Editor's Choice recordings – Awards issue 2015

Martin Cullingford's pick of the finest recordings from this month's reviews

Verdi Aida 

Sols; Chorus and Orch of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia / Sir Antonio Pappano 

(Warner Classics)

This would always have been an event, a major (in several senses) studio opera recording. But it’s also a performance absolutely worthy of the attention, and a superb addition to the catalogue. Read the review

Bruckner Symphony No 6

Frankfurt Radio SO / Paavo Järvi 

(RCA Red Seal)

Structure, emotion - Paavo Järvi proves once again why he is deservedly one of the most recorded of today’s conductors. Read the review

Dvořák. Lalo Cello Concertos

Johannes Moser vc Prague Philharmonia / Jakub Hrůša


Two concertos: one at the peak of the repertoire (an excellent version); one lesser known but delivered with compelling advocacy. Read the review

Fučík ‘A Festival of Fučík’

Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Neeme Järvi 


Nicely crafted and highly enjoyable music, played with all the life and fizz it requires by Järvi and his Scottish-based colleagues. Read the review

Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony

Hallé Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder 


Elder and his ever impressive Hallé Orchestra are completely versed in this music’s sound world – a majestic performance. Read the review

Gramophone's Audio Editor Andrew Everard writes: 'Acclaimed as one of the finest ever performances of the Sea Symphony, Elder’s March 2014 Bridgewater Hall concert with the Hallé really shines in this 24-bit recording, which brings out a scintillating sense of both live presence and the hall acoustic, while maintaining excellent clarity in the more complex passages. The powerful dynamics are a very worthwhile bonus, as is the effortless delivery of the scale of the musical forces.'

JS Bach. Handel. D Scarlatti Gamba Sonatas

Stephen Isserlis, Robin Michael vcs Richard Egarr hpd 


Two masters of their instruments combine to give vivid performances. Read the review

JS Bach Goldberg Variations 

Lars Vogt pf 


A wonderfully fresh, imaginative and warm-hearted journey through the Goldbergs, Lars Vogt’s obvious enjoyment in exploring the work evident in every variation. Read the review

Beethoven ‘Lieder & Bagatellen’ 

Werner Güra ten Christoph Berner fp

(Harmonia Mundi)

Berner’s fortepiano – not dissimilar to that Beethoven would have known – sounds perfectly aligned to the miniatures, while offering delightful partnership to Werner Güra. Read the review

‘The Song of the Stars’

Wells Cathedral School Choralia / Christopher Finch 


High praise for high voices are due to the girls of Wells Cathedral, one of the UK’s leading champions of choral music. Read the review

Tchaikovsky The Queen of Spades

Sols; Bavarian Radio Chorus and SO / Mariss Jansons


Jansons provides his excellent cast the support and vision needed for a memorable performance. Read the review


Rossini Aureliano in Palmira 

Sols; Chorus of the Teatro Comunale, Bologna; Giuseppe Rossini SO / Will Crutchfield

(ArtHaus Musik)

‘The Aureliano to have’ writes Richard Osborne of this new film of Rossini’s opera. Read the review



‘Forbidden Music in World War II’

Various artists


A poignant and fascinating set of music from one of Europe’s darkest eras. Read the review

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