Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Music for all occasions!

We love music. You're shocked, we know, and we want to make sure that finding those perfect albums, or songs, or pieces aren't what's stressing you out in the coming days.

Hope you enjoy these Hanukkah and Christmas favorites! Many thanks to Amy Edmonds and the Ball State University Library!

Catalog Number: 624284001555

Catalog Number: 8.554714

Catalog Number: TROY744 - Track 12

Catalog Number: 75442270972

Catalog Number: 5099991898258

And finally, a Festivus for the 'restofus!
Catalog Number: 3570-MCD - Track 11

Happy holiday listening,
The Naxos Family

Friday, October 21, 2011

200 To-Do Liszts

People have been talking about it all year.
"1811...2011...times 14, carry the 3...I'm pretty sure that was...THAT WAS 200 YEARS AGO!"

October 22 is a big birthday for a really big composer. One of those biggies that even people who aren't really into classical music know about. Most of my family isn't hep to classical music, but they know a few piano pieces, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, etc. when they hear them.

I expect lots of legit bloggers will weigh in with why they love/hate/do not deign to offer an opinion on Liszt. To me the best thing about these big anniversaries is that we have to revisit our opinions on composers. I listened to some of the late piano music just this morning (not always my cup of tea) to remember that Liszt was more than just
kind of fancy and uppity in the 1991 film Impromptu.

But I'm really just here for the facts, ma'am. My hope is that you'll take the time to think about the work itself. Weigh it for yourself. They're your ears and you're in control of them.

Liszt was the son of a steward in the service of the Esterházy family, patrons of Haydn. He was born in 1811 at Raiding in Hungary and moved as a child to Vienna, where he took piano lessons from Czerny and composition lessons from Salieri. Two years later, in 1823, he moved with his family to Paris, from where he toured as a pianist. Influenced by the phenomenal violinist Paganini, he turned his attention to the development of a similar technique as a pianist and in 1835 left Paris with his mistress, the Comtesse d’Agoult, with whom he travelled widely during the following years, as his reputation as a pianist of astonishing powers grew. In 1844 he separated from his mistress, the mother of his three children, and in 1848 settled in Weimar as Director of Music Extraordinary, accompanied by Princess Sayn-Wittgenstein. He now turned his attention to composition and in particular to the creation of a new form: the symphonic poem. In 1861 Liszt moved to Rome, where he found expression for his long-held religious leanings. From 1869 he returned regularly to Weimar, where he had many pupils, and later he accepted similar obligations in Budapest, where he was regarded as a national hero. He died in Bayreuth in 1886, four years after the death of his son-in-law Wagner. As a pianist he had no equal, and as a composer he suggested to a younger generation of musicians the new course that music was to take.

Happy Liszt-ening!
(Sorry, I just couldn't help it!)


*Here's how I
really like to think of Liszt (and his buddy Chopin): http://harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=302

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Blue Note Records!

It is with great pleasure that we announce the entire Blue Note Records catalog is being uploaded to Naxos Music Library - Jazz! We've included a short description of the label, in case you're not familiar with the "ins and outs" of Blue Note.

If you're inte
rested in more information on becoming an NML-Jazz subscriber - our contact information is below!

Blue Note Records, established in New York by German-born record executive Alfred Lion and art director Francis Wolff in 1939, is a renowned jazz label that has produced a number of legendary albums including John Coltrane’s “Blue Train” and other classic albums from iconic artists such as Herbie Hancock, Jackie McLean, Dexter Gordon, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter and many others. The label is revered by jazz fans across the globe. Throughout the fifties and early sixties and continuing for the next five decades, Blue Note continues to discover and launch impressive talents to a new level.

Happy Listening!
The NML Team

Naxos of America, Inc.
615.465.3836 (direct)

Join in the conversation!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sneak Preview: NML and CMS 2011

Will you be at CMS in Richmond this October? If so, be sure to look for our ad. on the back cover of the program book!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Naxos Music Library Adds EMI Classics Catalog

Good morning, music lovers!

It is with boundless pleasure that we announce that the complete EMI Classics catalogue is now available to NML and NML-Jazz institutional subscribers! This vast catalog of recordings includes EMI Classics, Virgin Classics, and Blue Note Records.

Today, more than 225 albums are available in NML with the remainder of the 7200 album catalog available by the end of 2011. More details will be available shortly. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all of the updates.

