Catalog #: NV6525
Release Date: June 23, 202321st CenturyVocal MusicLarge EnsembleVoice
DILLINGER: AN AMERICAN ORATORIO from composer Matthew Heap in collaboration with librettist Darren Canady dramatizes the life of notorious Great Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger. Seen alternately as both an enemy of the state and a folk hero, Dillinger’s story is a fitting backdrop to Heap’s nuanced exploration of class warfare and the American Dream. The oratorio focuses on Dillinger’s final days and is presented in a quasi-oratorio setting, much like the opera-oratorio form that Stravinsky used in Oedipus Rex. Despite its historical source material, the music is more relevant than ever, bringing to life the struggles of Americans feeling caught between social strictures and larger economic forces.
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.
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.
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 #: 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.
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.
Quadrants Vol. 4
Catalog #: NV6483
Release Date: January 13, 202321st CenturyChamberVocal MusicString QuartetVoice
QUADRANTS VOL. 4 comes as the fourth installment of Navona's acclaimed series of string quartet recordings by contemporary composers. This time, a variety of ensembles perform a selection of pieces by Daniel Gil, Jacob E. Goodman, John Summers, Sami Seif, and Judith Lang Zaimont. Like its predecessors, QUADRANTS VOL. 4 presents musical creations that are highly structured, thoroughly conceptualized and profoundly cerebral, drawing upon subject matters as diverse as Kabbalistic philosophy, English urban poetry, and Arabic cultural identity, among others. Often the result of years-long toil, these compositions are by no means easy to perform – but each ensemble masterfully succeeds with virtuosic panache.
Ask of Me What the Birds Sang
Catalog #: NV6481
Release Date: December 9, 202221st CenturyChamberVocal MusicFluteGuitarVoice
Modern traditionalist composer Garth Baxter’s album ASK OF ME WHAT THE BIRDS SANG presents a wide variety of instrumental works as well as vocal music; each of these unique pieces has a special connection with a song. When Lights Begin to Show, for example, includes a musical quote from “Afternoon on a Hill,” which is the first song in Three Poems from Edna St. Vincent Millay. The songs referenced sometimes come from earlier works by Baxter or borrow from folk music. An unabashedly lyrical composer, Baxter combines the traditions of form and clear melodic writing with contemporary approaches to harmony and other elements.
Old and New Poetry Vol II
Catalog #: NV6474
Release Date: November 11, 202221st CenturyChamberVocal MusicClarinetPianoVoice
Composer Carl Vollrath and Navona Records presents OLD & NEW POETRY VOL II, a compelling musical-literary experience featuring the works of seminal poet William Blake and contemporary writer John Gracen Brown. An enticing follow-up to his 2021 release of the same title, Vollrath employs piano and clarinet with various vocal ranges in this recording, each an intimate setting reflecting his close relationship with the text itself. Deeply in tune to nature and captured from the lens of the human experience, Vollrath’s musical response to this poetic language shows his dedication to and passion for these works.
Dashing Vol. 3
Catalog #: NV6472
Release Date: November 4, 202221st CenturyFolk MusicHolidayOrchestralVocal MusicChoirOrchestraVoice
Navona Records presents DASHING VOL. 3, a festive assortment of new works inspired by the signature sounds and staples of the holiday season. Comprising stories, nods to classic holiday tunes, and an underlying current of wistful nostalgia, this installment of the DASHING series keeps the spirit of holiday music alive with new compositions and arrangements of well-known favorites. Brought to life by a number of orchestras, chamber ensembles, and choirs, the works of new and returning composers to the series are sure to ignite the charm and congeniality of the holiday season, highlighting the many facets that the bright break of winter can bring.
The Gift of the Magi
Catalog #: NV6455
Release Date: October 14, 202221st CenturyVocal MusicOrchestraVoice
Composer Richard E Brown and Navona Records present THE GIFT OF THE MAGI, a chamber opera in one act that tells the beloved story — first published by O. Henry in 1905 — of a young married couple who, despite being very poor, sacrifice their most cherished possessions to demonstrate their love for one another. This chamber opera adds even greater breadth to the composer’s output, which has also included works for concert band and orchestra, instrumental solos and ensembles, church music, piano solos, and scores for ballet, opera, and musical theater. The virtuosic performances heard on THE GIFT OF THE MAGI lend a moving emotional dimension to this heartbreaking yet ultimately uplifting story of love and sacrifice.
Catalog #: NV6469
Release Date: September 9, 202221st CenturyVocal MusicLarge EnsembleVoice
THE LEADER from Canadian-American composer Karim Al-Zand is at once timeless and also deeply relevant for the age we live in. A commentary on the rise of fascist tyranny, its titular piece tells the story of a buffoonish charlatan who is adored despite his ridiculous behavior, echoing concerns of the modern day in this chamber opera based on Eugene Ionesco's 1953 satire Le Maître. Another vocal work, Songs from the Post Truth Era similarly comments on the political realities (or unrealities) of our time. The album features several other chamber works by Al-Zand including his Six Bagatelles, with music inspired by the art of Robert Motherwell (1915–1991).
