Gramophone Editor’s Choice: Awards issue 2021
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Featuring new albums from Michael Spyres, Casals Quartet, Janine Jansen, Ilya Gringolts, Ruby Hughes, Jakub Józef Orliński, Lea Desandre and more
Recording of the month
Michael Spyres baritenor Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra / Marko Letonja
A stunning album from Michael Spyres, a richly and impressively varied programme showcasing not just a voice of exceptional range but of colour and vivid characterisation too.
R Strauss Eine Alpensinfonie
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra / Vladimir Jurowski
Another beautifully crafted Alpine Symphony from Vladimir Jurowski, this time not with the LPO but the highly responsive Berlin Radio Symphony.
Mozart String Quartets Nos 15, 17 & 18
There’s something so immediate about the superb Casals Quartet’s playing in these three Mozart works, an engaging edge-of-seat urgency which makes for a compelling listening experience.
Janine Jansen vn Antonio Pappano pf
In the poetic playing of Janine Jansen – and her star soloist Antonio Pappano – this already fascinating project to record 12 of the finest Stradivarius violins becomes a superb musical one too.
Ilya Gringolts vn
It takes both superb instinct and skill to gather such varied works, to draw out and convey the thematic links, and to shape it all into an entirely absorbing recital: Ilya Gringolts manages all this brilliantly.
Grime. Ives. Mahler ‘Songs for New Life and Love’
Ruby Hughes sop Joseph Middleton pf
This is a deeply moving recital exploring parenthood – with an incredibly poignant new cycle by Helen Grime at its core – from Ruby Hughes and Joseph Middleton.
Regnart Missa Christ ist erstanden
Cinquecento’s return to the music of 16th-century composer Jacob Regnart finds the ensemble – regular visitors to the Editor’s Choice page – on impeccable form. Another triumphant album.
Jakub Józef Orliński counterten Il Pomo d’Oro / Francesco Corti
We were excited enough about countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński’s new album to put him on last month’s cover, and it doesn’t disappoint: a truly striking release.
Fux Dafne in lauro
Sols; Zefiro / Alfredo Bernardini
A recording – of Fux’s Dafne in lauro – which beautifully captures all the spirit of the live performances it was taken from, led by the sure rhythmic command and dramatic vision of Alfredo Bernardini.
Lea Desandre mez Jupiter / Thomas Dunford
Erato’s excellent recent signing, the mezzo Lea Desandre – along with some stupendous colleagues (not least brilliant lutenist Thomas Dunford) – serves up a superb album of Baroque arias.
Korngold Die tote Stadt
Sols; Bavarian State Opera / Kirill Petrenko
‘A glorious achievement’ is how Richard Bratby describes this updated staging of Korngold’s Die tote Stadt, a production of great depth and emotional intelligence.
Beethoven The Complete Piano Trios
This month’s Archive recommendation is an elegant journey by the acclaimed Suk Trio through Beethoven’s complete works for piano trio, reissued by Supraphon.
Read the reviews of all of these albums and many more in the 2021 Awards issue of Gramophone. Never miss an issue – subscribe today