The best new classical albums: Editor's Choice, February 2021
Friday, January 22, 2021
A staggering new recording of Rachmaninov's Symphony No 1 and Symphonic Dances from The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin is the Recording of the Month in the February, alongside a host of outstanding Editor's Choice albums
Recording of the month
Rachmaninov Symphony No 1. Symphonic Dances
The Philadelphia Orchestra / Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Last issue, we explored the legacy of Rachmaninov and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin proves himself not just a brilliant custodian, but a conductor creating an era of his own.
‘English Music for Strings’
Sinfonia of London / John Wilson
Once again John Wilson draws the most glorious sound from his hand-picked orchestra, lavishing care and devotion on repertoire that could have been written for him.
Beethoven Violin Sonatas Nos 7 & 10
James Ehnes vn Andrew Armstrong pf
A brilliant sonata series closes on a high: James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong have proved themselves players in perfect dialogue throughout this memorable addition to catalogue.
Mozart Gran Partita M Simpson Geysir
Mark Simpson cl et al
Another wonderful ‘Gran Partita’, from a particularly impressive line-up, is preceded here by a beautifully crafted work from composer and clarinettist Mark Simpson for the same forces.
JS Bach Das wohltemperirte Clavier, Book 2 – selections
Piotr Anderszewski pf
Thoughtful and thought-provoking programming by Piotr Anderszewski is paired with sensitive interpretation throughout, making for a compelling Bach album.
Handel Harpsichord Suites
Pierre Hantaï hpd
With his exquisite playing on a delightful sounding instrument (and one recorded with engaging clarity), Pierre Hantaï brings Handel’s harpsichord suites stunningly to life.
Stephen Hough pf
Stephen Hough follows his Beethoven concerto album with a more intimate, personal meditation on life and death, a journey bookended with Bach-based reflections, and all performed with his usual intelligence and flair.
Beethoven. Rihm. Schubert Vanitas
Georg Nigl bar Olga Pashchenko pf
A well-planned recital from Austrian baritone Georg Nigl of songs that draw on his voice’s reflective and humane sound, with pianist Olga Pashchenko at one with him in this journey
Bruckner Latin Motets
Latvian Radio Choir / Sigvards Kļava
The acclaimed Latvian Radio Choir, their sound so immediately evocative and emotive, brings us beautiful Bruckner from the atmospheric acoustic of Riga Cathedral.
Ensemble Les Surprises / Louis-Noël Bestion de Camboulas
A vibrant step into 18th-century English music from Ensemble Les Surprises sees the French group shine in works both familiar and lesser known from Purcell and peers.
Beethoven Fidelio (1806 version)
Sols; Vienna Symphony Orchestra / Manfred Honeck
Manfred Honeck leads his fine singers and instrumentalists in a Fidelio that, says critic Peter Quantrill, is not to be missed.
‘The SWR Recordings 1956-84’
Henryk Szeryng vn
Rob Cowan’s Replay draws our attention this month to ‘an artistically exceptional box on SWR Classic’ of violinist Henryk Szeryng.
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