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

Friday, September 11, 2020

Including Stuart Skelton as Peter Grimes, Kristian Bezuidenhout playing Beethoven concertos and Bernard Haitink's Bruckner

You can enjoy excerpts from the October 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

Britten Peter Grimes

Sols incl Stuart Skelton; Bergen Philharmonic Choirs and Orchestra / Edward Gardner

Chandos

A powerful new recording of Peter Grimes from Stuart Skelton, one of today’s leading interpreters of the title role, and a conductor, Edward Gardner, who perfectly understands Britten’s music.

Read the Gramophone review

Beethoven Piano Concerto No 4

Kristian Bezuidenhout fp Freiburg Baroque Orchestra / Pablo Heras-Casado

Harmonia Mundi

Kristian Bezuidenhout delivers a thrilling performance of Beethoven’s Fourth Concerto, alive to all its details.

Read the Gramophone review

Respighi Roman Trilogy

Sinfonia of London / John Wilson

Chandos

Another superb – and sonically ravishing – recording from John Wilson and his hand-picked ensemble of superb players, the Sinfonia of London; Respighi performed with sheer delight.

Read the Gramophone review

Schumann Symphonies Nos 1 & 4

Gürzenich Orchestra, Cologne / François‑Xavier Roth

Myrios

François‑Xavier Roth’s ability to draw superb playing from whichever ensemble he’s conducting has earned many Editor’s Choices: this Schumann album reveals why.

Read the Gramophone review

Dowland A Fancy

Bor Zuljan lute

Ricercar

A reflective, introspective and highly personal performance of Dowland’s music from Bor Zuljan, a lute player who draws deep emotions from both the music and his dark-toned instrument.

Read the Gramophone review

Liszt. Thalberg Opera Transcriptions & Fantasies

Marc-André Hamelin pf

Hyperion

This is completely compelling virtuosity from one of today’s finest pianists – a supreme showcase for this repertoire, and a glorious listen from beginning to end.

Read the Gramophone review

‘After Silence’

Voces8

This is a very fine album from Voces8 – hugely varied in scope, though thematically prepared so as to be inspiring, consoling and uplifting in equal measure, and exquisitely sung throughout.

Read the Gramophone review

‘Portraits de la Folie’

Stéphanie d’Oustrac mez Ensemble Amarillis / Héloïse Gaillard

Harmonia Mundi

‘A typically enterprising recital’ writes Richard Wigmore of Stéphanie d’Oustrac imaginative album –and it’s as brilliantly performed as we might expect.

Read the Gramophone review

Janáček The Cunning Little Vixen

Sols; London Symphony Orchestra / Sir Simon Rattle

LSO Live

Simon Rattle returns to The Cunning Little Vixen and offers an interpretation of vivid colour, with Lucy Crowe and Gerald Finley leading an impressive cast.

Read the Gramophone review

Saint-Saëns Le timbre d’argent

Sols; Les Siècles / François‑Xavier Roth

Bru Zane

François-Xavier Roth’s second Editor’s Choice slot this month, here with Les Siècles exploring a rarely heard Saint-Saëns opera alongside excellent soloists and the choir Accentus.

Read the Gramophone review

DVD/blu-ray

Beethoven Piano Concerto No 4 Bruckner Symphony No 7

Emanuel Ax pf Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra / Bernard Haitink

Unitel

A performance of Bruckner steeped in the wisdom of a lifetime.

Read the Gramophone review

Reissue/archive

Smetana Libuše

Václav Talich

Supraphon

An important addition to Václav Talich’s Smetana music on record, one taken from performances in 1939: ‘a historic recording’, writes Rob Cowan in Replay, in the sense of ‘history being made’.

Subscribe to Gramophone to read the reviews of all of these albums in the October issue 

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