Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2014 Q4 MARC .XML Records Now Available

And that's 2014 in the books. MARC .XML records are now available for your cataloging pleasure.

You can download only the latest set of records, or you can obtain the complete set combined by the month or year. As always, they are in .XML format, allowing you the freedom to process them to fit your system best.

Here are the links:

If you have any questions about these records, don't hesitate to contact us.

Friday, January 2, 2015

January 2015 - Featured Playlist: Don't Forget to Dream Tonight!

We’ve all grown up hearing stories of fairies and fauns, of satyrs and sorcerers. Many of us have yet to lose our love for them even as adults. From the ancient tales of gods and great creatures to modern myths of hobbits and wardrobe portals, literary imagination has shaped our understanding of the world around us, and for composers, the music they dream up. As January cold settles into our bones, otherworldly stories become ever more our friends, as does the music they inspire. Let this month’s magical playlist transport you to new domains, but most importantly, Don’t Forget to Dream Tonight!

To hear the playlist, access NML as usual, go to the Playlists section, and select the Playlist of the Month folder under the Naxos Music Library Playlists tab. If you are on your institution's premises, you may also be able to access it if you CLICK HERE.

1. Boris Tchaikovsky – Andersen Fairy Tales Suite: III. The Soldier’s Sailing – While no physical relation to “that” Tchaikovsky, Boris Tchaikovsky carried the banner of the highly melodic Russian spirit into the latter half of the 20th century. A student of Shostakovich, he stuck by his officially reprimanded teacher during the post-WWII cultural purges, even being branded by Stalin’s regime as “contaminated”.

2. Felix Mendelssohn – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act V: Finale – Sixteen years after composing his A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture, Mendelssohn incorporated it into incidental music for a production of the Shakespeare play. We’re all exceedingly familiar with the Wedding March, of course, so we’ve included here instead the magical finale.

3. Hector Berlioz – Symphonie fantastique: V. Songe d’une nuit du Sabbat – Premiering in 1830, Symphonie fantastique called for 90 musicians, the largest orchestral force ever required in-score at the time. This fifth movement, as described in Berlioz’s program notes, depicts “a witches’ Sabbath…a hideous gathering of shades, sorcerers, and monsters of every kind”. Fun stuff, yeah?

4. Edvard Grieg – Lyric Suite, Op. 54: IV. Troldtog (March of the Dwarfs) – Grieg composed his Lyric Suite for piano in 1891, but in 1905 he revised orchestral arrangements by Anton Seidl, the conductor of the New York Philharmonic, of three of the movements and arranged a fourth on his own. These make up the orchestral suite that became one of Grieg’s best-known works.

5. David Popper – Elfentanz, Op. 39 – David Popper is best known for his contributions to cello literature, having composed a significant body of showpieces and études for the instrument. His wickedly challenging Dance of the Elves is an opportunity for virtuoso cellists to show off their chops, as Gavriel Lipkind does here.

6. Josef Suk – Pohádka (Fairy Tale), Op. 16: II. Intermezzo: Hra na labute a pávy – Violinist Josef Suk was a student and close friend of Dvořák, even marrying his daughter Otilie. His music owed much to Dvořák’s influence, and he later became known as one of the leaders of Czech Modernism. Pohádka (Fairy Tale) remains one of his best-known compositions.

7. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), Act II: Papagena! Papagena! – Mozart’s timeless Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) was an instant success in its day, needing only 14 months to reach its 100th performance. Its immediate success certainly brought some joy to Mozart’s final days, as he would pass away only two months after the premiere.

8. Howard Hanson – Nymphs and Satyr: III. Scherzo for Bassoon and Chamber Orchestra – As director of the Eastman School of Music for forty years, Hanson built the program into one of the most prestigious music schools in the United States. Known as a tireless champion of American art music, he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1944 for his Symphony No. 4, “Requiem”.

9. Cécile Chaminade – Pas des sylphes: Intermezzo – It was said of Chaminade, the first female composer to win France’s highest award, the Légion d’Honneur, that she was “not a woman who composes, but a composer who is a woman.” She was a remarkable composer of light piano and vocal music especially, and she found great popularity in both France and the United States.

10. Dimitris Fampas – Suite No. 4, “Greek Suite”: I. The Country of Centaurs – Dimitris Fampas was a successful guitarist, studying at two different times with none other than Andrés Segovia. He composed quite a bit of music for the instrument, much of which has joined the repertoire. Though his career spanned the globe, his compositional style remained faithful to his Greek heritage.

11. John Abraham Fisher – The Syrens, Overture: I. Allegro – John Abraham Fisher was best known as a violinist noted for his skill and energy; in fact, he made such a show of enjoying his performances that he sometimes offended his critics. As a composer, he is remembered for his violin works, art songs, and theatrical compositions, such as the one featured here.

