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Marin Alsop Celebrity Playlist: April 10, 2012

Marin Alsop
Dvorák: Symphony No. 9 'From the New World'
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop


Rel. 27 Jun 2008

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As part of our ongoing celebration of Naxos Records’ 25th Anniversary, Classical Archives is pleased to present our second Celebrity Playlist, compliments of this label partner’s star conductor Marin Alsop. Visitors to Classical Archives have already enjoyed two exclusives conversations with Maestro Alsop, the principal conductor of the Baltimore Symphony: the first focusing on her eclectic conducting duties, and especially her recording of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass; the second discussing her activities leading the Cabrillo Contemporary Music Festival. In this presentation, she highlights some of her favorite recordings produced for the Naxos label, featuring works by Bernstein, Adams, Brahms, Barber, Dvořák, Higdon, MacMillan, and Adès. Beyond the Playlist, the Feature also includes a brief discussion of each recording by Maestro Alsop and a brief update on her conducting activities. Check out this dynamic Playlist, and enjoy the inspired interpretive vision of this great American conductor.

“Brahms is the first composer I truly ‘connected’ with as a young musician. It was a long-standing dream of mine to record his complete symphonic works with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.”
– Marin Alsop

Marin Alsop’s Celebrity Playlist – Musical Content

Below are six selected albums or album sets recorded by Maestro Marin Alsop for the Naxos label, with a brief quote from her as to why it made this Celebrity Playlist:

1. Leonard Bernstein, Mass
   (Marin Alsop; Baltimore Symphony)

“Bernstein’s Mass is one of the works I have championed most in my career. It’s an absolute masterpiece, and I have now given performances of it around the world, including those in the community involving local choirs and children. I’m thrilled that this recording has enabled many more people to experience this landmark in American music.”

2. John Adams, Nixon in China (opera)
   (Marin Alsop; Colorado Symphony Orchestra)

“For me John Adams is one of the greatest composers of all time and this is one of his most significant works. I feel honored to count him as one of my friends. In my first season as Music Director of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra I invited John to conduct a program featuring his music paired with a Beethoven symphony, as part of my theme of "today's Beethovens" and I opened my first concert as Music Director with his Fearful Symmetries. It’s great that this recording has been acknowledged across the world, including the Gramophone Award for Editor’s Choice in 2010. I couldn’t be more delighted that Nixon in China has claimed a rightful place within the repertoire.”

3. Johannes Brahms, Symphony No.1 in C-, Op.68
   (Marin Alsop; London Symphony Orchestra)

   Johannes Brahms, Symphony No.2 in D, Op.73
   (Marin Alsop; London Symphony Orchestra)

   Johannes Brahms, Symphony No.3 in F, Op.90
   (Marin Alsop; London Symphony Orchestra)

   Johannes Brahms, Symphony No.4 in E-, Op.98
   (Marin Alsop; London Symphony Orchestra)

“Brahms is the first composer I truly ‘connected’ with as a young musician. It was a long-standing dream of mine to record his complete symphonic works with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, an orchestra with whom I frequently collaborate and with whom I have a special rapport.”

4. Samuel Barber, Orchestral Works, Vol. 2
   (Marin Alsop; Royal Scottish National Orchestra)

“Barber is now recognized not only as one of North America’s greatest composers, but indeed one of the world’s greatest. Everyone is familiar with the Adagio for Strings, so I was particularly keen to record his lesser-known works, which deserve equal recognition. This compilation showcases a composer with enormous skill, range, diversity and emotional impact. These works by Barber are pieces that every music-lover should know.”

5. Antonin Dvorák, Symphony No.9 in E-, Op.95 (‘From the New World’)
   (Marin Alsop; Baltimore Symphony Orchestra)

“I am now in my sixth season as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Together we have worked to re-invent the orchestra of the 21st century, pioneering enormously successful educational and outreach initiatives in additional to recording a wide range of repertoire, from Bernstein to Bartók. I’m incredibly proud of our three Dvorák Symphonies CDs. The New World Symphony is one of the works I have performed the most around the world and with which I feel a special connection.”

6. Marin Alsop Conducts Hidgon, MacMillan, and Adés
   (Marin Alsop; London Symphony Orchestra)

“Championing contemporary composers is for me an essential part of a musician’s life. It should never be seen as an add-on or something that is ‘worthy’; rather, it should be the life-blood of every musician. I have been Music Director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music since 1992, which brings new works to receptive audiences. Wherever I conduct, the commissioning and performing of contemporary music is a core part of what I do. I couldn’t have been happier than when this album of works by Jennifer Higdon, James MacMillian and Thomas Adès with the London Philharmonic Orchestra received terrific reviews and picked up a Grammy Award in 2010.”

A Few Career Updates for Maestro Marin Alsop

Spring 2012 sees Marin Alsop start her tenure as Chief Conductor of Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, with whom she recently announced a major recording deal with Naxos. A highlight of this will be a complete cycle of Prokofiev symphonies, starting with Symphony No.5 and the symphonic suite ‘The Year 1941’ set for release in the US this summer. Alsop will also record Latin American and contemporary repertoire with the Orchestra for the label.

Alsop’s work as Music Director for the Baltimore Symphony continues, with whom award-winning cycles of Brahms, Barber and Dvorák Symphonies symbolise her work. She will soon release Mahler’s Symphony No.1 as well as an all-Bartok CD with the BSO.

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