The best new classical albums: June 2018

Gramophone Fri 18th May 2018

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

Video preview

 

The recordings

Recording of the month

Crusell Clarinet Concertos 

Swedish Chamber Orchestra / Michael Collins cl 

Chandos 

These three early-19th-century concerto showpieces delightfully bring out the best of the clarinet as an instrument, and Michael Collins as a player of real virtuosity and character. Enjoy!    

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Adams Violin Concerto 

Leila Josefowicz vn St Louis Symphony Orchestra / David Robertson 

Nonesuch 

Leila Josefowicz returns to the Adams concerto on record 16 years since her last version, and triumphs, bringing to it thrilling drama, individuality and insight.  

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Beethoven Symphonies Nos 4 & 5 

Vienna Symphony Orchestra / Philippe Jordan 

Wiener Symphoniker 

This is turning out to be a cycle well worth following; as with January’s Nos 1 and 3, this pairing reveals maestro and musicians in a perfectly shared vision. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Bernstein Orchestral Works 

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Christian Lindberg 

BIS 

Anyone looking to discover Leonard Bernstein’s own music in his anniversary year would do very well to start here: an album full of rhythm and life. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

Audio Editor Andrew Everard writes: 'A wonderfully open and dynamic recording of these Bernstein favourites, played with real swing and attack by the RLPO under Christian Lindberg, and captured with great vitality by Fabian Frank in the Liverpool Philhamonic Hall. Rich, detailed and spacious, with a convincing soundstage – especially in the Qobuz ‘hi res’ download, which presents the music in the 96kHz/24bit format in which it was recorded.'

 

Walton Viola Concerto. Orchestral Works 

James Ehnes va BBC Symphony Orchestra / Edward Gardner 

Chandos 

Edward Gardner’s Walton journey continues with another superb release, and another superb soloist – this time James Ehnes in the Viola Concerto.  

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Haydn Piano Trios 

Trio Wanderer 

Harmonia Mundi 

When our resident Haydn advocate – David Threasher – suggests I listen to a new recording of the composer’s piano trios, it would be remiss not to! Played and recorded with great clarity throughout; a wonderful release.  

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

‘1700’ 

Concerto Italiano / Rinaldo Alessandrini 

Naïve 

The strong sense of ensemble generated by Rinaldo Alessandrini and his impeccable colleagues makes for a delightful, elegant and thrilling visit to the musical world of 18th-century Italy.

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Schubert Piano Sonata No 21. Four Impromptus 

Marc-André Hamelin pf 

Hyperion 

All new recordings by Marc-André Hamelin, one of our most inquisitive and virtuosic pianists, are eagerly anticipated; that this Schubert set should earn our critic’s high recommendation demonstrates why. 

Read the review 

 

JS Bach Cantatas 

Sols; Ricercar Consort / Philippe Pierlot 

Mirare 

Three Bach cantatas united by the theme of consolation. All are beautifully, eloquently and movingly sung, matched throughout by excellent playing from the Ricercar Consort led superbly by Philippe Pierlot. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

M Lambert Leçons de Ténèbres 

Marc Mauillon bass et al 

Harmonia Mundi 

Marc Mauillon’s interpretation lends a strongly personal and communicative power and intimacy to a recording of these contemplative works written for the darkening days of Holy Week. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

DVD/blu-ray

Mahler Symphony No 1 

Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra / Riccardo Chailly 

Accentus 

An opportunity to hear Riccardo Chailly’s insight into Mahler’s First Symphony, both from the perspective of the podium through this filmed performance of 2015, and in interview. 

Read the review

 

Reissue/archive

Schumann Piano Concerto 

Alfred Brendel pf Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra / Sir Simon Rattle 

Decca 

‘An essential addition to the Brendel discography’ writes critic Harriet Smith. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

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