The best new classical albums: Editor's Choice, August 2020

Friday, July 17, 2020

The pick of the finest recordings from this month’s reviews, including new releases from the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda, Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder, Augustin Hadelich, Inbal Segev, Cinquecento, and many more

You can enjoy excerpts from the August issue's Editor's Choice albums via Apple Music below. To listen to complete tracks and albums subscribe to Apple Music, which is free for the first three months.

Recording of the Month

Dallapiccola Il prigioniero

Sols; Danish National Symphony Choir & Orchestra / Gianandrea Noseda

Chandos

Gianandrea Noseda returns to the music of Dallapiccola with a powerful performance of his protest opera. Brilliantly performed, it’s a significant addition to the composer’s discography.

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Debussy Images

Hallé Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder

Hallé

This richly crafted orchestral music finds perfect performers in Mark Elder and his superb-sounding Hallé, the Manchester ensemble on brilliant, shimmering form.

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Elgar Cello Concerto Clyne DANCE

Inbal Segev vc London Philharmonic Orchestra / Marin Alsop

Avie

A compelling rendition of the Elgar Concerto from cellist Inbal Segev, paired here with a heartfelt and striking new work by British composer Anna Clyne.

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‘Bohemian Tales’

Augustin Hadelich vn Charles Owen pf Bavarian RSO / Jakub Hrůša

Warner Classics

In orchestral and recital works alike, Augustin Hadelich’s elegantly coloured tone and effortless virtuosity results in a rich feast of Czech fare.

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R Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra. Metamorphosen

NHK Symphony Orchestra / Paavo Järvi

RCA Red Seal

One choice among a whole series of online arrivals from the NHK and Paavo Järvi; their affinity for Richard Strauss’s sound-world is deeply felt, and beautifully shaped.

Beethoven Violin Sonatas, Vol 1

Tamsin Waley-Cohen vn Huw Watkins pf

Signum

Two of these sonatas featured on these pages last month, but Tamsin Waley-Cohen and Huw Watkins, and their wonderful rapport, demonstrate the music offers joys in infinite approaches.

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Alkan Grande Sonate

Mark Viner pf

Piano Classics

Mark Viner continues his exploration of Alkan’s piano music with another triumphant album, demonstrating an impressive affinity with this composer’s music that reaps rewards once again.

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Cleve Missa Rex Babylonis

Cinquecento

Hyperion

This wonderful album devoted to the music of 16th-century composer Johannes de Cleve earns our critic Fabrice Fitch’s praise as one of this excellent group’s finest releases yet.

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‘Cantos Sagrados’

National Youth Choir of Scotland / Christopher Bell

Signum

These impressive young singers embrace these pieces’ contrasting demands with passion and style, offering a truly striking album of modern choral music.

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R Strauss Die Frau ohne Schatten

Sols; Vienna State Opera Chorus & Orchestra / Christian Thielemann

Orfeo

A second Straussian offering this month, this time from Christian Thielemann and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra on, as  Hugo Shirley puts it, breathtaking form.

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DVD/blu-ray

‘LA Phil 100’

Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra

C Major Entertainment

A major birthday – filmed a century to the day since the LA Phil’s debut – marked by music and musicians with particular resonance for this fine orchestra.

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Reissue/archive

‘The Complete Warner Recordings’

Sir John Barbirolli

Warner Classics

A very special box-set from Warner Classics to celebrate a towering figure in orchestral history: Glorious John’s legacy lovingly presented across 109 separate CDs.

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