Recording of the month
Sols; Opera Rara Chorus; Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment / Sir Mark Elder
A superb triumph for Opera Rara, a label whose championship of (often neglected) operas – by brilliant performers and in studio conditions – can’t be commended highly enough.
Berlin Staatskapelle / Daniel Barenboim
Barenboim’s superb leadership of the Berlin Staatskapelle – primarily an opera orchestra – reaps more dividends here in powerful performances of Brahms’s orchestral masterpieces.
Audio Editor Andrew Everard writes: 'Barenboim’s Brahms cycle sounds big, lush and romantic, all characteristics heard to the maximum in the 96kHz/24bit Qobuz download, which also has wonderfully effortless dynamics and some very powerful bass. Every detail is apparent, from the climaxes right down to the tiniest nuances, making this a real demonstration-quality set – as one has come to expect from the Barenboim/Staatskapelle/DG combination. It’s very delicious stuff!'
Jiyoon Lee vn Odense Symphony Orchestra / Kristiina Poska
Our One to Watch in July more than justifies us drawing your attention to her: a Nielsen and Korngold pairing of real drama and virtuosity.
Antwerp Symphony Orchestra / Christian Lindberg
The scope and moving themes of Swedish composer Stenhammar’s symphony are brilliantly conveyed here by Christian Lindberg and his Antwerp musicians.
Briggs Piano Trio
This wonderful album is another beautifully played addition to the Hans Gál catalogue, early 20th-century chamber music which charms and engages throughout.
Fabio Biondi vn Giangiacomo Pinardi gtr
Both the instruments – violin and guitar – and interpreters feel delightfully paired here, in sound and in spirit. A lovely and lively listen.
Yo-Yo Ma vc
The acclaimed virtuoso’s third traversal on record through Bach’s profound Solo Cello Suites is one rich in character and sensitivity; personal and deeply reflective music-making.
Christian Erny pf
This is a captivating programme of refined and evocatively coloured piano works by the 20th-century Russian composer, beautifully played by Christian Erny and captured in a gorgeous-sounding acoustic.
Sophie Karthäuser sop Stéphane Degout bar Alain Planès, Eugene Asti pf
As ‘Debussy year’ passes into its autumnal phase, here’s a delightful vocal addition to the celebrations; singing and playing throughout are wonderful.
Sols; Malcolm Martineau pf
Vivat’s imaginative approach to exploring 19th-century song, a decade at a time, reaches the 1830s: nine composers, three languages, a number of rarities and some outstanding singing.
Sols; Glyndebourne Opera; London Philharmonic Orchestra / Vladimir Jurowski
A new opera which earned much praise when premiered at Glyndebourne last year – not least for its lead performer, Allan Clayton – is now available to watch at home.
Pietro Scarpini pf Bavarian Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra / Rafael Kubelík
Rob Cowan declares this ‘an essential purchase’ for anyone interested in Busoni.