• A Breath of Air

    Catalog #: NV6607

    Release Date: March 15, 2024

    21st Century
    Vocal Music
    Piano
    Voice

    A love of poetry lies at the core of Monica Houghton’s A BREATH OF AIR from Navona Records. She has set to music not only lyrical giants such as Whitman, Dickinson, and Hughes, but also some contemporary poets with their own magnificent lyrical gifts. These soul-touching works are performed to the highest possible standard by select world-class singers and accompanists. A perfect symbiosis on all fronts.

  • Celestial Voices

    Catalog #: NV6600

    Release Date: March 1, 2024

    21st Century
    Liturgical
    Vocal Music
    Voice

    Ethereal, uplifting, and deeply impactful throughout. The works on CELESTIAL VOICES check these boxes and more. Featuring sacred choral works from several contemporary composers, this offering from Navona Records is a musical exploration into the divine that’s ready to be experienced in both stereo and Dolby Atmos immersive audio formats. Modern harmonies and rhythmic freedom, new settings of famous hymns, fragments of plainchant that highlight contemporary topics, and more are expressed with clarity and spirit by The Kühn Choir of Prague in this release, who are joined by supportive instrumentalists at various points in the program.

  • Bloody Jack

    Catalog #: NV6589

    Release Date: January 19, 2024

    21st Century
    Vocal Music
    Piano
    Voice

    BLOODY JACK from composer Michael Matthews is a cycle of 14 songs based on selected poems from Dennis Cooley’s 1984 collection by the same name. These poems draw upon the chilling story of John Krafchenko, a Hungarian immigrant to Canada who became a notorious outlaw at the turn of the 20th century. The music was originally composed between 2015 and 2017, and revised in 2020. Matthews dedicates this work to pianist Laura Loewen and vocalist Dawn Bruch, both of whom bring this release and its haunting harmonies to life.

  • Aria

    Catalog #: NV6577

    Release Date: January 5, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Vocal Music
    Harp
    Piano Trio
    Voice

    Composer Michael Cohen delivers an enticing follow up to his 2022 Navona Records release with ARIA, his second full album of original chamber works. Featuring a mix of studio and live recordings captured from various points in his diverse and expansive career, Cohen’s music emanates a thorough line of vitality and fervor. While strikingly rooted in tonal principles, these works embrace an elegant, confident, and ebullient character, permeated by a magnificent, effervescent spontaneity throughout.

  • Tapestry of Voices

    Catalog #: NV6583

    Release Date: December 1, 2023

    21st Century
    Vocal Music
    Choir
    Piano
    Voice

    TAPESTRY OF VOICES from Navona Records showcases the versatility and elegance of the human voice woven with grand orchestral statements, colorful choral arrangements, and intimate settings with piano. Eight contemporary composers offer settings of poetry and stories from various cultures throughout human history, from Africa to Europe, North America, and beyond. Threading modern takes on Greek mythology, meditations on concepts of loss, morality, and more, TAPESTRY OF VOICES is exactly as its title suggests — an intricate and artistic convergence of ideas that’s sure to entrance those who experience it.

  • 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.

  • Transmutation

    Catalog #: NV6559

    Release Date: October 27, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Vocal Music
    Orchestra
    Piano Trio
    Voice

    Transmutation: “to change or alter in form, appearance, or nature, especially to a higher form.” Joanna Estelle embodies this definition in her deeply personal and profound compositions on TRANSMUTATION, a communal effort featuring various talented performers coming together to transmute their message to you. With music as vulnerable and exposed as the stories it tells, TRANSMUTATION is a reflection on the patterns of life through periods of both rain and shine, and the constants that keep us grounded through the changes that they bring. Estelle’s message is clear: to allow for change is to allow for healing.

  • Compelling Portraits

    Compelling Portraits

    Catalog #: NV6552

    Release Date: September 8, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Vocal Music
    Cello
    Trombone
    Voice

    COMPELLING PORTRAITS from lauded trombonist Kenneth Thompkins celebrates the music of contemporary Black composers. The album features five pieces, three of which are commissioned trombone chamber music works. These compositions take listeners on a journey from the contemplative to the triumphant, showcasing Thompkins’s range and sensitivity as a performer. The title track, composed by James Lee lll, is a musical ode to the paintings in Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and in particular his painting Confrontation at the Bridge (Selma, Alabama). Drawing upon the works of multiple contemporary artists, COMPELLING PORTRAITS reflects the contribution of contemporary Black composers to a rich musical legacy.

  • Voices of Earth and Air Vol V

    Voices of Earth and Air Vol V

    Catalog #: NV6538

    Release Date: August 25, 2023

    21st Century
    Vocal Music
    Choir
    Piano
    Voice

    Navona Records presents VOICES OF EARTH AND AIR VOL V, a dynamic album showcasing the human voice and the powerful storytelling capabilities that vocal music wields. Six contemporary composers from around the world offer breathtaking works that stir the senses in this release, from hauntingly beautiful ballads to uplifting choral arrangements and climactic moments of triumph. With intimate settings of the human voice with instrumental accompaniment, full-fledged choir works, and everything in between, the composers and performers on VOICES OF EARTH AND AIR VOL V deliver unique and impactful moments that are sure to strike a chord.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Dillinger

    Catalog #: NV6525

    Release Date: June 23, 2023

    21st Century
    Vocal Music
    Large Ensemble
    Voice

    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, 2023

    21st Century
    Liturgical
    Vocal Music
    Piano
    Voice

    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.

  • 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.

  • All in the Sound

    Catalog #: NV6510

    Release Date: March 10, 2023

    21st Century
    Vocal Music
    Piano
    Voice

    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.

  • ARK Resounding

    Catalog #: NV6493

    Release Date: February 3, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Vocal Music
    Cello
    Piano
    Voice

    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, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Vocal Music
    Piano
    Voice

    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, 2023

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Vocal Music
    String Quartet
    Voice

    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, 2022

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Vocal Music
    Flute
    Guitar
    Voice

    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 & New Poetry Vol II

    Catalog #: NV6474

    Release Date: November 11, 2022

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Vocal Music
    Clarinet
    Piano
    Voice

    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.