The best new classical albums: July 2019

Gramophone Wed 19th June 2019

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

Recording of the month

Charpentier Histoires sacrées

Ensemble Correspondances / Sébastien Daucé 

(Harmonia Mundi) 

The ability of Sébastien Daucé and his Ensemble Correspondances to bring Baroque drama vividly to life is well proven: this selection of sacred works is compellingly performed and superbly recorded.

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Mozart Piano Concertos, Vol 4 

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet pf Manchester Camerata / Gábor Takács‑Nagy

(Chandos) 

Bavouzet inspires, entertains and embodies the playfulness and grace of Mozart’s much-loved works. A very fine recording.

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Sibelius Lemminkäinen Suite 

BBC Symphony Orchestra / Sakari Oramo 

(Chandos) 

Sakari Oramo has a wonderful command of the majestic sweep and inner detail of Sibelius’s music, this Lemminkäinen evocatively suggestive of mysterious legend.

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Suk Asrael. Fairy Tale 

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra / Jiří Bělohlávek 

(Decca)

A fitting final studio recording from Jiří Bělohlávek – a powerful recording of this Czech masterpiece, with a deeply committed Czech Philharmonic giving their all.

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Tavener The Protecting Veil 

Sinfonietta Riga / Matthew Barley vc 

(Signum) 

The opening poetry sets the tone – intimate, achingly personal – that pervades Matthew Barley’s beautiful recording of one of the later 20th century’s most beloved and moving works.

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Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6, ‘Pathétique’ 

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Kirill Petrenko 

(Berliner Philharmoniker) 

A Pathétique as powerful as (though very different to) Currentzis’s from a year ago, full of richly crafted orchestral colour.

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Mozart Piano Sonatas 

Lars Vogt pf 

(Ondine) 

Perfectly controlled drama is paired with moments of deeply moving fragility by the pianist Lars Vogt throughout this beautifully played selection of spirited sonatas by Mozart.

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Buxtehude Membra Jesu nostri

Ricercar Consort / Philippe Pierlot 

(Mirare) 

Voices of rich brilliance and moving personality, captured perfectly in a vivid recording: a poignant performance of Buxtehude’s reflections on the body of Christ.

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‘Locus iste’ 

The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge / Andrew Nethsingha 

(Signum) 

The contribution of St John’s to choral music is immense, and on this joint celebration (150 years of the chapel and their 100th recording) they are in superb form under Andrew Nethsingha.

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Audio Editor Andrew Everard writes: 'A wonderfully spacious and atmospheric recording, made in St John’s College Chapel, and all the more luminous in the 96kHz/24bit Qobuz ‘hi res’ version. Superbly engineered by the Signum team, it avoids ‘spotlighting’ for a more natural perspective, yet still retains remarkable clarity. Thrilling stuff!'

 

Wagner Siegfried 

Sols; Hallé Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder 

(Hallé) 

The focused drama of this Siegfried, concluding Mark Elder’s Hallé Ring, makes for a gripping listening experience, the cast collectively bringing strong characterisation to their roles.

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

DVD/blu-ray

Vaccaj Giulietta e Romeo 

Sols; Orch of La Scala, Milan / Sesto Quatrini 

(Dynamic) 

A discovery for many, I’d imagine – the little-known opera revealed, says critic Hugo Shirley, to be ‘an excellent, highly effective piece’.

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Reissue/archive

Wilhelm Backhaus

(SWR Classic) 

Big-hearted, powerful, grand performances of Beethoven and Brahms from a past master of the piano.

Download from Qobuz

Read the full reviews of these and many other albums in the July 2019 issue of Gramophone. Subscribe today: gramophone.co.uk/subscribe

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