We hope you’re as excited as we are and look forward to many months of wonderful new music! These additions represent the first of many great things to come - so stay tuned for more updates as we near the end of 2011.

As always our ears and inboxes are open - so please feel free to drop us a line!

Happy historical listening!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Music Challenge Day 3 - Only the Living

Day 3 of my spontaneous music challenge was focused on living composers. If you're familiar with my blogging or my social media-ing at all, you know that I'm a big proponent of living composers. Here are a couple of my picks from that day of listening.

I started out my day with Lera Auerbach's Cetera desunt, "Sonnet for String Quartet No. 3." I really enjoy Auerbach's work in general, but the feminist part of me especially likes it because she's a quite successful young female composer. Not yet forty, she's been cranking out lovely work that teeters between tonality and atonality for years. Her work gets paired with Shostakovich often on records, and not without reason. There's some of that same forcefulness in her writing, some of that bow-breaking intensity, some of the endlessly building tension.

The new music movement (or alt-classical or indie chamber, or whatever you want to call it) is a thing I really like, despite many of the pretensions assumed to surround it. In the end a lot of it is just good music. Newspeak is one of those prestigious New York new music ensembles that perform the compositions of all those hot young New York composers. They're under the direction of David T. Little, a percussionist and composer of my favorite work on this disc--the title track, sweet light crude. This piece wends its way through light and simple loveliness into angular modern beauty, then groove territory and frenetic chamber rock and minimalist breakdown in what I would call the B section, and back to a lovely, sad denouement. The composer notes that this is "about love and addiction; about misery; about the perversity of loving your captor. It’s a love song to oil."
All the works here are worth a listen, but the title track really stood out to me as exceptionally composed and performed.

To be entirely frank, I think a lot of the doom and gloom surrounding the classical music scene would dissipate if people would recognize living composers as what they are--the Bachs and Beethovens and Brahmses of today. Sure, it doesn't look exactly the same. But would you really want it to?

Pro musica,

Friday, May 13, 2011

Music Challenge Day 2 - All New Stuff

Music Challenge Day 2 - All New Stuff

This challenge was intended to get listeners going on different things. In point of fact, the mandate was to "not listen to a single work you've heard before."

Now, I listen to music as part of my job. I do it when I'm doing still other parts of my job. And I'm passionate about music discovery. So I listen to a lot of new music.
But I normally sprinkle in favored composers and works, mix eras, genres, and styles, fold in some outside listening (a little punk, a little hip-hop, a little folk). With this project I vowed to listen only to works I had never heard for the entire day, and (since I also listen to lots of living composers) I tried to focus on historic or non-living composers that I had somehow missed.

I started out with some Taneyev String Quartets on new label Northern Flowers. What lovely work! I couldn't believe how much I had missed out on with Taneyev, especially the very sensitive viola and cello writing. Some people just totally ignore the lower voices in string quartets, making them fill out chords mechanically. Not the case here.

Then I moved on to Morton Gould's Saint Lawrence Suite. Woefully, I'm a singer and former pretend-string player who always wanted to be a percussionist, so I listen to very little wind band music. But this work may have started a sea change in me. All the rich, bright timbre of the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble was put to good work here. There are some sweet bluesy, jazzy elements to the suite that play nicely with the quick, light, Copland-esque moments that occur from time to time. This is also the only original work for wind band ever nominated for a Grammy for composition.

I also discovered M.K. Čiurlionis for myself in this project. Among my other listening, this last stood out. Perhaps it was the opening, in dark Eastern European style writing that called to mind Borodin's quartets, or perhaps that the composer seemed mutable, even a tad volatile. This Lithuanian composer was also a painter, something I felt I could hear in the compositions before I saw the work. I listened to the String Quartet in C minor and the Theme and Variations, both of which could have tended toward the measly or graceless without the correct force of playing. I have to say, the Vilnius String Quartet brought it on that point.

What did you listen to?

Pro musica,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Music Challenge Day 1- Listen to a Composer You Hate

This week I challenged our social media buddies and myself to get outside of their usual comfortable realm of listening. Four days of boundary pushing (some light lifting, some not so light). Here are my thoughts from each day.

DAY 1: Listen to a Composer You Hate

Confession time, Internet.

I hate Mozart.
It's not personal. It's musical.

And here we go.
Anyone: But he was a child genius!
Me: I know.

