Editor's Choice recordings – April 2016

Gramophone Wed 23rd March 2016

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

Recording of the month

D Scarlatti 18 Keyboard Sonatas

Yevgeny Sudbin pf

(BIS)

More than a decade on from his impressive debut on the BIS label – and indeed in our pages – with music by Scarlatti, Yevgeny Sudbin returns to the composer with a truly triumphant recital. Read the review

 

Szymanowski. Lutosławski Orchestral Works 

Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra / Alexander Liebreich 

(Accentus)

The orchestra is just one of the stars on this first-rate recording – the other is Katowice’s new and fine-sounding hall. Read the review

 

Weber Complete Overtures 

WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne / Howard Griffiths 

(CPO)

Howard Griffiths and his players bring a thrilling sense of character, clarity and colour to these Weber overtures – a hugely enjoyable listen. Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Beethoven / Liszt Symphony No 9 

Yury Martynov pf 

(Alpha)

Rather than sounding like a mere reduction, when played as superbly as here this transcription has a drama and poignancy all of its own, conveyed on a beautiful-sounding period piano. 
Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Andrew Everard, Gramophone’s Audio Editor writes: ‘Beethoven’s Ninth may seem an unlikely candidate for the stripped-down solo piano treatment, and the final movement is a particular challenge (as an essay in the liner notes makes clear). However, this performance of the Liszt transcription by Yuri Martynov, on Alpha Classics, brings remarkable clarity to the structure of the piece, as well as a drama all of its own. And the recording, though a little dry in terms of ambience, is well served by the extra information delivered by the 24-bit/48kHz Qobuz download. The close-up view focuses as much on the character of the instrument, a recently (and laboriously) restored early Blüthner, dating from around 1867, as it does on the power and lightness of touch of what is a quite remarkable performance.’

Boulez Complete Music for Solo Piano 

Marc Ponthus pf 

(Bridge) 

A timely and appropriate tribute to Pierre Boulez, who died in January. This is an expertly played survey of the composer’s complete music for solo piano – a fascinating listen. Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Handel / Mendelssohn Israel in Ägypten 

The King’s Consort / Robert King 

(Vivat) 

This reconstruction of Mendelssohn’s reconstruction is of great interest from a historical perspective, but also richly rewarding from a musical one. Read the review

 

Howells Collegium Regale 

Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge / Stephen Layton 

(Hyperion) 

Stephen Layton’s skilled shaping of this glorious music is matched by excellent singing from his choir – a wonderful follow-up to their 2012 Award-winner. Read the review

 

Lantins Secular Works

Le Miroir de Musique / Baptiste Romain 

(Ricercar) 

Fifteenth-century repertoire from little-known figures – possibly brothers – but well worth the committed advocacy given here. These are richly rewarding vocal and instrumental performances. Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

‘Amuse-Bouche’ 

I Fagiolini / Robert Hollingworth 

(Decca) 

There’s some very skilful singing here in an imaginative and entertaining programme of 20th-century French repertoire, marking this fine group’s 30th anniversary in style. Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Honegger / Ibert L’Aiglon 

Sols; Montreal Symphony Orchestra / Kent Nagano 

(Decca) 

This little-known operetta is given a delightful performance by a French-speaking cast in what marks a new era in the Montreal SO’s relationship with Decca.
Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

DVD/blu-ray

‘Music – A Journey for Life’ 

Riccardo Chailly 

(Accentus) 

A valuable insight into Chailly’s approach to music-making, and into his successful directorship of the Gewandhaus Orchestra, which draws to a close at the end of the current season.
Read the review

 

Reissue/archive

‘The Menuhin Century’ 

‘The Historic Recordings’ 

(Warner Classics) 

If you can’t run to the whole Menuhin set, this constituent box offers many of his significant recordings. 

Explore: 

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£64/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£64/year
Subscribe
From£64/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£64/year
Subscribe
From£64/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£64/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2017