Recording of the month
Budapest Festival Orchestra / Iván Fischer
A remarkable addition to Iván Fischer’s revelatory ongoing Mahler symphony cycle, the rich and wonderful attention to detail unveiling so much of this work’s inner soul.
Isabelle Faust vn Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin / Bernhard Forck
Isabelle Faust’s Bach is perfectly controlled, both in tone and tempos, everything bursting with a life and liveliness that is utterly delightful.
Jan Lisiecki pf Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
These performances of Mendelssohn’s piano concertos by Jan Lisiecki, former Gramophone Young Artist of the Year, are wonderful, rich in colour (and shade) and virtuosity.
Audio Editor Andrew Everard writes: A wonderfully open and clean recording benefits from the extra detail and dynamics afforded by the Qobuz high-resolution files, presenting this dramatic pairing of piano concertos and some enticing ‘fill-ups’ with speed, fluency and finesse and a lovely sense of presence and performance.
Alban Gerhardt vc
As our interview this month reveals, cellist Alban Gerhardt is quite the freethinking, independent-minded musician – and that’s all there in this superb and highly engaging survey of the Bach suites.
Mark Bebbington pf
Mark Bebbington’s musical journeys are always fascinating – this time he pairs Arnold Bax with some recently discovered pieces by Harriet Cohen, in performances that are full of poetry.
Lukas Geniušas pf
The beginning of a promised survey of Prokofiev’s piano sonatas – and what a start. Lukas Geniu≈as is a truly playful story-teller, his range of expression compelling throughout.
Tamara Stefanovich pf
An intriguing programme of three 20th-century works by Bartók, Ives and Messiaen, plus Bach, brilliantly presented by Tamara Stefanovich – elegant, thoughtful, probing, and beautifully recorded.
Sols; Orchestra of Opera North / Martyn Brabbins
Elgar’s early cantata reveals – certainly in the hands of such a skilled interpreter of his music as Martyn Brabbins – the genius for symphonic sound that was to define his later masterpieces.
Sols; Choir of Merton College, Oxford / Benjamin Nicholas
If last month’s in-depth look at Gabriel Jackson’s superb new Passion piqued your interest, you won’t be disappointed: it’s a powerful and moving work.
Xavier Sabata counterten Vespres d’Arnadí / Dani Espasa hpd
These Alexander the Great-themed arias wonderfully delve into the themes of power, passion and politics – and how Baroque composers explored them.
Sols; Shanghai Symphony Orchestra / Long Yu
Long Yu and the Shanghai SO are a central part of our cover story this month: here they shine in Orff’s Carmina Burana in a truly unique occasion – a concert to mark DG’s 120th anniversary in Beijing’s Forbidden City.
Artur Schnabel pf
A true piano giant; Schubert performances which reveal Artur Schnabel’s hallmark dramatic and spontaneous-sounding style.
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