Mendel Digital Resource: Naxos Music Library

If you’ve been following along with some of our birthday posts on Facebook, “Naxos” probably seems a little familiar. If not, that’s perfectly fine; keep reading to learn more about this online resource!

First of all, what is Naxos? Well, it’s a treasure trove for musicians containing millions of tracks of music — including the complete catalogs of several recording labels — as well as other musical resources, such as album cover art, the contents of CD pamphlets, opera libretti and synopses, and biographies. Naxos access is provided to all University students, faculty, and staff through the Princeton University Library.

Searching for Items

With all this content packed into Naxos, the search function will be very helpful in your search for resources. If you just want to do a quick search of the Naxos catalog, then the Keyword Search at the top of the page should give you what you’re looking for, but if you have a more specific search in mind — maybe you’re looking for a particular recording by a particular artist — then you’re better off working with the Advanced Search.

Let’s take a look at the Naxos Advanced Search. After clicking on the light blue “Advanced Search” button in the top right corner of the screen, you should see something like this:

On that screen, you’ll notice all the different options you have for narrowing your search. What’s nice about the Naxos search interface is that as you type terms into each of the boxes, Naxos provides you with suggestions from its catalog. For example, if we are looking for music by Lili Boulanger, we can begin typing “Boulanger” and we’ll see her name as a suggestion, as shown below:

If we click on her name in the suggestions, Naxos auto-fills the box for us. If that’s the only term we want, we can go ahead and hit Search, but we can also add other terms to the search. Let’s say that we’re only interested in recordings released under the Deutsche Grammophon label. Again, we can use the Naxos auto-fill to help us:

After hitting “Search”, we get a results page that looks something like this:

Using the Naxos Player

Let’s take a look at the second result from our search. Clicking on the boldface title or the album cover art will bring up the album. On this page, you can see the contents of the album as well as a lot of information about it. For some albums, the accompanying booklet is available.

The Naxos player works using a queue system in which you select items to send to your “queue” and they will be played back in the order in which they were placed in the queue.

You’ll notice that each track has an unchecked checkbox, meaning none of the tracks have been selected to perform an action. With everything unchecked, clicking the large blue play button will queue the entire album in the order in which it appears. That will also pull up your Play Queue, which you can hide by clicking “Hide Player”. In this window, you’ll see everything you’ve queued and the order in which they will play. You can skip to a specific track using the skip buttons at the bottom of the page or by clicking the play button next to one of the tracks. If you don’t want something in your queue anymore, go ahead and hit the trash can next to it. You can also clear your queue using “Clear all” in the top right corner.

The bottom of the player interface contains many familiar features from other music streaming apps. In addition to the track-seeking buttons mentioned above, there is also a button on the far left to repeat the entire contents of the queue (one click) or just the current track (two clicks), a button a little farther to the right that will play the contents of the queue in a random order, and a control on the far right for volume.

Let’s go back to the album information by clicking on the right-pointing chevron arrow on the left of the screen or “Hide Player”. If you want to see the player again, click on the eighth note on the right side of the screen.

Here, we can do some other things with the album and individual tracks. To do this, we’ll work with the icons below the play button. The first button provides a link to the item that you can copy-paste as needed. The second adds an item to your Favorites list, which you can access by clicking on “Favorites” in the dark blue sidebar on the left. The middle button adds the item to a playlist. The “Playlists” button in the dark blue sidebar will bring you to the playlists you have created. Next is the share button, which allows you to share the item on Facebook or Twitter. The final button adds the item to your queue without playing it automatically.

Using those buttons with all the boxes unchecked applies the actions to the entire album. If you only want to perform those actions on certain tracks in the album, click the checkbox next to the items you’re interested in before using those buttons.

Album and Track Information

Earlier, we mentioned that the album page gives you a lot of information about the album, including categories, composers, and artists. Each piece of information is a link that will bring you to a new page which contains links to all materials pertaining to it. For instance, if we click on “London Symphony Orchestra” under Artists, we see the artist page for the LSO with a bit of information about them:

Scrolling farther down, we find an interactive interface for their discography that links to other albums and items in the Naxos catalog. This is great for finding similar or related items.

This feature also works with individual tracks. Clicking on the plus sign next to the track name expands the information panel for that specific track. This panel gives you artist information for that particular track with links that work the same way as the links in the sidebar.


Let’s take a closer look at playlists in Naxos. The first time you create a playlist, you may be prompted to log in. If you don’t have a Naxos account, go ahead and the “Sign up” link under the login form.

Fill out the registration form using your email address.

