Gramophone Editor's Choice: November 2022 | The best new classical recordings

Monday, November 7, 2022

Editor Martin Cullingford introduces the finest recordings from this month's reviews

Recording of the month

Byrd Psalmes, Songs and Sonnets 

The Sixteen / Harry Christophers (Coro)

As we look ahead to Byrd’s 400th anniversary next year, here’s a wonderful recording of his last full publication, a mixture of styles from psalms to madrigals, gloriously performed by The Sixteen. 

Read the Gramophone review

Bruckner Symphony No 4 

London Symphony Orchestra / Sir Simon Rattle (LSO Live)

‘A beautifully articulated, free-flowing performance’ is how Richard Osborne describes this fascinating and perceptive account of Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony. 

Read the Gramophone review

Schubert Symphonies Nos 8 & 9 

Le Concert des Nations / Jordi Savall (Alia Vox)

Jordi Savall and Le Concert des Nations follow their excellent Beethoven cycle with a period pairing of two Schubert symphonies, both receiving performances of persuasive power.

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‘The Playhouse Sessions’ 

Barokksolistene / Bjarte Eike (Rubicon)

Bjarte Eike and his Barokksolistene approach this music and its cultural context with open hearts and minds. Catch Bjarte Eike discussing the album on a recent Gramophone podcast too.

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Debussy ‘Early and Late Piano Pieces’ 

Steven Osborne pf (Hyperion)

Each new album from pianist Steven Osborne offers beautifully prepared interpretations with something distinctive to say about the repertoire – and this latest Debussy recital is no exception. 

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Szymanowski Piano Works 

Krystian Zimerman pf (DG)

It is always a privilege to hear Krystian Zimerman on record, and this programme of Szymanowski’s music – recorded either side of a 15-year interval – is predictably stunning. 

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Steelant Two Requiems 

CantoLX; B’Rock Orchestra / Frank Agsteribbe (Pentatone)

Two Requiems from the 17th-century composer Philippe van Steelant show the breadth of his style and, in this excellent recording, make a strong case for his music. 

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‘The Psalms’ 

The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge / Andrew Nethsingha (Signum)

‘Psalm-singing informs everything else we do,’ says Andrew Nethsinga; this beautifully sung recording from St John’s takes us into that powerful and poetic heart of choral life. 

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Donizetti. Rossini ‘French Bel Canto Arias’ 

Lisette Oropesa sop Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra / Corrado Rovaris (Pentatone) 

Here is a superb album of bel canto arias either written or revised for Paris performances from a star soprano.

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Handel Amadigi di Gaula 

Sols; Early Opera Company / Christian Curnyn (Chandos)

A lesser-known Handel opera, Amadigi di Gaula, given excellent advocacy by some superb soloists, Christian Curnyn and players, and our new Label of the Year.

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Catalani La Wally 

Sols; Vienna Symphony Orchestra / Andrés Orozco-Estrada (Unitel Edition) 

La Wally is surprisingly unrepresented on record, but we here have, writes Hugo Shirley, ‘a powerful, intelligent account’. 

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Shostakovich Symphonies Nos 4 & 11 

BBC Symphony Orchestra; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Gennady Rozhdestvensky (ICA Classics)

Rozhdestvensky knew Shostakovich and gave the Western premiere of his Fourth Symphony, and this 1978 performance, paired with the Eleventh, is electrifying.

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