Editor's Choice recordings – February 2016
Friday, January 29, 2016
Martin Cullingford’s pick of the finest recordings from this month’s reviews
Recording of the Month
Britten. Korngold Violin Concertos
Vilde Frang vn Frankfurt RSO / James Gaffigan
A hugely impressive recording, Vilde Frang’s brilliant control and dramatic intensity as assured in the lush themes of Korngold’s Concerto as in the technical extremes of Britten’s.
Read the Gramophone review | (album to be released on February 26)
Montanari Violin Concertos
Ensemble Diderot / Johannes Pramsohler vn
Nielsen ‘Works for Violin, Vol 2’
Cecilia Zilliacus vn Helsingborg SO / Daniel Blendulf
A demanding work, containing a variety of styles and approach – not to mention technical challenges – but all beautifully conveyed here by Cecilia Zilliacus.
Mendelssohn String Quartets, Op 44 Nos 1 and 2
Former Banff Quartet Competition winners, the Cecilia Quartet wonderfully approach these middle Mendelssohn quartets with elegance and affection.
Brahms ‘The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol 3’
Jonathan Plowright pf
Jonathan Plowright, always a thoughtful and brilliantly skilled pianist, continues his Brahms survey with another superb collection.
Medtner. Rachmaninov Piano Works
Yevgeny Sudbin pf
Yevgeny Sudbin’s understanding of Medtner’s sound world feels instinctive and his performance is a highly personal one.
Vilsmaÿr. Biber. Pisendel Solo Violin Works
Vaughan Jones vn
Gramophone's Audio Editor Andrew Everard writes: 'Just in case you thought high-resolution recording was only heard at it best when unravelling the complexities of large ensembles, this wonderfully atmospheric set of solo violin works really benefits from being heard in the 96kHz/24bit in which it was originally recorded. The instrument is beautifully focused, and the ambience of the recording venue – the small 17th century church of St Mary Magdalene in Willen, Bucks – adds a luminosity and presence to the captivating performances. Every note is crystal-clear, hanging in the recorded acoustic in a rather wonderful manner.'
Dukas ‘Cantates, choeurs et musique symphonique’
Sols; Flemish Radio Choir; Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra / Hervé Niquet
They may not have won Dukas the competition he wrote them for, but don’t let that put you off: a rewarding listen.
Handel ‘Duetti e terzetti italiani’
Sols; La Risonanza / Fabio Bonizzoni
The impeccable standard of singing and playing we’ve come to expect from Bonizzoni and colleagues, here in a survey of rarely recorded early Handel.
Leclair Scylla et Glaucus
Sols; Les Nouveaux Caractères / Sébastien d’Hérin hpd
Widor ‘Master of the Organ Symphony’
Gerard Brooks, Daniel Roth, Carolyn Shuster Fournier orgs
(Fugue State Films)
Another expertly in-depth (but completely accessible) addition to Fugue State Films’ fascinating explorations of key figures from the organ world.
Eugene Istomin ‘The Concerto and Solo Recordings’
A chance to reappraise the legacy of pianist Eugene Istomin in this excellent-value set from Sony.