• Midwest Piano Sonatas

    Catalog #: NV6653

    Release Date: August 2, 2024

    21st Century
    Solo Instrumental
    Piano

    Pianist Kristín Jónína Taylor dives deep into the lyrical, evocative, and hauntingly beautiful works of three leading composers and educators from the Midwest United States on MIDWEST PIANO SONATAS. A blend of neo-classical and neo-romantic styles are presented in this Navona Records release, exploring compositional concepts ranging from bitonality to mixed meters, and life’s inscrutable emotions, particularly, anguish and bereavement. These profound spectrums of musicality and feeling are conveyed with stunning clarity by Taylor, an award-winning pianist lauded for her mesmerizing performances of nuance and depth.

  • Joy, Too

    Catalog #: NV6642

    Release Date: August 2, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Vocal Music
    Piano
    Voice

    Music about grief is a bit like medicine: most people don't reach for it until they find themselves in need. The Vertex Duo, composed of mezzo-soprano Kristin Gornstein and pianist Jeremy Chan, might sympathize, having created just this medicine for the soul in the wake of some of their darkest biographical hours. The result is JOY, TOO, a curiously wonderful collection of melancholy songs — so lyrical and beautiful, one doesn't have to be sad to want to listen to it. In case of misfortune however, it may well be sanity-saving: with its stirring melodies and poignant lyrics, JOY, TOO serves as a testament to the universal experience of sorrow, offering solace and understanding to those grappling with its impact.

  • The Book of Spells

    Catalog #: NV6644

    Release Date: August 2, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Clarinet
    Flute
    Oboe

    Passion and intellect meld in THE BOOK OF SPELLS, the Merian Ensemble’s hotly anticipated debut album. The album is comprised entirely of world premiere recordings, with works by Clarice Assad, Nicole Chamberlain, Jennifer Higdon, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti, Soon Hee Newbold, Kimberly R. Osberg, and Lynne Plowman, each but one* commissioned by the Merian Ensemble. The Book of Spells offers a gripping and intimate portrait of modern chamber music, performed with brilliance and precision by an ensemble of world-class soloists who are dedicated to the elevation of women’s voices in classical music. Clarice Assad’s titular composition, The Book of Spells, opens the recording with three movements “inspired by rituals that deal with magic, which is done to achieve a particular goal, righteous or wicked” (Assad). The album continues, weaving together elements of folklore, faith, and science, with Nicole Chamberlain’s Atalanta, Lynne Plowman’s Small World, Jennifer Higdon’s The Sound of Light, Mary Kouyoumdjian’s A Boy and a Makeshift Toy*, Kimberly Osberg’s Just Another Climb, Soon Hee Newbold’s Alis Volat Propriis (She Flies With Her Own Wings), and Clarice Assad’s Solais. And in meridian, Leilehua Lanzilotti explores the themes of metamorphosis, inspired by the Merian Ensemble’s namesake, Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717), a German entomologist, naturalist, and scientific illustrator, whose work is featured on the album’s cover and book.  Taken as a whole, The Book of Spells offers a finely-drawn portrait of 21st century chamber music — the compelling repertoire, composers, and performers — while also highlighting the still-underrepresented voices of women in classical music. *Mary Kouyoumdjian’s A Boy and a Makeshift Toy was originally commissioned by Michael Hall as a piece for viola and piano; it is presented here in a new Merian Ensemble arrangement.

  • Book of Brass

    Catalog #: NV6651

    Release Date: August 16, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Brass Ensemble

    Lyrebird Brass presents the world premieres of five new contemporary brass quintets in BOOK OF BRASS, an album shaking up the scene with an assortment of boundary-pushing works by highly lauded and awarded composers. Opening with three time GRAMMY® award winner Jennifer Higdon’s Book of Brass, this titular composition can be played and listened to in any order one pleases. From the intense energy of “Ramp Up” to the puzzling, slowly unfolding maze of “Acrostic,” Higdon certainly knows how to sell a story. Alice Humphries is no stranger to puzzlings in Uncertain Meditations, which considers ideas in isolation, reflecting on their vast possibilities. Reflection is at the core of Grace-Evangeline Mason’s poetic As Bronze, too, and found even in Kate Neal’s Fanfare, which, composed during the 2020 lockdown period, challenges what a fanfare represents. Alan Holley rounds out the recording with The Goodchild Canzonas, a four movement work exploring atriums, cathedrals, and the heavens above, but perhaps most appropriately: the Lyrebird. BOOK OF BRASS is a winning installment in Lyrebird Brass's already impressive oeuvre, pulling out all the stops with spirited fanfares and contemplative odes.

