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Naxos Records

Exciting new releases from Naxos and Naxos Historical.
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MacMillan Seven Last Words

James MACMILLAN (b. 1959)
Seven Last Words from the Cross

No. 8.570719

Bax Symphonic Variations Judd

Sir Arnold BAX (1883-1953)
Symphonic Variations

No. 8.570774

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Seven Last Words from the Cross; Christus Vincit; Nemo te condemnavit* …here in hiding… (version for ATTB chorus)*

The Dmitri Ensemble, Graham Ross

Naxos is delighted to mark James Macmillan’s 50th birthday with this disc on Naxos, bringing together a number of different choral works from 1993 to 2005.
This disc contains two world première recordings and is produced by John Rutter , who spoke of the Dmitri Ensemble in the following terms : “They are the stars of the future.”

“The flying Scot is writing music with as much fervour and ingenuity as anyone on the planet….his passion and energy seem inexhaustible... he is, paradoxically, the most powerful voice in British music today - by a mile. Though fused from a thousand diverse sacred and secular influences, his pieces are instantly recognisable, intellectually coherent, fizzing with ideas, gloriously coloured, and without a whiff of pretension or obfuscation.”
The Times

“In recent years it has been an enormous thrill hearing my music being performed by The Dmitri Ensemble. This excellent, young ensemble brings a breath of fresh air to music making in this country, and are fortunate to have in their director Graham Ross one of the most exciting new musicians to appear on the radar.”
James MacMillan

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Symphonic Variations (1916-18); Concertante for Piano (Left Hand) and Orchestra (1949)

Ashley Wass (piano)
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, James Judd

Bax completed five works for piano and orchestra, beginning in 1916 with the highly virtuosic Symphonic Variations dedicated to the pianist Harriet Cohen. The work was likened by Rosa Newmarch, who wrote the programme note for the first performance, ‘to some great epic poem dealing with the adventures of a hero . . . passing through a number of different experiences.’
The Concertante for Piano (Left Hand) and Orchestra (1949) is on a smaller scale. The romantic slow movement opens with a beautiful and haunting piano tune which gives way to a brooding atmospheric middle section, coloured by typical Baxian orchestral textures, like swirling mists in a nocturnal vision of some Irish coastal vista.

“The young pianist Ashley Wass play[s] impeccably – not only stylishly, but also with subtle, expressive shading and lovely liquid tone quality.”
The Independent
“Wass summons up all the tone color and sustaining power needed to convey the orchestral sensibility of the piano writing…In short, collectors who've enjoyed Wass' previous Bax discs also will find this well-recorded, superbly annotated release to their liking”
Classics Today on 8.557769

Szymanowski Symphonies 1 and 4 Wit

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937)
Symphonies Nos. 1 and 4

No. 8.570722

Arensky Piano Concerto F Scherbakov

Anton Stepanovich ARENSKY (1861–1906)
Piano Concerto Fmin etc

No. 8.570526

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Concert Overture, Op. 12; Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 15; Symphony No. 4 ‘Symphonie Concertante’, Op. 60; Study in B flat minor, Op. 4, No. 3 (orch. Grzegorz Fitelberg)

Jan Krzysztof Broja (piano), Ewa Marczyk (violin solo), Marek Marczyk (viola solo),
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Antoni Wit

Although Szymanowski later dubbed his First Symphony a “contrapuntal-harmonic-orchestral monster” and disavowed the influence of Wagner, Reger and Richard Strauss (also evident in the opulent Concert Overture), it is an astonishingly powerful work by a composer only in his mid-20s and still enthralls a century after its première.
He described his Fourth Symphony as “nearly a concerto” owing to the piano’s prominent rôle, its highly-charged Neo-baroque character inviting comparison with Stravinsky.
Szymanowski’s Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3 gained a Gramophone Editor’s Choice

“deliriously sensual scores”
ClassicFM Magazine on 8.570721

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Piano Concerto in F minor, Op. 2*; Fantasia on Russian Folksongs, Op. 48*; To the Memory of Suvorov; Symphonic Scherzo;

Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)*
Russian Philharmonic Orchestra Dmitry Yablonsky

A student of Rimsky-Korsakov and later a teacher of Rachmaninov, Scriabin and Glière, Anton Arensky was a precocious composer whose youthful Piano Concerto combines Lisztian dramatic bravura with Chopin’s virtuosic lyricism, the 5/4 metre of its final movement finding its way into Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony.
The Symphonic Scherzo is probably also an early work, while the Fantasia on Russian Folksongs (also called Ryabinin Fantasia) of 1899 and To the memory of Suvorov (Pamyati Surova) of 1900, which celebrated General Suvorov’s triumphs in the Russo-Turkish War, are works of Arensky’s maturity.

