Editor's Choice recordings – September 2015

Gramophone Mon 17th August 2015

Martin Cullingford’s pick of the finest recordings from this month’s reviews

Recording of the Month

Rachmaninov. Trifonov  

Daniil Trifonov pf Philadelphia Orchestra / Yannick Nézet-Séguin 

(DG)

‘Up there with the very best,’ says Jeremy Nicholas of this 2011 Tchaikovsky Prize-winner’s thrilling performance of the Paganini Rhapsody – and it’s impossible to disagree. High praise, too, must go to the orchestral playing under Yannick Nézet-Séguin. (To be released on August 28) Read review / Buy from Qobuz

Grieg Piano Concerto Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No 2

Vadym Kholodenko pf Norwegian Radio Orchestra / Miguel Harth-Bedoya 

(Harmonia Mundi)  

The first of two Grieg Concertos this month, each with a thrilling coupling – in this case Saint-Saëns’s Second Piano Concerto. Read review / Buy from Qobuz

Grieg. Moszkowski Piano Concertos 

Joseph Moog pf Deutsche Radio Philharmonie / Nicholas Milton 

(Onyx)  

Moog pairs his excellent Grieg Concerto with the lesser-known Moszkowski work, showing off his remarkable virtuosity to full effect. Read review

KA Hartmann. Shostakovich. Weinberg ‘Wartime Consolations’ 

Linus Roth vn Württemberg Chamber Orchestra / Ruben Gazarian 

(Challenge Classics)  

Following his July 2014 Editor’s Choice, Roth offers another compelling disc of 20th-century music. Read review / Buy from Qobuz

Lutosławski Piano Concerto. Second Symphony

Krystian Zimerman pf Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Simon Rattle

(DG) 

The Piano Concerto’s dedicatee offers his innate understanding of the work, while this month’s cover star more than justifies his renown. Read review / Buy from Qobuz

Saint-Saëns Symphony No 3, ‘Organ’ 

Jan Kraybill org Kansas City Symphony Orchestra / Michael Stern

(Reference)

More Saint-Saëns this month, in another fine issue from Reference Recordings, increasingly regular occupants of the Editor's Choice lists, and a label with a strong audiophile pedigree. Read review / Buy from Qobuz

Schumann Piano Concerto. Piano Trio No 2 

Alexander Melnikov pf Isabelle Faust vn Jean-Guihen Queyras vc Freiburg Baroque Orchestra / Pablo Heras-Casado 

(Harmonia Mundi)  

Release two in the enterprising Harmonia Mundi Schumann series; Melnikov and colleagues are superb. Read review / Buy from Qobuz

D Scarlatti Keyboard Sonatas 

Claire Huangci pf 

(Berlin Classics) 

Clearly a pianist to follow, as this, Claire Huangci’s second disc, offers carefully chosen Scarlatti full of impressive technical command, control and musicality. Read review

‘Morgen!’ 

Michaela Schuster mez Markus Schlemmer pf 

(Oehms)

In this emotionally varied programme, mezzo Michaela Schuster draws on her experience of the dramatic stage to offer many moving interpretations of well-chosen songs. Read review

Puumala Anna Liisa 

Sols; Tapiola Sinfonietta / Jan Söderblom 

(Ondine) 

A fairly unfamiliar name to the pages of Gramophone at least – but perhaps that will change following this superbly performed performance of Finnish composer Veli-Matti Puumala’s powerful opera. Read review

DVD/blu-ray

Schoenberg Pierrot lunaire 

Barbara Sukowa voc Mitsuko Uchida pf et al 

(Belvedere)

Fascinating insights into this landmark work from musicians who understand it intimately – and prove it, too, in the performance itself. Read review

Reissue/archive

Schubert ‘The Art of Irmgard Seefried, Vol 5’ 

(Eloquence)

A reissue series explores the German soprano’s art – this all-Schubert recital is a perfect place to begin.

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