’s Third Symphony and other works has been praised by critics, both in the press and online. Below is a round-up of extracts from the best reviews:

Audaud ★★★★
“Yet, having returned to the score after forty years, Stokowski builds up a magisterial tension very slowly, ever alert to the subtle shifts in meter and dynamics, and always playing fully the composer’s trump card in warm effulgent melodies.” (…)
“The forever charming Vocalise floats and charms at once, diaphanous and exquisitely tender, a simultaneous tribute to Wagner’s dream of “endless melody” and Rachmaninov’s fluent and lyric genius. [All the new Newtons that have come thru here have been exemplary remasterings from the original discontinued discs – bringing them into current sonic standards.]”

International Record Review
“I don’t know any recording of this piece (including Rachmaninov’s own) that is as constantly imaginative, or as dazzling at climaxes. (…) this is a joyous performance. The Vocalise is lovely and the recorded sound is opulent.”

MusicWeb International
“The disc opens with a luxurious (7:03) rendition of the Vocalise, the composer’s own orchestration, but full of the conductor’s tenderly attentive ministrations. These act in a beneficent way and bring out the work’s lushly romantic side.” (…)
“The feral exuberance is remarkable with the notes seeming to tumble one over another – one can almost see the conductor wild-eyed with white hair flying amid the brilliant glitter and thunderous attack.”

Classical Candor
“One of the advantages of being a reviewer is the joy of discovery. Of the many discs I get to audition each month, not all are interesting enough to mention at the site and only a relative few jump out and demand serious attention. Such a recording is Stokowski’s Rachmaninov Third Symphony.” (…)
“Under Stokowski, the Third takes on new dimensions, imbued with a passion I’ve never found in it before.” (…)
“What’s equally important, though, is the disc’s excellent sonic quality, recorded by engineer Bob Auger.” (…)
“It continues to be one of the best discs I’ve listened to in quite a while.”

And you, how did you like this recording?
Do not hesitate to share your comments on this blog!

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Our January releases in Gramophone Magazine

If you have bought the April edition of Gramophone Magazine you may have already read the full page dedicated to Newton Classics‘ January releases. If not, below is your chance to read some highlights from the articles. However if you want to read them fully do not forget to get your copy of the magazine, out now!

MOSTLY SIXTIES MAGIC

Markevitch’s Tchaikovsky* is emotive, attentive to inner detail, very flexible and, for the most part, extremely exciting.”

*Please note that new masters of this album (Ref: 8802036) are currently being shipped to retailers due to a few playing gaps on the first batch of recordings. Please see with your retailer to exchange your copy. We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused.

MORE BUMPER BARGAINS

“From Newton comes an equally varied “horn-fest” from Hermann Baumann, again including music by Telemann with the ASMF, who also offer support in concertos by Haydn and Pokorný.”

“Three more Newton collections, two of them featuring the elegant and always reliable ensemble I Musici, Vivaldi’s complete Opp 1-12 and Handel’s Concerti grossi, Op 6, graceful performances and quite unlike the stylised assertiveness of certain period-instrument groups.”

“As for Russian Overtures and Orchestral Works (…) these performances are very much in the grand Russian tradition, dramatic, cleanly articulated and, for the most part, infectiously enthusiastic.”

Do not hesitate to share your comments on this blog!

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The Independent reviews our February releases

Andy Gill from The Independent recently reviewed two of our February releases. You may have come across them on the newspaper’s website but if not, you can read them below.

Masterpieces of Renaissance Polyphony, 5 stars

During the great religious battles of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, music was one of the subtler, but most effective, weapons in the clergies’ arsenal.

This anthology of choral works represents some of the highlights of the Catholic response to the more functional music favoured by Luther, with due eminence paid to Palestrina, father of renaissance polyphony. His “Peccantem me quotidie” has the sombre penitential tone appropriate for Lent, and along with Lotti’s moving meditation on Christ’s suffering “Crucifixus” shows that Catholics could be just as austere as Protestants. More jubilant are the cascading lines of two interleaving choirs in Victoria’s “Lauda Sion”. AG

> Buy Masterpieces of Renaissance Polyphony

Berio’s Sequenzas III and VII, 4 stars

Recorded in 1969 with the Juilliard Ensemble, which he founded while teaching there, these chamber works illustrate Berio’s postwar development.

There’s something comfortingly modernist about the early-50s piano and violin duets of Due Pezzi and the settings of James Joyce poems that comprise Chamber Music, which find his wife, Cathy Berberian, in restrained mood. But it is Différences, composed for five instruments playing alongside tape treatments of themselves, that most impresses here: always lively and inquisitive, the breezy interplay of wind, harp and strings flourishing while never baulking at the more astringent discordancies. AG

> Buy Berio’s Sequenzas III & VII

Do not hesitate to share other reviews on this blog or post your own!

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February releases

Dear Newton Classics fans,

Our February releases are now available and include a selection of Debussy’s compositions, some masterpieces of Renaissance Polyphony and Rossini’s String Sonatas. Two recordings will be of great interest to lovers of sacred music this month: Gregorian Chant for the Church Year and Sacred Music by Vivaldi. Finally emphasis is put on more contemporary music with some recorder music by the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet and a selection of Berio’s contemporary pieces. We hope you will enjoy them!

You will find additional information about these new recordings in the discography on our Facebook page. Also, have you noticed our new Twitter background? It is updated every month to include our latest releases.

Do not hesitate to leave your comments on this page!

Thank you for your support.

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