David Jaeger: Chamber Works for Viola
Catalog #: NV6528
Release Date: June 9, 202321st CenturyChamberPianoViolaVoice
CHAMBER WORKS FOR VIOLA from composer David Jaeger gathers together some of Jaeger’s most defiantly creative compositions and demonstrates the vast possibilities of the viola and the chamber music genre as a whole. The album includes pieces like Diptych for viola and piano, lamenting at one moment and brazen the next. Six Miniatures on poems by David Cameron, for solo viola brings to life the poetic works of David Cameron, winner of the 2014 Hennessy Literary Award for Poetry. The album features the tasteful virtuosity of violist Carol Gimbel and pianist Cullan Bryant. Jaeger’s music will surely remind listeners—and perhaps even some other composers—of the rich tonal palate the viola offers.
I Wanna Be Ready
Catalog #: NV6527
Release Date: June 9, 202321st CenturyLiturgicalVocal MusicPianoVoice
Few things have informed and inspired as much music as humanity's search for God. Acclaimed baritone, arranger, and conductor Courtney Carey explores the relation between the worldly and the divine on I WANNA BE READY, a set of 12 spirituals arranged for different instrumentations — and each piece packs a punch. Six of them are songs for a solo voice (soprano or baritone) and piano, and Carey, being a trained vocalist himself, deploys this setup to its fullest effect, allowing for powerful brilliance. The other half are choral pieces, which are furnished with extra layers of depth and vigor by the splendidly expressive Concert Chorale ensemble. Even individually, these spirituals would be remarkable; together, they are a tour de force.
Ikarus Among the Stars
Catalog #: NV6521
Release Date: May 26, 202321st CenturyChamberClarinetPianoString Quartet
There are many composers who intertwine eclectic influences into one coherent picture, but few people do it as ambitiously and convincingly as New York City based composer Debra Kaye. On IKARUS AMONG THE STARS, she vibrantly explores themes both real and surreal, perpetual and fleeting, nonchalant, and profound. Kaye's sources of inspiration are unnumbered; it seems there is nothing which she cannot turn into a composition. The works presented (two of them multiple award winners) draw their inspiration from Spanish poetry, real-life tragedy, and from the pieces of fellow contemporary composers. All of these sources are woven together by Kaye's measured choice of tonality, and the resulting tapestry is remarkable.
Symphonic Chronicles Vol. 1
Catalog #: NV6519
Release Date: April 28, 202321st CenturyOrchestralOrchestraPianoViolin
SYMPHONIC CHRONICLES VOL. 1 from Navona Records features the works of celebrated living composers from a wide variety of backgrounds and influences. Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the music touches on topics ranging from jazz to the COVID pandemic, racial injustice, and more. Steve Law’s melodic and rhythmic Piano Concerto draws inspiration from Gershwin, Rachmaninoff, and Prokofiev while assimilating the influences of jazz, pop, and minimalism. In Barbara Jazwinski’s Fantasy on Jazz, the composer meditates on the complex and ever-evolving music of New Orleans. Simon Andrews’ Interlude No. 3 from “The Scars On His Back” recounts the story of legendary Native American freedom fighter Po’pay, and the revolt against the Spanish colonists he helped inspire. These examples are just a taste of the evocative works found on SYMPHONIC CHRONICLES VOL. 1.
Bowed Colors 2
Catalog #: NV6517
Release Date: April 14, 202321st CenturyChamberSolo InstrumentalPianoViola
On BOWED COLORS 2, violist Brett Deubner tackles a vibrant collection of Bach-inspired compositions for the viola. A bonafide virtuoso of international acclaim, Deubner set his sights on the works of seven American composers, and the result is a dynamic album of showstoppers for the alto voice of the string family. Baroque structure unites with contemporary fervor in this program, and Deubner's solo viola (occasionally accompanied by piano) entwines both, brimming with vigor and precision.
Romance al Campesino Porteño
Catalog #: NV6516
Release Date: May 26, 202320th Century21st CenturyChamberPianoSaxophone
Navona Records is proud to present ROMANCE AL CAMPESINO PORTEÑO, an album threading saxophonist José Antonio Zayas Cabán’s childhood memories with music both old and new. The tunes of his childhood and his culture sonically surround a newly-composed piece, the GRAMMY®-nominated El País Invisible, that addresses Puerto Rico’s political status as a commonwealth of the United States Empire. Featuring Miguel Zenón, Ryan Smith, Casey Rafn, and Zayas Cabán himself, ROMANCE AL CAMPESINO PORTEÑO explores the textures of Puerto Rico and Latin America, and the sounds of both struggle and celebration. “ROMANCE AL CAMPESINO PORTEÑO is an artful scream into the void of forgetting,” says essayist Katheryn Lawson. “We hope you will listen. We hope you will remember.”
