The best new classical albums: September 2018

Gramophone Thu 9th August 2018

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

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Recording of the month

Bernstein Symphonies Nos 1–3; Prelude, Fugue and Riffs

Sols; Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia / Sir Antonio Pappano

Warner Classics 

Pappano’s knowledge of, and seeming instinct for, Bernstein’s sound world, rhythms and references, is hugely engaging – an excellent modern way of marking the composer’s centenary.

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Shostakovich Symphonies Nos 4 & 11 

Boston Symphony Orchestra / Andris Nelsons 

DG 

‘The excellence continues,’ writes Edward Seckerson of this next instalment in Nelsons’s Shostakovich cycle: and so it does, dramatically, powerfully so.  

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Firsova ‘Fantasy’

Alissa Firsova pf Tippett Quartet et al

Vivat

Beautifully crafted works – all of which reveal an innate understanding of different instrumental voices – reflect a creative mind from which we look forward to hearing more.

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JS Bach Suites for lute

Thomas Dunford archlute

Alpha

Performances rich in elegance and personality are wrapped in an acoustic of calming warmth, all of which makes for a wonderful journey through these Bach arrangements. 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Haydn Piano Sonatas, Vol 7 

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet pf 

Chandos

What more to say that hasn’t been said about Volumes 1-6 of this hugely enjoyable Haydn sonata series? Playing of grace and playfulness, all bursting with affection for this music – a superb series continues.

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Liszt Scherzo und March. Ballades. Légends

Leonardo Pierdomenico pf 

Piano Classics

A truly impressive debut from this Italian pianist: well-chosen works, to which he brings compelling colour and mood, as well as – of course – thrilling virtuosity.  

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

Rachmaninov Études-tableaux

Steven Osborne pf 

Hyperion 

This remarkable pianist talked Gramophone readers though the score last month, whetting our appetite for a performance of deeply reflective individuality: he doesn’t disappoint.    

Read the review

 

Buxtehude ‘Abendmusiken’

Vox Luminis / Lionel Meunier 

Alpha 

Another wonderful recording from our 2012 Recording of the Year winners, the blend, beauty of line and sense of atmosphere and drama making for a riveting listen.

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

 

‘Come to me in my dreams’ 

‘120 years of song from the Royal College of Music’

Dame Sarah Connolly mez / Joseph Middleton pf  

Chandos 

As communicative as always, Connolly celebrates, in this programme, song composers associated with the RCM.

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Halévy La reine de Chypre

Sols; Flemist Radio Choir; Paris Chamber Orchestra / Hervé Niquet

Ediciones Singulares

A less familiar opera – but what delightful advocacy it gets here! Characterful singing from a superb cast, all shaped perfectly by Niquet.

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DVD/blu-ray of the month

Weinberg The Passenger

Sols; Yekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre / Oliver von Dohnányi

Dux

A film of an opera dealing with one of history’s most horrific events, taken from the Russian stage premiere of this powerful and important work. 

Read the review

 

Reissue/archive of the month

‘Mozart Live 1978’

Norman; Brendel; Academy of St Martin in the Fields / Neville Marriner

Decca Eloquence 

A fine celebration of music – and of Mozart! 

Read the review | Download from Qobuz

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