Gramophone Editor’s Choice: October 2021
Friday, September 10, 2021
The best new albums reviewed in the October 2021 issue of Gramophone, as chosen by Editor Martin Cullingford, featuring Igor Levit, Víkingur Ólafsson, Imogen Cooper, Christian Gerhaher, Emmanuelle Bertrand and more
Recording of the month
Shostakovich. Stevenson ‘On DSCH’
Igor Levit pf
Multiple Gramophone Award-winner and last month’s cover artist brings his intelligence, virtuosity and beauty of tone to bear on yet more extraordinary repertoire. Another superb recording from Igor Levit.
Farrenc Symphonies Nos 1 & 3
Insula Orchestra / Laurence Equilbey
A compelling piece of advocacy for 19th-century French composer Louise Farrenc, these two beautifully crafted symphonies are performed with passion and care.
Royal Scottish National Orchestra / José Serebrier, Gilbert Varga
Chinese composer Xiaogang Ye’s music is revealed in these superb performances to possess lyrical elegance, searching drama and depth of colour – well worth exploring.
‘Mozart & Flute in Paris’
Emmanuel Pahud fl Paris Chamber Orchestra / François Leleux
A tribute to Paris as ‘flute capital of the world’ – and who better than Emmanuel Pahud to lead such a celebration?
Brahms ‘Sonatas & Liebeslieder’
Emmanuelle Bertrand vc Pascal Amoyel pf
A delightful programme, sonatas and songs alike played by cellist Emmanuelle Bertrand and pianist Pascal Amoyel with an immediately engaging and superbly conveyed rapport.
‘Mozart & Contemporaries’
Víkingur Ólafsson pf
Víkingur Ólafsson’s instinct for what will make a fascinating and unexpected programme is matched, as always, by the most sublime pianistic touch; another exquisitely recorded release.
‘… Le temps perdu …’
Imogen Cooper pf
A highly personal album from Imogen Cooper, of works the pianist played as a student or young artist, but not since, exploring the impact of memory and the passing of time on music.
Schnittke Choir Concerto
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir / Kaspars Putniņš
The profound spiritual depth of these settings by Pärt and Schnittke, caught here in superb performances from Estonia, is deeply moving.
Zacara da Teramo ‘Enigma Fortuna’
La Fonte Musica / Michele Pasotti lutes
A highly significant release for anyone interested in the history of early music, but even in purely performance terms this survey of Zacara da Teramo is a must-hear.
Schumann ‘Alle Lieder’
Christian Gerhaher bar Gerold Huber pf
This was always going to be important; the 11-disc project to record all Schumann’s songs from one of today’s finest singers Christian Gerhaher is every bit the fine achievement we hoped.
Verdi Simon Boccanegra
Sols; Zurich Opera / Fabio Luisi
Baritone Christian Gerhaher’s second appearance on this page this month, and only his second Verdi role, but one he powerfully embodies.
‘The Decca Legacy’
Jeanne Demessieux org
The charismatic and characterful playing of French organist and composer Jeanne Demessieux is given due tribute on this splendid eight-disc box-set from Decca Eloquence.
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