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
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.
Hallé Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder
This richly crafted orchestral music finds perfect performers in Mark Elder and his superb-sounding Hallé, the Manchester ensemble on brilliant, shimmering form.
Elgar Cello Concerto Clyne DANCE
Inbal Segev vc London Philharmonic Orchestra / Marin Alsop
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.
Augustin Hadelich vn Charles Owen pf Bavarian RSO / Jakub Hrůša
In orchestral and recital works alike, Augustin Hadelich’s elegantly coloured tone and effortless virtuosity results in a rich feast of Czech fare.
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
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.
Alkan Grande Sonate
Mark Viner pf
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.
Cleve Missa Rex Babylonis
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.
National Youth Choir of Scotland / Christopher Bell
These impressive young singers embrace these pieces’ contrasting demands with passion and style, offering a truly striking album of modern choral music.
R Strauss Die Frau ohne Schatten
Sols; Vienna State Opera Chorus & Orchestra / Christian Thielemann
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.
‘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.
‘The Complete Warner Recordings’
Sir John Barbirolli
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.