Gramophone Editor’s Choice: April 2022 | The best new classical recordings
Friday, March 18, 2022
Featuring outstanding new recordings of Bach's St Matthew Passion, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Vivaldi's L’estro armonico, the complete Sibelius symphonies, Mendelssohn's String Quintets and more
Recording of the month
JS Bach St Matthew Passion
Sols; Pygmalion / Raphaël Pichon
This recording of Bach’s St Matthew Passion has extraordinary impact – rich in remarkable singing which conveys an intense humanity, and a superb sense of pace and drama, all beautifully recorded.
Lapland Chamber Orchestra / John Storgårds
The sound world of Abrahamsen’s Schnee – ‘snow’ – is beguiling in its balance of mysterious fragility and strength, and masterfully performed and recorded here.
Gershwin. Rachmaninov Rhapsodies
Martin James Bartlett pf London Philharmonic Orchestra / Joshua Weilerstein
Martin James Bartlett makes a superb statement with playing of joy and virtuosity.
Nielsen. Sibelius Violin Concertos
Johan Dalene vn Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra / John Storgårds
The violinist Johan Dalene further impresses with performances of two great concertos that sit among the very finest.
Vivaldi L’estro armonico JS Bach Concertos after L’estro armonico
Concerto Italiano / Rinaldo Alessandrini
‘I can’t remember when I last enjoyed a Vivaldi album as much as this,’ writes Charlotte Gardner: discover it for yourself!
Sibelius Complete Symphonies
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra / Klaus Mäkelä
This is an extraordinary debut from a remarkable young conductor; Klaus Mäkelä offering us an absolutely compelling journey through Sibelius’s symphonies.
Mendelssohn String Quintets
Doric Quartet with Timothy Ridout va
The Doric Quartet regularly impress, their collegiate sense of shared vision evident in drama and delicacy alike; this Chandos set of Mendelssohn quintets is as fine as we’d hope and expect.
Bruhns ‘Cantatas & Organ Works, Vol 1’
Yale Institute of Sacred Music / Masaaki Suzuki
Masaaki Suzuki – always a brilliant guide for us in the major musical figures – here introduces us to the lesser-known Nicolaus Bruhns, and it’s an invitation well worth accepting.
Asmik Grigorian sop Lukas Geniušas pf
From the opening bars of each song, Asmik Grigorian brings passion, personality and drama to these Rachmaninov gems, matched at every step by Lukas Geniušas’s superb pianism.
Emőke Baráth sop Artaserse / Philippe Jaroussky
A fabulous soprano of our own age pays tribute to two stars of Handel’s day, and in so doing offers a wonderful programme of arias, spell-binding in its theatricality and virtuosity.
Offenbach Les contes d’Hoffmann
Sols; Hamburg State Opera; Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg / Kent Nagano
Richard Bratby recommends a Les contes d’Hoffmann that offers excellent music-making and something to ponder too.
R Strauss Salome – excs. Lieder
Jessye Norman sop London Philharmonic Orchestra / Klaus Tennstedt
‘Jessye Norman, at her magnificent prime,’ writes Hugo Shirley, and as one of the finest sopranos ever caught on record that’s all the recommendation you need to hear.
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