• Time is the Sea We Swim In

    Catalog #: NV6604

    Release Date: March 1, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Jazz
    Piano
    Saxophone
    String Quartet

    Following her first Navona Records release, IKARUS AMONG THE STARS, New York-based composer Debra Kaye has curated an ever-varying mix of chamber and solo pieces with TIME IS THE SEA WE SWIM IN. Kaye’s inspirations are seemingly endless, from the improvisatory piano solo At Liberty (1988) where Kaye returns to her roots as a performer, to the jazzy Colossus 1067 (2021) written to accompany Gus Foster’s time-distorting panoramic photograph taken on a roller coaster with a rotary camera; from current events to the poetry of Zen monks, European Romanticism to a philosophical, even metaphysical meditation on time and the creative process. Kaye’s eclectic collection showcases and reconciles heterogeneous influences by way of a sonic language that is wholly, uncompromisingly her own. Her confident embrace of diverse sounds and styles invite and challenge listeners to join her on this voyage of discovery and dip a toe into this sea that we all swim in.

  • Two by Three

    Catalog #: NV6601

    Release Date: February 2, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Solo Instrumental
    Flute
    Piano

    If there were two words to describe Nathan Froebe’s musical output, they would be: exuberant and ruminative. In fact, these two attributes might arrive at a tie on TWO BY THREE, a selection of energetic freetonal, programmatic pieces for a myriad of flutes and piano. The thoughtful nature of these works is apparent even in their respective titles: Meditation, Three Scenes for Wind and Hammer, and Essay for Piccolo, Piano, and Alto Flute, to name but a few. Meticulously composed by Froebe and impeccably performed by flutists Jessica Raposo and Mihoko Watanabe with pianist Michael Seregow, TWO BY THREE sweeps through the mind like a fresh breeze on a crisp April morning.

  • By the Waters of Memory

    Catalog #: NV6598

    Release Date: February 2, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Solo Instrumental
    Cello
    Oboe
    Piano

    Lyricism and melody are often vainly sought in contemporary composition. American composer Richard Crosby goes against the grain on BY THE WATERS OF MEMORY, a selection of compositions so aesthetically sublime, yet so profound, one wonders if this is still music, or someone mesmerizingly peeling back the layers on existence itself. BY THE WATERS OF MEMORY features two scintillating chamber duos with piano – one a viola, the other a cello sonata – as well as a charming tetralogy of Latin dances for piano and oboe. But perhaps the greatest revelation arrives in the form of trenchantly beautiful solo piano pieces, which bear all the hallmarks of unadulterated classical-romantic genius. If Schubert had been an American, he would have sounded like this.

  • Mother Tales

    Catalog #: NV6581

    Release Date: December 8, 2023

    20th Century
    21st Century
    Chamber
    Piano
    Violin

    Against the backdrop of the pandemic, violinist Sunmi Chang and pianist Clara Yang embarked on this meaningful project. MOTHER TALES is an album that pays tribute to four remarkable women composers – Florence Price, Gabriela Lena Frank, Liliya Ugay, and Amy Beach. Notably, the album shares the same title as Liliya Ugay’s commissioned work, an exquisite and heartwarming piece that reflects on motherhood. However, in this project, the concept of a “mother” transcends biological boundaries, encompassing all those who have had a profound influence and nurturing presence in the lives of others.

  • Unholy Sonnets

    Catalog #: NV6578

    Release Date: November 10, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Vocal Music
    Piano
    Voice
    Wind Ensemble

    Few forms in classical music are as underrated as the song cycle. It is easy to be betrayed by the seemingly-modest set-up – piano and solo voice – requiring well-calculated finesse from a composer to seize its minimalist power and bring it into full bloom. UNHOLY SONNETS, a collection of songs by German-born American Samuel Adler, succeeds greatly in this effort. Although all works presented are in English and the tonal language is decidedly modern, there is much that harks back to the German art song tradition of the 19th century. Despite the title, these are largely quiet, pensive pieces, confidently resting in a tranquil serenity.

  • Our Stories

    Catalog #: NV6571

    Release Date: November 3, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Cello
    Piano

    Featuring cellist Thomas Mesa and pianist Michelle Cann, OUR STORIES from Navona Records aims to raise the voices of composers and performers from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in classical music. Made possible by PARMA Recordings and a Sphinx MPower Grant, this release musically conveys a diverse mixture of themes and topics, from the intricacies and curiosities of human communication to fear-inducing information prevalent in the media, reflections on the acceptance of life's inevitable changes and losses, and more. Dive in and explore the masterful contemporary works of Andrea Casarrubios, Carlos Carrillo, Kevin Day, Sebastian Quesada, and Mario Oyanadel.

  • Mere Mortals

    Catalog #: NV6563

    Release Date: October 27, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Piano
    Violin

    Caitlin Edwards and Daniel Schlosberg work in collaboration to bring us MERE MORTALS, an exceptional performance and intuitive study on works for violin and piano by composers of marginalized identities with a brilliant legacy to share with the world. In a world that often grinds us to the bone, MERE MORTALS asks us to slow down, step back, and appreciate the fruits of our labor, reminding us that although our time on this earth is fleeting, it can also be a rich and exploratory experience that enables us to leave an immortal and vital legacy behind.

  • Columbian Harmony

    Catalog #: NV6565

    Release Date: October 13, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Cello
    Piano
    Viola

    Multi-genre composer Gary Smart explores a wide range of styles and transforms them into his own musical language on COLUMBIAN HARMONY. His soundscapes are sweeping, billowing meadows, often vast in their ambition and scope. At times richly textured, at times sparse, almost threadbare, Smart’s carefully designed works meander between grand rhapsody and heart rending simplicity. There is enough familiarity in this music to keep the listener anchored, but the element of surprise reigns supreme.

