The best new classical albums: July 2019
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Editor Martin Cullingford’s pick of the finest recordings from this month’s reviews
Recording of the month
Charpentier Histoires sacrées
Ensemble Correspondances / Sébastien Daucé
The ability of Sébastien Daucé and his Ensemble Correspondances to bring Baroque drama vividly to life is well proven: this selection of sacred works is compellingly performed and superbly recorded.
Mozart Piano Concertos, Vol 4
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet pf Manchester Camerata / Gábor Takács‑Nagy
Bavouzet inspires, entertains and embodies the playfulness and grace of Mozart’s much-loved works. A very fine recording.
Sibelius Lemminkäinen Suite
BBC Symphony Orchestra / Sakari Oramo
Sakari Oramo has a wonderful command of the majestic sweep and inner detail of Sibelius’s music, this Lemminkäinen evocatively suggestive of mysterious legend.
Suk Asrael. Fairy Tale
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra / Jiří Bělohlávek
A fitting final studio recording from Jiří Bělohlávek – a powerful recording of this Czech masterpiece, with a deeply committed Czech Philharmonic giving their all.
Tavener The Protecting Veil
Sinfonietta Riga / Matthew Barley vc
The opening poetry sets the tone – intimate, achingly personal – that pervades Matthew Barley’s beautiful recording of one of the later 20th century’s most beloved and moving works.
Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6, ‘Pathétique’
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Kirill Petrenko
A Pathétique as powerful as (though very different to) Currentzis’s from a year ago, full of richly crafted orchestral colour.
Mozart Piano Sonatas
Lars Vogt pf
Perfectly controlled drama is paired with moments of deeply moving fragility by the pianist Lars Vogt throughout this beautifully played selection of spirited sonatas by Mozart.
Buxtehude Membra Jesu nostri
Ricercar Consort / Philippe Pierlot
Voices of rich brilliance and moving personality, captured perfectly in a vivid recording: a poignant performance of Buxtehude’s reflections on the body of Christ.
The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge / Andrew Nethsingha
The contribution of St John’s to choral music is immense, and on this joint celebration (150 years of the chapel and their 100th recording) they are in superb form under Andrew Nethsingha.
Audio Editor Andrew Everard writes: 'A wonderfully spacious and atmospheric recording, made in St John’s College Chapel, and all the more luminous in the 96kHz/24bit Qobuz ‘hi res’ version. Superbly engineered by the Signum team, it avoids ‘spotlighting’ for a more natural perspective, yet still retains remarkable clarity. Thrilling stuff!'
Sols; Hallé Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder
The focused drama of this Siegfried, concluding Mark Elder’s Hallé Ring, makes for a gripping listening experience, the cast collectively bringing strong characterisation to their roles.
Vaccaj Giulietta e Romeo
Sols; Orch of La Scala, Milan / Sesto Quatrini
A discovery for many, I’d imagine – the little-known opera revealed, says critic Hugo Shirley, to be ‘an excellent, highly effective piece’.
Big-hearted, powerful, grand performances of Beethoven and Brahms from a past master of the piano.
Read the full reviews of these and many other albums in the July 2019 issue of Gramophone. Subscribe today: gramophone.co.uk/subscribe