Heavy Pedal Vol. 2
Catalog #: NV6529
Release Date: June 9, 202321st CenturyChamberSolo InstrumentalOboeOrchestraOrgan
The aptly-titled HEAVY PEDAL VOL. 2 from Navona Records is the second installment of an organ-centric series of albums. Featuring the music of composers Christopher Hoh, Deon Price, Richard E Brown, and John Rommereim, the collection lives up to its name; these organ works are some of the most powerful that classical music has to offer. From Hoh’s Concertino Corona, inspired by the hardships and seeds of hope from COVID-19, to Brown’s Six Chorale Preludes on Favorite Hymn Tunes, which were composed using Brown’s encyclopedic understanding of historical hymns, HEAVY PEDAL VOL. 2 brings the organ down from the choir loft to allow all listeners a greater appreciation of this incredibly dynamic instrument.
Dancing in the Palm of God’s Hand
Catalog #: NV6522
Release Date: May 26, 202321st CenturyOrchestralSolo InstrumentalOrchestraSaxophoneVoice
DANCING IN THE PALM OF GOD'S HAND from J.A. Kawarsky and Navona Records isn't at all a typical worship album; rather, it's a cross section through Kawarsky's oeuvre that encompasses minimalist solo pieces, intimate chamber music, and grand orchestral works. The themes on this album are vast and sweeping, at once lavish and carefully measured, reflecting the great and the minute, like an interplay between human and God. It's an almost philosophical experience, and one needn't be religious to enjoy its uplifting qualities.
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.
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.
The Human Condition
Catalog #: NV6501
Release Date: February 10, 202321st CenturySolo InstrumentalHarpsichord
Nothing has ever gripped intellectuals as firmly as reflections about the conditio humana, with all the perceptions, joys and miseries it entails. Israeli pianist and prolific recording artist Hagai Yodan sounds the depths of existence on his new release, THE HUMAN CONDITION, and with great panache. Featuring both piano and the harpsichord, Yodan skillfully navigates through the seas of Being as described by no fewer than six international composers. There is a persistent sense of melancholy, but also of truculence and a certain rage de vivre – an indomitable will to live. In this, THE HUMAN CONDITION isn't merely another contemplation; it's a self-assured declaration.
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.
English Horn Expressions
Catalog #: NV6500
Release Date: February 3, 202321st CenturySolo InstrumentalEnglish Horn
Deeply expressive and melodic, the English horn boasts a unique texture in the woodwind family. On Elizabeth Masoudnia’s aptly titled ENGLISH HORN EXPRESSIONS, the instrument has found itself in the spotlight, guided by Masoudnia’s soothing tone, and lending a distinguished voice to the works of several composers. The vast lyrical range of the English horn shines throughout this album, emphasized by Masoudnia’s adept artist skill set. Containing works inspired by paintings and poetry, works written explicitly for Masoudnia, and more, the Philadelphia native’s Navona Records debut carries a healthy balance of sentimentality and musical prowess.
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.
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.
Virtuoso Piano Works
Catalog #: NV6486
Release Date: December 2, 202221st CenturySolo InstrumentalPiano
Composer Simon Proctor and pianist Tyler Hay join forces to bring a dynamic collection of Proctor’s original compositions to life on VIRTUOSO PIANO WORKS from Navona Records. With works spanning decades of his musical career, Proctor delivers a variety of celebrated classical styles with his own personal twists on this album. From rhapsodies to nocturnes, and everything in between, the composer-pianist duo’s mutual love for virtuosic piano music shines throughout, a perfect pairing that makes for a vicariously exciting listening experience.
Catalog #: NV6478
Release Date: December 2, 202221st CenturyChamberSolo InstrumentalPianoViola
British-American violist Peter Sulski superbly demonstrates his instrument’s true expressive potential on BOWED COLORS from Navona Records. Sulski, who was a member of the London Symphony Orchestra for seven years, has published seminal solo viola recordings of works by Telemann, J. S. Bach, and Hindemith. Combining Sulski’s signature sound with the works of five composers, BOWED COLORS delivers an exquisite selection of contemporary solo viola pieces that range from the neoclassical to the just barely tonal, all tightly knit together by Sulski’s sublime bow control and finesse as a performer.
Catalog #: NV6456
Release Date: October 28, 202221st CenturyRomanticChamberSolo InstrumentalFlutePianoString Quartet
Globally recognized for its unique radio programming, innovative collaborations, and community outreach, All Classical Portland presents AMPLIFY, a response to the industry’s inequities in classical music recordings. The works of five contemporary composers are brought to light in this album, each infused with recollections of stories, cities, and movements that have made an impact along the artists’ journey. As the 1,000th album brought to life by parent organization PARMA Recordings, this important Navona Records release marks a monumental achievement in highlighting voices in classical music, and is a step in helping to change America’s playlist.
