Editor's Choice – the best new classical albums: November 2019

Gramophone Wed 6th November 2019

Editor Martin Cullingford’s pick of the finest recordings from this month’s reviews, featuring Beatrice Rana, Simon Rattle and Paul McCreesh

November issue 2019 Editor's Choice

Recording of the month

Purcell King Arthur

Sols; Gabrieli Consort & Players / Paul McCreesh

(Winged Lion/ Signum)

A fascinating opera, one which vividly takes listeners to late 17th-century Britain – Dryden’s text and Purcell’s music are brought spectacularly and stirringly to life by conductor Paul McCreesh.

Read the Gramophone review

 

Falla El amor brujo; El sombrero de tres picos

Mahler CO / Pablo Heras-Casado

(Harmonia Mundi)

A centenary celebration of El sombrero de tres picos, infused by Pablo Heras-Casado with all the Spanish spirit you could ask for, and an equally outstanding El amor brujo.

Read the Gramophone review

 

Gershwin. Stravinsky. Varèse ‘Transatlantic’

Cincinnati SO / Louis Langrée

(Fanfare Cincinnati)

The Cincinnati Symphony are on sparkling form in two versions, one from a new critical edition, of An American in Paris.   

Read the Gramophone review 

 

Schoenberg. Webern. Zemlinsky ‘The Mathilde Album’

Arod Quartet 

(Erato)

Beautifully played, and recorded, the young Arod Quartet follow their impressive debut with an album of chamber music from the first half of the 20th century. 

Read the Gramophone review

 

‘Time & Eternity’

Patricia Kopatchinskaja vn / Camerata Bern

(Alpha)

As adventurous in her programming as in her playing, Patricia Kopatchinskaja offers an album whose meeting of music and words, of eras and traditions, is musically and spiritually powerful.   

Read the Gramophone review

 

Alkan Symphony & Concerto for solo piano

Paul Wee pf 

(BIS)

Astonishing virtuosity defines this hugely impressive recording, whose story behind it – the soloist is a lawyer, not a professional pianist – makes it all the more extraordinary.

Read the Gramophone review

 

Ravel Miroirs Stravinsky The Firebird. Petrushka

Beatrice Rana pf 

(Warner Classics)

This month’s cover star, the remarkable  pianist Beatrice Rana, is an artist of truly reflective grace; her latest recording, combining poetry and great skill, confirms her as being among the most gifted musicians of her generation.  

Read the Gramophone review

 

Josquin Desprez. Bauldeweyn. Brumel Masses

The Tallis Scholars / Peter Phillips

(Gimell)

As it approaches the home straight, The Tallis Scholars’ exploration of Josquin offers another fine example of their gift for communicating the composer’s music. 

Read the Gramophone review

 

Handel Brockes Passion

Sols; Academy of Ancient Music / Richard Egarr

(AAM Records)

Much less known than Bach’s Passions, this moving meditation on Christ’s sacrifice is performed with compelling conviction by the AAM and a superb line-up of soloists. 

Read the Gramophone review

 

Gounod Faust

Sols; Les Talens Lyriques / Christophe Rousset 

(Bru Zane) 

Another new take on another otherwise familiar work reveals new dramatic depths; rising star Benjamin Bernheim leads an excellent cast, conducted with flair by Christophe Rousset. 

Read the Gramophone review

 

DVD/blu-ray

‘This is Rattle’

London Symphony Orchestra / Sir Simon Rattle

(LSO Live)

The beginning of Sir Simon Rattle’s tenure as the LSO’s Music Director, captured on film, bodes impressively well for the years ahead for Londoners.  

Read the Gramophone review

 

Reissue/archive

‘Norma Fisher at the BBC, Vol 2’

Norma Fisher pf 

(Sonetto Classics)

The second volume unearthing the early recordings of renowned teacher Norma Fisher once again reveals her to be a pianist of incredibe insight, with playing that exudes colour and poetic finesse.

Read the Gramophone review

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