Gramophone Editor's Choice: April 2021
Friday, March 19, 2021
Editor Martin Cullingford introduces outstanding new recordings of French piano duets, Beethoven's Triple Concerto, Elgar's Violin Concerto, Mahler's Symphony No 4, Ligeti's Études, and much more
Recording of the month
Steven Osborne, Paul Lewis pf
Two of today’s most compelling soloists unite for this beautiful recital – from radiancy in Ravel to playfulness in Poulenc, via some sublime Debussy, this album is sheer joy from beginning to end.
Beethoven Triple Concerto. Symphony No 2
Isabelle Faust vn Jean‑Guihen Queyras vc Alexander Melnikov pf Freiburg Baroque Orchestra / Pablo Heras‑Casado
Collaborative music at its most brilliant.
Elgar Violin Concerto. Violin Sonata
Renaud Capuçon vn Stephen Hough pf London Symphony Orchestra / Simon Rattle
Refined and emotive Elgar from a violinist who deeply understands this music’s heart.
Mahler Symphony No 4
Anna Lucia Richter sop Bamberg Symphony Orchestra / Jakub Hrůša
Moving and beautifully crafted Mahler, the symphony’s sweep superbly presented by an ever-impressive conductor and players deeply immersed in its idiom.
Iceland Symphony Orchestra / Daníel Bjarnason
The Iceland Symphony Orchestra’s three-disc survey of new music linked to its homeland concludes, exploring landscape and soundscape with extraordinary imagination.
Danny Driver pf
Danny Driver’s fascinating reflections in the last issue on Ligeti’s Études perfectly paved the way for hearing the recording, and it’s one that brilliantly grasps and then conveys all the music’s inventiveness and virtuosity.
Zlata Chochieva pf
Zlata Chochieva follows her recent splendid albums of Chopin and Rachmaninov with something as intriguing as it is compelling: transcriptions that reveal both the form and a formidable pianist at their very best.
Gesualdo Madrigals, Books 3 & 4
Les Arts Florissants / Paul Agnew
Les Arts Florissants follow the Award-winning initial instalment in their series of Gesualdo madrigals with a new volume that proves equally as intense in its intimacy and artistry.
Sols; Academy of Ancient Music / Julian Perkins
Remarkably, John Eccles’s final opera lay unperformed until 1964, and only now gets its second recording – but what entrancing and engaging advocacy it here receives.
Lise Davidsen Arias and Songs
Lise Davidsen sop London Philharmonic Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder
Few young artists have generated such a buzz as our cover artist, and her hugely impressive new album reveals exactly why.
Donizetti Pietro il Grande, kzar delle Russie
Sols; Orchestra Gli Originali / Rinaldo Alessandrini
This, the opera’s first DVD release, taken from the festival devoted to the composer, comes well recommended by Tim Ashley.
Kancheli ‘The Legacy’
Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra / Djansug Kakhidze
A very valuable – and outstandingly performed – collection of Kancheli’s symphonic music from a conductor, Djansug Kakhidze, who collaborated closely with the composer throughout his career.
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