Best new classical albums – August 2016

Gramophone Mon 18th July 2016

The finest recordings reviewed in the August issue of Gramophone magazine, introduced by Editor Martin Cullingford

Bacewicz Complete String Quartets 

Silesian Quartet 

(Chandos)

This may be new music to you – it was to me – but these seven quartets offer a superb entrance into a sound world that journeys from the neo-classical to a modernist voice of great originality.

Read the review in the Reviews Database | Download from Qobuz

 

Shostakovich Symphonies Nos 5, 8 & 9

Boston Symphony Orchestra / Andris Nelsons 

(DG) 

Symphony No 10 from the same forces was our Recording of the Month last August. A year on, and this further selection shows just the same power and passion.

Read the review in the Reviews Database | Download from Qobuz

 

Tchaikovsky Symphonies Nos 1, 2 & 5 

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Vasily Petrenko 

(Onyx) 

An auspicious beginning to what could turn out to be an excellent cycle from Petrenko, one which really engages with the drama and detail of these symphonies.

Read the review in the Reviews Database

 

Dowland Lachrimae 

Phantasm 

(Linn) 

These are poignant performances of music steeped in melancholy and given a deep beauty by Elizabeth Kenny and Phantasm, led by Laurence Dreyfus: a really wonderful Dowland recording.

Read the review in the Reviews Database

 

Riley ‘Four Four Three’ 

Ragazze Quartet et al 

(Channel Classics) 

A hugely enjoyable and distinctive response to the challenge – or freedoms – Terry Riley set for an undetermined number of musicians. An iconic work, excellently recorded by our current label of the year.

Read the review in the Reviews Database

 

‘Bach all’italiano’ 

Simon Borutzki rec et al 

(Klanglogo) 

Young recorder player Simon Borutzki is highly impressive in this performance of, among other pieces, Bach’s transcriptions for harpsichord of violin concertos, now arranged for recorder – just listen! 

Read the review in the Reviews Database | Download from Qobuz

 

Beethoven Missa solemnis 

Concentus Musicus Wien / Nikolaus Harnoncourt 

(Sony Classical) 

This posthumous release is a moving and important final legacy left by Nikolaus Harnoncourt – a remarkable recording of the Missa solemnis from an extraordinary man.

Read the review in the Reviews Database | Download from Qobuz

 

Ešenvalds Passion According to St Luke 

Latvian Radio Choir / Sigvards Kļava 

(Ondine) 

Beginning in a moment of high drama – the crowd’s shouting ‘Crucify him’ – E≈envalds’s 2014 Passion setting offers listeners varied musical styles and superb performances.

Read the review in the Reviews Database

 

MacMillan Since it was the Day of Preparation… 

Hebrides Ensemble 

(Delphian) 

The second fascinating modern Gospel setting in this month’s selection – this time of the final sections from St John: a powerful work of personal faith by James MacMillan.

Read the review in the Reviews Database | Download from Qobuz

 

Wolf ‘Kennst du das Land?’ 

Sophie Karthäuser sop Eugene Asti pf 

(Harmonia Mundi) 

Beautiful singing from soprano Sophie Karthäuser, who seems perfectly at home in Lieder and specifically in this fine Wolf selection, with Eugene Asti an excellent partner.

Read the review in the Reviews Database | Download from Qobuz

 

DVD/blu-ray

Handel Alcina 

Sols incl Petibon and Jaroussky; Freiburg Baroque Orchestra / Andrea Marcon 

(Erato) 

Katie Mitchell’s 2015 production from the Aix Festival, complete with fine music-making from Patricia Petibon, conductor Andrea Marcon and their colleagues. 

Read the review in the Reviews Database

 

Reissue/archive

Martha Argerich ‘Early Recordings’ 

(DG) 

Performances from the ’60s reveal – if needed – just what a visionary and compelling pianist Argerich has always been. 

Read the review in the Reviews Database | Download from Qobuz

 

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