Editor's Choice Recordings – June 2015

Gramophone Wed 13th May 2015

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

Recording of the Month

Schubert Piano Sonatas Nos 18 & 21, etc

Sir András Schiff pf 

(ECM New Series) 

'Schiff’s instrument of choice here – a fortepiano of c1820, and one rich in different tones, well captured by ECM – lends a remarkably detailed transparency and intimacy to his fascinating interpretation of these Schubert works.' Read review

Mahler Symphony No 9 

Budapest Festival Orchestra / Iván Fischer 

(Channel Classics) 

'Fischer’s Budapest Mahler series has continued to engage and intrigue our critics but this carefully textured, powerful Ninth is impressive indeed.' Read review

Martinů Viola Works 

Maxim Rysanov va Katya Apekisheva pf BBC Symphony Orchestra / Jiří Bělohlávek 

(BIS) 

'Martinů relished the tonal possibilities of the viola, which seems perfectly suited to the Bohemian spirit of much of this music. Rysanov is on superb form.' Read review

Lawes The Royal Consort 

Phantasm 

(Linn) 

'Gramophone Award-winners, category finalists on many other occasions, Phantasm continue to excel. This Royal Consort, the first complete performance of the original versions, confirms that status.' Read review

‘Tintomara’ 

Wim Van Hasselt tpt Jörgen van Rijen tbn 

(Channel Classics)

'And now for something completely different: what links this recital of Purcell, Rabe and Ravel works for trumpet and trombone? Simply the joyful playing. An unexpected delight.' Read review

JS Bach Cello Suites 

David Watkin vc 

(Resonus)

'Familiar works these may be, but truly exploratory, technically refined and strongly personal performances – as here – can help us hear them anew. A triumph for David Watkin and the Resonus label.' Read review

Handel L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato 

Gabrieli Consort and Players / Paul McCreesh 

(Signum)

'Another re-creation of an original: this time Handel’s setting of Milton’s words, a remarkable variety of music well capturing the images and scenes of the text, all expertly performed.' Read review

‘English Hymn Anthems’ 

Alison Balsom tpt Choir of King’s College, Cambridge / Stephen Cleobury 

(King’s College)

'I attended these sessions and the glorious union of music-making and atmosphere I witnessed has been captured wonderfully.' Read review

‘L’heure exquise’ 

Alice Coote mez Graham Johnson pf 

(Hyperion)

'An exquisite time indeed in the company of Alice Coote and Graham Johnson, clearly relishing every minute of this delightfully formed and performed French song recital.' Read review

Donizetti Les martyrs 

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment / Sir Mark Elder 

(Opera Rara)

'Sir Mark Elder’s belief in this music shines through in a wonderful performance of a work whose complex history kept from it the reputation it might now achieve.' Read review

DVD/Blu-ray

Verdi Les vêpres siciliennes 

Royal Opera House / Sir Antonio Pappano 

(Warner Classics)

'A lesser-known Verdi opera given the star treatment: ‘hugely recommended’, concludes our critic.' Read review

 

Reissue/archive

‘CD Premieres – Recorded 1940-46’

Leopold Stokowski

(Music & Arts)

'A major addition to our understanding of Stokowski’s recordings from Music & Arts.' 

 

 

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