  • Ochre

    Catalog #: NV6643

    Release Date: July 12, 2024

    21st Century
    Vocal Music
    Choir

    Displaying their characteristic, fearless virtuosity, multiple-GRAMMY®-winning ensemble The Crossing offers a new album born of cultural resonance, with new works by three of the most creative composers working today. The performances on OCHRE are both rigorous and supple, moving from the intriguing, foggy textures of George Lewis to Caroline Shaw’s primarily wordless, quiet contemplation of the Earth, to Ayanna Woods’ inspired determination to live in a better world. This is The Crossing’s 13th release on Navona Records, and it is a special one. Topical, timely, and forward-looking, these performances of the 24-voice ensemble led by conductor Donald Nally demonstrate why Gramophone recently observed the group's ability to “sustain long lines, clarify layers of dense counterpoint and pinpoint the expressive intent of every detail, however minute or cataclysmic."

  • Resurgence

    Catalog #: NV6646

    Release Date: July 26, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Cello
    Piano

    What happens when two world class performers unite in their efforts to carry on the traditions and collaborative spirit of classical music? Cellist Ovidiu Marinescu and pianist Noreen Cassidy-Polera share a shining example on RESURGENCE. Featuring the works of several contemporary composers, this Navona Records release offers reflections on emergence and transformation, the throes of long distance love, the great artists of our past and present, the fusion of several musical influences, and more. Leveraging refined elegance in sound and raw virtuosity in approach, RESURGENCE is a thoughtful exploration into the expressive capabilities of the cello and the piano both as individual entities and a cohesive voice.

  • Oboe in Hues

    Catalog #: NV6638

    Release Date: June 28, 2024

    21st Century
    Solo Instrumental
    Oboe

    What do you get when a Puerto Rican-American oboist falls in love with the music of a French oboist-composer? The answer is OBOE IN HUES, on which accomplished oboe virtuoso Nermis Mieses champions rarely-heard compositions for solo oboe by Gilles Silvestrini with astounding empathy and bravado. Silvestrini may hark back to certain traditions by using Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and other Russians as sources of inspiration, but his musical concept is almost non-Western in its focus on exploiting the entire gamut of the instrument. Mieses excels at this challenge. An intriguing exploration of the oboe and all that it is capable of.

  • On an Overgrown Path

    Catalog #: NV6640

    Release Date: June 14, 2024

    20th Century
    21st Century
    Solo Instrumental
    Piano

    ON AN OVERGROWN PATH from pianist Jennifer Elowsky-Fox features music by composers Leoš Janáček and Larry Thomas Bell. Janáček gives the album its title piece, a programmatic work that evokes the composer’s memories from early 20th century Moravia. The piano cycle, performed with masterful sensitivity by Elowsky-Fox, blends the eastern and western cultural influences of the region. Based on hymn tunes included in Bell’s A Hymnbook for Congregational Singing, op. 169, Bell’s Piano Sonata No. 5, A Landscape of Small Ruins, op. 166, was composed in 2020 specifically for Elowsky-Fox. Her performances have been described in print as “buoyant”, “fun” and “gorgeous in all respects,” all sentiments that resonate in this Navona Records release.

  • Second Flight

    Catalog #: NV6634

    Release Date: June 14, 2024

    21st Century
    Solo Instrumental
    Piano
    Saxophone

    Saxophonist Dan Goble and pianist Russell Hirshfield join forces on SECOND FLIGHT to deliver virtuosic performances of works by a variety of today’s leading composers, several of them winners of GRAMMY® awards, the Pulitzer Prize, and more. The title track is Joan Tower’s exhilarating sequel to the popular clarinet piece Wings; written explicitly for the saxophone, echoing the grandeur of flight and the vastness of the human spirit. Jennifer Higdon's dynamic Yes, No, Maybe? captivates with its intricate melodies and compelling rhythms, a testament to her mastery of contemporary composition. James David’s Pradakshina: Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano takes inspiration from the Buddhist architecture of Colorado’s Great Stupa, finding connection between the seemingly disparate composition and improvisation. Three-time Academy Award winner Philip Glass and Pulitzer Prize for Music laureate John Adams contribute pieces that resonate with depth and humanity, while critically-acclaimed composer David Biedenbender's Images offers a glimpse into the ethereal realms of dreams and imagination. Produced by multiple GRAMMY®-winner Judith Sherman, SECOND FLIGHT unites today’s foremost compositional figures with the inimitable talents of Goble and Hirshfield, who celebrate 20 years of collaboration in the arts with this release.

