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
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.
Respighi. Schoenberg. R Strauss ‘Métamorphoses nocturnes’
Appassionato / Mathieu Herzog
Extraordinary string sound here from the former Ébène Quartet member’s ensemble.
Brahms Clarinet Sonatas
Michael Collins cl Stephen Hough pf
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.
Weinberg ‘Light in Darkness’
Linus Roth vn et al
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.
CPE Bach Sonatas & Rondos
Marc-André Hamelin pf
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.
Liszt ‘Vol 1: Death and Transfiguration’
Kenneth Hamilton pf
Kenneth Hamilton offers a richly rewarding and brilliantly played Liszt survey, clearly deeply thought-through, and furthermore recorded on a fabulous sounding piano.
‘Maria & Maddalena’
Francesca Aspromonte sop I Barocchisti / Diego Fasolis
Music exploring the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene, communicated with compelling engagement, in a superb Baroque recital.
The Hermes Experiment
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.
Rameau Acante et Céphise
Les Ambassadeurs – La Grande Écurie / Alexis Kossenko
An ‘enthralling triumph’ writes reviewer David Vickers, owing as much to perfect principal casting as to the impeccable instrumental playing throughout.
Jeanine De Bique sop Concerto Köln / Luca Quintavalle
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.
Mozart Die Zauberflöte
Sols; Royal Opera / Julia Jones
A chance to see David McVicar’s 2003 Royal Opera House production – previously released under Colin Davis – with different forces, led by Julia Jones.
‘The Many Loves of Antonín Dvořák’
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’.
Welcome to Gramophone ...
We have been writing about classical music for our dedicated and knowledgeable readers since 1923 and we would love you to join them.
Subscribing to Gramophone is easy, you can choose how you want to enjoy each new issue (our beautifully produced printed magazine or the digital edition, or both) and also whether you would like access to our complete digital archive (stretching back to our very first issue in April 1923) and unparalleled Reviews Database, covering 50,000 albums and written by leading experts in their field.
To find the perfect subscription for you, simply visit: gramophone.co.uk/subscribe