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

Editor's Choice

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.

Read the review


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.

Read the review


Saint-Saëns Symphonic Poems

Les Siècles / François‑Xavier Roth

Harmonia Mundi

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.

Read the review


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.

Read the review


Brahms Piano Trio No 1 Krenek Trio‑Fantasie

Feininger Trio


Two early chamber works by two Viennese composers of different eras, Brahms and Krenek, beautifully played by the Feininger Trio simply embodying collaborative charm.

Read the review

sean shibe


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.

Read the review


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.

Read the review


Beethoven Missa solemnis

Sols; La Capella Nacional de Catalunya; Le Concert des Nations / Jordi Savall

Alia Vox

Jordi Savall draws on all his experience of Beethoven’s music to offer a Missa solemnis rich in dignity, drama and devotion.

Read the review


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.

Read the review


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.

Read the review



Puccini Tosca

Sols; ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra, Vienna / Marc Albrecht

Unitel Edition

A very contemporary take on Tosca from Theater an der Wien. Kristı¯ne Opolais, in the lead, impresses MP, our critic.

Read the review



Beethoven Symphony No 6, etc

Vienna Symphony Orchestra / Jascha Horenstein

Pristine Classical

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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