The best new classical albums: April 2019

Gramophone Wed 27th March 2019

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

Recording of the month

Mahler Symphony No 7 

Budapest Festival Orchestra / Iván Fischer 

(Channel Classics) 

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.

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

JS Bach Violin Concertos 

Isabelle Faust vn Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin / Bernhard Forck 

(Harmonia Mundi) 

Isabelle Faust’s Bach is perfectly controlled, both in tone and tempos, everything bursting with a life and liveliness that is utterly delightful.

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Mendelssohn Piano Concertos 

Jan Lisiecki pf Orpheus Chamber Orchestra 

(DG) 

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. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

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.

JS Bach Six Solo Cello Suites 

Alban Gerhardt vc 

(Hyperion) 

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. 

Read the review

 

Bax. Cohen ‘Private Passions’ 

Mark Bebbington pf 

(Somm Céleste) 

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.

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Prokofiev Piano Sonatas Nos 1 & 2 

Lukas Geniušas pf 

(Mirare) 

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. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

‘Influences’ 

Tamara Stefanovich pf 

(Pentatone) 

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. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Elgar Caractacus 

Sols; Orchestra of Opera North / Martyn Brabbins 

(Hyperion) 

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.  

Read the review 

 

G Jackson The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ 

Sols; Choir of Merton College, Oxford / Benjamin Nicholas 

(Delphian) 

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. 

Read the review

 

‘L’Alessandro Amante’ 

Xavier Sabata counterten Vespres d’Arnadí / Dani Espasa hpd 

(Aparté) 

These Alexander the Great-themed arias wonderfully delve into the themes of power, passion and politics – and how Baroque composers explored them.  

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

DVD/blu-ray

‘Live from the Forbidden City’ 

Sols; Shanghai Symphony Orchestra / Long Yu 

(DG) 

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. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Reissue/archive

Schubert Piano Works 

Artur Schnabel pf 

(Warner Classics) 

A true piano giant; Schubert performances which reveal Artur Schnabel’s hallmark dramatic and spontaneous-sounding style.

Download from Qobuz

 

Never miss an issue of the world's leading classical music magazine, subscribe today at gramophone.co.uk/subscribe

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2019