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

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Featuring outstanding new albums from the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and Paavo Järvi, Thibaut Garcia, Van Kuijk Quartet, Bertrand Chamayou, Bach Collegium Japan and Masaaki Suzuki, Jamie Barton, and many more

You can enjoy excerpts from the Awards 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

Schmidt The Complete Symphonies

Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra / Paavo Järvi

DG

A significant addition to the Schmidt catalogue, this set of his symphonies has been lovingly prepared and powerfully performed by Paavo Järvi, a conductor clearly passionate about championing this music.

Read the Gramophone review

‘Aranjuez’

Thibaut Garcia gtr Toulouse Capitole Orchestra / Ben Glassberg

Erato

A performance of Rodrigo’s masterpiece from Thibaut Garcia of real poetry – and that’s just the opening of a truly splendid and diverse album of guitar music.

Read the Gramophone review

Mozart String Quintets, K515 & 516

Van Kuijk Quartet with Adrien La Marca va

Alpha

Captivating chamber playing from the Van Kuijk Quartet, joined by viola-player Adrien La Marca, in a reading of intelligence, colour and engaging freshness.

Read the Gramophone review

Prokofiev. Shostakovich Violin Sonatas

Natalia Prishepenko vn Dina Ugorskaja pf

AVI-Music

A personal and affecting pairing of two sonatas inspired by David Oistrakh – all the more so given the recent death of its pianist Dina Ugorskaja.

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‘Good Night!’

Bertrand Chamayou pf

Erato

Last year’s Recording of the Year winner Bertrand Chamayou in a very different programme to that Saint-Saëns triumph – an intimate recital of tender beauty featuring music from Alkan, Brahms, Busoni, Chopin and many others.

Read the Gramophone review

JS Bach St John Passion

Sols; Bach Collegium Japan / Masaaki Suzuki

BIS

Masaaki Suzuki’s St Matthew Passion has won this year’s Choral Award – this performance of the St John is every bit as moving, heartfelt, dramatic and spiritual. 

Read the Gramophone review

Heggie Unexpected Shadows

Jamie Barton mez Jake Heggie pf

Pentatone

Jamie Barton’s gloriously communicative voice and Jake Heggie’s music feel an inspired and inspiring pairing, on this compelling contemporary album.

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‘Chanson d’amour’

Sabine Devieilhe sop Alexandre Tharaud pf

Erato

A luxurious immersion in the world of mélodies from two artists, soprano Sabine Devieilhe and pianist Alexandre Tharaud, truly steeped in its sound world.

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‘Lamento’

Damien Guillon counterten Café Zimmermann

Alpha

Personal and profound, this emotional programme of 17th-century music is sung with moving emotional engagement and great beauty by countertenor Damien Guillon.

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‘Anima rara’

Ermonela Jaho sop Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana / Andrea Battistoni

Opera Rara

Ermonela Jaho’s tribute to soprano Rosina Storchio was the subject of an in-depth interview last month – the resulting album brings her legacy to life brilliantly.

Read the Gramophone review

 

DVD/blu-ray

Massenet Don Quichotte

Sols; Vienna Symphony Orchestra / Daniel Cohen

C Major Entertainment

This DVD of a contemporary take on Massenet’s setting of the Cervantes character finds an engaging stage performance transferring successfully to screen.

Read the Gramophone review

Reissue/archive

‘The Decca Recitals’

Suzanne Danco sop

Decca Eloquence

This celebration of the Belgian soprano Suzanne Danco – spanning mélodies, Lieder and opera arias – is very warmly received by our archive expert Rob Cowan in this month’s Replay.

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