Going back to the playlist creation, we’re going to make a playlist of the four tracks by Lili Boulanger in the album we were working with earlier. We can create this playlist by checking the boxes next to those four tracks and clicking the plus sign underneath the large play button. The first time, you’ll need to create a folder by clicking on the plus sign next to the folder dropdown. Fill in the fields and click “Save”.

Now, we can access our playlists by clicking on “Playlists” in the far left, dark blue sidebar.

Here, we see our playlist, and we can also explore other playlist collections using the tabs at the top of the page. From this screen, we can play the entire playlist using the play button next to its name. By clicking on the name of the playlist, we can see its contents and play tracks separately.

Final Remarks

When writing this blog post, we were working with the classical music edition of Naxos, but Naxos also has an album database for jazz:

We hope this was a helpful introduction to (or review of) Naxos and its features. If you ever have any questions, please reach out to us at Mendel. We are more than happy to help!

Mendel’s Isolation Playlist: Week Four, Student Staff Picks

For our final week of the Isolation Playlist, we are featuring recommendations from Mendel’s Public Services student staff. They are currently working on finals after finishing their online classes. Amid all the dean’s date papers, they’re listening to their favorite music and utilizing PUL’s e-resources!

Here are our recommendations for May 4-8, 2020:

1. Tchaikovsky, Waltz of the Flowers, from The Nutcracker, on Digital Theatre Plus

Public Services Assistant Natasha Montiel says, “The piece reminds me of springtime and is motivating me to practice piano throughout quarantine.” Watch the entire ballet, or just the waltz (around 1:14:00).

2. Chopin, Etude op.10 no.12 (Revolutionary) on Naxos Music Library

Public Services Assistant Jessica Pan recommends: “It is a gorgeously driven, passionate piece and it mirrors some of the organized chaos that is my life during quarantine.” This recording is performed by Murray Perahia.

3. The Struts, I Always Knew, (cover of song by The Vaccines)

Public Services Assistant Abigail Denton says, “It’s really powerful, just him singing and playing the piano, and it is a great song to listen to and sing along with when you have a lot of pent-up emotions–as I’m sure we all do during these difficult times.” Investigate more indie/rock music on Rock’s Back Pages and Rolling Stone through PUL’s e-resources.

4. Mozart, Piano Duet in D Major, K.448 on Naxos Music Library

Public Services Assistant Megan Ormsbee recommends, “It’s one of my favorite pieces to listen to while I’m working outside on the swinging chair we have on the porch. I’ve written quite a few essays to this song, and when I’m listening to it while sitting in the sun, it just makes me feel really happy.”

5. Rachmaninoff, Symphonic Dances, on Naxos Music Library

Public Services Assistant Fumika Mizuno says, “One piece I’ve been listening to is Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances. The piece has a little bit of everything. It’s dramatic and lush, yet driving and exciting. The saxophone solo is also amazing!”

This playlist installment has come to a close, but keep watch for future Mendel recommendations. Please reach out to us at with your suggestions, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Happy listening!

Mendel’s Isolation Playlist: Week Three, Motivating

As the third week of our playlists comes to a close, we encourage you to replay these recommendations for an extra motivating boost!

Here are our recommendations for April 27-May 1, 2020:

1. Steve Reich, Music for 18 musicians, on Naxos Music Library

Listen to nearly one hour of repetitive, yet evolving, minimalist grooves that serves as a mantra to get you through long work sessions!

2. Handel, “Disserratevi, o porte d’Averno” from La Resurrezione on Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall

Check out the thrilling opening aria with oboe and soprano, and blazing coloratura (as well as the whole oratorio!). Handel is perfect for motivation! The concert is from 2014 with conductor/harpsichordist Emmanuelle Haïm and singer Camilla Tilling. (Remember to create a personal account with Digital Concert Hall if you are a first-time user!)

3. Brahms, Piano Quintet (Op.34, f minor) mvt.1, on Naxos Music Library

Mendel’s Collections Services Manager, Brittany Jones, recommends this chamber music: “Brahms is always good for motivation. He’s so good at lush, energetic, dramatic music that was popular in the romantic period and this is one of my favorites of Brahms. I often listen to this in the morning and it gets me moving and starts out my day with a positive outlook.”

4. Florent Ghys, Melody from Mars, from Television, on Naxos Music Library

Motivate yourself with continuous motion, pulsing strings, and hypnotic vocals by Princeton’s own composer, Florent Ghys. He has several albums available on Naxos.

5. Mozart, Le Nozze di Figaro Overture, on Met Opera on Demand

Upbeat, energizing, and foreshadowing all the action to come, this overture will keep your Friday motivated all day long!

Please write to with your recommendations, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see our daily playlist installations. Stay safe, healthy, and motivated!

