Editor’s Choice recordings – November 2015

Gramophone Fri 6th November 2015

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

Recording of the Month

Bach. Rzewski. Beethoven Piano Variations

Igor Levit pf 

(Sony Classical)

Igor Levit is clearly one of his generation’s most remarkable pianists. In these three works – all sets of variations – he reveals a virtuosity and reflective maturity that compel attention.
Read the review / Buy from Qobuz

Casella ‘Orchestral Works, Vol 4’

Gillian Keith sop BBC Philharmonic / Gianandrea Noseda

(Chandos)

A further instalment in Noseda’s commited advocacy of Casella, one which is surely achieving his aim of making people hear this music with open ears and minds.
Read the review / Buy from Qobuz

Ravel Piano Concertos

Yuja Wang pf Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra / Lionel Bringuier

(DG)

A young virtuoso star, and one who keeps more than justifying her status, with an engagingly played disc of French music.
Read the review / Buy from Qobuz

Audio Editor Andrew Everard writes: 'Well, it’s certainly thrilling: from the beginning of this set, Yuja Wang goes at the Ravel concertos with gusto bordering on all-out attack, and the 96kHz/24-bit download makes it easier to follow every note, and more fully appreciate the performance. It’s certainly a colourful recording, and the high-resolution sound makes the darker passages more atmospheric, while delivering those exciting dynamics with even more power. Similarly the change of venue between the recordings is more apparent in 24/96, switching as it does from the openness of the Zurich Tonhalle to the more intimate Berlin studio used for the Fauré Ballade providing the filling in the ‘sandwich’ – a great demonstration of what ‘hi-res’ recording can bring.'

Stravinsky The Rite of Spring

MusicAeterna / Teodor Currentzis

(Sony Classical)

A really thrilling, driven and brilliantly played Rite of Spring. It’s all you get for your money – but that doesn’t of course diminish its impact one bit.
Read the review / Buy from Qobuz

‘Métamorphoses’

Works by Brahms, Haydn and Ligeti

Dudok Quartet 

(Resonus)

Into an era rich in really fine young quartets comes an impressive debut from Amsterdam-based Dudok Quartet, with a programme as thoughtfully conceived as it is played. 
Read the review / Buy from Qobuz

Chopin Preludes, Op 28, etc

Dong Hyek Lim pf 

(Warner Classics)

Young South Korean pianist Dong Hyek Lim here offers a considered and engagingly played Chopin recital, with a really beautiful set of the Preludes at its heart. 
Read the review / Buy from Qobuz

‘Twelfth Night Recital’ 

Ivan Moravec pf 

(Supraphon)

Playing of warmth and personality from a recital given 28 years ago and due to be released for Moravec’s 85th birthday. Following his recent death, it now stands as a wonderful tribute. Read the review / Buy from Qobuz

‘Le Concert Royal de la Nuit’

Ensemble Correspondances / Sébastien Daucé

(Harmonia Mundi)

A captivating programme, one rooted in historical research and context, but most importantly in performances full of rhythm, elegance and life. Read the review / Buy from Qobuz

‘Poetry in Music’

The Sixteen / Harry Christophers 

(Coro)

The Sixteen so consistently perform at the highest level that it’s easy to take them for granted; this exploration of English settings of poetry is very beautiful indeed. Read the review / Buy from Qobuz

Mozart Il re pastore 

Sols; The Orchestra of Classical Opera / Ian Page 

(Signum)

A superb set of soloists head up a quite delightful performance of Mozart’s early opera, under the inspired baton of Ian Page. Read the review / Buy from Qobuz

DVD/blu-ray

‘Satiesfictions’

A film by Anne-Kathrin Peitz and Youlian Tabakov

(Accentus)

A fascinating portrait, every bit as quirky and surprising as its composer subject. Read the review

 

Reissue/archive

Martland Various works

The Steve Martland Band / Steve Martland; The Smith Quartet  

(NMC)

A memorial to this modern maverick, who died in 2013 aged 58. Read the review

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