• Four Ten-Minute Operas

    Catalog #: NV6610

    Release Date: March 1, 2024

    21st Century
    Opera
    Orchestra
    Voice

    Navona Records is pleased to present FOUR TEN-MINUTE OPERAS from composer Jonathan Sheffer, a collection of works spanning a variety of themes from American history and culture. Performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and emerging UK artists, this release offers operatic explorations into perspectives from the American Civil War, pitfalls of dating in the digital age, religious commentary in the face of tragedy, and a dramatic retelling of a fatal baseball pitch. Conducted by Sheffer himself, each of these 10-minute operas tells an engaging tale that’s sure to strike a chord.

  • 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.

  • Henley Heyn Vol. 1

    Catalog #: NV6606

    Release Date: March 15, 2024

    20th Century
    Romantic
    Opera
    Orchestra
    Voice

    Henley Heyn’s self-titled HENLEY HEYN VOL. 1 was born from two important aspirations of her early career: to be seen and to be heard. Raw authenticity and artistic freedom drive this operatic multimedia release, performed by Heyn herself and the Slovak National Opera Orchestra. Heyn has roared onto the operatic stage in recent seasons, making her Straussian and Wagnerian debuts as Salome & Brünnhilde, followed closely by a harrowing portrayal of Magda Sorel in Gian Carlo Menotti’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, The Consul. Now, she has collaborated with an 85-member orchestra to bring the impassioned vision of HENLEY HEYN VOL. 1 to life.

  • 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.

  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

    Catalog #: NV6590

    Release Date: February 2, 2024

    21st Century
    Concertos
    Orchestral
    Orchestra
    Voice

    Renowned composer Gustav Hoyer comes to Navona Records with an ambitious and harrowing seven-part orchestral setting of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER. Hoyer melds the spoken word and musical text-setting traditions into a hauntingly atmospheric narrative concerto, the Budapest Film Orchestra coming to life as supernatural forces and creatures in the text. Meanwhile, the narrator speaks of the Mariner’s eternal penance, a stark contrast to the roiling orchestral timbres that puts listeners in the shoes of the frightened wedding guest fated to hear the Mariner’s tale. An undoubtedly ghoulish but incredibly sophisticated musical illustration of Coleridge’s famed narrative, Hoyer is no-holds-barred in his talent for the narrative orchestra, producing a musical journey packed with all the intensity and horror of the text from which it hails.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Folksongs

    Folksongs

    Catalog #: NV6546

    Release Date: August 25, 2023

    20th Century
    Chamber
    Vocal Music
    Guitar
    Voice

    In FOLKSONGS from Duo Apollon, soprano Anastasia Malliaras and classical guitarist Aaron Haas conjure up portrayals of folksongs from around the world, traversing the Greek islands, Spain, England, and France. With this collection of popular songs, reimagined by 20th century composers, Duo Apollon invites us into the intimate, bare, and familiar sound of the guitar and voice duo. Join the duo on a musical journey into compositions by Ravel, de Falla, Britten, and Seiber, across cultures and languages, and into the heart of folklife.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • A Fine Agitation

    Catalog #: NV6524

    Release Date: June 9, 2023

    21st Century
    Opera
    Stage Works
    Orchestra
    Voice

    Strong convictions make for strong emotion, and in Michael J. Evans' case, emotion transforms into operatic scenes. A FINE AGITATION is an eight-part stage work based on Susan B. Anthony's letters during her infamous voting trial, which sheds light on the beloved social reformer from a personal, intimate, and profoundly charming angle. Both biographies and political subjects are notoriously difficult to set to music without becoming either dry tragedies or kitschy pastiches, but Evans circumvents this pitfall with a compositional style that is subtly, tastefully shaded, and at times almost light-footed. It shows Anthony, an American social justice icon, from a perspective that might have been disregarded for the better part of a century – the perspective of being human.

  • Dancing in the Palm of God’s Hand

    Catalog #: NV6522

    Release Date: May 26, 2023

    21st Century
    Orchestral
    Solo Instrumental
    Orchestra
    Saxophone
    Voice

    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.