The best new classical albums: July 2018

Gramophone Mon 18th June 2018

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

Video preview

The recordings

Recording of the month

‘Mozart in London’ 

The Mozartists / Ian Page 

Signum 

A wonderful exploration of the musical life of London during Mozart’s visit as an eight year old, all beautifully and engagingly performed by Ian Page and his Mozartists. A true delight! 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Mahler Symphony No 5 

Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra / Adam Fischer 

AVI Music 

This Mahler cycle is shaping up to be very fine indeed; this Fifth has all the hallmarks we’ve already witnessed from Adam Fischer of brilliant music-making.  

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Pettersson Symphonies Nos 5 & 7 

Norrköping Symphony Orchestra / Christian Lindberg 

BIS 

These two Allan Pettersson symphonies are given powerful advocacy, the urgency of the Seventh palpable, the music, as Guy Rickards puts it, in the musicians’ blood. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 3. ‘Corelli’ Variations 

Boris Giltburg pf Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Carlos Miguel Prieto 

Naxos 

A fiendish but fabulous piano concerto performed with a glorious blend of technical prowess and lyricism.  

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

Audio Editor Andrew Everard writes: 'The ability of Naxos to keep producing high-quality hi-resolution recordings at bargain prices is something of a wonder, and this recording of ‘Rach 3’ by Giltburg and the RSNO is no disappointment. Opting for the 96kHz/24bit Qobuz download fills out the timbre of the soloist’s instrument, while placing it more persuasively out in front of the orchestra in a crisply-defined soundstage, while the closer focus of the Corelli Variations (recorded in a different venue) is also entirely fitting, the hi-res version again giving enhanced insight into both instrument and performance. This may be a ‘budget’ recording, but there’s nothing less than demonstration-quality sound here.'

 

Dohnányi Chamber Works 

The Nash Ensemble 

Hyperion 

A superb set of Dohnányi’s chamber music from The Nash Ensemble, which Andrew Farach-Colton rightly suggests should both win over discoverers, and please aficionados of his music. 

Read the review

 

‘Stephen Hough’s Dream Album’ 

Stephen Hough pf 

Hyperion 

A personal programme – both in terms of content, but also delivery – which charms, engages and fascinates, and highlights again just what a gifted and rounded musician Stephen Hough is. 

Read the review

 

‘The Dufay Spectacle’ 

Gothic Voices 

Linn 

Voices and instruments alike swiftly entice the listener with their excellence and evocative atmosphere, Gothic Voices magnificently transporting us to their 15th-century sound world.

Read the review

 

‘Chimère’ 

Sandrine Piau sop Susan Manoff pf

Alpha 

Brilliantly and compellingly communicative as ever, Sandrine Piau’s latest recital draws on an eclectic series of songs, and again benefits from a wonderful rapport with Susan Manoff.

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

‘A Rose Magnificat’ 

Gabrieli Consort / Paul McCreesh 

Signum 

This album contains some deeply moving singing, of music both ancient and modern – a well-crafted journey leading to the exquisitely performed contemporary title track from Matthew Martin.  

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

‘Siface’ 

‘L’amor castrato’ 

Filippo Mineccia counterten Nereydas / Javier Ulises Illán 

Glossa 

A cleverly compiled programme delves into the life of 17th-century castrato Siface, but it’s the singing from Filippo Mineccia which makes this so enjoyable. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

DVD/blu-ray

Donizetti Il borgomastro di Saardam 

Sols; Donizetti Opera Chorus and Orchestra / Roberto Rizzi Brignoli  

Dynamic 

‘Great fun,’ says Richard Lawrence, offering his nod of approval to this Donizetti rarity from Bergamo’s Festival devoted to the music of the composer.  

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Reissue/archive

‘Norma Fisher at the BBC, Vol 1’ 

Norma Fisher pf 

Sonetto Classics 

Acclaimed today as a teacher, it’s now possible to hear on record Norma Fisher’s great gifts as a performer.

Read the review

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