  • The Music of Melissa C. Shiflett

    Catalog #: NV6621

    Release Date: June 14, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Piano
    Voice

    THE MUSIC OF MELISSA C. SHIFLETT is an impressive showcase of the lyricism that contemporary American serious music has to offer. As she reflects upon natural beauty, Melissa C. Shiflett nonchalantly intertwines the musical with the poetic in this release. The Horses’ Quintet is a captivating and physically riveting quintet for English horn, violin, cello, piano, and percussion, an homage to the expansive Indiana plains, five spirited horses, and the equestrian artistry displayed by their nimble trainer. The second piece, a three-part song cycle titled The Rose Saga, showcases three lyric sopranos and pianist. Slightly more urban, this piece chronicles the fate of a rosebush in a Manhattan garden over several years. Using simple but incredibly deft strokes, Shiflett creates a musical environment for her private outdoor worlds that is highly theatrical. She has endowed these fleeting, triumphant scenes with an artistic sense of permanence.

  • Felt, Metal, Wood

    Catalog #: NV6639

    Release Date: June 28, 2024

    21st Century
    Concertos
    Piano
    Saxophone

    FELT, METAL, WOOD, featuring John Mackey’s Concerto for Soprano Saxophone, is a thorough exploration into the many expressive and technical facets of the Saxophone. Mackey, who has garnered widespread critical acclaim as one of today’s leading composers, notes that the saxophone is a hybrid instrument; it is essentially a brass instrument with a woodwind reed. With that in mind, Mackey composed this concerto by focusing several movements on unique characteristics of the instrument.  After the prelude comes “Felt,” a movement focused on the keys of the instrument and all the ways a player can use them as an interface. “Metal,” the third movement, demonstrates the saxophone’s soaring range in a lyrical, introspective manner, while “Wood,” a tango highlighting the saxophone’s strengths in an intimate setting, transitions to an exhilarating display of virtuosity in the “Finale.” Performed by saxophonist Stephen Page and pianist Liz Ames, Mackey stirs a greater appreciation for the versatile instrument in this release.

  • Unseen Paths

    Catalog #: NV6633

    Release Date: June 14, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Vocal Music
    Clarinet
    Flute
    Voice

    Navona Records is pleased to present UNSEEN PATHS, a variegated collection of works by late composer Lawrence K. Moss. Well known for his diverse musical oeuvre spanning vocal, instrumental, and electronic works, UNSEEN PATHS shows us a deeper look into his mastery in the chamber music genre, from flute and piano duos to music for string quartet, operas, and more. As a valediction to a remarkable career, this collection is a timeless tribute to Moss' enduring legacy, inviting listeners to savor the depth and brilliance of his artistic voice.

  • Symphonic Chronicles Vol III

    Catalog #: NV6624

    Release Date: June 14, 2024

    21st Century
    Romantic
    Orchestral
    Orchestra

    Embracing the same spirit of innovation and artistic exploration that captivated audiences in its previous installments, SYMPHONIC CHRONICLES VOL III unites a diverse assembly of today’s leading composers and performers. This edition offers listeners a variety of themes and moods to explore, from perspectives of an ancient civilization to Croatian folklore, remembrance of those we’ve lost, odes to the tranquility and vastness of our natural world, and more. Performed by several celebrated ensembles, each piece in this Navona Records release lends a fresh perspective and unique voice to the celebrated tradition of classical orchestral music.

  • Games of the Night Wind

    Catalog #: NV6630

    Release Date: May 10, 2024

    21st Century
    Solo Instrumental
    Piano

    Described by the Oskar Morawetz Award jurors as a “legend” of Canadian musicians, Christina Petrowska Quilico joins lauded composer and champion of new music David Jaeger on GAMES OF THE NIGHT WIND, a dreamy musical landscape premiering 12 of Jaeger’s original nocturnes in addition to seven 20th century solo piano works. Each nocturne invokes a different spirit of the night: deception, memory, redemption, realization, and many more, each brought to fruition by Petrowska Quilico’s evocative musicality. Sharp staccato and an increasingly startled momentum drives the image of an encounter with the shadows in Nocturne 11, The Alarm Bell, a weighty contrast to the deep rubato and heaving nostalgia in Nocturne 1, In Memory Of — yet both hail from the same thematic darkness that expands across the entirety of the album. These sensations are ever present in Tōru Takemitsu’s starry Les yeux clos, Alexandre Tansman’s complex and lyrical nocturnes, and two works by Górecki, whose Lullaby sings GAMES OF THE NIGHT WIND off to sleep. GAMES OF THE NIGHT WIND plays to the unfettered wildness of the night, a force of nature encapsulated in every aspect of Petrowska Quilico and Jaeger’s musical and poetic collaboration, an elegant exploration for the night owl in us all.

