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

DG

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.

Read the Gramophone review

‘English Music for Strings’

Sinfonia of London / John Wilson

Chandos

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.

Read the Gramophone review

Beethoven Violin Sonatas Nos 7 & 10

James Ehnes vn Andrew Armstrong pf

Onyx

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.

Read the Gramophone review

Mozart Gran Partita M Simpson Geysir

Mark Simpson cl et al

Orchid

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.

Read the Gramophone review

JS Bach Das wohltemperirte Clavier, Book 2 – selections

Piotr Anderszewski pf

Warner Classics

Thoughtful and thought-provoking programming by Piotr Anderszewski is paired with sensitive interpretation throughout, making for a compelling Bach album.

Read the Gramophone review

Handel Harpsichord Suites

Pierre Hantaï hpd

Mirare

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.

Read the Gramophone review

‘Vida breve’

Stephen Hough pf

Hyperion

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.

Read the Gramophone review

Beethoven. Rihm. Schubert Vanitas

Georg Nigl bar Olga Pashchenko pf

Alpha

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

Read the Gramophone review

Bruckner Latin Motets

Latvian Radio Choir / Sigvards Kļava

Ondine

The acclaimed Latvian Radio Choir, their sound so immediately evocative and emotive, brings us beautiful Bruckner from the atmospheric acoustic of Riga Cathedral.

Read the Gramophone review

‘Tyrannic Love’

Ensemble Les Surprises / Louis-Noël Bestion de Camboulas

Alpha

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.

Read the Gramophone review

DVD/blu-ray

Beethoven Fidelio (1806 version)

Sols; Vienna Symphony Orchestra / Manfred Honeck

Unitel

Manfred Honeck leads his fine singers and instrumentalists in a Fidelio that, says critic Peter Quantrill, is not to be missed. 

Read the Gramophone review

☆​

Reissue/archive

‘The SWR Recordings 1956-84’

Henryk Szeryng vn

SWR Classic

Rob Cowan’s Replay draws our attention this month to ‘an artistically exceptional box on SWR Classic’ of violinist Henryk Szeryng.

Never miss an issue of the world's leading classical music magazine – subscribe to Gramophone today

Gramophone Print

  • Print Edition

From £6.45 / month

Subscribe

The Gramophone Digital Club

  • Digital Edition
  • Digital Archive
  • Reviews Database
  • Events & Offers

From £8.75 / month

Subscribe

Gramophone Reviews

  • Reviews Database

From £6.45 / month

Subscribe

Gramophone Digital Edition

  • Digital Edition
  • Digital Archive

From £6.45 / month

Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.