The best new classical albums – August 2017

Gramophone Fri 14th July 2017

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

Recording of the Month

Dove In Damascus 

Mark Padmore ten Charles Owen pf Sacconi Quartet 

Signum 

Two highly engaging chamber works are followed by a moving response to the Syrian conflict. Beautifully performed, it’s a very impressive insight into a distinctive composer.  

Read the review in the Reviews Database | Download from Qobuz

 

JS Bach The Art of Fugue – excs Beethoven String Quartet No 13

Australian Chamber Orchestra / Richard Tognetti vn  

ABC Classics 

Tognetti and his ACO colleagues bring their trademark energy and virtuosity to this hugely enjoyable programme.   

Read the review in the Reviews Database | Download from Qobuz

 

Dean Dramatis personae Francesconi Hard Pace

Håkan Hardenberger tpt Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra / John Storgårds  

BIS 

Two contemporary concertos for trumpet, performed by – as Andrew Mellor puts it – a ‘dream team’ of musicians.

Read the review in the Reviews Database | Download from Qobuz

 

Dvořák ‘American’ String Quartet & Quintet 

Škampa Quartet 

Champs Hill 

What an era it seems to be for fine young string quartets, with the excellent Škampa Quartet deservedly numbering among them, as this superb Dvořák disc demonstrates in style.

Read the review in the Reviews Database | Download from Qobuz

 

Beethoven. Chopin Piano Works 

Elisabeth Brauss pf 

Oehms 

A really note-worthy debut this. Young German pianist Elisabeth Brauss’s first disc demonstrates impressive assurance, freshness, intelligence and, most of all, talent. A pianist to watch. 

Read the review in the Reviews Database | Download from Qobuz

 

‘Late Night Lute’ 

Matthew Wadsworth lute 

Deux-Elles 

This beautiful recital wraps carefully chosen and elegantly played historic repertoire around a fascinating new work from Stephen Goss, drawing imaginatively on the theorbo’s unique sound.

Read the review in the Reviews Database

Podcast: Matthew Wadsworth talks about 'Late Night Lute'

 

JS Bach Secular Cantatas, Vol 8 

Bach Collegium Japan / Masaaki Suzuki 

BIS 

So frequent an appearance on this page is Masaaki Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan – Bach recording veterans of 22 years – that one can only reiterate past praise again!  

Read the review in the Reviews Database | Download from Qobuz

 

Eisler Lieder, Vol 1

Holger Falk bar Steffen Schleiermacher pf 

Dabringhaus und Grimm 

The first part of an anticipated four-volume survey of Hanns Eisler’s songs, baritone Holger Falk and pianist Steffen Schleiermacher offering, as critic Hugo Shirley puts it, terrific performances. 

Read the review in the Reviews Database

 

Kurtág Complete Works for Ensemble and Choir 

Netherlands Chamber Choir; Asko|Schönberg / Reinbert de Leeuw 

ECM New Series 

A treasure trove of György Kurtág’s compositions, his diversity of approach demonstrated over this three-disc set.  

Read the review in the Reviews Database

 

‘First Drop’ 

Ars Nova Copenhagen / Paul Hillier 

Canteloupe 

Paul Hillier directs a disc of contemporary choral works that offers a beautiful journey through modern music, sung – and recorded – with evident care and passion.  

Read the review in the Reviews Database | Download from Qobuz

 

DVD/blu-ray

Wagner Parsifal 

Sols incl Ventris & Lang; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra / Iván Fischer

Challenge Classics 

The visual collaboration of Pierre Audi and Anish Kapoor – and of course, musically, Iván Fischer in the pit – is here captured on film. 

Read the review in the Reviews Database

 

Reissue/archive

JS Bach Brandenburg Concertos 

Newstone 

Heritage 

A significant set, Harry Newstone’s early stereo Brandenburg Concertos get a deserved re-release. 

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