Editor's Choice recordings – October 2015

Gramophone Mon 12th October 2015

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

Recording of the Month

JS Bach Organ Works 

Masaaki Suzuki org 

(BIS) 

Suzuki’s Bach has long been a staple of our reviews pages, but not usually on organ – yet all that rich Bach experience is brought to bear in this glorious and brilliantly played celebration of both composer and instrument. Read the review | Buy from Qobuz

Dutilleux Symphony No 2 

Augustin Hadelich vn Seattle Symphony Orchestra / Ludovic Morlot 

(Seattle Symphony Media)

Ahead of the composer’s centenary, Morlot and his Seattle players bring a concentrated intensity to Dutilleux’s sound world. Read the review | Buy from Qobuz

Fitzenhagen. Tchaikovsky ‘The Romantic Cello Concerto, Vol 7’ 

Alban Gerhardt vc Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin / Stefan Blunier 

(Hyperion)

An enjoyable pairing of an acclaimed artist with a lesser-known work from Hyperion. Read the review

Vivaldi The Four Seasons

La Serenissima / Adrian Chandler vn

(Avie)

To become another Four Seasons recommendation takes something special, and this absolutely is. Imaginative and thrillingly dramatic playing throughout.
Read the review
| Buy from Qobuz

Brahms String Quartets Nos 1 & 3 

Artemis Quartet 

(Erato)

These performances from the Artemis Quartet are vivid, full of drama and also of quiet beauty. It’s a disc of Brahms – as our critic Peter Quantrill puts it – of, and for, our time.
Read the review
| Buy from Qobuz

Silvestrov ‘To Thee We Sing’ 

Latvian Radio Choir / Sigvards Kļava 

(Ondine)

An absorbing, immersive choral experience for both the singers, one confidently assumes, and certainly for the listener, from an impressive choir.  
Read the review | Buy from Qobuz

‘The Call’ 

Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge / Andrew Nethsingha 

(Chandos)

It’s a real joy to hear these anthems from a present-day St John’s choir on a form that’s just as fine as at any point in its illustrious recording history.
Read the review | Buy from Qobuz

Audio Editor Andrew Everard writes: 'Recorded in the chapel at St John’s College, Cambridge, this latest collection of choral classics by the college choir has a near-perfect combination of performance and recorded ambience, the latter made especially clear in the 24-bit/96kHz Qobuz download. Compared to the 'CD quality' files, the hi-res version delivers more power in the lower registers of the organ on the wonderful reading of Parry’s I was glad, while those treble voices soar into an even more airy and open acoustic. Striking, too, is the ethereal sound of the beautifully measured performance of Tavener’s Song for Athene, building to a scintillating climax.'

A Scarlatti ‘Con eco d’amore’ 

Elizabeth Watts sop The English Concert / Laurence Cummings

(Harmonia Mundi)

Watts, as she always does, combines completely controlled virtuosity with a wonderful sense of storytelling. 
Read the review | Buy from Qobuz

Tchaikovsky Iolanta 

Sols; Gürzenich Orchestra, Cologne / Dmitri Kitaenko 

Oehms F b OC963

A beautiful and moving opera which only now seems to be getting the attention it deserves – so there’s no shame in highlighting another superb version to hear.
Read the review | Buy from Qobuz

Wagner Das Rheingold 

Sols; Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra / Sir Simon Rattle 

(BR-Klassik)

An impressively played, excellently conducted and engagingly sung Das Rheingold from Rattle, and one recorded in very good sound too. 
Read the review

DVD/blu-ray

Britten ‘The String Quartets’ 

Belcea Quartet 

(EuroArts)

Chamber DVDs don’t often feature in this slot, so take this opportunity to watch a highly communicative and musically superb quartet explore Britten.

 

Reissue/archive

The Complete Philips Recordings 

Stephen Kovacevich pf 

Decca 478 8662DB25

A perfect celebratory follow-up to the subject of last issue’s Icons feature by Geraint Lewis.

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