• 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.

  • Music for Brass and Piano

    Catalog #: NV6605

    Release Date: March 15, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Trombone
    Trumpet

    Sonatas for brass and piano are a tricky thing to pull off; in consequence, they are few and far between. Andrew Lewinter, himself a long-time orchestral horn player and soloist, has decided to add to the repertoire on MUSIC FOR BRASS AND PIANO: crafting four different sonatas for piano and each instrument of the brass family, and concluding with a dazzling piano quartet. The tonal language of these sonatas — for piano and trumpet, horn, trombone and tuba, respectively — draws heavily upon the Romantic tradition, but it never copies; rather, it is a reinvention of what Romanticism might have been, had it unfurled in the 21st century. A vibrant arc of suspense gives life to each individual work and, culminating in a grand finale, to the album itself.

  • Sonix and other Tonix

    Catalog #: NV6603

    Release Date: March 15, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Flute
    Percussion
    String Quartet

    SONIX AND OTHER TONIX is a collection of innovative chamber works from composer Jan Järvlepp. The title refers to his piece Sonix for Ónix, composed for the Ónix Ensamble of Mexico. It combines elements from his most popular chamber and orchestral works, Pierrot Solaire and Garbage Concerto, respectively. The album also features Trio No. 3, a three-movement work for violin, cello, and piano which protests the rise of the surveillance state. SONIX AND OTHER TONIX also includes Shinkansen, which takes listeners for a ride on a Japanese bullet train, and In Memoriam, written for the composer’s late brother. Spanning a diverse range of topics and influences, SONIX AND OTHER TONIX exemplifies the iconoclastic creativity for which Järvlepp is known.

  • Quadrants Vol. 5

    Catalog #: NV6602

    Release Date: March 15, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    String Quartet

    The award-winning Benda Quartet assembles on QUADRANTS VOL. 5 to deliver a stunning, razor-sharp collection of contemporary string works. Composers Christopher J. Hoh, Ferdinando DeSena, Christopher Brakel, Michael Murray, and Paul Halley offer a wide range of sounds and emotions in this body of work, ranging from warm, elegant expressions to high-octane passages and more. This Navona Records release is also available as a visual album, filmed at the historic Dul Michal mine in Ostrava, CZ. Eloquent, precise, and hypnotic, QUADRANTS VOL. 5 is a crystal-clear reflection of the musical and technical heights of the string quartet genre.

  • 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.

  • Convergence

    Catalog #: NV6608

    Release Date: March 1, 2024

    21st Century
    Avant-Garde
    Electronic
    Saxophone

    What is music but a convergence of story, people, and place? It’s a question that Heidi Radtke’s debut album CONVERGENCE for soprano, alto, and tenor sax asks earnestly, an elegant meshing of the heartbeats behind the sounds of eight living composers, strung together by the laughter and conversation woven into each exploration, and the saxophone’s ability to tell its tale. The full breadth of Radtke’s capability is on display as she navigates the variety of narratives, messages, and sonic uniquities in the landscape of CONVERGENCE, sometimes bolstered forward with a bubbly charm — in the “chicken clucks” of Barry Cockcroft’s Ku Ku — and sometimes with a powerful, reminding grace, — Rahsaan Barber’s Breonna Taylor (How Many More?) – but always with a special musicality. CONVERGENCE explores the intersection of instruments, musical tradition, and the saxophone's ability to explore these soundscapes, especially in the format of saxophone with fixed media. From a reimagination of Debussy to field recordings of natural spaces and sounds taken completely from a cell phone, the fixed media selections boast a wide range of musical styles, but all are connected through storytelling. Ending with the title track, Convergence, Radtke invites the listener to take part in the conversation — the best stories are the ones told together.

  • Time is the Sea We Swim In

    Catalog #: NV6604

    Release Date: March 1, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Jazz
    Piano
    Saxophone
    String Quartet

    Following her first Navona Records release, IKARUS AMONG THE STARS, New York-based composer Debra Kaye has curated an ever-varying mix of chamber and solo pieces with TIME IS THE SEA WE SWIM IN. Kaye’s inspirations are seemingly endless, from the improvisatory piano solo At Liberty (1988) where Kaye returns to her roots as a performer, to the jazzy Colossus 1067 (2021) written to accompany Gus Foster’s time-distorting panoramic photograph taken on a roller coaster with a rotary camera; from current events to the poetry of Zen monks, European Romanticism to a philosophical, even metaphysical meditation on time and the creative process. Kaye’s eclectic collection showcases and reconciles heterogeneous influences by way of a sonic language that is wholly, uncompromisingly her own. Her confident embrace of diverse sounds and styles invite and challenge listeners to join her on this voyage of discovery and dip a toe into this sea that we all swim in.

