The best new classical albums – January 2018

Gramophone Tue 2nd January 2018

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

Recording of the month

Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6, ‘Pathétique’ 

MusicAeterna / Teodor Currentzis 

Sony Classical 

In this extraordinary, vivid Pathétique, Teodor Currentzis not only offers an incredibly powerful performance of the work, but also a remarkable showcase of the very art of recording.

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Beethoven Symphonies Nos 1 & 3 

Vienna Symphony Orchestra / Philippe Jordan 

Wiener Symphoniker 

An impressive statement of intent from Philippe Jordan as he begins a Beethoven cycle with his Vienna Symphony, on its own label. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Elgar Falstaff. Songs 

Roderick Williams bar BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Sir Andrew Davis 

Chandos 

A Falstaff full of personality and perceptiveness, Roderick Williams eloquent in orchestral songs … just the highlights from a wonderful Elgar anthology from Sir Andrew Davis. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Haydn. Kraus ‘Symphonies, Vol 5’ 

Basel Chamber Orchestra / Giovanni Antonini 

Alpha 

Giovanni Antonini’s Gramophone Award for his previous Haydn volume set the bar high – and it’s met here, on a worthy addition to his compelling exploration of the composer. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Mahler Symphony No 4 

Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra / Adam Fischer 

AVI-Music 

Following his praised recording of the Seventh, Adam Fischer offers us an exploratory Fourth, Mahler’s ideas deeply thought through. This could become a superb cycle.

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Saint-Saëns Works for Cello and Orchestra

Gabriel Schwabe vc Malmö Symphony Orchestra / Marc Soustrot 

Naxos 

Gabriel Schwabe brings a delightful tone to these concertos: as critic Jeremy Nicholas makes clear, a bargain at Naxos prices, but a brilliant buy regardless. 

Andrew Everard, Gramophone's Audio Editor, writes: 'This is a wonderfully focused recording, with a beautiful rendition of the tone and textures of the solo instrument, and a natural balance between cello and orchestra without "spotlighting". The sound is made all the more vibrant and three-dimensional by the added information of the 96kHz/24bit high-resolution download.’

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Kancheli. Schnittke ‘Light Over Darkness’ 

Erato Alakiozidou pf Lutosławski Quartet 

Odradek 

An excellent disc from the innovative Odradek label, musicianship and sound-quality of very high standard making for a grippingly intense chamber experience. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

‘A Lute by Sixtus Rauwolf’ 

Jakob Lindberg lute 

BIS 

A beautiful Baroque programme, specially compiled to showcase Jakob Lindberg’s rather unique instrument – possibly the oldest lute in playing condition. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

‘Dolce Duello’ 

Cecilia Bartoli mez Sol Gabetta vc Cappella Gabetta / Andrés Gabetta 

Decca 

Cecilia Bartoli once again delivers a fascinating project, this time in the company of the equally engaging and exploratory musicianship of cellist Sol Gabetta. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

R Strauss Salome 

Sols; Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra / Andrés Orozco-Estrada 

Pentatone 

‘A deeply musical account of the score’, writes critic Hugo Shirley of this dramatic telling of Strauss’s opera; Emily Magee is a ‘compellingly real’ Salome, and all in excellent sound. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

DVD/blu-ray

JS Bach St Matthew Passion 

Sols; Gächinger Cantorey / Hans-Christoph Rademann 

Accentus 

An imaginative, inspiring and choreographed approach to Bach’s St Matthew Passion, movingly performed by players, soloists and 100 children from schools around Stuttgart.  

Read the review

 

Reissue/archive

‘The Maryla Jonas Story’ 

Maryla Jonas pf 

Sony Classical 

As Bryce Morrison puts it: ‘a blazingly original talent, heard here in brilliantly remastered sound’. 

Download from Qobuz

 

All of these albums are reviewed in the January 2018 issue of Gramophone, which is out now. To explore our latest subscription offers, please visit: gramophone.co.uk/subscribe


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