The best new classical albums – Awards issue 2017

Gramophone Thu 14th September 2017

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

Recording of the month

Haydn. CPE Bach. Boccherini Cello Concertos 

Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen / Steven Isserlis vc 

Hyperion 

Isserlis’s ever-questing career is one we have all gained much fulfillment from following – and in revisiting repertoire, as here, he offers an even greater insight into his journey.

Read the review

 

Pickard Symphony No 5, etc 

BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Martyn Brabbins 

BIS 

A composer with a wonderful grasp of the possibilities for colour from an orchestra, something Brabbins and his colleagues clearly relish in this fine-sounding recording. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Shostakovich Chamber Symphony Strauss Metamorphosen 

Baltic CO/ Emmanuel Leducq-Barôme 

Rubicon 

The Strauss string texture is captured compellingly by the mics; the well-chosen coupling is equally as impressive. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Barsanti. Handel ‘Edinburgh 1742’ 

Ensemble Marsyas / Peter Whelan 

Linn 

Proof, if needed, that Baroque music can continue to surprise us, as Lindsay Kemp puts it. A rare outing for some of this repertoire – but why? Perhaps this disc will change that. 

Read the review

 

Mozart Violin Sonatas, Vol 4 

Alina Ibragimova vn Cédric Tiberghien pf 

Hyperion 

Shaping up to be a cycle destined to define this music for a long time, on disc at least; Ibragimova and Tiberghien again treat later and early works with the same belief and conviction. 

Read the review

 

Brahms Piano Works

Nelson Freire pf 

Decca 

This is music that Freire, one of our age’s most continually enriching pianists, has long lived with. The result is a Brahms recording that leaves critic Harriet Smith in no doubt of its, and Freire’s, brilliance. 

Our Audio Editor writes: 'What a wonderfully dynamic and enticing recording this is! The 96kHz/24bit Qobuz download really opens up the sound to reveal both the character of the instrument and the expression of the performances, and also an almost palpable sense of the recorded acoustic. It’s not only a hugely enjoyable set, but also a truly demonstration-quality hi-fi experience.'

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Schubert ‘Der Einsame’ 

Ilker Arcayürek ten Simon Lepper pf 

Champs Hill 

Our reviewer reaches for some of the greatest tenors by point of comparison, and Arcayürek emerges with head held high as an impressive part of an ongoing tradition. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

‘Nature and the Soul’ 

Latvian Radio Choir / Kaspars Putniņš 

LMIC/SKANI 

This is a truly beautiful album of Latvian choral works performed by singers clearly completely immersed in its musical and cultural foundations. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

‘Carnevale 1729’ 

Ann Hallenberg mez Il Pomo d’Oro / Stefano Montanari vn 

Pentatone 

Step into Venice in full festive flow as Hallenberg offers arias from seven operas you’d have heard if you were there in 1729: historical research bears fabulous fruits for the ears!

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

‘Stravaganza d’Amore!’ 

Pygmalion / Raphaël Pichon 

Harmonia Mundi 

Praise here for a complete package – performance and presentation alike – that offers a thrilling and fascinating insight into the early days of opera from, appropriately enough, a Gramophone Award-winner from last year.

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

DVD/blu-ray

Ravel. Delage. Dutilleux Orchestral Works 

London Symphony Orchestra / Sir Simon Rattle 

LSO Live 

If you can’t make it to the Barbican to watch the new partnership in person, then here’s an excellent chance to observe Rattle and his new London colleagues in action. As Mark Pullinger puts it, it augurs well! 

Read the review

 

Reissue/archive

Mozart Symphonies Nos 39 & 40 

Staatskapelle Dresden / Otmar Suitner 

Berlin Classics 

Suitner’s fine archive Mozart is, as Rob Cowan writes, well worth investigating.

Download from Qobuz

 

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