  • 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.

  • Black is Beautiful

    Catalog #: NV6599

    Release Date: February 9, 2024

    21st Century
    Vocal Music
    Choir
    Orchestra

    BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL from Dr. Diane Retallack and The Eugene Concert Choir is an ode to hope in the face of injustice. This Navona Records release showcases music by Black composers that shed light on the Black experience including two choral masterworks: Seven Last Words of the Unarmed by Joel Thompson and the world premiere recording of Dr. Undine Smith Moore’s oratorio Scenes from the Life of a Martyr. Thompson’s composition is modeled after Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Christ; in this work, Joel Thompson quotes the last words of seven unarmed African American men killed by police or authority figures. Moore’s oratorio depicts the life of Martin Luther King, Jr, from birth to carefree childhood, young love, a calling to amplify the voice of his people, the hatred he experienced for his commitment, the grief of his untimely death, and the power of his message. These works are joined by the world premiere of The Hymn! by Stacey V. Gibbs and an arrangement of Glory from the film Selma by Dr. Eugene Rogers.

  • Máscaras

    Catalog #: NV6575

    Release Date: February 9, 2024

    21st Century
    Concertos
    Orchestral
    Harp
    Orchestra

    Produced with audio captured from two live concerts held at Merrill Auditorium in Portland ME, the Portland Symphony Orchestra presents a world-class recording featuring works by three living Mexican composers on MÁSCARAS. The PSO makes their opening statement with a newly-revised version of Enrico Chapela’s 2017 work Rotor, an intense rhythmic etude, followed by Arturo Márquez’s Máscaras, a concerto for harp and orchestra inspired by ancient pre-Hispanic Mexican tradition. Ángeles de Llama y Hielo by Ana Lara follows suit, a nod to a 16th century German woodcut print and the cosmological philosophy that inspired it. Polished, authentic, and strong, the performances on MÁSCARAS reflect the Portland Symphony Orchestra’s rich musical energy and commitment to ever broadening its horizons.

  • Two by Three

    Catalog #: NV6601

    Release Date: February 2, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Solo Instrumental
    Flute
    Piano

    If there were two words to describe Nathan Froebe’s musical output, they would be: exuberant and ruminative. In fact, these two attributes might arrive at a tie on TWO BY THREE, a selection of energetic freetonal, programmatic pieces for a myriad of flutes and piano. The thoughtful nature of these works is apparent even in their respective titles: Meditation, Three Scenes for Wind and Hammer, and Essay for Piccolo, Piano, and Alto Flute, to name but a few. Meticulously composed by Froebe and impeccably performed by flutists Jessica Raposo and Mihoko Watanabe with pianist Michael Seregow, TWO BY THREE sweeps through the mind like a fresh breeze on a crisp April morning.

  • By the Waters of Memory

    Catalog #: NV6598

    Release Date: February 2, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Solo Instrumental
    Cello
    Oboe
    Piano

    Lyricism and melody are often vainly sought in contemporary composition. American composer Richard Crosby goes against the grain on BY THE WATERS OF MEMORY, a selection of compositions so aesthetically sublime, yet so profound, one wonders if this is still music, or someone mesmerizingly peeling back the layers on existence itself. BY THE WATERS OF MEMORY features two scintillating chamber duos with piano – one a viola, the other a cello sonata – as well as a charming tetralogy of Latin dances for piano and oboe. But perhaps the greatest revelation arrives in the form of trenchantly beautiful solo piano pieces, which bear all the hallmarks of unadulterated classical-romantic genius. If Schubert had been an American, he would have sounded like this.

  • 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.

