Staatskapelle Berlin / Daniel Barenboim
Andrew Everard, Gramophone's Audio Editor writes: 'Recorded live at the Philharmonie Berlin last September, Barenboim’s reading of "Elgar 1" is an eye-opening account of a familiar work, striking for its relaxed development of the first movement, the mercurial scherzo and a powerful final section. All of this is aided enormously by the clarity and insight into the performance offered by the 96kHz-24bit hi-res release, which also brings greater presence and impact than one finds on the CD-quality version: the dynamics are punchier, the playing in the middle section seems even more attacking, and there’s a much greater sense of the space around the orchestra. It’s delicious stuff.'
Denis Kozhukhin pf Berlin RSO / Vassily Sinaisky
A concerto debut disc pairing such major works? Bold, but entirely justified by two superb performances from this Queen Elisabeth Competition first prize winner.
Suisse Romande Orchestra / Neeme Järvi
Neeme Järvi and his excellent players offer us elegant performances of the French composer’s two best-known works, along with lesser-known pieces all adding a rich sense of context.
Xiayin Wang pf RSNO / Peter Oundjian
Another super Chandos disc from pianist Xiayin Wang, who in both works is, argues critic Jeremy Nicholas, ‘up with the very best’. High praise indeed!
Christina & Michelle Naughton pfs
From the formidable intensity of Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen to the sprightly grace of Adams’s Hallelujah Junction, these pianist twins demonstrate remarkable virtuosity and rapport.
Alina Ibragimova vn Cédric Tiberghien pf
No stranger to the Editor’s Choice page, Alina Ibragimova is one of the most consistently compelling violinists of her generation, while Cédric Tiberghien proves every bit the perfect partner here.
Matthias Goerne bar Ebène Quartet with Gautier Capuçon vc
The Quintet is elegant, as you’d expect from the acclaimed personnel involved, while the Lieder make for a rounded Schubert exploration.
‘Immediacy of sound and infectious zest’ – words by Fabrice Fitch, and ones which perfectly capture this delightful disc of ‘representative’ music by Biber and some of his contemporaries.
The Choir of King’s College London / Gareth Wilson
A programme of Renaissance works and contemporary commissions in a moving tribute from David Trendell’s choir to the choral conductor who died in 2014.
Taverner Choir & Players / Andrew Parrott
A fascinating, thoughtfully curated and, most importantly, beautifully performed portrait of music-making in the time of Henry VIII, woven around the music of John Taverner.
Sols incl Kaufmann; Dresden State Opera / Christian Thielemann
Jonas Kaufmann’s portrayal of these roles (debuts in both) is built on both vocal excellence and strong dramatic presence.
Wilhelm Kempff pf
Just one of two deserving issues this month from APR exploring the art of Wilhelm Kempff.