Chamber Works of Éric Tanguy
Catalog #: NV6451
Release Date: August 26, 202221st CenturyChamberVocal MusicPianoVoice
CHAMBER WORKS OF ÉRIC TANGUY from Navona Records and composer Eric Tanguy delivers three world premiere recordings and a curated selection of the composer’s chamber pieces that demonstrates his illustrative style of punctuated modality. Brought to life by talented artists Ambroise Aubrun (violin), Cécilia Tsan (cello), Steven Vanhauwaert (piano), Martin Chalifour (violin), and Elissa Johnston (soprano), these seven pieces reflect many years of past collaboration amongst the performers resulting in a connection that is translated through thoughtful yet intense musical stylings. Tanguy’s ear-catching melodies and personalized compositions foster a sound quality that showcases the strengths and dexterity of the performers, all the while providing a stimulating and intimate listening experience.
Spirits In Bondage
Catalog #: NV6450
Release Date: August 12, 202221st CenturyVocal MusicPianoVoice
Poetry and music have often been described as "beautiful sisters" in the European tradition, and American composer Benjamin C. S. Boyle sets out to prove just how harmonious this kinship can be. Owing to pianist and art song expert Laura Ward as well as to a selection of top-class singers, these elaborate yet easily accessible vocal compositions are resplendently brought to life on SPIRITS IN BONDAGE.
Currents in Time
Catalog #: NV6443
Release Date: July 8, 202221st CenturySolo InstrumentalVocal MusicPianoViolaVoice
There are great singers, and then there are great singers who break the mold, pushing both the musical and organizational boundaries of their craft. American mezzo-soprano Megan Ihnen impressively demonstrates her affiliation with the latter group on CURRENTS IN TIME, once more employing her formidable talents as both a 21st-century vocalist and impresaria to shine a light on a varied array of contemporary composers.
Catalog #: NV6412
Release Date: July 8, 202221st CenturyChamberVocal MusicString QuartetViolinVoice
Award winning composer Peter Knell offers a deep dive into a number of his inspirations and formative experiences through a variety of orchestrations in SOUNDSCAPES from Navona Records. Expressed through solo violin, violin and vocal duo, and string quartet, Knell’s work encompasses the poetry of Pablo Neruda, the art of Rolf Stein, landscapes of his youth, and more. Dive in and become immersed in the natural imagery and sensations both Knell and these performers bring forth.
Stories Out of Cherry Stems
Catalog #: NV6424
Release Date: May 13, 202221st CenturyChamberVocal MusicCelloSaxophoneVoice
Composer Peter Dayton and Navona Records present STORIES OUT OF CHERRY STEMS, an album of original vocal chamber music with carefully curated texts spanning multiple centuries. Soprano Katie Procell and numerous selected performers navigate a persistent tension between simplicity and complexity delicately threaded throughout the program, providing a solid stage for the texts of notable poets Pablo Neruda, Oscar Wilde, and more. The strengths of vocal and instrumental chamber music merge into a cohesive powerhouse in this recording, brimming with sung stories that compliment Dayton’s compositional style.
Lord, How Come Me Here?
Catalog #: NV6408
Release Date: February 11, 202221st CenturyFolk MusicLiturgicalVocal MusicPianoVoice
On LORD, HOW COME ME HERE?, composer Shawn Okpebholo turns the mirror of history on today’s society with his own work and a reimagined collection of spirituals by enslaved Africans and American folk hymns that draws upon music from the past to critique contemporary racial injustices in the United States and around the globe. An ensemble of mezzo-soprano (J’Nai Bridges), baritone (Will Liverman), piano (Paul Sánchez), cello, and flute poignantly bring Okpebholo’s music to life, from hopeful anthems celebrating community to laments between a mother and her Creator and hymns celebrating faith and hope over hate and fear.
Catalog #: NV6406
Release Date: February 4, 202221st CenturyFolk MusicLiturgicalVocal MusicCelloPianoVoice
Soprano Maria Clark and pianist Maria Thompson Corley navigate the intense emotion, scars of suffering, and religious passion in the hymns and gospels on SOUL SANCTUARY from Navona Records. Featuring empowering spirituals from the past two centuries, the duo brings to life religious songs that have stood the test of time and find deep relevance today. Arranged by Thompson Corley and recorded in Atlanta GA’s Peachtree Presbyterian Church, these spirituals, including His Eye is on the Sparrow, Wade in the Water, and Glory, Glory, Hallelujah, offer uplifting outlooks in the face of adversity.
Catalog #: NV6377
Release Date: October 22, 202121st CenturyChamberVocal MusicCelloVoice
MODERN MUSES is an entirely new presentation of captivating music in its first commercial recording and release, showcasing works composed by women and works representing female perspective. Inspired by Greek and Roman mythology, Josefien Stoppelenburg’s arresting soprano is juxtaposed with Jean Hatmaker’s poetic cello in this recording, fostering a rich musical dichotomy that blends together in a refreshingly powerful way.