  • Songs for a New Century

    Catalog #: NV6623

    Release Date: May 3, 2024

    21st Century
    Romantic
    Chamber
    Solo Instrumental
    Cello
    Piano
    Violin

    The singing quality of string instruments ties together SONGS FOR A NEW CENTURY, a program featuring both world premiere recordings of new music commissioned for the artists and world premiere recordings of masterpieces by Mendelssohn. The program opens with a set of Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words, beginning with the Opus 109 written by the composer for cello and piano. It continues with a set of arrangements for cello and piano, some recorded for the first time, by the 19th century cellist Alfredo Piatti, a personal friend of Mendelssohn’s upon whose cello Jonathan Miller plays. Gabriela Lena Frank’s Operetta for violin and cello, the composer writes, expands upon Mendelssohn’s concept of the “song without words,” creating opera without words that evokes scenes and characters through singing music for the duo of violin (Lucia Lin) and cello. Scott Wheeler’s second cello sonata, Songs Without Words, was inspired by Miller’s singing cello tone. Finally, Judith Weir’s Three Chorales for cello and piano meditate on religious poetry, departing from hymn texts –– and in the third Chorale, a melody from Hildegard of Bingen –– in a triptych that evokes the human condition.

  • Turning Point

    Catalog #: NV6620

    Release Date: May 10, 2024

    21st Century
    Chamber
    Solo Instrumental
    Electroacoustic
    Flute
    Voice

    Ferdinando DeSena’s TURNING POINT is an experimental odyssey, an enticing collection of music that reimagines the timbres of familiar instruments like flute, piano, the human voice, and more. The title piece uses the audio synthesis technique called “convolution” in which musical audio samples are digitally joined with the sound of cymbal strikes and crashes to dramatic effect. In Sonorous Earth, DeSena conducts a different sort of experiment, this time by scoring for all the lower relatives of a woodwind quintet. An impressive tour de force, TURNING POINT leaves listeners with an expanded sense of what is possible in the realm of chamber music.

  • Mood Poems.

    Catalog #: NV6626

    Release Date: May 3, 2024

    20th Century
    21st Century
    Solo Instrumental
    Piano

    From mysterious and elusive moods (such as those in Apparition), to the blues (Drehleier), spiritual motifs (Old Swedes), emotional (Julian’s Song), pensive (Prelude in A Minor & Consolatio), to waltzes (Valses Nobles et Sentimentales), Leto’s latest release is meant to convey poetry; reminiscent of and inspired by his recent wedding, invigorating Costa Rican Honeymoon, and dedicated to the upcoming birth of his son in June 2024. He masterfully draws upon poetic elements throughout, using vivid imagery, deep emotion, and narrative flow to give listeners an introspective, meditative, and poignant sonic experience.

  • Ballades & Other Musings

    Catalog #: NV6619

    Release Date: May 3, 2024

    21st Century
    Romantic
    Solo Instrumental
    Piano

    American concert pianist Steven Masi explores the depths of Romantic and Impressionist piano literature on BALLADES & OTHER MUSINGS. Emotive, evocative, and deeply stirring, Masi uncovers previously unheard nuances in both Chopin and Debussy, as well as in their contemporary colleague, Sarah Kirkland Snider, whose musical language seamlessly blends with that of her predecessors. The precision in Masi's performance is breathtaking. It lends an extraordinary clarity to works that are, by their inherent nature, wayward and exalted. Still, generous rubato and creativity in pedaling shine in this program, as does Masi's crystal-clear tone.

  • Violin Concerto and Symphony No. 1

    Catalog #: NV6627

    Release Date: May 10, 2024

    21st Century
    Concertos
    Orchestral
    Orchestra
    Violin

    The violin concerto is a challenging setup to write for: it beckons with promises of both might and fragility. Composer Christopher Alan Schmitz is well-versed in both the theoretical and practical aspects of composition: his resulting VIOLIN CONCERTO AND SYMPHONY NO. 1 gets the balance just right. The tonal language is reminiscent of Bruckner and Mahler, as raw emotion mixes with splendor. The ultimate success of this precarious, heady concoction rests on the shoulders of conductor Stefan Sanderling and particularly, violinist Amy Schwarz Moretti, member of the acclaimed Ehnes Quartet. Stirringly written and performed to perfection, a success it is.

  • Souvenirs

    Catalog #: NV6615

    Release Date: May 10, 2024

    20th Century
    21st Century
    Solo Instrumental
    Piano

    Pianist Carlos Vargas gives the public a rare glimpse into the depths of a musician's soul with his intimate new solo album SOUVENIRS. It is a truly eclectic selection of pianistic gems, expertly collected across several centuries and countries, yet interconnected by profound virtuosity and sweeping romanticism. SOUVENIRS travels to France, Russia, the United States, and (perhaps most importantly) Latin America; Poulenc makes an appearance, as do Scriabin, Gershwin, and Dominican composer Rafael Bullumba Landestoy, among others. Strikingly, Vargas rotates the kaleidoscope: his interpretation brings Latin flamboyance to Poulenc, Russian drama to Gershwin, and American spontaneity to Scriabin, to name but a few. All the pieces on SOUVENIRS are highly idiosyncratic; and yet, Vargas effortlessly unites them in their individual brilliance.