12. Johan De Meij – Symphony No. 1, “The Lord of the Rings”: V. Hobbits – Johan De Meij’s Symphony No. 1 was premiered in 1988, its five movements named after characters or places in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. The fifth movement represents the hobbits, its music pastoral and playful in turn, ending at last in quiet resignation to represent Frodo’s departure at the end of the trilogy.

13. Elliott Carter – The Minotaur, Scene 2: Before the Labyrinth: Ariadne, princess of Crete, dances with Theseus, a Greek victim – Elliott Carter was a prolific composer, and he didn’t slow down at any point, publishing 40 pieces after the age of 90 and composing 20 more after the age of 100. His ballet The Minotaur was composed relatively early in his career, a fine look into the development of a composer who’d go on to win two Pulitzers.

14. Robert Schumann – Märchenbilder (Fairy Tales), Op. 113: III. Rasch – Robert Schumann didn’t give much detail about the story behind his Märchenbilder, but its third movement is said to depict a scene of Rumpelstiltskin dancing with fairies. Whatever story one hears in it, it certainly makes for a lovely showpiece for the viola.

15. Amy Beach – Caprice, The Water Sprites – Amy Beach was a true prodigy, able to repeat melodies at only a year old and vamping on the piano at age four. While her parents put her in piano lessons by the age of six, she was only granted one year of formal composition studies. Despite being largely self-taught, she went on to be the first female American composer to achieve widespread acceptance.

16. Gian Carlo Menotti – The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore: The March to the Castle – A two-time Pulitzer winner, Menotti’s partner was Samuel Barber, also owner of a pair of Pulitzers. Talk about a musical power couple! Composed in 1956 and based on the 16th-century Italian madrigal comedy genre, The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore is comprised of a prelude, twelve madrigals, and six instrumental interludes.

17. Hugo Alfvén – Bergakungen (The Mountain King) Suite, Op. 37: II. Trollflickans dans (Sorceress’s Dance) – Late-Romantic composer Hugo Alfvén is one of the most significant Swedish composers of his time, yet he almost went for a career in painting instead. Besides being a gifted watercolorist, he was also an excellent writer, penning a four-volume autobiography that paints a vivid picture of the Swedish music scene of his day.

18. Edward Elgar – The Starlight Express, Op. 78, Act II Scene 1: The Sun Has Gone – The Starlight Express was a children’s musical play based on the novel A Prisoner in Fairyland by Algernon Blackwood. While Elgar’s music was highly praised, the original theatrical run fell victim to poor production and inappropriate design. Fortunately for us, the music remains enchanting, its narrator reminding us, “Don’t forget to dream tonight!”

Each month, Naxos Music Library presents a themed playlist for our subscribers to enjoy. We know that a database of over 1.5 million tracks can be a bit daunting, so we'd like to highlight some of the amazing music that is available to you. Let it kickstart discovery! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December 2014 - Featured Playlist (NML-Jazz)

There’s a lot of great music in NML-Jazz, of course, but did you know that there’s quite a bit of festive Christmas content as well? From the timeless sound of A Charlie Brown Christmas to the Fantasy Records artist roster to the classy retro vibes of David Ian’s new holiday traditions, you’re sure to find your Yuletide cool side right here in NML-Jazz.

To hear the playlist, access NML-Jazz as usual, go to the Playlists section, and select the Christmas folder under the Naxos Music Library Playlists tab. If you are on your institution's premises, you may also be able to access it if you CLICK HERE.

1. Vince Guaraldi Trio – Linus and Lucy – So yeah, no Christmas is complete without a few spins of A Charlie Brown Christmas, and we’ve got it for you. One of the most popular Christmas albums of all time, it has sold over three million copies and continues to introduce jazz music to new generations.
2. David Ian – Jingle Bells – Over the last few years, pianist David Ian has masterminded a pair of classy, retro-tinged Christmas albums of his own, and this year he produced and featured on a holiday album by CCM stalwart Peter Furler. Simple but utterly charming, his renditions of classic Christmas tunes, like this version of “Jingle Bells”, will find their way indelibly into your holiday listening.
3. Boney James – This Christmas – Originally written by Donny Hathaway and Nadine McKinnor in 1970, it has become a modern classic covered by over 100 different artists. Included here is the version recorded by platinum-selling saxophonist Boney James, with Dee Harvey providing the vocals.
4. Brook Benton and Caro Emerald – You’re All I Want For Christmas – R&B singer Brook Benton charted a number of singles from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, and here his 1963 tune “You’re All I Want For Christmas” gets a reworking featuring contemporary Dutch jazz/pop vocalist Caro Emerald.
5. The Staple Singers – Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas? – The Staple Singers had a No. 2 hit with this track from their 1970 album We’ll Get Over. The entire album, released by Stax Records, features the legendary Booker T and the MGs as the backing band, and the youngest sister Mavis, a legend in her own right, takes over much of the lead.
6. Albert King – Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’ – This Mack Rice-penned tune (Rice’s own version also appears on this same album in NML-Jazz) is a saucy holiday celebration perfectly suited for Albert King and his guitar. King lets his feisty fretwork takes center stage for much of this track, sharing a blues Christmas with you.