A: But he revolutionized the world of music in both performance and composition!

M: I know.

A: But he WAS the classical era!

M: I know.

A: But you like opera. He wrote some great operas. Lots of them!

M: "Great" is a relative term. If you mean too long to be justified by the content, then...yes.

A: Not even Nozze?

M: Nope. I can stand it, but just barely.

A: Cosi?
M: Ugh.

A: What about the choral music?
M: Meh. Some of it is okay.

A: Everyone likes the Requiem!

M: It's all right, I guess.

A: And Amadeus! Did you see Amadeus?!

M: Yep.

A: Didn't you like it?

M: Nope.

A: ...was it the powdered wigs?

M: Yeah, that's it. That's exactly it. That's the reason behind my ire for the entire output of an absurdly prolific composer.

So that's how it usually goes. I'm not known for writing composers off in such a manner. I'm not trying to be snarky. In point of fact, I always say that I'll listen to just about anything to make my ears smarter. And I will, even with Mozart. ONCE.
It doesn't change the fact that I basically dislike his music. True, it's genius composition. True, it's unparalleled in it's classical-ness. True, I could never compose anything an nth as impressive or lasting. I'm just not a fan.

So today I listened to Mozart. All day, marathon listening. Piano trios, symphonies, operas, string quartets, choral works, everything. I put aside my historical disdain and opened up my ears. It was at once harrowing and humbling.

Because I still dislike Mozart. I wanted to come out of this loving his music, feeling freshly washed and clean, wrapped in beauty and classical symmetry. But it didn't happen that way. At the end of my listening project I just wanted to hear something that wasn't balanced and proper. I wanted to hear something that could make me weep at my desk with flayed emotion, something that confused my ear or beat it into submission. Something that said something. Maybe if I wanted better results I should have not started with My Number One Big Issue. You live and learn.

The only thing I can really say for the experience is "I tried again." At least I didn't just write off the composer because of my leftover feelings about his work. I checked my old opinions against new experience, so it's not just an untested, ridiculous prejudice. But I recognize the gifts that he had and the beauty he gave to the world. It's just not my cup of tea.

Jedem Tierchen sein Pläsirchen.

Pro musica (all of it!),

Friday, April 8, 2011

NML App for Android--Now on Amazon Appstore

I know what you're thinking. You need another place to get our apps, right? RIGHT?

Now you can get the NML app on Amazon's Appstore for Android! Click the giant logo to go!

Don't forget that all of you institutional users will need to take an extra step to generate an app login. Sign up for a free Student/Member Playlist Account through your institution's NML page. The login for that account is also your app login.

Here's to options!

Pro musica,


Monday, March 14, 2011

Where My Girls At? Pt. II

As a woman and as a musician I stand fully behind Women's History Month. First, women fought to be taught music. Once music was considered a worthwhile pursuit for well-off ladies (in the parlour only, of course), they had to fight to perform, fight for the stage in the opera and the concert hall. And you would hope or maybe even expect that women would be much more welcomed as composers in this day and age. While there are many more being performed (especially in the new music/alt-classical/contemporary classical movement), the reality remains that female composers still fight for exposure, performance, and Aretha's most coveted commodity: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Furthermore, it's amazing how many people, classical music devotees included, can't name a female composer other than perhaps Joan Tower.

So here are a few of my favorite living composers who happen to be women (and their works). Movers, shakers, wave-makers, iconoclasts, creators. Listen up.

(I'm getting a little minimalist on you here--just names and music. I don't want to color your expectations too much. I hope all with rococo tendencies can forgive me.)

Sofia Gubaidulina - Bassoon Concerto - CHAN9717

Emma Lou Diemer - Piano Quartet - LAN0328

Joan Tower - Wild Purple - 8.559215

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich - Fantasy for Harpsichord - TROY457

Tania Leon - Bailarin - BCD9239

Hilary Tann - Gardens of Anna Maria Lusia de'Medici - PH05019

Libby Larsen - Black Birds, Red Hills - INNOVA512

Julia Wolfe - Cruel Sister - CA-21069

Jennifer Higdon - On a Wire - ASO1001

Gabriela Ortiz - Altar de Neon - DOR-90245

Liza Lim - Weaver-of-Fictions - ABC4766439

Gabriela Lena Frank - HILOS - 8.559645

Lera Auerbach - Ballet for a Lonely Violinist - BIS-CD-1592

Augusta Read Thomas - Silhouettes - TROY855

Pro musica,


Where My Girls At? Pt. I

We all know that the big winner for March is Women's History Month*. Some folks get in a twist about Women's History Month (as though the advances of the last 90 years mean that women no longer need our own history month) to which I say "Pshaw!"