Trios & Sonatinas
Catalog #: NV6511
Release Date: March 24, 202321st CenturyChamberPianoPiano TrioViola
If there is one thing that is important to Richard E Brown, it’s clarity; it would be impossible to listen to any of his compositions without finding one’s emotions immediately and intuitively seized, no explanations necessary. Brown’s music is at once neoclassical and aesthetic, and his selection of TRIOS & SONATINAS makes for a perfect introduction. Aforementioned clarity is also the secret ingredient which allows Brown to breezily and naturally unite polar opposites: the Western classical piano trio with Korean folk themes, the simple sonatina form with musical complexity, and the frail violin and resounding horn as equals in another trio. Simplicity is supposedly the ultimate form of sophistication, and TRIOS & SONATINAS makes a strong point indeed.
All in the Sound
Catalog #: NV6510
Release Date: March 10, 202321st CenturyVocal MusicPianoVoice
Following his 2022 release, STORIES OUT OF CHERRY STEMS, this latest collection of vocal music by Baltimore-based composer Peter Dayton reinforces his establishment as a mature and formidable talent in the world of art song. ALL IN THE SOUND captures the heart of the genre: duet between voice and accompaniment. Characteristically and integrally, Dayton’s songs exhibit internal compositional logics of pervasive rhythmic patterns and intervallic relationships that create music that still viscerally satisfies. The album takes listeners on a captivating journey through physical, emotional, and abstract imagery. Triumphantly, Dayton’s music realizes the poignancies possible in the duet that is art song.
Catalog #: NV6509
Release Date: March 24, 202321st CenturyLiturgicalVocal MusicChoirOrganPiano
Hilary Tann’s profoundly lyrical sacred works shine in LUMINARIA MAGNA, a striking and inspiring collection of songs featuring the voices of Cappella Clausura — led by Amelia LeClair — and the exceptional organ performance of Heinrich Christiansen. Tann’s Welsh heritage and homeland is palpable in these sincere musical devotions, transporting listeners to the foggy moorlands of South Wales. Her profound textual setting captures the rich legacy of Welsh hymnals, while simultaneously pulling text and inspiration from the Japanese Haiku and plainsong traditions. There’s no doubt that the chilling and earnest devotions of LUMINARIA MAGNA will captivate listeners in a varied and rich landscape of uniquely sacred songs.
Pinnacle Vol. 3
Catalog #: NV6508
Release Date: March 10, 202321st CenturyChamberClarinetPianoString Quartet
Navona Records presents PINNACLE VOL. 3, a collection of contemporary chamber works by composers Alla Elana Cohen, Andrew Schneider, Dušan Bavdek, and Richard E Brown that highlight the melodic, emotive, and dramatic styles offered by today’s chamber music. This diverse assortment of repertoire spans numerous influences and orchestrations, delivering a range of sounds from somber and moving to sprightly and energetic. Leveraging raw thematic material and colorful musical portraits, the composers and performers in this edition of PINNACLE keep the fire burning while bringing a fresh and unique tone to the series.
Catalog #: NV6503
Release Date: March 10, 202321st CenturySolo InstrumentalPiano
Allison Brewster Franzetti makes a charming return with PIANISTA, a new collection of recordings that the artist herself describes as a “rich musical tapestry.” Centered around Carlos Franzetti’s Minotaur in the Labyrinth suite, and supplemented with works by Kapustin and Salgán, PIANISTA colors itself in Franzetti’s signature style, a combination of jazz and tango alongside an always enticing homage to Argentinian sound, both folk and urban. These elements come together to drape PIANISTA in playful rhythms, warm harmonies, and the certain éclat only the pianista herself can deliver.
Catalog #: NV6502
Release Date: April 28, 202321st CenturyChamberVocal MusicPianoVoice
What do you get when you tailor both music and lyrics to a tenor of brilliant clarity? A profound, cerebral, sensuous and at times even mystical experience, as demonstrated by vocalist Timothy Stoddard on his riveting new album TAROT. Born out of a year-long, close-knit collaboration between Stoddard, pianist Ellen Fast, and a diverse assortment of composers and librettists, TAROT proves the Aristotelian assertion that the whole is even more than the sum of its parts. These scintillating new vocal compositions all touch upon the vast mysteries of the great unknown wherever it overlaps with the human condition – be it in love, in death or in the occult. TAROT conjures an enchanting, dizzying, dreamlike universe – and Stoddard’s crystal-clear tenor is the effervescent guide.
Catalog #: NV6499
Release Date: February 3, 202321st CenturySolo InstrumentalPiano
Jeffrey John Hall resists conventionality, both in his compositions as well as in their titles. Hence the album consisting of his Seven Piano Pieces isn't called a suite or a cycle, but simply ARTIFACTS. Immaculately performed by pianist Steven Beck, these profoundly cerebral works, written between 1976 and late 2019, mesmerize with a sober exploration of contemporary compositional techniques and the expressive potential of the piano. Often minimal, always highly subjective, Hall's works embrace a flawless balance of communicative functionality and aesthetics, perfectly encapsulating their respective pocket of time, in quite the same manner as an archeological artifact, indeed.
