The following list of 10 recordings represent the most highly-regarded new Beethoven releases. All of the recordings were selected as Editor's Choice or Recording of the Month in Gramophone. You can read the original Gramophone reviews by following the links and listen to many of the albums in the following Qobuz playlist:
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra / Mariss Jansons
'This is an exceptional realisation of Beethoven’s nine symphonies, one of those rare occasions when one is left with a feeling of having been in the presence of the thing itself.' Read review.
Steven Isserlis (vc) / Robert Levin (fp)
'A cellist who tends towards inversion; a fortepianist who tends the other way. Put them together and something magical happens within the tensions they engender.' Read review.
Maria João Pires (pf); Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Daniel Harding
'Even with a never-ending stream of Beethoven piano concerto recordings, whether from established masters or works in progress, few performances come within distance of Pires’s Classical/Romantic perspective.' Read review.
Jean Efflam Bavouzet (pf)
'My impressions of Bavouzet are of his selfless concentration, understanding, boundless musical energy, and in everything offered his command of timing and of the glorious variety and drama of these compositions.' Read review.
Elias String Quartet
(Wigmore Hall Live)
'For all the boldness of both the dots and their execution, the Elias Quartet observe a certain Classical propriety which does not domesticate Beethoven’s more feral inspirations but places his innovation in its proper context.' Read review.
Monteverdi Choir; Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique / John Eliot Gardiner
(Soli Deo Gloria)
'Such is the visceral intensity of the music-making, a certain girding of the loins may be required before a second hearing, but isn’t that precisely how it should be with a work of this power and magnitude?' Read review.
Prague Philharmonic Choir; Mahler Chamber Orchestra / Leif Ove Andsnes
'The unanimity in the closing bars between Andsnes and his orchestra says it all. Having used up my stash of superlatives, all I can say is: go buy.' Read review.
András Schiff (pf)
(ECM New Series)
'I’ve been convinced of the success with which pianist and both instruments inhabit everything undertaken here and meet its challenges. It’s an impressive achievement.' Read review.
Alessio Bax (pf)
'Even when compared to legendary performances of this sonata (Kempff, Richter, Gilels, Brendel, etc), this performance stands its ground in music to test the technique and intellect of even the greatest pianists.' Read review.
Matt Haimovitz (vc) / Christopher O'Riley (fp)
'Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O’Riley play the living daylights out of these works. They lap up Beethoven’s combative style like hungry lions anticipating raw steak.' Read review.