Most people know about those big-name musical foremothers like Hildegaard von Bingen, Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, and Clara Wieck-Schumann, but what about the others? Here's your freshman Intro to Music History, Lady-Style.

Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre
Like many women in music, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre was hailed as a virtuosic performer before she came to light as a composer. While she composed in most of the forms of the day, her most well known works remain those she wrote for her own instrument--the keyboard.

Found it on the NML: Harpsichord Suites Nos. 1-4, HCD31729

Barbara Strozzi

Barbara Strozzi was a noted Venetian woman, the adopted daughter of playwright Giulio Strozzi. The surviving body of her work is vocal in nature, both solo and ensemble, ranging from madrigals to arias. The heavily vocal nature and similar pitching corroborates the view that much of her work was written for her own performance in her home.

Found it on the NML: Il primo libro de madrigali, Op. 1, CTH2441-2

Alma Mahler-Werfel
Wife of Gustav Mahler. Alma Mahler was another woman composer whose work was largely suppressed by male influence--though not in such a benign way. Gustav Mahler thought it "unseemly" not only for women to compose, but for both members of a couple to compose. It is believed that he actively forbade her to compose, under the auspice of removing any barriers to her wifely duties. She resumed composition after Mahler's death.

Found it on the NML: 5 Lieder, 999018-2

Liza Lehmann

The English soprano Liza Lehmann actually composed little before her marriage and the end of her performing career. She had a respectable career as a singer, but when struck by Bell's palsy she lost fine control of her vocal folds. At that time she turned back to composition, for which she had shown an aptitude when young but never pursued seriously. She enjoyed a fair amount of popularity in her lifetime with song cycles such as Daisy Chain, Cherry Ripe, and In a Persian Garden, and often accompanied her own compositions at the piano.

Found it on the NML: Daisy Chain, 8.557118

Amy Beach
Amy Beach is particularly notable as the first American woman to experience large-scale success as a composer. As a young girl, Amy Cheney was, like many other females, to begin her career as a well-known performer. Once she married, becoming Mrs. H.H.A. Beach, her husband decided that she would compose rather than perform. She composed 300 works in her lifetime, nearly all of which were commercially published. This widespread success made her a giant among women in music.

Found it on the NML: String Quartet, Op. 89, CHAN10162

Johanna Beyer
Johanna Beyer worked in relative obscurity in her lifetime, largely ignored as a composer even by the experimental music community. She continued to study with teachers like Henry Cowell and Ruth Crawford Seeger, whose influence can be heard in her harmonic and contrapuntal language. The work has been explored further posthumously and Beyer is beginning to gain posthumous respect as an experimental composer.

Found it on the NML: Clarinet Suite No. 2 in Bb major, INNOVA589

Nadia Boulanger
The elder Boulanger sister composed much less prolifically than did the younger. It is believed that Nadia thought Lili to be much more gifted than she herself was, which likely led to her halt in composition. Nadia proceeded to have an extremely active international career as an organist, composer, conductor, and educator. She championed the music of her pupils at every turn, among whom were counted Bernstein, Virgil Thomson, Carter, and Copland.

Found it on the NML: Pieces for Cello and Piano, 8.223636

Lili Boulanger
Lili Boulanger was the possessor of another nascent performing career cut short by illness. She relied solely on private instruction for her musical education, as her frailty precluded a full conservatory education. Remarkably, she became the first woman to ever win the Prix de Rome with her work Faust et Helene in 1913. The broad use of orchestral color in her compositions was considered quite imaginative, as was her later exploration of polytonalality.

Found it on the NML: Faust et Helene, CHAN9745

Pro (women's) musica,

*Other March things that I deem "pretty awesome" include International Women's Day, International Book Day, National Grammar Day, and March Madness. I'm just saying.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Enhanced Search - Find What You're Looking For!

The curtain opens on a college music library. It's a warm environment, and the sound of music fills the background, just audible enough to know that it's there. An Amazing Librarian is working behind the circulation desk, where a student approaches...

Hi - My name is Nick!