Mendel’s Isolation Playlist: Week Two, Meditative

Our second week of musical recommendations is complete! This week’s theme was “Meditative,” and we hope that the following selections will help you refocus and find peace during these tumultuous times!

Here are our recommendations for April 20-24, 2020:

1. Keith Jarrett, The Köln Concert on Alexander Street Music & Performing Arts (Track 23)

Recommended by composition graduate student Pascal Le Boeuf, “A groundbreaking improvised solo piano concert from 1975 that I used to listen to as a teenager while reading. This music exists at the center point of jazz, classical, and minimalism. It isn’t too demanding for the listener, but creates a mood or headspace that pairs well with a number of daily activities like cooking, reading, yoga, walks, and social distancing.”

2. Max Richter, From Sleep, on Naxos Music Library

According to Pitchfork magazine, the pieces “conjure dreamy states, where ideas seem fluid and flexible and the world around you seems somehow softer.” Mendel Music Library Public Services Coordinator, Sara, highly recommends this whole piece for its meditative qualities!

Hands playing the strings of a 21 string Kora harp-lute, an African musical instrument. Rome, Italy

3. Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté, Ali and Toumani, on Naxos Music Library: World

Listen to these lyrical, acoustic duets by blues guitarist and singer Ali Farka Touré and kora master Toumani Diabaté.

4. Gabriel Pierné, Impromptu-caprice, Op. 9, on Naxos Music Library

Flowing, bright, solo harp melodies are perfect for your spring day in quarantine.

5. Hildegard von Bingen, O Ignee Spiritus, on Naxos Music Library

Listen to chant for soprano and vielle to refocus, performed by Sabine Lutzenberger and Per-Sonat. “O comforting fire of spirit, Life, within the very Life of all Creation.”

As always, please join us in listening and sharing! Write to with your recommendations, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see our daily playlist installations.

Mendel’s Isolation Playlist: Week One

During these unusual times, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are compiling musical recommendations from staff, faculty, and students to help brighten our days in quarantine. Mendel’s Isolation Playlist features music from PUL’s extensive audio and video e-resources, such as Naxos, DRAM, Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall, Metropolitan Opera On Demand, and Classical Music Library.

Find a post on our social media each day with links to music that’s calming, energizing, or encouraging. Each week, we’ll post a recap of the previous five days’ social media posts. We hope that you’ll discover a new e-resource and also a new piece of music that you’ve never listened to before!

Here are our recommendations for April 13-17, 2020:

McCoy Tyner, Fly with the Wind

1. McCoy Tyner, “Fly With the Wind” on Naxos Music Library: Jazz 

This recommendation comes from Rudresh Mahanthappa, Anthony H. P. Lee ’79 Director of Jazz. Rudresh says about his selection: “The last living member of John Coltrane’s legendary quartet, McCoy just passed a month ago. I always love these albums from the 70s where he plays with fierce beauty against the backdrop of an awesome rhythm section in conjunction with a large studio orchestra. This selection is uplifting and motivating. It makes me want to work hard and do good.”

Brünnhilde riding a horse, bearing a wounded warrior

2. Verdi, Don Carlo on Met Opera on Demand

3. Wagner’s complete Ring Cycle (Die Walkure is video, the remainder are audio-only right now) on Met Opera on Demand

Hannah McLaughlin, a second-year musicology graduate student, chose these operas available for viewing on the Metropolitan Opera’s Met Opera on Demand. She says, “I am watching EVERY OPERA by Wagner and Verdi available on Metropolitan Opera on Demand in preparation for my generals. I just finished watching the 2010 Don Carlo production and I thought it was really good! Not one of Verdi’s most well-known operas, but I recommend it! As for Wagner, now’s a great time to watch the Robert LePage Ring Cycle; when else will you have 16 hours in one place to do it? Blew my mind.”

4. Handel, Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno on

Mendel’s Public Services Manager, Sara Hagenbuch, is watching this staged Handel oratorio from Festival Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence. She says, “Sabine Devieilhe’s artistry is so inspiring, and listening to Baroque strings play Handel always motivates me! I look forward to watching the productions from Aix-en-Provence, and they’re often are available on Emmanuelle Haïm is leading the orchestra, Le Concert d’Astrée, and I’m a huge fan of their work.”

The restored Dresden Frauenkirche (D. Scott, 30 July 2018)

5. Beethoven, Missa Solemnis on Classical Music Library

Darwin Scott, Music Librarian, recommends this stunning video performance of Missa Solemnis. Read more about the piece and its performance location, the Dresden Frauenkirche, and see more beautiful photographs of the the church!

Join us in listening and sharing! Write to with your recommendations, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see our daily playlist installations.