7. The Dramatics – Christmas Just Ain’t Christmas (Without The One You Love) – Formed originally in 1964, the Dramatics were an R&B group that persisted across five decades. They released a Christmas album in 1997 that included their version of “Christmas Just Ain’t Christmas (Without The One You Love)”, written by Kenny Gamble and Leon A. Huff.

8. Lou Rawls – O Holy Night (Cantique De Noel) – Frank Sinatra once said that Lou Rawls had “the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game.” Not a bad recommendation at all. Here his “silky chops” are applied to one of the most dramatic melodies in the Christmas repertoire, “O Holy Night.”

9. The Emotions – What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas? – The Emotions consisted of three sisters who launched their career with Volt Records in 1969. While they had their biggest success a few years later with Columbia Records, they released a number of singles through Stax, including the holiday tune “What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas?”
10. Sonny Rollins – Count Your Blessings – White Christmas sits comfortably in that pantheon of great holiday films that everyone loves, regardless of their generation. “Count Your Blessings” is just one of the iconic Irving Berlin tunes used in the movie, and in this version it is performed by saxophonist Sonny Rollins.
11. Ruth Brown – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Ruth Brown had a series of R&B and pop hits in the 1950s before retiring to raise her children. She returned to music in the seventies, eventually joining the Fantasy Records roster. Her merry little take on this Christmas standard appears on a Fantasy holiday collection simply titled Christmas Songs, which also features Chet Baker, Joe Pass, and more.
12. Mel Tormé – The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) – NML-Jazz includes quite a few extraordinary versions of this holiday standard, but it only seems fitting to feature a version recorded by the writer himself. Mel Tormé composed the tune and remaining lyrics after finding a few spare lines lyricist Bob Wells had scrawled down in an attempt to cool himself off on a blazing hot summer day.
13. Dianne Reeves – Little Drummer Boy – Dianne Reeves released Christmas Time Is Here in 2004, right in the middle of a streak where she won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance four times in six years. She has often made use of world music rhythms, and her rendition of “Little Drummer Boy” takes that approach.
14. Anita Baker – My Favorite Things – Because everyone knows Christmas is all about getting stuff, “My Favorite Things” has become popular as a holiday tune. (That’s mostly a joke.) This version is sung by Anita Baker, who has done pretty well for herself, winning eight Grammy Awards and releasing five platinum albums.
15. United States Air Force Airmen of Note – Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Here’s another song composed during a summer heat wave as an attempt to conjure up cooler feelings. While accepted now as a Christmas song, it contains no holiday reference, and its first recording, by Vaughn Monroe in 1946, topped the charts in January and February.
16. Eric Reed – Winter Wonderland – Eric Reed is a jazz pianist and composer who spent several years in Wynton Marsalis’ septet before setting out to front his own group. He has collaborated with many different jazz artists, including Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, and Benny Carter. Here he plays “Winter Wonderland”, yet another Christmas favorite that doesn’t actually mention the holiday.
17. Trio X – In Dulci Jubilo – “In Dulci Jubilo” dates from medieval times and is best known to the English-speaking world as “Good Christian Men, Rejoice”, a translation dating from the 19th century. This version of the carol melody is performed by the Swedish jazz group Trio X.
18. Freddy Cole – O Little Town Of Bethlehem – Nat King Cole’s little brother is a solid musician in his own right, and the title of his 1990 album I’m Not My Brother, I’m Me is a declaration of such. In 1995 he released I Want A Smile For Christmas, a tasty jazz holiday album that includes this version of “O Little Town of Bethlehem”.
19. Mary Stallings – I’ll Be Home For Christmas – “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” was originally released by our old friend Bing Crosby in 1943 as the B-side to “White Christmas”. It is sung from the perspective of a World War Two soldier writing home to family. While a massive hit in the US, the song was actually banned from broadcast in the UK by the BBC, as they felt it would bring down morale.
20. Norah Jones – Peace – Our playlist closes with this contemplative track from Norah Jones, one of the best-selling jazz artists of all time. Maybe it’s not strictly a Christmas song, but, accompanied only by her piano, Jones sings of peaceful late-night contemplations, making it the perfect way to wind down after an evening of holiday revelry.