I'm putting on my recital and I've come to the College Music Library for some help. I've got a lot of "loud- bangy-things" on the program already, and think something on the Marimba would be great. Can you help me find what I'm looking for?

(Amazing Librarian)
Hello Nick! Let's use the Naxos Music Library to find something! Simply go to the Enhanced Search, and enter "Marimba" in the instrument field. That should get you started.

Wow...Great! However, I've heard of this composer.. Ney Rosauro - who composed a whole bunch of Brazilian music, which would round out the program nicely. Can these results be refined down?

(Amazing Librarian)
Yes they can! By adding the composers name to the Composer box - your search is refined! Look at that, here are 6 discs that contain music by Ney.

Great - but I've only got about 5 minutes left in the recital to add a new piece- would you mind narrowing it down for me?

(Amazing Librarian)
Not a problem! Simply enter the duration in the box, and include it into your results...and...Voila! We've got these 4 discs that contain Ney Rosauro marimba works between 5 and 6 minutes long! Happy Listening!

Include AND Exclude Terms!

Alright - while the above may be a bit "over the top" - it's an incredibly real scenario. With the new Naxos Enhanced Search - coming to the Naxos Music Library, Naxos Jazz Library, and Naxos Spoken Word Library soon - you'll be able to use these resources to aid members!

Not only will you be able to include and filter results in real-time, but you'll be able to "exclude" certain things from your searches as well!

Let's say that I'm looking for a disc to listen to that's got the following:
- A piece composed by Bach
- On the Naxos Label
- It contains the Viola
- It does not contain any Cello

*The NML has 2 discs that meet this criteria!

The new Enhanced Search will allow you to do this, with near instant results that can be constantly filtered "down" or "up" depending on your level of specificity. Here's the evolution of the above search.

First - All discs that contain pieces composed by Bach.

Second - Narrow that list down, by including only those Bach compositions on the Naxos label.

Third - Let's get this list more manageable - filter out anything that contains the Cello. This will return all of the discs that contain Bach, on the Naxos Label, with no cello.

Finally - We only want discs that contain the Viola, from that list. We get our 2 discs!

Results Filtered By Country
And the last, but certainly not the least, feature to mention here, is that country restricted recordings will no longer be shown in your search results. For our friends in the United States trying to do a search for Elvis (wanting Costello, but getting Presley) - the wait is over. For our friends in Hong Kong, Korea, Canada, and beyond - we're all getting customized results!

Here's an example of what 2 different subscribers will see - one is a student in the United States. The other, is a musician in Canada.

Canada - (No Restrictions on Recordings) - USA (Many Restricted Recordings)

All in all - we hope you enjoyed this short look at some of the interesting Enhanced Searches we were able to perform. We look forward to the days ahead where we can all search together!

We appreciate any and all feedback on the design plans - so please post below or email us directly with your comments! Who knows...you may be the one to add a feature that millions will use every day!

Happy Searching,

Nick D'Angiolillo
Naxos of America, Inc.
615.465.3836 (direct)

Join in the conversation!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

You Can't Handel The Truth

Today is the 326th birthday of the incomparable, the illustrious, the inspired George Frideric Handel! The kicking king of Kappellmeisters! The hot harpsichordist of Halle! Old-school originator of the oratorio! So our purpose here is clear: sit back and marvel at the man, the master, the myth.

If you think you can Handel it. *


Handel, George Frideric (2/23/1685-4/14/1759)

Born in the German town of Halle in 1685, Handel studied briefly at the University of Halle, before moving to Hamburg in 1703, where he served as a violinist in the opera orchestra and subsequently as harpsichordist and composer. From 1706 until 1710 he was in Italy, where he further developed his mastery of Italian musical style. Appointed Kapellmeister to the Elector of Hanover, the future George I of England, he visited London, where he composed the first London Italian opera Rinaldo, in 1710 and settled there two years later. He enjoyed aristocratic and later royal patronage, and was occupied largely with the composition of Italian opera with varying financial success until the 1740s. He was successful in developing a new form, English oratorio, which combined the musical felicities of the Italian operatic style with an increased rôle for the chorus, relative economy of production and the satisfaction of an English and religious text, elements that appealed to English Protestant sensibilities. In London he won the greatest esteem and exercised an influence that tended to overshadow the achievements of his contemporaries and immediate successors. He died in London in 1759 and was buried in Westminster Abbey in the presence of some 3000 mourners.


