This Week’s Essential New Albums

James McCarthy
Friday, June 25, 2021

Randall Goosby’s Decca debut, Olga Pashchenko’s Mozart, Shostakovich from Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons, and more

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Randall Goosby's debut album for Decca features music by Florence Price (including premiere recordings of Fantasies Nos 1 and 2), William Grant Still (Suite for Violin and Piano), Dvořák (Sonatina for Violin and Piano in G major, Op 100), Gershwin (Porgy and Bess excerpts) and a specially-commissioned work, Shelter Island, by Xavier Dubois Foley.

Olga Pashchenko has already had an album selected as Editor's Choice this year, 'Vanitas', her collaboration with baritone Georg Nigl, which Hugo Shirley called 'a beguiling, intelligent and supremely sensitive recital, which continues to resonate long after its last note has died away.' (Read the review in the Reviews Database). Pashchenko's new album feature's Mozart's Piano Concertos Nos 9 and 17, the start of what is planned to be a series of Mozart recordings with the ensemble Il Gardellino.

Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra continue their Gramophone Award-winning series exploring Shostakovich's symphonies, the new album features Nos 1, 14, 15 and the Chamber Symphony. Their recording of Symphony No 10 won the Gramophone Orchestral Award in 2016, with the album of Symphonies Nos 5, 8 and 9 being shortlisted for the same Award the following year. 

This the second appearance by pianist Alasdair Beatson in this column in recent weeks, his album of Beethoven's Violin Sonatas Nos 4, 5 and 7 with Viktoria Mullova for Onyx went on to receive a glowing review from David Threasher: 'Among recent recordings of such extremely familiar repertoire, this one must surely rank among the finest.' (Read the review in the Reviews Database). This is Beatson's first solo album for Pentatone and features Korngold's Piano Sonata No 3, Ravel's Valses nobles et sentimentales, Schumann's Faschingsschwank aus Wien and Schoenberg's Kleine Klavierstücke, Op 19.

Alain Planès's recordings of Debussy and Chopin have been widely praised in Gramophone, recently the album 'Debussy: Harmonie du soir' on which he collaborated with baritone Stéphane Degout was shortlisted for a Gramophone Award. Today sees the release of his new album of Chopin's Complete Nocturnes, recorded on an 1836 Pleyel piano, Chopin's own preferred piano-maker.

The Listening Room

Gramophone’s The Listening Room is an Apple Music playlist featuring hand-picked selection of the most interesting new classical releases chosen by Editor-in-Chief James Jolly. It’s the essential classical playlist:

Specialist Classical Chart

The Official Specialist Classical Chart Top 20 appears on the Gramophone website and is updated every Friday at 6pm (UK time). It’s a great way of exploring the new classical releases: 

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