Queue 'Gramophone Top 10s'
Ten of the best Beethoven recordings recently reviewed in the pages of Gramophone
The following list of 10 recordings represent the most highly-regarded new Beethoven releases. All of the recordings were selected as Editor's Choice or Recording of the Month in Gramophone. You can read the original Gramophone reviews by following the links and listen to many of the albums in the following Qobuz playlist:
Beethoven The Symphonies and Reflections
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra / Mariss Jansons
'This is an exceptional realisation of Beethoven’s nine symphonies, one of those rare occasions when one is left with a feeling of having been in the presence of the thing itself.' Read review.
Beethoven Cello Sonatas
Steven Isserlis (vc) / Robert Levin (fp)
'A cellist who tends towards inversion; a fortepianist who tends the other way. Put them together and something magical happens within the tensions they engender.' Read review.
Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos 3 & 4
Maria João Pires (pf); Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Daniel Harding
'Even with a never-ending stream of Beethoven piano concerto recordings, whether from established masters or works in progress, few performances come within distance of Pires’s Classical/Romantic perspective.' Read review.
Beethoven Complete Piano Sonatas Vol 2, Nos 11 - 21
Jean Efflam Bavouzet (pf)
'My impressions of Bavouzet are of his selfless concentration, understanding, boundless musical energy, and in everything offered his command of timing and of the glorious variety and drama of these compositions.' Read review.
Beethoven Complete String Quartets Vol 1
Elias String Quartet
(Wigmore Hall Live)
'For all the boldness of both the dots and their execution, the Elias Quartet observe a certain Classical propriety which does not domesticate Beethoven’s more feral inspirations but places his innovation in its proper context.' Read review.
Beethoven Missa Solemnis
Monteverdi Choir; Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique / John Eliot Gardiner
(Soli Deo Gloria)
'Such is the visceral intensity of the music-making, a certain girding of the loins may be required before a second hearing, but isn’t that precisely how it should be with a work of this power and magnitude?' Read review.
Beethoven Piano Concerto No 5, Choral Fantasy
Prague Philharmonic Choir; Mahler Chamber Orchestra / Leif Ove Andsnes
'The unanimity in the closing bars between Andsnes and his orchestra says it all. Having used up my stash of superlatives, all I can say is: go buy.' Read review.
Beethoven Diabelli Variations
András Schiff (pf)
(ECM New Series)
'I’ve been convinced of the success with which pianist and both instruments inhabit everything undertaken here and meet its challenges. It’s an impressive achievement.' Read review.
Beethoven Piano Sonatas Nos 14 & 29
Alessio Bax (pf)
'Even when compared to legendary performances of this sonata (Kempff, Richter, Gilels, Brendel, etc), this performance stands its ground in music to test the technique and intellect of even the greatest pianists.' Read review.
Beethoven Complete Cello Sonatas and Variations
Matt Haimovitz (vc) / Christopher O'Riley (fp)
'Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O’Riley play the living daylights out of these works. They lap up Beethoven’s combative style like hungry lions anticipating raw steak.' Read review.
The top 10 piano concertos – from Mozart to Rachmaninov – with highly recommended recordings
One of the richest corners of the repertoire (and one of the most popular) in which a solo piano is pitted against the orchestra – with invariably thrilling results. Mozart may have lifted the piano concerto into the modern age, but in the hands of the great Romantic masters it became a form for expression of colossal variety. Here are 10 of the greatest of all piano concertos.
Gustav Mahler said, 'My symphonies represent the contents of my entire life.'
An introduction to 10 of the greatest violin concertos with highly recommended recordings
Along with the piano, the violin is the instrument best served with concertos, and what a variety there is! Here’s a violin concerto Top 10 that embraces all the great works at the centre of every violinist’s repertoire ranging from the poise of the Mozart via the red-blooded Romantic works like the Tchaikovsky to the modern language of the Prokofiev and Bartók…
Ten of the best Bach recordings recently reviewed in the pages of Gramophone
The following list of 10 recordings represent the most highly-regarded new Bach releases of the past year. All of the recordings were selected as Editor's Choice or Recording of the Month in Gramophone. You can read the original Gramophone reviews by following the links and listen to many of the albums in the following Qobuz playlist:
JS Bach English Suites Nos 1, 3 & 5
Piotr Anderszewski pf
'There’s a beautifully controlled thoughtfulness, lines explored with illuminating delicacy and a complete confidence in the interpretation. A Bach piano disc to set among the best of recent years.' Read review
JS Bach Goldberg Variations
Britten Sinfonia / Thomas Gould
'Sitkovetsky’s Goldberg transcription really illuminates the inventiveness in Bach’s music, not least when played as superbly as it is here.' Read review
JS Bach Orchestral Suites
Academy of Ancient Music / Richard Egarr hpd
'Another fine addition to the AAM’s young in-house label, and what better way than this to showcase the ensemble’s delightfully engaging spirit of collegiality?' Read review
JS Bach Cello Suites Nos 2, 3 & 6 arr Viola
Maxim Rysanov va
'It’s like listening to and falling in love with the piece for the first time. And that should be taken as the rare and beautiful opportunity it is.' Read review
JS Bach A Christmas Oratorio
Collegium Vocale Gent / Philippe Herreweghe
'Not only musically beguiling but also filmed intelligently, with the production team always illuminating exactly the right views of the musical details.' Read review