Handel wrote over forty Italian operas, the majority for staging in London. The operatic conventions of the time, restricting subject and form, and the major use of castrato singers in the principal male rôles, led to a general neglect of this important part of Handel's work until recent years, with the increased cultivation of male soprano and male alto voices and a growing understanding of Handel's achievement within the limitations of the genre. Arias and other operatic excerpts, however, have retained a continued place in vocal and to some extent in instrumental repertoire. In particular the aria from the opera Serse of 1738, Ombra mai fù, popularly known as Handel's Largo, has re-appeared in every possible arrangement. Other arias are familiar in something approaching their original form. These include Lascia ch'io pianga from Rinaldo, Piangèro la sorte mia from Giulio Cesare and Care selve from Atalanta.


Messiah is by far the best known of all English oratorios. Its three parts deal with the birth, passion and resurrection of Christ, using a text in part derived from the Bible and from the version of the Psalms familiar from the Church of England Book of Common Prayer. The work was completed and first performed in 1742 and later repeated annually in London in aid of the Foundling Hospital. Israel in Egypt, Judas Maccabaeus, Samson, based on Milton, and Solomon are only some of the English oratorios of Handel that are familiar in whole or in part to choirs and audiences. To these may be added the secular oratorio Semele, with a text by the dramatist William Congreve, dealing with an episode from classical mythology and including, for a disguised Jupiter, the well known aria Where'er you walk.

Church Music

Handel wrote music for the Catholic liturgy in 1707, when he was in Rome. In England, under the patronage of the Duke of Chandos, he wrote a set of anthems, the so-called Chandos Anthems. The four Coronation Anthems, written for the coronation of George II in 1727, represent music for a royal ceremonial occasion at its most impressive. Other settings for the Anglican liturgy include the Utrecht Te Deum of 1713, celebrating the Peace of Utrecht, and the Dettingen Te Deum, a celebration of the victory of Dettingen over the French army in 1743.

Secular Vocal & Choral Music

The story of the shepherd and shepherdess Acis and Galatea and the monster Polyphemus forms the basis of the pastoral Acis and Galatea, first performed in 1718. The aria of Polyphemus O ruddier than the cherry is in popular baritone repertoire. L'allegro, il penseroso ed il moderato, based on Milton and completed in 1740, provides at least one popular soprano aria, Sweet bird. In the earlier part of his career Handel wrote a large number of solo and duo Italian cantatas, with instrumental accompaniment, as well as vocal duets and trios with the more economical accompaniment of basso continuo, a chordal and a bass instrument. This last repertoire deserves further exploration.

Orchestral Music

Since Corelli, a musician who was said to have found Handel's "French" style alien to Italian tradition, the concerto grosso had continued as the most popular Baroque orchestral form, with a small concertino group, usually of two violins, cello and harpsichord, contrasted with the whole string orchestra. Handel wrote and published in 1739 a set of twelve such concertos, Opus 6, designed originally for strings and continuo. An earlier compilation of six concerti grossi, scored also for wind instruments, had been published in London in 1734. Alexander's Feast is the name given to one of the concertos first performed with the choral work of that name, a setting of Dryden in celebration of the Feast of St. Cecilia, patron saint of music, in 1736. His sixteen Organ Concertos, the first six included in Opus 4 and a further six in Opus 7, served a practical and novel purpose as interval music, to be played at performances of oratorio. No. 13 is generally known as The Cuckoo and the Nightingale. The Water Music is a set of pieces written in 1717 to entertain George I as he was rowed up the Thames to supper at Chelsea, and the Music for the Royal Fireworks, written in 1749, preceded a firework display in Green Park, a celebration of the Peace of Aix-la-chapelle.

Chamber Music

Music for smaller groups of performers by Handel includes a number of Trio Sonatas, the majority for two violins and basso continuo, and a number of sonatas for solo instrument and continuo, six for recorder and six for violin. The publisher of the twelve sonatas of Opus 1, about 1730, described a dozen of these sonatas as for treble instrument and continuo, allowing potential performers a freedom of choice that was not altogether unusual at the time.