Variations on a Theme by Stefan Wolpe
Catalog #: NV6496
Release Date: February 10, 202320th Century21st CenturySolo InstrumentalPiano
Very few genres are as difficult to interpret pianistically as that of contemporary serious music: it often requires a superhuman degree of both virtuosity and patience, and the potential pitfalls of expression are ever-present. Enter Korean pianist Koeun Grace Lee, who zestily breezes through the most varied contemporary repertoire imaginable, with a level of self-assurance and musical competence that borders on being a revelation. While also featuring folkloristically-inspired works by David Burge and Jean Ahn, the heart of VARIATIONS ON A THEME BY STEFAN WOLPE is the similarly-titled work by Robert Gross, spanning no less than twenty variations on a theme by Stefan Wolpe, the German-American interdisciplinary modernist. Sprawling yet precise, decisive yet eclectic, it's the perfect canvas for Lee, and the resulting symbiosis is mesmerizing.
Catalog #: NV6494
Release Date: February 3, 202321st CenturyChamberOrchestralOrchestraPianoString Quartet
Life can sometimes seem like an infinity mirror of colors reflecting off of themselves, each tint deeply distinct in its own right, yet profoundly beautiful when viewed as a whole. This sentiment is thoughtfully expressed in KALEIDOSCOPE from composer Craig Morris and Navona Records. Morris’s compositional strengths are far-reaching and dynamic, and aptly showcased here with orchestral and chamber works written in a variety of orchestrations. Sentiments of gentle reflections, care and acceptance, and love are echoed throughout this release, a cohesive collection of works written from powerful emotions that tie into the kaleidoscope that is the human experience.
Catalog #: NV6493
Release Date: February 3, 202321st CenturyChamberVocal MusicCelloPianoVoice
Non-standard setups in classical music may be interesting, but they are commonly faced with the problem of limited repertoire. The ARK Trio, formed by soprano Allison Charney, cellist Kajsa William-Olsson, and pianist Reiko Uchida, has found a way of circumventing this challenge by commissioning works from contemporary composers as well as re-arranging classics, and the result can be heard on their debut release, ARK RESOUNDING. The pieces presented here may be an eclectic mix of American history, Bachian and Schubertian influences, and timeless poetry, but they are all united by one common denominator: the bittersweet trials and tribulations of love.
Catalog #: NV6492
Release Date: March 10, 202321st CenturyChamberVocal MusicCelloClarinetPiano
Laurence Sherr delves deep into the spirit of resilience with FUGITIVE FOOTSTEPS: REMEMBRANCE MUSIC. Not shying away from musically pointing to suffering and despair, Sherr paints a vivid picture of persecution, trauma, and survivor's guilt but also of silent and active opposition, hope, renewal, and the eventual overcoming of adversity. Through remembrance and tribute, these compositions unapologetically aim to tell stories of Holocaust resistance and survival, not only in concept but also in their individual tonal language: at all times fully conscious of their cultural roots, vast heritage, a sacrosanct sense of belonging, and the duty of defending these treasures. But perhaps, even more, these works reveal pathways to clearer, brighter horizons.
Catalog #: NV6491
Release Date: January 27, 202321st CenturyChamberPianoViola
Luz means light, and light is what violist Amaro Dubois claims we are missing the most in this world of today. Dubois aims to change this with his debut Navona Records release, LUZ, a collection of works highlighting the beauty of Latin American music for viola and piano. Joined by pianist Tingting Yao, the violist brings to life several newly-commissioned works, a beautiful collaboration between eight composers from five different countries. Above all, Dubois aims to share passion, love, and peace, three qualities that undoubtedly shine throughout LUZ.
Catalog #: NV6489
Release Date: January 13, 202321st CenturyChamberSolo InstrumentalPianoViolin
Navona Records and pianist Gerry Bryant are proud to present THE COMPOSERS, an album consisting solely of music by exceptionally talented and prolific Black classical music composers who have been overlooked throughout history. Featured within are the works of Thomas “Blind Tom” Wiggins, a slave who was perhaps the first Black American classical music composer, and Florence Price, whose music has so moved Bryant that he has included her in his list of favorite composers. Violinist Mark Cargill joins Bryant on select works throughout the album, a perfect addition to Bryant’s passionate approach to the keys.
The Beauty of Innuendos
Catalog #: NV6488
Release Date: January 27, 202321st CenturyChamberVocal MusicPianoVoice
Frank Felice, an eclectic composer celebrated for his postmodern mischievousness, explores his own brand of “consonant adiatonicism” in THE BEAUTY OF INNUENDOS. Throughout the album, Felice sets a variety of texts to music, ranging from the antiphons of 9th century Christian mystic Hildegard of Bingen to the modernist poetry of Wallace Stevens. Felice’s compositions explore the given text while also demonstrating the virtuosic skill of the singer and the pianist; the latter, far from a mere accompaniment, joins with the voices equally to lend even great profundity to the poetic text. Featured in these recordings is mezzo-soprano Mitzi Westra, who commissioned two of the works. Above all, THE BEAUTY OF INNUENDOS solidifies Felice’s reputation as a dauntless and innovative composer.