Editor's Choice: December 2023 | The best new classical recordings
Friday, December 1, 2023
Music by Debussy, Mozart, Rachmaninov, Beethoven, Josquin and more is featured on this month's Editor's Choice recordings
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 December 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
Debussy Études. Pour le piano, etc
Steven Osborne pf
Steven Osborne brings extraordinary colour, characterisation and imagination to this album of Debussy’s works for solo piano, and the recorded sound is absolutely superb.
Mozart Piano Concertos Nos 20 & 23
Charles Richard‑Hamelin pf Les Violons du Roy / Jonathan Cohen
From the intense opening of No 20 to the joyful arrival of No 23, Charles Richard‑Hamelin and Jonathan Cohen form a compelling Mozart partnership.
Saint-Saëns Symphonic Poems
Les Siècles / François‑Xavier Roth
The diversity of Saint-Saëns’s sound world is gloriously brought to life in a generous survey performed with elegance and insight by François-Xavier Roth and his superb ensemble Les Siècles.
Weinberg Symphony No 12
BBC Philharmonic / John Storgårds
The ongoing reappraisal of Weinberg continues with this powerful recording by John Storgårds and the BBC Philharmonic, one alert to his rich orchestral textures.
Brahms Piano Trio No 1 Krenek Trio‑Fantasie
Two early chamber works by two Viennese composers of different eras, Brahms and Krenek, beautifully played by the Feininger Trio simply embodying collaborative charm.
Sean Shibe gtr
Sean Shibe once more offers audiences a breathtaking masterclass in tone, virtuosity, drama and delicacy as he presents an exquisite exploration of South American music, by Villa‑Lobos, Ginastera and Barrios.
Rachmaninov Piano Sonata No 1 (original version)
Lukas Geniušas pf
Lukas Geniušas offers the original version of Rachmaninov’s First Sonata, recorded on the composer’s Steinway at his Lake Lucerne Villa: a valuable, and muscially rewarding, album.
Beethoven Missa solemnis
Sols; La Capella Nacional de Catalunya; Le Concert des Nations / Jordi Savall
Jordi Savall draws on all his experience of Beethoven’s music to offer a Missa solemnis rich in dignity, drama and devotion.
Josquin Motets & Chansons
Cut Circle / Jesse Rodin
Musique en Wallonie
This is gloriously invigorating early music singing from Cut Circle, a survey of music by Josquin presented with precision, personality, individuality and yet also an attractive sense of intimacy.
Pickard Mass in Troubled Times
BBC Singers / Martyn Brabbins
Music by John Pickard spanning his career, the highlight the thought-provoking, ambitious Mass in Troubled Times, which you can hear Pickard discuss in a recent Gramophone Podcast.
Sols; ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra, Vienna / Marc Albrecht
A very contemporary take on Tosca from Theater an der Wien. Kristı¯ne Opolais, in the lead, impresses MP, our critic.
Beethoven Symphony No 6, etc
Vienna Symphony Orchestra / Jascha Horenstein
Jascha Horenstein’s recordings of a selection of Beethoven orchestral works – including the Pastoral Symphony – is excellently remastered on this Pristine release.
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