The best new classical albums – July 2017
Friday, June 16, 2017
Martin Cullingford’s pick of the finest recordings from this month’s reviews
Recording of the month
Monteverdi ‘The Other Vespers’
I Fagiolini / Robert Hollingworth
From such an inventive ensemble, we’d have expected something both imaginative and impressive to mark Monteverdi’s 450th anniversary: I Fagiolini do not disappoint!
Brahms Violin Concerto. Violin Sonata No 1. ‘F-A-E’ Scherzo
Vadim Gluzman vn Angela Yoffe pf Lucerne SO / James Gaffigan
Whether in concerto or sonata, Vadim Gluzman proves himself a violinist of fine tone, calm control and virtuosity.
Handel Water Music
Göttingen Festival Orchestra / Laurence Cummings
Delightful playing from the Göttingen Festival Orchestra under Laurence Cummings, full of vitality and embodying a truly joyful sense of rapport.
Leclair Violin Concertos
Europa Galante / Fabio Biondi vn
There’s an air of refinement and graceful confidence in these recordings of concertos by French Baroque composer Jean-Marie Leclair that just feels completely appropriate.
Alberto Reyes Piano Recital
Alberto Reyes pf
It ‘may be his best yet’, says Jed Distler in praising the latest recording from Uruguayan pianist Alberto Reyes, a musician who evidently should be much better known to us all.
Fauré ‘The Complete Songs, Vol 2’
Soloists; Malcolm Martineau pf
Volume 2 in Malcolm Martineau’s survey of Fauré’s songs pairs some whole cycles with rarities, and follows the first in offering listeners some superb singing.
Machaut ‘Sovereign Beauty’
The Orlando Consort
This wonderful disc – the latest in The Orlando Consort’s exploration of Machaut – unites a programme of well-chosen works with performances (and a recording) of great eloquence and clarity.
Stanford Choral Works
The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge / Stephen Layton
A celebration of Stanford’s link with Trinity – many of his works were written for the chapel – and of this impressive choir under Stephen Layton’s leadership.
Les Talens Lyriques / Christophe Rousset
Leading Lully interpreter Christophe Rousset has assembled an excellent cast for a performance rich in exquisite singing, drama and dancelike momentum.
Véronique Gens sop Munich Radio Orchestra / Hervé Niquet
Admirers of Véronique Gens will know what to expect: namely powerful characterisation, emotional commitment and singing of deeply moving beauty.
Andrew Everard, Gramophone Audio Editor, writes: 'This is an almost ridiculously lush-sounding recording, as rich in instrumental tone as it is in the view of the soloist’s voice, but it shines even more spectacularly in the hi-res Qobuz download, the 96kHz/24bit resolution letting it sparkle to thrilling effect. An indulgence? Maybe – but a captivating one in sonic terms as well as in the performances.'
Verdi Un ballo in maschera
Sols incl Ricciarelli & Domingo; Royal Opera, Covent Garden / Claudio Abbado
An archive release from Covent Garden, 1975, featuring music-making from such greats as Plácido Domingo and, in the pit, Claudio Abbado.
Rachmaninov ‘The Edison Recordings’
Sergey Rachmaninov pf
A valuable glimpse into the sound world and artistry of one of history’s greatest pianists.