Recording of the month
Lisa Batiashvili vn Staatskapelle Berlin / Daniel Barenboim
This is concerto-playing of the very highest order from Lisa Batiashvili and Daniel Barenboim. Every familiar phrase somehow manages to sound both authoritative and newly discovered.
Our Audio Editor writes: This striking set, bringing together the luminous playing of Batiashvili and the Staatskapelle Berlin under Daniel Barenboim, is a delight from start to finish. The content may be familiar, and the orchestra’s approach definitely on the generous side, but the 96kHz/24bit Qobuz download brings extra clarity to the solo instrument, revealing the true wonder of Batiashvili’s technique, drama and lyricism. Listen to the CD-quality version and you get almost the whole story; step up to ‘hi-res’ and even more life is breathed into the recording, making it truly special.
Vienna Chamber Orchestra / Stefan Vladar pf
A complete set of Beethoven concertos – given the catalogue – is always a bold offering, but Vladar excels here, with performances full of colour and charm.
Kodály Philharmonic Orchestra / Paul Mann
A moving project by label founder Martin Anderson to create a series of works in memory of his partner has resulted in this impressive collection of new pieces, with many more to come.
An unexpected pairing that works really well, informing the context in which each is heard. The Ehnes Quartet’s Schubert is strong and searing, their Sibelius full of dramatic reflection.
Aquarelle Guitar Quartet
This is a real joy to listen to, which isn’t to say it’s not also reflective in places too. But the virtuosity and rapport demonstrated by this guitar quartet is a genuine delight throughout this wonderfully varied recital.
Alban Gerhardt vc Markus Becker pf
A perfect tribute to Rostropovich, quite biographical in a way, with which to open in style a year which marks a decade since the great cellist’s death, and which would have seen his 90th birthday.
Charles Richard-Hamelin pf
(Fryderyk Chopin Institute)
‘Surely this is a young pianist of whom we will hear a great deal more’, concludes critic Patrick Rucker of this Canadian’s Chopin recital. It’s certainly a career we can look forward to following.
Iestyn Davies counterten Arcangelo / Jonathan Cohen
One of today’s most acclaimed countertenors, Davies demonstrates the art and beauty of voice for which he’s become renowned, working once again with the superb Arcangelo.
Odhecaton / Paolo Da Col
Skilled singing from this fine ensemble underpin this fascinating premiere recording of an Alessandro Scarlatti work. The recording is atmospheric and engaging throughout.
Sols; Gulbenkian Orchestra / Paul McCreesh
Another excellent revival by Palezzetto Bru Zane of a long-lost work – performed and packaged with equal devotion – earns a heartfelt ‘Chapeau!’ from critic Mark Pullinger.
Les Talens Lyriques / Christophe Rousset
This Handel double bill from the sure hands of Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques really caught critic David Vickers’s imagination: ‘essential viewing for those who take Handel as a dramatist seriously’, he concludes.
Zuzana Růžičková hpd
A significant set celebrating this fine harpsichordist’s survey of Bach’s solo keyboard music.