Editor's Choice: April 2023 | The best new classical recordings
Friday, March 17, 2023
Gramophone's Editor Martin Cullingford selects the 12 best recordings from the April issue's reviews
In every issue of Gramophone, Editor Martin Cullingford chooses 12 albums (10 new releases, plus one DVD/blu-ray and one archive recommendation) as his Editor's Choice. Below, you will find the albums selected as Editor's Choice in the April 2023 issue, beginning with the Recording of the Month.
We've included links to the album reviews in Gramophone's Reviews Database, a digital archive of all of our reviews from 1983 to today. To find out more about subscribing to Gramophone and the Reviews Database, please visit: magsubscriptions.com
Recording of the month
Mozart String Quintets Nos 3 & 4
Ébène Quartet with Antoine Tamestit va (Erato)
This is extraordinary playing from Quatuor Ébène, joined by viola player Antoine Tamestit, and offered in showcase sound. Vividness, transparency and virtuosity are all here in abundance.
Kapustin Piano Concerto No 5, etc
Frank Dupree pf Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra / Dominik Beykirch (Capriccio)
Frank Dupree’s mission to promote the jazz-infused music of Nikolai Kapustin continues with this glorious album.
Stravinsky Violin Concerto, etc
Isabelle Faust vn Les Siècles / François‑Xavier Roth (Harmonia Mundi)
Isabelle Faust, who always leaves us hearing even familiar works as if freshly discovered, joins forces with a conductor whose mission could be defined in exactly the same way.
Busch Chamber Works
Dimitri Vecchi fl Sarastro Quartet (CPO)
An enticing insight into the mind of a great interpreter, as Peter Quantrill puts it, one that rewards repeated listening, not least in these first-class performances by the Sarastro Quartet.
JS Bach ‘Clavichord’
András Schiff clav (ECM New Series)
The case is made both academically, but even more significantly musically, for the use of clavichord in this repertoire. The modern replica instrument sounds splendid, and András Schiff’s playing is revelatory.
Brahms. C & R Schumann Piano Works
Benjamin Grosvenor pf (Decca)
Benjamin Grosvenor, who has long consolidated his place as one our age’s finest pianists, explores this music’s inwardness in particular with colour and elegance.
Chopin Piano Sonatas Nos 2 & 3
Rafał Blechacz pf (DG)
It was in Chopin that Rafał Blechacz first made his name, and nearly two decades on his continued immersion in this music is our gain; his interpretative decisions are completely convincing.
Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet, etc
Yevgeny & Bella Sudbin pf (BIS)
Yevgeny Sudbin’s performances – and his arrangements too – are full of spirit, colour and delight; his ability to recreate and relish orchestral textures make for a truly splendid album.
‘Sola’ Music for Viola by Women Composers
Rosalind Ventris va (Delphian)
A journey through solo viola repertoire by women composers, performed with a commitment and depth of expression by Rosalind Ventris that’s absolutely compelling from first note to last.
Sansara / Tom Herring (Platoon)
A powerful programme of thought-provoking works, both timely and timeless, the impeccable performances by Sansara drawing us in and holding us throughout the deeply reflective journey.
Mascagni L’amico Fritz
Sols; Maggio Musicale, Florence / Riccardo Frizza (Dynamic)
‘This will come as a novelty to many’, writes our critic; a demonstration of how DVDs can champion lesser-staged works.
‘The Young János Starker’
János Starker vc (Parnassus)
An unmissable insight into cellist János Starker’s early work, featuring a performance of Kodály’s Solo Cello Sonata that’s ‘truly sensational’, writes Rob Cowan in this month’s Replay.
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