  • Shards

    Shards

    Catalog #: NV6549

    Release Date: August 11, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Flute
    Piano
    Violin

    Sarah Wallin Huff returns to Navona Records with SHARDS, a wide variety of compositions that explore life, love, death, and the philosophy and mysticism that make up the in-betweens. True to the unique identity of Wallin Huff’s admirable body of work, the compositions building SHARDS structure themselves around brilliantly original frameworks while also delivering a philosophical, thoughtful structure to the album. Wallin Huff sufficiently and spectacularly elaborates upon her identity as a self-described “stream-of-consciousness composer” in this contemplative and explorative journey, a comprehensive album sure to make waves with its mystical nature.

  • Wild Swans

    Wild Swans

    Catalog #: NV6547

    Release Date: August 11, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Vocal Music
    Clarinet
    Harp
    Piano
    Voice

    Diane Maltester and Nancy Bachmann take listeners on a mesmerizing musical journey with WILD SWANS. Contemporary composer Nancy Bachmann’s exquisite music entices listeners with an artist’s pallet of expressive and progressive sounds. Released under Navona Records, this extraordinary album showcases Bachmann’s compositions for the superbly talented clarinetist, Diane Maltester. WILD SWANS takes flight through compositions for voice, woodwind quintet, trios, duos, and unaccompanied clarinet. The wings of Bachmann’s imaginative energy and Maltester’s interpretive virtuosity transport the listener to beautiful and exotic destinations. As one explores the transcendent compositions on WILD SWANS Bachmann’s brilliance and versatility shine through on every track, illuminated by the extraordinary artistry of Maltester and all her collaborators. A captivating mix of wildness and grace!

  • Conversing With Spirits

    Conversing With Spirits

    Catalog #: NV6540

    Release Date: July 28, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Solo Instrumental
    Percussion
    Piano
    Saxophone

    Fall immersed into a collection of innovative stories and sounds on David Colson’s CONVERSING WITH SPIRITS. Colson’s distinctive push-and-pull textures are both an inviting and invigorating in the aptly named Un raz-de-marée de terreur et de joie (A tidal wave of terror and of joy) for bari sax and marimba, a welcome that drifts into a call back to classical trumpet repertoire: the long lamentations and surges of havoc discovered within Duo for Trumpet and Piano. This being closely followed by Ghost Music, a virtuosic marimba solo featuring Matthew Coley, a composition most reminiscent of uncanny whisperings in shadowy atmospheres—no doubt with a touch of whimsy, and a whimsy that is no stranger to the nature of cats, or more specifically, Cat Tales, a touching tongue-in-cheek collection of saxophone and piano vignettes invoking the personality of eight cats familiar to Colson. The River within Us concludes the collection, an at-once bubbly and fluttering two-movement work featuring the Western Michigan University Percussion Ensemble. Treat yourself to CONVERSING WITH SPIRITS, and enjoy the endless surprises it has to offer.

  • Ocean Calling

    Catalog #: NV6535

    Release Date: July 14, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Piano

    OCEAN CALLING from composer Meira Warshauer is a moving trilogy for two pianos dedicated to the ocean. The three installments — “Waves and Currents,” “From the Depths,” and “The Giant Blue” — speak to the vast majesty of the aquatic world and the many challenges that face it. Innovative performance techniques coax unique sounds out of the instruments; a metal chain rustles on vibrating strings to mimic the white noise of breakers in “Waves and Currents,” while “From the Depths” utilizes coloristic “inside piano” techniques, and bowed tones recall sounds from the blue whale in "The Giant Blue." Against the backdrop of large-scale contaminations, overfishing, acidification, and rising temperatures, OCEAN CALLING is an impassioned plea on behalf of Earth’s greatest natural resource.

  • A Phoenix Rising

    Catalog #: NV6532

    Release Date: July 14, 2023

    21st Century
    Romantic
    Chamber
    Vocal Music
    Piano
    Voice

    Tenor Brian Smith Walters is a force to be reckoned with — endowed with a dark, thundering timbre and magnificent, towering style, he is the embodiment of a Heldentenor. His first Navona Records release is a challenging cross-section of chansons and Lieder spanning five centuries, and Walters navigates them with stunning bravado. It doesn't matter whether he sings Purcell or Copland, Schubert or Saint Saens, Tchaikovsky or Barber, Wagner or Szymanowski – the energetic grip Walters has on every single piece is awe-inducing, every rendition buzzing with vibrance and profundity. Accompanied here by only the piano, there is only one word to describe the tenor and A PHOENIX RISING: intense.

  • David Jaeger: Chamber Works for Viola

    Catalog #: NV6528

    Release Date: June 9, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Piano
    Viola
    Voice

    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.

  • Ikarus Among the Stars

    Catalog #: NV6521

    Release Date: May 26, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Clarinet
    Piano
    String 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.

  • Romance al Campesino Porteño

    Catalog #: NV6516

    Release Date: May 26, 2023

    20th Century
    21st Century
    Chamber
    Piano
    Saxophone

    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.”

  • Tarot

    Catalog #: NV6502

    Release Date: April 28, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Vocal Music
    Piano
    Voice

    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.

  • Bowed Colors 2

    Catalog #: NV6517

    Release Date: April 14, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Solo Instrumental
    Piano
    Viola

    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.

  • Trios & Sonatinas

    Catalog #: NV6511

    Release Date: March 24, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Piano
    Piano Trio
    Viola

    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.

  • Pinnacle Vol. 3

    Catalog #: NV6508

    Release Date: March 10, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Clarinet
    Piano
    String 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.