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Thread: Naxos label

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    Senior Member DrMuller's Avatar
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    Default Naxos label

    What are your thoughts on the Naxos label. Most of my CDs are from Naxos actually and I am not ashamed to say I totally love Naxos. Some of their earlier stuff was pretty bad but they have replaced the bad stuff through the years, like most of the standard Baroque recordings. Most of the classical-era stuff was very good when they originally recorded it and needs not to be replaced; works like Haydn't String Quartets, Haydn't Symphonies, Mozart's Symphonies and Piano Concertos. The romantic works have almost all been replaced at least once with superior recordings (Brahms' symphonies, Dvorák's symphonies, etc) through the years. I am very interested in your thoughts on the whole Naxos history.
    Last edited by DrMuller; Aug-26-2014 at 23:17.

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    Senior Member DiesIraeCX's Avatar
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    Most of my collection is made up DG, I still consider myself new to classical and I consider DG an excellent novice-friendly label that's pretty trustworthy. I only have a handful of Naxos label recordings but they're pretty good. Therefore, I can only give you an answer similar to what Kramer told Elaine in that Seinfeld episode, "The Frogger" - "Sotheby's. Yeah. They make good cake." Just substitute Sotheby's with Naxos and Cake with CDs.
    "No composer has been more innovative than Beethoven, he radically changed the nature and character of the music composed in the two centuries that followed his earliest works" - Charles Rosen ("The Classical Style")

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    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    I find that Naxos does best with chamber music. Overall, it's a great and pioneering company that's always looking forward. Just the opposite with the traditional "best" labels that have their heads in the sand.

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    Sr. Moderator TurnaboutVox's Avatar
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    I have a lot of very serviceable Naxos recordings - a lot of chamber music and solo piano. I have come to trust that a modern Naxos recording will feature at least a very good performance and the recording and production will be excellent. I remember thinking when the label first started to appear in the UK - this can't be any good at £5 a disc. I was completely wrong.

    They are particularly good for more out-of-the-way repertoire - obscure British chamber music, for example.

    Naxos have signed up some excellent performers along the way - special mentions for the Maggini and Escher Quartets and the ubiquitous Prof. Jenő Jandó.

    So yes, I agree with you, DrMuller - three cheers for Naxos.
    Last edited by TurnaboutVox; Aug-26-2014 at 23:49.

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    I have a lot of NAXOs CDs. No complaints. Among my NAXOs collection is a nice Beethoven Fidelio, a fine Handel Nabal, and I just ordered a Bellini La Sonnambula with NAXOs being a great balance of great voices and great price.
    Media lies and dishonest governors managed to get Americans give up their liberties over a virus with a >99% survival rate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrMuller View Post
    I am very interested in your thoughts on the whole Naxos history.
    There's a whole book on the subject.

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    Senior Member Cosmos's Avatar
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    I have some of Naxos albums. No complaints from me, they're a great price and have great performances. There are some that aren't really that high up there, i.e. Jeno Jando's Hammerklavier. Very clear, but I've heard interpretations that I prefer over it.

    I'm very happy with their CD's of Medtner's chamber music. The concertos, not as much.

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    No complaints. I picked up a Naxos cd the other day:

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...ZL._SY300_.jpg

    A very good version, almost on par with my 'go to' version of the Quintet (which is Cohen and the Amadeus Quartet by the way).

    The thing is, some of these Naxos cds retail second hand for £0.24 and prices like that on Amazon Marketplace. It is a great way to build a collection. You have to wonder though how these sellers make a profit?

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    I found this Gramophone interview with founder Klaus Heymann quite interesting.

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    I think it is a very good label. There are several areas where it excels. Their collection of Haydn's religious choral works is excellent - the masses are excellent. The Naxos release of Haydn's Creation, conducted by Spering, is my favorite. The Kodaly Quartet's Haydn quartets are also very good - not the best available, but I have no complaints.

    As some have already said, they are excellent for less well known works. I have Marin Alsop's complete collection of Barber's orchestral works on Naxos, and love them. And while I don't have them, mainly because they are not my favorite symphonies, Alsop's Brahms symphony cycle on Naxos received high praise.

    Another standout recording of Mozart's Divertimento.

    I have also really enjoyed the Higginbotham recording of Handel's Messiah, and lately it is the one I preferentially reach for.

    I might look a little bit harder at the reviews than I would for other labels, like BIS, and Harmonia Mundi, and Alia Vox, and Supraphon, but I have had very good experiences with Naxos recordings.

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    I feel another thread merge coming on.

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    Naxos is wonderful, allowing folks of modest means to build a nice collection. I have many Naxos recordings.
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

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    I have a ton of Naxos recordings. Their Bruckner white box is what hooked me into the composer, and I still think it's a very good set. And their American composers series is a gift to America.

    I just wish they'd make up their mind on Sibelius. I already have two of their complete box sets by two different conductors, and I think there's yet another one out now.

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    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmos View Post
    I have some of Naxos albums. No complaints from me, they're a great price and have great performances. There are some that aren't really that high up there, i.e. Jeno Jando's Hammerklavier. Very clear, but I've heard interpretations that I prefer over it.
    Right. One needs to be a little picky when it comes to Naxos and solo piano works. Jando isn't much in Beethoven, but he's at or close to top-rate in Liszt's music.

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    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    I rather like Jando's Beethoven. I feel I am hearing the music rather than an interpretation by a great artist. Sometimes it's more important to me that the performer remains as transparent as possible, and Jando is very good at this.

    As for Naxos (or Marco Polo) overall, I love the label. Some of their large orchestral performances are a little lack luster, but the exact same can be said of some DG or any of the other bigger labels.

    I'm starting to appreciate the other bargain label, CPO, a bit more if only because their album cover designs are nicer. That may not seem important but it does effect how I respond to the music within.
    Last edited by Weston; Aug-27-2014 at 03:00.

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