  • Sonix+

    Catalog #: NV6596

    Release Date: January 19, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Clarinet
    Flute
    Piano Trio

    SONIX+, a collection of new works from cellist and composer Jan Järvlepp, is some of his most creative and defiant. The title piece, composed for the Ónix Ensemble of Mexico, draws upon elements from Järvlepp’s renowned works with a hidden theme from the 1960s sprinkled within. Trio No. 3 incorporates a very different concept from 1960s culture: protest music. The piece cries out against the constant surveillance that takes place in modern life, from cameras on every street corner to keyword tracking on search engines. Järvlepp’s music is unrelenting, one-of-a-kind, and inspired — a well balanced blend of time-tested virtuosity spoken through modern themes.

  • 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.

  • Four Elements

    Catalog #: NV6580

    Release Date: January 19, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    String Quartet

    FOUR ELEMENTS from Thomas Cabaniss showcases the composer’s creative versatility developed over three decades collaborating across various artistic disciplines. Writing music for dance, theater, film, and the concert stage, Cabaniss incorporates elements from all of these forms in his works for string quartet. Many of the movements started out as portions of dance and theater works, while others were crafted from the start for concert audiences. Performed by the Charleston Symphony String Quartet, FOUR ELEMENTS presents Cabaniss’s String Quartets 1, 2, & 5 — representing the first half of his output in this musical form. Taken together, the works serve as a fitting reflection of his wide-ranging pursuits and passions.

  • Out of the Ashes

    Catalog #: NV6597

    Release Date: January 5, 2024

    21st Century
    Folk Music
    Vocal Music
    Choir

    The highly lauded and honored USD Chamber Singers, directed by Dr. David Holdhusen, bear a message of resilience to Navona Records with their newest release OUT OF THE ASHES, a collection of beloved choral works given a refreshing new voice. Featuring choral favorites like Biebl’s Ave Maria, Hogan’s Ain’t That Good News, and Whitacre’s Sleep, the Chamber Singers, like a phoenix, paint a narrative of rising from the ashes after a time of destruction, rising on the wings of a song. The artists wish that these recordings would provide comfort and reassurance after times of struggle, and offer a modicum of hope to those still facing great challenges of faith and courage. The Chamber Singers have given a new life to treasured gems of the choral repertoire and portray a bright future for artists and listeners alike.

  • Six Seasons

    Catalog #: NV6595

    Release Date: January 5, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Clarinet
    String Quartet

    Composer and clarinetist Angelique Poteat demonstrates the dynamic emotive range of her instrument through original chamber music on SIX SEASONS. The work is inspired by the six “growing seasons” described in Joshua McFadden’s cookbook of the same title. As the name suggests, the music also nods to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons by beginning with early spring and journeying toward winter, symbolizing the arc of human life. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Poteat’s music reflects the natural beauty of her home and has been described as “engaging, restless” by The New York Times and “extremely accomplished and vividly picturesque” by The Seattle Times.

  • Pieces From A Distant Land

    Catalog #: NV6594

    Release Date: January 5, 2024

    21st Century
    Solo Instrumental
    Piano

    Peter Dickson Lopez returns to Navona Records with his first solo release; PIECES FROM A DISTANT LAND, a touching solo piano memoriam to his late mother, who had once requested piano pieces for herself to play at church. A touching and emotionally prolific piece given a loving performance by Anna Kislitsyna, Lopez — an ever-experimental composer — channels the “Distant Land” of tonal music familiar to his childhood self and compositional roots, while still honoring the special and often haunting sound so intimate to his musical oeuvre. Those with an ear for the sonically experimental will instantly recognize Lopez’s salient touches while being treated to an especially graceful and compassionate tribute to the happy, hazy days of childhood, and the warm music that so often accompanies them.

  • Imagining Worlds

    Catalog #: NV6592

    Release Date: January 5, 2024

    21st Century
    Solo Instrumental
    Violin

    Praised for her “incisive technique and an exceptionally rich and beautiful tone,” violinist Wanchi Huang performs a diverse range of compositions written by living composers on IMAGINING WORLDS from Navona Records. Huang’s virtuosic performance takes listeners on a dynamic voyage through the elegant grandeur of the baroque era to the historic hilltops of Italy, passing through reflections on our darkest moments and soaring towards the brighter days that lie ahead. Featuring new music by composers Adolphus Hailstork, Jeffrey Mumford, John Corigliano, Judith Shatin, and Meira Warshauer, IMAGINING WORLDS is a stunning showcase of Huang’s artistry and the compelling voices in contemporary American music.