Catalog #: NV6462
Release Date: October 14, 202221st CenturyChamberSolo InstrumentalCelloPercussionPiano
From natural scenes of beauty to mystical dreamscapes and vivid characters of villainy, a dynamic assortment of music awaits in SANDMAN’S CASTLE from composer Vincent Ho. A compendium of uniquely-orchestrated and masterfully executed solo and duo works are brought to life from a roster of renowned performers: Vicky Chow, Susanne Ruberg-Gordon, Ben Reimer, Beth Root Sandvoss, and Evelyn Glennie, who serves as a listener’s guide on a mystical journey into the world of dreams in the albums titular track. Between explorations of uncharted territories with tam-tam and music boxes and thoughtful juxtapositions of the drumset with mainstays in classical music, Ho pulls out all of the stops with the renowned featured performers, and his dexterous compositional tool-kit throughout.
Best of Friends
Catalog #: NV6470
Release Date: September 23, 202221st CenturyChamberSolo InstrumentalPianoTrombone
Navona Records and trombonist Andy Malloy present BEST OF FRIENDS, a collection of personalized pieces for trombone and piano. Featuring works that Malloy commissioned from his colleagues over the years, the album is truly an ode to the relationships formed through musical collaboration. Each piece on the album pushes the musical boundaries to which the trombone is often held through creative uses of tonality and soaring melodies. Rhythmically energetic passages, jazz harmonies, and more speak throughout the album, highlighting the musicianship of Malloy and the compositional dexterity of his colleagues, a musical testament to the power of collaboration.
Sustain Vol. 3
Catalog #: NV6466
Release Date: September 23, 202221st CenturySolo InstrumentalOrganPiano
Navona Records presents SUSTAIN VOL. 3, an exploration of the capabilities of piano and organ highlighting the varied compositional approaches of today's composers. Influenced by the classical canon and moving in new directions, the latest edition in the SUSTAIN series pays homage to the classical composers of yesterday, while thoughtfully expressing modern personalities and ideals in a dynamic presentation of new piano repertoire. From the suspenseful passages of Sydney Hodkinson’s Organmusic, to the turbulent times reflected in Bruce Babcock’s Alternative Facts, and Hayg Boyadjian’s delicate variations on Bach, SUSTAIN once again gives it all, and everything in between.
Catalog #: NV6452
Release Date: September 23, 202221st CenturyOrchestralSolo InstrumentalOrchestraOrganPiano
On SOURCE GROUND, Hans Bakker’s second full-length release on Navona Records, the composer once again probes music’s ability to, as Leonard Bernstein said, “name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.” Rhythmically rigorous pieces for solo piano, organ works that fill every nook and cranny of the aural spectrum, powerful orchestral works, and pieces for the rare and haunting lame-sonore draw listeners towards a sense of infinite oneness connected by music.
Catalog #: NV6440
Release Date: July 22, 202221st CenturySolo InstrumentalPiano
UNCOMMON VOICES from Natasha Stojanovska explores the music of female composers from Eastern Europe. This collections of piano works includes the music of Croatia, North Macedonia, the former Soviet Union, and other Eastern European countries, combined with elements of the western musical tradition. The album includes two of Stojanovska’s compositions, Phantasy No. 1 and Phantasy No. 2. The former borrows metrical patterns found in Macedonian folk music; along with elements of tonality and atonality, the piece examines the uncertain boundary between the Macedonian and American cultures. The album also features the works of contemporary composers like Bojana Petrovic Aleksova, as well as historical composers like Maria Szymanowska. Stojanovska is especially proud to bring the music of Szymanowska to the attention of modern listeners; while Szymanowska’s music is not performed as often today, her compositions—including the enchanting Nocturne in B-flat major—likely inspired Frederic Chopin. UNCOMMON VOICES offers a long overdue celebration of female composers from Eastern Europe, as interpreted by the capable hands of Natasha Stojanovska.
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 #: NV6433
Release Date: June 10, 202221st CenturyChamberSolo InstrumentalGuitarPianoViolin
Composer Ferdinando DeSena is no stranger to variation; from his previous electro-acoustic concoctions to this dynamic blend of chamber orchestrations in TOCCATA MIAMI, a world of enticing conversation between tonal opposites begs to be uncovered in these expressive compositions. Oboe and piano dance in an ominous sonata soundscape, harps and flutes seek to sooth in Three Attitudes, and solo piano works shine with a latin flair in the album’s titular track.
Catalog #: NV6426
Release Date: May 27, 202221st CenturySolo InstrumentalGuitar
On FADING SOUNDS, composer Georges Raillard turns a creative eye towards the simple wonders of the world with a deep appreciation for the fleetingness of each moment. The aptly titled album presents 10 works for solo guitar, each of which take full advantage of the instrument’s tone and timbre. As the pieces conjure images and memories of landscapes, experiences, and thoughts, every cheerful chord, harmonic passage, and lyrical progression inevitably ends with a haunting resonance that leaves the ear wanting more. The compositions are dexterously played by guitarist David William Ross, whose gentle confidence on the instrument lets Raillard’s musical ideas ring out with clarity and precision.