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

Harmonia Mundi 

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. 

Read the review


Abrahamsen Schnee 

Lapland Chamber Orchestra / John Storgårds 

Dacapo 

The sound world of Abrahamsen’s Schnee – ‘snow’ – is beguiling in its balance of mysterious fragility and strength, and masterfully performed and recorded here. 

Read the review


Gershwin. Rachmaninov Rhapsodies 

Martin James Bartlett pf London Philharmonic Orchestra / Joshua Weilerstein 

Warner Classics 

Martin James Bartlett makes a superb statement with playing of joy and virtuosity.

Read the review


Nielsen. Sibelius Violin Concertos 

Johan Dalene vn Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra / John Storgårds 

BIS 

The violinist Johan Dalene further impresses with performances of two great concertos that sit among the very finest. 

Read the review


Vivaldi L’estro armonico JS Bach Concertos after L’estro armonico 

Concerto Italiano / Rinaldo Alessandrini 

Naïve 

‘I can’t remember when I last enjoyed a Vivaldi album as much as this,’ writes Charlotte Gardner: discover it for yourself! 

Read the review


Sibelius Complete Symphonies 

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra / Klaus Mäkelä 

Decca 

This is an extraordinary debut from a remarkable young conductor; Klaus Mäkelä offering us an absolutely compelling journey through Sibelius’s symphonies. 

Read the review


Mendelssohn String Quintets 

Doric Quartet with Timothy Ridout va 

Chandos 

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.

Read the review


Bruhns ‘Cantatas & Organ Works, Vol 1’ 

Yale Institute of Sacred Music / Masaaki Suzuki 

BIS 

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.

Read the review


Rachmaninov ‘Dissonance’ 

Asmik Grigorian sop Lukas Geniušas pf 

Alpha 

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. 

Read the review


Handel ‘Dualità’ 

Emőke Baráth sop Artaserse / Philippe Jaroussky 

Erato 

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. 

Read the review


DVD/blu-ray

Offenbach Les contes d’Hoffmann 

Sols; Hamburg State Opera; Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg / Kent Nagano

EuroArts 

Richard Bratby recommends a Les contes d’Hoffmann that offers excellent music-making and something to ponder too. 

Read the review


Reissue/archive

R Strauss Salome – excs. Lieder 

Jessye Norman sop London Philharmonic Orchestra / Klaus Tennstedt 

LPO 

‘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. 

Read the review


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