Keyboard Music

Handel was as versatile as any musician of his age. He excelled, however, as a keyboard-player, judged in an early contest in Rome with the harpsichordist Domenico Scarlatti, with the wisdom of Solomon, as the better organist, while Scarlatti was honoured as the better harpsichordist. Handel left a great deal of keyboard music, most of it for the harpsichord and much of it written early in his career. The first eight Suites for harpsichord were published by the composer in 1720, followed in 1733 by a second collection of eight Suites, assembled largely by the publisher. The G major Chaconne, using a popular Baroque variation form, consists of 62 variations on a simple repeated bass pattern.

The Air from Suite No. 5, with its five following variations, has won fame under the title The Harmonious Blacksmith, a reference to an unlikely anecdote concerning the inspiration of the piece.

Pro (Handelian) musica,

*I apologize for overusing this kitsch. I use it every year and it never gets old for me.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Celebrate Black History Month !

If you aren't on our NML monthly update, you're missing out on great monthly offers (for some Free Stuff!)

Sign up for the Email Newsletter Here!

February is Black History Month--a time dedicated to honoring Black Americans and their contributions throughout history.

From a musical standpoint, Jazz is one of the greatest gifts that Black American musicians have given the world. In all its forms from big band to solo improv, from traditional to experimental, from formal to funky, Jazz has altered the musical landscape beyond recognition.

In honor of Black History Month Naxos is offering a three-month free trial of Naxos Music Library Jazz for your students. That's an extra two months of free streaming jazz from labels like Fantasy Records, Naxos Jazz, Jazzwerkstatt, and Innova! E-mail us now to start your trial.

Featured Jazz Labels

NML Jazz offers thousands of recordings from over 50 labels. In addition to enjoying the NMLJazz on your computer, it's got a fully functioning iPhone App! Check the App store to download and enjoy Jazz greats on the go!

We proudly feature the Fantasy Jazz collection--a monumental jazz catalog with over 23,000 tracks from nearly 500 renowned artists.

In addition the classics on Fantasy, you can find traditional, contemporary, experimental, and more on other labels like these.

Have a Jazzy Weekend!

Nick D'Angiolillo

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

I. Love. Free Stuff. - Orchestras and the NML

I’m such a sucker for free things. I’m guilty of buying that extra can of soup at the store, because – hey it’s “buy one - get one free". It’s only natural then, that the idea of getting (and giving) free NML excites me.

We’ve got some fantastic orchestra partners who utilize the NML as part of the promotional and research tools, and we wanted to talk a bit about how they’re using the NML! Imagine buying a concert package and getting to use the entire NML for free. Yes. Please.

This isn't an exhaustive list though, so check with your local Orchestra or Performing Arts organization and see if they have any fun NML programs too!

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

The BSO pulls out all the stops with a full-blown Naxos page. BSO subscribers can connect to the NML before they leave the house. You know – to listen to a bit of Mahler as you get ready, before going to enjoy some live Mahler, with a side of Mahler through the NML Android App on the way home. Mahler overload, Yes. Possible, Absolutely!

Toronto Symphony Orchestra

The TSO wants to make sure that everyone in the Toronto area has access to great music. They’ve created the “Beethoven on Demand” program, and offer the NML to their members. What a great program name, no?

Nashville Symphony Orchestra

Our very own Nashville Symphony Orchestra musicians and season ticket subscribers get to enjoy the NML. Hey, who knows, maybe the Nashville musicians listen to themselves on the awesome (Grammy Nominated!) “Metropolis” disc. (8.559635)

Also, let's be honest - I really just wanted an excuse to post this awesome cover art (and talk about a super-hero themed recording).

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

If you find yourself in Detroit Rock City, enjoy the NML and some “rock favorites” by legends Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Roy Orbison! Yes, these are all included in the DSO “subscriber subscription” to the NML (and yours too!).

Kansas City Symphony

The KC Symphony’s done a great job of providing donors and subscribers with a fantastic value-add. If you’re a donor to the Orchestra, one of the many perks (aside from Priority seating and ticket exchange) is an upgraded sound quality NML subscription!

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
The VSO musicians write us all the time talking about how much they enjoy using the NML. It’s great to be able to assist in the research and concert prep!

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
These “Manitobans” enjoy the NML , even when it’s too cold to go outside. Ok, maybe it’s never too cold for them, but when I see temperatures of -21 degrees Celsius, I start to shiver.

Edmonton Symphony Orchestra

If I was an Edmonton Symphony Orchestra musician, I know I’d spend my “research and listening” hours near the giant wave-pool at the awesome indoor World Waterpark.

Until more "Free Things",

Nick D'Angiolillo


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