Naxos AudioBooks was founded in 1994 by Klaus Heymann and Nicolas
Soames with the purpose of providing classic literature with classical
music on CD and cassette. Our intention was to make the great classics
accessible and we began with the key works of Western literature: Homer,
Dante, Milton, Austen, Dickens, Melville, Shakespeare and many others.
The label quickly established a reputation for fine recordings by outstanding classical actors including Juliet Stevenson, Kenneth Branagh, Anton Lesser and many more, including experienced ‘radio’ voices including Neville Jason and David Timson who know how to create a magical world through storytelling.
We won numerous prizes for such recordings as Joyce’s Ulysses read by Jim Norton and Marcella Riordan, Jane Austen’s Emma read by Juliet Stevenson, and newly commissioned texts such as The History of Classical Music. The recordings were widely praised not only for the readings, but also for the skillful use of classical music and the presentation, with full notes.
Junior Classics also featured from the start – both fiction and non-fiction; and a wide range of adult non-fiction titles, covering history, religion, philosophy and other subjects.
Naxos AudioBooks has become particularly well-known for a number of
highly ambitious projects including the unabridged Ulysses, Proust’s
Remembrance of Things Past read by Neville Jason who also reads Tolstoy’s
War and Peace unabridged, a major audiobook event; and David Timson has
read The Complete Sherlock Holmes stories.
More recently, the label has broadened its attention to contemporary literary classics, with recordings of works by the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, Julian Barnes, Cormac McCarthy, Rose Tremain, and Booker prizewinner Anne Enright.