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

Sony Classical

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.   

Read the review


Farrenc Symphonies Nos 1 & 3

Insula Orchestra / Laurence Equilbey

Erato

A compelling piece of advocacy for 19th-century French composer Louise Farrenc, these two beautifully crafted symphonies are performed with passion and care.

Read the review


Ye Winter

Royal Scottish National Orchestra / José Serebrier, Gilbert Varga

BIS

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.

Read the review


‘Mozart & Flute in Paris’

Emmanuel Pahud fl Paris Chamber Orchestra / François Leleux

Warner Classics

A tribute to Paris as ‘flute capital of the world’ – and who better than Emmanuel Pahud to lead such a celebration?

Read the review


Brahms ‘Sonatas & Liebeslieder’

Emmanuelle Bertrand vc Pascal Amoyel pf

Harmonia Mundi

A delightful programme, sonatas and songs alike played by cellist Emmanuelle Bertrand and pianist Pascal Amoyel with an immediately engaging and superbly conveyed rapport.

Read the review


‘Mozart & Contemporaries’

Víkingur Ólafsson pf

DG

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.

Read the review


‘… Le temps perdu …’

Imogen Cooper pf

Chandos

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.

Read the review


Schnittke Choir Concerto

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir / Kaspars Putniņš

BIS

The profound spiritual depth of these settings by Pärt and Schnittke, caught here in superb performances from Estonia, is deeply moving. 

Read the review


Zacara da Teramo ‘Enigma Fortuna’

La Fonte Musica / Michele Pasotti lutes

Alpha

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.

Read the review


Schumann ‘Alle Lieder’

Christian Gerhaher bar Gerold Huber pf

Sony Classical

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.


DVD/blu-ray

Verdi Simon Boccanegra

Sols; Zurich Opera / Fabio Luisi

Accent

Baritone Christian Gerhaher’s second appearance on this page this month, and only his second Verdi role, but one he powerfully embodies.

Read the review


Reissue/archive

‘The Decca Legacy’

Jeanne Demessieux org

Decca Eloquence

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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