The best new classical albums: September 2018
Thursday, August 9, 2018
Editor Martin Cullingford’s pick of the finest recordings from this month’s reviews
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Recording of the month
Bernstein Symphonies Nos 1–3; Prelude, Fugue and Riffs
Sols; Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia / Sir Antonio Pappano
Pappano’s knowledge of, and seeming instinct for, Bernstein’s sound world, rhythms and references, is hugely engaging – an excellent modern way of marking the composer’s centenary.
Shostakovich Symphonies Nos 4 & 11
Boston Symphony Orchestra / Andris Nelsons
‘The excellence continues,’ writes Edward Seckerson of this next instalment in Nelsons’s Shostakovich cycle: and so it does, dramatically, powerfully so.
Alissa Firsova pf Tippett Quartet et al
Beautifully crafted works – all of which reveal an innate understanding of different instrumental voices – reflect a creative mind from which we look forward to hearing more.
JS Bach Suites for lute
Thomas Dunford archlute
Performances rich in elegance and personality are wrapped in an acoustic of calming warmth, all of which makes for a wonderful journey through these Bach arrangements.
Haydn Piano Sonatas, Vol 7
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet pf
What more to say that hasn’t been said about Volumes 1-6 of this hugely enjoyable Haydn sonata series? Playing of grace and playfulness, all bursting with affection for this music – a superb series continues.
Liszt Scherzo und March. Ballades. Légends
Leonardo Pierdomenico pf
A truly impressive debut from this Italian pianist: well-chosen works, to which he brings compelling colour and mood, as well as – of course – thrilling virtuosity.
Steven Osborne pf
This remarkable pianist talked Gramophone readers though the score last month, whetting our appetite for a performance of deeply reflective individuality: he doesn’t disappoint.
Vox Luminis / Lionel Meunier
Another wonderful recording from our 2012 Recording of the Year winners, the blend, beauty of line and sense of atmosphere and drama making for a riveting listen.
‘Come to me in my dreams’
‘120 years of song from the Royal College of Music’
Dame Sarah Connolly mez / Joseph Middleton pf
As communicative as always, Connolly celebrates, in this programme, song composers associated with the RCM.
Halévy La reine de Chypre
Sols; Flemist Radio Choir; Paris Chamber Orchestra / Hervé Niquet
A less familiar opera – but what delightful advocacy it gets here! Characterful singing from a superb cast, all shaped perfectly by Niquet.
DVD/blu-ray of the month
Weinberg The Passenger
Sols; Yekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre / Oliver von Dohnányi
A film of an opera dealing with one of history’s most horrific events, taken from the Russian stage premiere of this powerful and important work.
Reissue/archive of the month
‘Mozart Live 1978’
Norman; Brendel; Academy of St Martin in the Fields / Neville Marriner
A fine celebration of music – and of Mozart!