“Scherbakov, praised by Richter and recently hailed as a 'modern Rachmaninov', is now more attuned to Medtner's widely flunctuating idion, complementing his unquestioned virtuosity with inwardness and conviction… you will hear the sort of eloquence that warms the hearts of all true Russians.”
Gramophone on 8.553359

Shostakovich Symphony 11 Petrenko

Dmitry SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Symphony 11 "The Year 1905"

No. 8.572082

Strauss Gypsy Baron Schwarzkopf

Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899)
Gypsy Baron

No. 8.111329-30
2 x CD

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Symphony No. 11 ‘The Year 1905’ in G minor, Op. 103
I. Palace Square: II. The Ninth of January: III. Eternal Memory: IV. The Tocsin

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Vasily Petrenko

Charismatic young conductor Vasily Petrenko launches his Shostakovich Symphonies series with the Eleventh, a highly charged depiction of the ‘Bloody Sunday’ massacre of over two hundred peaceful demonstrators by Czarist soldiers outside the Winter Palace in St Petersburg in 1905.
The 1905 Symphony is scored for a sizeable orchestra of triple woodwind, four horns, three each of trumpets and trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, celesta, harps and strings.
The Symphony makes extensive use of revolutionary songs as thematic elements, as it progresses, without pause, from the glacial opening movement, Palace Square, to the terrifying massacre and its aftermath, The Ninth of January, the funereal third movement, Eternal Memory, and the final movement, The Tocsin, which culminates with cataclysmic bell strokes.

“All praise to the budget label Naxos for signing a deal with the [RLPO] and their Russian wizard for a series of major recordings….[Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony] presents abundant evidence of the orchestra’s new glory…Throughout, the orchestra’s ensemble spirit is so tight that you could cut yourself on the music’s edges. ... Watch out for more Petrenko magic on Naxos.”
The Times on 8.570568

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The Gypsy Baron (Der Zigeunerbaron)
Recorded 18th-21st, 26th, 28th and 31st May, and 25th September, 1954 in Kingsway Hall, London

Nicolai Gedda, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Erich Kunz, Erika Köth, Gertrude Burgsthaler-Schuster, Monica Sinclair, Hermann Prey
Philharmonia Chorus and Orchestra
Otto Ackermann

Second in popularity only to Die Fledermaus, Strauss’s The Gypsy Baron is a colourful comic opera whose vividly drawn characters include a gypsy girl who turns out to be a Turkish Pasha’s daughter, a fortune-telling Romany queen, an exiled landowner, ridiculous local dignitaries, hussars and, inevitably, a band of gypsies.
Embroiling themselves in the entertainingly convoluted plot, the stellar cast of this 1954 London recording includes Gedda, Prey and Sinclair, still in their twenties, and Schwarzkopf, yet to turn forty and at her peak.

“Schwarzkopf at her most radiant and sparkling, Gedda producing the most beguiling tone, and strong support from Erich Kunz and others. As AML observed discussing Eine Nacht In Venedig, "Such was the sheer flair with which Walter Legge, his soloists, chorus, orchestra and conductor completed these recordings" that any reservations tend to be swept aside. Schwarzkopf's "magnetic authority, both tender and commanding" (EG) in Der Zigeunerbaron is matched by Erich Kunz ("beyond praise") and Ackermann "shows the most sensitive feeling for the ebb and flow of gypsy rhythms".”

Emma Johnson Bernstein Copland Dankworth

Music For Clarinet & Piano

No. 8.572240

Ireland Sextet Piano Trio

John IRELAND (1879-1962)
Sextet, Clarinet Trio etc

No. 8.570550

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Sir John DANKWORTH (b. 1927): Suite for Emma; Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918–1990): Clarinet Sonata; Aaron COPLAND (1900–1990): Sonata for Clarinet and Piano; COPLAND: Nocturne (Clarinet and Piano version); DANKWORTH: Picture of Jeannie.

Emma Johnson (clarinet)
John Lenehan (piano)

Sir John Dankworth was inspired by Benny Goodman’s playing to study clarinet at the Royal Academy: his delightful Suite for Emma was composed for Emma Johnson, former BBC Young Musician of the Year, who performs it on this disc.
Jazz and popular music influences are to the fore in the young Leonard Bernstein’s Clarinet Sonata, which oreshadows the music for his ever-popular West Side Story. Aaron Copland’s arrangement for clarinet of his Violin Sonata is a major addition to the repertoire.

“Britain’s favourite clarinettist.”
The Times

“Every generation has its artists that set the standard for that and successive generations. With Brits and the world today, it is Emma Johnson.”
US Concert Review

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Trio in D for clarinet, cello and piano (edited and reconstructed by Stephen Fox); 1, 2 Fantasy Sonata for clarinet and piano; 1 The Holy Boy for clarinet and piano; 1 Sextet for clarinet, French horn and string quartet 3, 4

Robert Plane (clarinet), Sophia Rahman (piano), 1 Alice Neary (cello),2 David Pyatt (French horn),3 Maggini Quartet 4

A composition pupil of Stanford and recognised as an outstanding talent by Parry, John Ireland was inspired as student by the music of Beethoven, Brahms and Elgar, and later by Debussy, Ravel and the early Stravinsky.
This recording features the genial, Brahmsian 1898 Sextet for clarinet, French horn and string quartet, unheard in public until 1960, and a reconstruction by the Canadian clarinettist and clarinet maker Stephen Fox of the Clarinet Trio of 1912-14.
Also included are Robert Plane’s transcription for clarinet and piano of Ireland’s very popular piano prelude The Holy Boy, written on Christmas Day 1913, and one of Ireland’s finest and most beautifully crafted chamber works, the Fantasy Sonata for clarinet and piano (1943).

“Ravishing in tone and exploiting an excitingly wide range of dynamics, Plane forges a commandingly articulate alliance with the pianist… Naxos’s absurdly modest asking-price is the icing on the cake!”
Gramophone on 8.570416

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