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

Friday, November 6, 2020

Featuring outstanding new albums from the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Thomas Dausgaard, Steven Isserlis, Alexandre Kantorow, The Tallis Scholars, Christiane Karg and more

Recording of the month

Nielsen Symphonies Nos 1 & 2, ‘The Four Temperaments’

Seattle Symphony Orchestra / Thomas Dausgaard

Seattle Symphony Media

Two brilliant traversals of Nielsen’s early symphonies, featuring some truly thrilling and perceptive playing from the Seattle Symphony Orchestra under conductor Thomas Dausgaard.

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Sibelius Symphonies Nos 1 & 3

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Owain Arwel Hughes

Rubicon

Sibelius’s beguiling sound world is brought out with full force and beauty by Owain Arwel Hughes and the RPO on this splendid album from the Rubicon label.

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Tavener No Longer Mourn For Me

Steven Isserlis vc Philharmonia Orchestra / Omer Meir Wellber

Hyperion

A deeply personal project from Steven Isserlis of music by his great friend Sir John Tavener – learn more about the moving story behind it in this month’s feature.

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‘London Circa 1720’

La Rêveuse

Harmonia Mundi

Elegant music-making throughout from these wonderfully collaborative musicians, sprightly and serene by turns, which vividly evokes a musical and historical period in time.

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Bartók. Brahms. Liszt Piano Works

Alexandre Kantorow pf

BIS

Pianist Alexandre Kantorow continues his extraordinary progress with a further remarkable example of his virtuosity and artistry, showing both skill and sensitivity throughout this captivating programme.

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‘From the Ground up’

David Hill org

Regent

A glorious exploration of the Passacaglia across the eras from David Hill, gloriously performed (and recorded) on the resplendent-sounding organ of Peterborough Cathedral.

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Josquin Masses

The Tallis Scholars / Peter Phillips

Gimell

Journey’s end: and what a journey. From the Gramophone Award-winning opening album back in 1986, The Tallis Scholars’ survey of Josquin’s Masses finishes with an appropriately superb addition to the series.   

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Mahler ‘Erinnerung’

Christiane Karg sop Malcolm Martineau pf

Harmonia Mundi

An album of very beautiful Mahler-singing from soprano Christiane Karg, joined throughout by stylish piano playing from Malcolm Martineau (and, intriguingly, the composer himself …)

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‘Sturm und Drang, Vol 2’

The Mozartists / Ian Page

Signum

Ian Page and The Mozartists once again shine in Volume Two of their study of music associated with Sturm und Drang – thoughtful programming and excellent performances.

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Arnold The Dancing Master

Sols; BBC Concert Orchestra / John Andrews

Resonus

A fascinating and unexpected slice of 20th-century British music-making – Malcolm Arnold’s one-act comic opera performed with sparkling freshness.

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DVD/blu-ray

Henze Der Prinz von Homburg

Sols; Stuttgart Opera / Cornelius Meister

Naxos

Henze’s 1960 take on Heinrich von Kleist’s early 19th-century play Der Prinz von Homburg is here given a thought-provoking and strong staging and performance. 

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Reissue/archive

Magda Tagliaferro ‘The Complete 78rpm Solo and Concerto Recordings & Selected Chamber Recordings’

APR

The complete 78rpm solo and concerto recordings of Brazilian-born pianist Magda Tagliaferro, excellently transferred and presented by the APR label.

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