Catalog #: NV6356
Release Date: July 9, 202121st CenturyVocal MusicVoice
The Grammy-winning professional chamber choir The Crossing, Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, and Navona Records present WORDS ADORNED. Conducted by Donald Nally, with Takht musical direction by Hanna Khoury, the combined forces interpret lush scores from Kinan Abou-afach and Kareem Roustom; the music is at times driven and passionate, at others mystical and lyrical, responding to ancient Andalusian poetry in the Muwashshah tradition. The takht – masterfully handling the oud, qanun, violin, cello, and percussion – guides the kaleidoscopic sounds and colors in these poems of love, revelry, and war, with additional solo work by the virtuosic singer Dalal Abu Amneh. True to their commitment to honor tradition while constantly blazing new ground, The Crossing’s latest offering is steeped in history, deeply relevant to modern listeners, and bridges cultures seamlessly.
Who is Sylvia
Catalog #: NV6282
Release Date: May 8, 202021st CenturyVocal MusicPianoString QuartetVoice
Joseph Summer’s WHO IS SYLVIA, new from Navona Records, is a collection of Shakespeare’s works set to music that will make you question everything you thought you learned in high school English. Summer believes that the famous playwright’s true identity is not William Shakespeare but rather Edward De Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. Many of the songs found on WHO IS SYLVIA come from Summer’s aptly-named The Oxford Songs, a collection of scenes, sonnets, songs, and Summer’s original opera version of Hamlet. These are paired with music from the likes of Schubert and Schumann to create a dynamic and colorful musical experience worthy of the Bard himself.
Whispers of Heavenly Death
Catalog #: NV6198
Release Date: November 9, 201821st CenturyVocal MusicPianoVoice
First up in this compelling collection is a selection of Walt Whitman's oeuvre, including the work that inspired the album's title, which Perkins' music hauntingly elucidates as the lament of a soul hovering on the brink between life and death. Intriguingly, the composer preserves the mood for the Holy Sonnets by John Donne, a Petrarch-style, English Renaissance collection of sonnets auguring the later Baroque period's preoccupation with the contrast between carnality and mortality.
Voix Suprême: Mélodies of Jules Massenet
Catalog #: NV6017
Release Date: January 8, 2016RomanticVocal MusicVoice
On her debut release on Navona Records, VOIX SUPRÊME: MÉLODIES OF JULES MASSENET, coloratura soprano Shudong Braamse presents a selection of Romantic French art songs, illustrating Massenet’s arresting motives, graceful vocal lines, and well-placed accompaniments. Exhibiting Massenet’s meticulous style, Braamse creates tender and dynamic imagery, intertwining punctuated piano lines with her sensitive voice, which suggests the colors of a flute, while turbulent textures denote climactic moments of emotion.
Catalog #: NV6290
Release Date: June 12, 202021st CenturyChamberVocal MusicCelloPianoVoice
For centuries, writers have documented the awe brought about by the pristine wilderness and untamed expanses of the American Midwest and West. Three authors in particular—Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson—beautifully documented the boundless optimism and sense of opportunity that the country’s vast natural resources inspired and heralded a new era of American thought.
The Vocal Music Of Alan Beeler
Catalog #: NV6049
Release Date: July 8, 201621st CenturyLiturgicalVocal MusicChoirVoice
The music of Alan Beeler (1939-2016) is frequently a compact, tightly focused one, presenting sharp contrasts of color and mood in the context of clear, direct compositional structures. Although noticeably influenced by artistic movements in Europe and America during the first half of the 20th century, Beeler’s musical voice is an identifiable one – crisp, bold, and pointedly quirky.
The Life Before Us
Catalog #: NV6153
Release Date: April 13, 201821st CenturyChamberVocal MusicPianoVoice
Bearing musical witness to the versatile talents of two acclaimed northern California-based composers, THE LIFE BEFORE US combines works from John G. Bilotta and Allan Crossman. Bilotta’s cycle of Yeats Songs, performed by baritone Andrew R. White, highlights five of the poet’s shorter lyrics in predominantly bi-tonal or atonal settings. His collection of Renaissance Songs is based on the work of several Elizabethan poets, including John Donne and Thomas Lodge (whose poem “Rosalynde” was the source of Shakespeare’s As You Like It). They’re brilliantly delivered by tenor Justin Marsh.
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).
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.
The Fair Ophelia
Catalog #: NV5935
Release Date: November 1, 201321st CenturyStage WorksVocal MusicPianoVoice
THE FAIR OPHELIA, the second installment on Navona Records' The Shakespeare Concerts Series, features works by composer Joseph Summer that are inspired by Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark! With Shakespeare's texts accompanied with music by Brahms, Strauss, Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Schumann, and Joseph Summer, this album for vocal and chamber music consists of diverse settings that present the listener with an opportunity to hear Ophelia in a three dimensional perspective. Summer's works have been described as "[varying] in mood and compositional technique from piece to piece, but always beautifully expressive and deeply emotional" (Shakespeare Matters).
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.
Catalog #: NV6263
Release Date: January 24, 202021st CenturyVocal MusicVoice
With SUMMER'S DISTILLATION, Joseph Summer, as composer, offers a new look at the timeless texts credited to William Shakespeare. As artistic director, Summer presents settings by Brahms, R. Schumann, and Benjamin Pesetsky, curating an overall impressive collection of works for voice, harp, and horns.
Summer & Winter Songs
Catalog #: NV6236
Release Date: June 14, 201921st CenturyVocal MusicPianoVoice
Hailed by the New York Times as "An interesting composer” and "attractive and tonal" with music described as "a passionate duet “ and "a sprightly songfest,” prolific contemporary composer Mira J. Spektor’s career spans decades, languages, and disciplines. With a compositional repertoire including chamber operas, musicals, film scores, art songs, and cabaret, Spektor has written English, French, and German songs and performed and recorded in the United States, Europe, and Israel. She is also a published poet and brings her wealth of knowledge, experience, and musical passion to her Navona Records debut SUMMER & WINTER SONGS.
Suenos De Espana
Catalog #: NV6211
Release Date: February 8, 2019RomanticVocal MusicGuitarPianoVoice
Soprano Shudong Braamse blends vocal artistry with technical skill in her recording of SUEÑOS DE ESPAÑA. This treasury of Spanish art song relates stories of passionate love, broken promises, and heartfelt prayers. Braamse's performance demonstrates both an understanding of the rich Spanish culture and its 19th-century romantic poetry.
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.
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.
Spirit of Humanity
Catalog #: NV6292
Release Date: June 26, 202021st CenturyOrchestralVocal MusicChoirOrchestraVoice
A historical feast awaits listeners on Ganesh Kumar's first NAVONA release SPIRIT OF HUMANITY. Half intended as an homage to Beethoven, half a musical portrayal of a little-known refugee crisis in World War II, it aims to be an epically emotional orchestral experience.
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.
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 #: NV6150
Release Date: April 13, 201821st CenturyChamberVocal MusicPianoVoice
For her debut album on PARMA recordings SHE, Emily Sternfeld-Dunn serves as the voice of two of history’s strongest female characters. The poetic musings in the lyrics soar with Sternfeld-Dunn’s unmistakable soprano under the current of the tender, delicate melodies performed by pianist Amanda Pfenninger.