Gramophone Editor’s Choice: February 2022 | The best new classical recordings

Thursday, January 27, 2022

This month we feature outstanding new albums from Le Concert des Nations and Jordi Savall, Michael Collins and Stephen Hough, Marc-André Hamelin, Francesca Aspromonte, Jeanine De Bique and The Hermes Experiment

Recording of the month

Beethoven ‘Révolution, Vol 2’ Symphonies Nos 6-9

Le Concert des Nations / Jordi Savall

Alia Vox 

This is a thrilling, physical, probingly musical and invigoratingly alive-feeling period performance set of Beethoven symphonies, and a triumphant second half of conductor Jordi Savall’s full cycle.

Read the review


Respighi. Schoenberg. R Strauss ‘Métamorphoses nocturnes’ 

Appassionato / Mathieu Herzog 

Naïve 

Extraordinary string sound here from the former Ébène Quartet member’s ensemble.

Read the review


Brahms Clarinet Sonatas 

Michael Collins cl Stephen Hough pf 

BIS 

The third recording of the Brahms’s Clarinet sonatas from Michael Collins – see the January issue for his reasons for returning to the works – and a very beautifully performed one too.

Read the review


Weinberg ‘Light in Darkness’ 

Linus Roth vn et al 

Evil Penguin 

Linus Roth’s invaluable contribution to the Weinberg discography is here added to with another fine album, encompassing most of the works involving violin he’d not previously recorded.   

Read the review


CPE Bach Sonatas & Rondos

Marc-André Hamelin pf 

Hyperion 

Music of the ‘maverick of the Bach dynasty’, as reviewer Michelle Assay puts it, brought splendidly to life by a master pianist in both the reflective and the rhythmically joyous pieces alike. 

Read the review


Liszt ‘Vol 1: Death and Transfiguration’ 

Kenneth Hamilton pf 

Prima Facie 

Kenneth Hamilton offers a richly rewarding and brilliantly played Liszt survey, clearly deeply thought-through, and furthermore recorded on a fabulous sounding piano. 

Read the review


‘Maria & Maddalena’ 

Francesca Aspromonte sop I Barocchisti / Diego Fasolis 

Pentatone 

Music exploring the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene, communicated with compelling engagement, in a superb Baroque recital.

Read the review


‘Song’ 

The Hermes Experiment 

Delphian 

An entrancing album of songs, at times disarmingly moving, the group’s unique line-up (harp, clarinet, soprano, double bass) lending them all, despite their diversity, an intimate shared sound world. 

Read the review


Rameau Acante et Céphise 

Les Ambassadeurs – La Grande Écurie / Alexis Kossenko 

Erato 

An ‘enthralling triumph’ writes reviewer David Vickers, owing as much to perfect principal casting as to the impeccable instrumental playing throughout.

Read the review


‘Mirrors’ 

Jeanine De Bique sop Concerto Köln / Luca Quintavalle 

Berlin Classics 

A glorious showcase for Jeanine De Bique, whose rich and characterful voice displays jaw-dropping precision in passages of thrilling virtuosity, and poignant grace in the slower numbers. 

Read the review


DVD/blu-ray

Mozart Die Zauberflöte 

Sols; Royal Opera / Julia Jones 

Opus Arte 

A chance to see David McVicar’s 2003 Royal Opera House production – previously released under Colin Davis – with different forces, led by Julia Jones.

Read the review


Reissue/archive

‘The Many Loves of Antonín Dvořák’ 

Various artists 

Supraphon 

Well-known classics and little-known Dvořák gems, expertly drawn from Supraphon’s superb catalogue of the composer’s music. As Rob Cowan puts it: ‘a terrific set’.


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