What do you think of the naxos label
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Tom M

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for classical recordings? Are the preformances good?
 
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MacDEF

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Some performances are great, some good, some OK.

Their philosophy is that many of the up-and-coming or not-so-well-known performers provide performances that are as good as the big names, but don't cost as much to produce. So they market CDs with generally very good sonics, and varying performances, for dirt cheap. Overall, I love the label, and look to buy Naxos versions whenever I can.

There was actually an issue of Stereophile with an interview with the president of the label. As part of the article, the reviewer listed his favorite Naxos CDs in terms of sound quality and performance. The list was pretty long
 
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zowie

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Far and away the best budget label.
 
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scrypt

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It is what Nonesuch was.
 
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FCJ

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Quote:

Originally posted by MacDEF
There was actually an issue of Stereophile with an interview with the president of the label. As part of the article, the reviewer listed his favorite Naxos CDs in terms of sound quality and performance. The list was pretty long


Sam Tellig wrote that. He did a follow-up article recommending additional Naxos' titles.

I'll agree it's a great label that, in a lot of cases, puts the majors to shame. I wouldn't look to it for "Classic" stuff (Beethoven, etc.), but they release non-typical repertoire that's excellent. Here are three recent ones that I've found interesting: (1) Leo Ornstein, "Piano Sonatas" (8.559104); (2) Georg Bohm, "Works for Organ" (8.555857; (3) Douglas Lilburn, "The Three Symphonies" (8.555862).
 
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KR...

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I LOVE Naxos!!!

They are a budget Audiophile's best friend! The sonics are really right up there with the very best and the performances are fantastic. Best of all, is that they will record extremely rare works of some of the big guns of classical that other bigger labels won't touch. Great example is my Naxos Wagner CD
"8.220114 WAGNER, Richard : Marches / Overtures"

Just look at the track list :

01. Polonia (Overture) 12:07
02. American Centennial March (Grosser Festmarch) 12:25
03. Rule Britannia (Overture) 12:12
04. Imperial March (Kaisermarsch) 09:22

Good luck trying to find other recordings of those pieces!


Naxos Cds that I have are :

Goreki: symphony 3 "symphony of sorrowful songs" (Naxos)
Orff – Carmina Burana (Naxos)
Philip Feeney – Dracula (Naxos)
Richard Wagner – Marches & Overtures (Naxos)

http://www.naxos.com
 
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j-curve

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Quote:

FCJ: I wouldn't look to it for "Classic" stuff (Beethoven, etc.), but they release non-typical repertoire that's excellent.


Are you suggesting that Beethoven is harder to interpret or play than more esoteric (read, less popular) composers? Or is it that since you are already familiar with some major label artist's interpretation of Beethoven that a new interpretation on Naxos is less likely to meet your expectations, whereas if the music itself is unknown to you then a simple rendition of the notes will suffice? Either way I disagree.

However, I do agree with the point about breadth of repertoire. I'm sure Naxos could bring us box sets of Beethoven symphonies from every former eastern bloc and regional European orchestra but instead they've chosen to offer a spectrum of music including many rarely heard works. They also have some world class artists (in addition to certain of the abovementioned orchestras) such as the Oxford Camerata (choir).


If you are going to go the budget route though, why stop at 1/2 to 1/3rd of the regular CD price? My current favourite is Mediaphon at 1/5th of the Naxos price(!) These are mid-90's digital recordings of outstanding quality. You could not easily argue that the recording processes and equipment used by the major labels produce a superior sound, that their engineers are more experienced or that their microphones are more expensive or better positioned. In fact, I've heard less digital distortion on Mediaphon than on EMI or even DG. The musicianship is also not to be sneezed at. I like Dinorah Varsi's Brahms. [Who would have thought a 60yr old woman would have the fingers for the 2nd piano concerto? - No offences intended]. Interpretation, being so subjective, is a matter of personal preference. You be the judge.

You may be familiar with an earlier mega-budget label Pilz and their "Vienna Master Series" discs. Some of those recordings were supplied by Mediaphon but were not up to the current standard, sounding a bit grainy, probably due to insufficient bits in their digital devices. My guess is that Mediaphon used the Pilz name until they could afford high grade equipment. Pilz discs were also presented very cheaply, as you would have expected for the price. By contrast, the Mediaphon discs come with a proper sleeve liner with full programme notes and information about the artists and recording.

Mediaphon took over Canadian media company Madacy a few years back so there should be some northern Head-Fiers familiar with the name.
 
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FCJ

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Quote:

Originally posted by j-curve
Are you suggesting that Beethoven is harder to interpret or play than more esoteric (read, less popular) composers? Or is it that since you are already familiar with some major label artist's interpretation of Beethoven that a new interpretation on Naxos is less likely to meet your expectations, whereas if the music itself is unknown to you then a simple rendition of the notes will suffice? Either way I disagree.


Since there are a number (in fact, for the most part a significant number) of superior renditions of "classic"repitore out there, we don't really need more of them, even at a budget price. Plus, the majors have released a ton of this stuff on their budget lines, so price is not the issue. If I were looking for a Beethoven 5th, I would not be looking to Naxos. There are just too many good to great choices out there to look to Naxos to fulfill my need for classic repitore.

However, since the majors tend to shy away from the "non-classic" repitore, Naxos does perform a great service in recording stuff that you are not likely to find elsewhere. Add to that, for the most part, excellent renditions in good sound, and you can see what a great service Naxos provides.
 
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FCJ

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Quote:

Originally posted by j-curve
You could not easily argue that the recording processes and equipment used by the major labels produce a superior sound, that their engineers are more experienced or that their microphones are more expensive or better positioned. In fact, I've heard less digital distortion on Mediaphon than on EMI or even DG.


I wouldn't argue this at all. In fact, the opposite may be true.

Thanks for the tips. I've not heard of Mediaphon. Do you have a good source for them?
 
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zowie

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I would add that I haven't been altogether happy with their remastering jobs on historical material. A little heavy-handed with the noise supression at times.
 
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MacDEF

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Just to continue with the recommendations of Naxos stuff, I love the four-CD set (actually sold separately
) of Telemann's Table Music.
 
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FCJ

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Quote:

Originally posted by MacDEF
Just to continue with the recommendations of Naxos stuff, I love the four-CD set (actually sold separately
) of Telemann's Table Music.


Agreed--excellent stuff.
 
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KR...

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You can order a catalogue of everything they make, it's over 155 pages of sweet small print
Just go to their website for details.
I have a copy, it just amazing just how many albums they have released.
 
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Tom M

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Like mozart or beethoven?
 
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KR...

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Quote:

Originally posted by Tom M
Like mozart or beethoven?


It depends on your taste and your wants and needs and the piece itself.

The best 9th ever (IMHO) is on Chesky. This version is extremely intense, and some may not like that, but I don't listen to classical to relax like many people do. The classical that I listen to is certainly not background music to say the least, so this version appeals to me the most.
 
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