Editor’s Choice recordings – March 2015

Gramophone Tue 24th February 2015

Editor Martin Cullingford introduces his 12 favourite recordings from the March issue

Steffani Niobe, regina di Tebe

Recording of the Month

Steffani Niobe, regina di Tebe

Soloists; Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra / Paul O’Dette, Stephen Stubbs

(Erato)

'Assemble some of today’s leading Baroque singers and instrumentalists, offer them a lesser-known opera rich in thrilling arias and elegant dance-like rhythms, and the result is a hugely enjoyable and impressive addition to the catalogue.' Read review

No 2

Berg Lyric Suite Mendelssohn String Quartet No 2 

Tetzlaff Quartet 

(AVI-Music) 

'Four individual and searching players make this a riveting chamber disc, precision and personality working together to full effect.' Read review

No 3

Brahms. Reinecke Clarinet Sonatas 

Michael Collins cl Michael McHale pf 

(Chandos)

'Delightful playing, from the partnership of Michael Collins and Michael McHale that scores highly in these pages time after time – and rightly so.' Read review 

No 4

Haydn. Hummel Piano Trios 

Trio Chausson 

(Mirare)

'Conversational and committed, Trio Chausson’s Haydn moves from urgency to the more cheerful without for a moment letting up on their thrilling exploration of every line and theme.' Read review

No 5

Hindemith Sonatas 

Alexander Melnikov pf and friends 

(Harmonia Mundi)

'Two of the artists featured in our Schumann cover story form part of this compellingly performed selection of Hindemith sonatas from a group of first-class musicians.' Read review

No 6

‘Winds & Piano’ 

Les Vents Français with Eric Le Sage pf 

(Warner Classics)

'A "positive dream team" of wind players, as our critic puts it, all convey a sheer joy of playing in this three-disc feast of music for wind quintet and piano.' Read review 

No 7

Liszt Piano Sonata

Angela Hewitt pf 

(Hyperion) 

'The catalogue swells with excellent performances of Liszt’s formidable B minor Piano Sonata but Angela Hewitt’s is a superb addition to place among the very best.' Read review 

No 8

‘Echoes from an Empire’ 

Karim Said pf 

(Opus Arte)

'Music written in an era on the cusp of profound world change, from a pianist on the cusp – if this disc, and praise from the likes of Barenboim are anything to go by – of great success.' Read review 

No 9

Machaut ‘The Dart of Love’

The Orlando Consort 

(Hyperion)

'In excellent performances, The Orlando Consort explore the rich variety in Machaut’s music – a composer whose music lies right at the heart of this ensemble’s raison d’être.' Read review

No 10

Pärt ‘Tintinnabuli’ 

The Tallis Scholars / Peter Phillips 

(Gimell)

'The purity of The Tallis Scholars’ renowned sound lends itself perfectly to this music, often as sparse in score as it is so powerfully rich in atmosphere.' Read review

DVD/blu-ray

R Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra, etc 

Royal Concertgebouw Orch / Andris Nelsons 

(C Major Entertainment) 

'A chance to watch the conductor who topped last year’s Also sprach Collection conduct the work with the RCO.' Read review 

Reissue/archive

Rachmaninov Music for Two Pianos 

Martha Argerich pf et al 

(Warner Classics)

'Superb musicianship on display from Lugano in Rachmaninov’s two-piano works.' Read review

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