I just LOVE the Naxos Music Library (one million tracks and counting!), and it’s always worthwhile checking in to see what’s been added recently. Available to one and all via the Library’s website here in the building, or at home if you’re a Victorian registered user.
Peter Maxwell Davies is currently Master of the Queen’s Music, and a bit of a living national treasure as far as British music is concerned. A ruggedly individual musical voice, this wonderful symphony is inspired by the Orkney Islands off the coast of Scotland where he has lived now for many years. As for Mavis in Las Vegas, you have to read his liner notes to get the full story, but any piece of music that attempts to describe a visit to the Liberace Museum gets my vote!
Cards on the table; I adore Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and won’t hear a word against it. Some people (who otherwise appear quite rational) have been known to dismiss it out of hand as a mere curiosity in Beethoven’s canon, but I just can’t imagine how you wouldn’t fall in love with it completely on first hearing; I did! Lovely then to find this delightful new performance on Naxos, and paired with a real Beethoven rarity. Go on, give it a go……
This is what I really love about the Naxos music library, discovering composers you’ve never heard of and being able to listen to music you didn’t know existed; wonderful! I’m ashamed to say that the music of Joseph Touchemoulin had so far escaped me, but this 18th century Burgundian composer was clearly a sophisticated musician and these lovely performances are well worth a listen.
If you prefer your music a little more blood drenched, then I think I have just the thing. Richard Strauss’ opera Elektra pulls no punches in its musical telling of the Greek myth, and this fascinating performance conducted by the great Eugen Jochum comes from Hamburg in 1944; a blood drenched work for blood drenched times, giving this performance a context that only adds to the general grimness. One of many remarkable historical documents available via the Naxos library.