Brahms Piano Pieces, Op 76, 117 & 118
Arcadi Volodos pf
One is struck first by the extraordinary sound Arcadi Volodos draws from his piano; this is swiftly followed by wonder at the warmth, individuality and beauty of his performance.
Antheil Orchestral Works, Vol 1
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / John Storgårds
This was new music to me, but performed with such expression and advocacy that I’m delighted to have heard it, and am left eagerly awaiting Volume 2!
Mahler Symphony No 3
Gerhild Romberger mez Budapest Festival Orchestra / Iván Fischer
Iván Fischer’s Mahler journey has been a powerful one; he now adds the Third, explored and performed with devotion from players and label alike.
Ravel Daphnis et Chloé
Les Siècles / François‑Xavier Roth
Reviews of François-Xavier Roth’s regularly praised recordings in our pages all hint at one thing: there’s never anything routine about his approach, the sound or the vision.
Brahms String Sextets
Renaud Capuçon et al
A very stylish sextet indeed – the Capuçons and colleagues, here caught live, convey the individuality of playing but unanimity of vision which defines chamber music at its most engaging and its best.
Haydn Piano Sonatas, Vol 6
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet pf
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet continues his Haydn survey as wonderfully as any follower of the series might hope and expect: probing curiosity, technical finesse and love of music-making shine forth throughout.
Liszt/Tausig Eine Faust-Symphonie
István Lajkó pf
My second new discovery this month, and for this I can be forgiven: a remarkable transcription of Liszt’s mighty Faust Symphony, played with astonishing confidence and skill by István Lajkó.
JS Bach Cantatas Nos 54 & 170 Pergolesi Stabat mater
Lucy Crowe sop Tim Mead counterten La Nuova Musica / David Bates
The first of two Stabat maters this month (following, indeed, James MacMillan’s new setting last issue), and very moving it is too.
Skempton The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group / Martyn Brabbins
Howard Skempton’s setting of this epic poem is captivatingly communicative. Roderick Williams seems ideal as the mariner recounting his cautionary tale.
Szymanowski Stabat mater. Symphony No 3
Sols; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra / Jacek Kaspszyk
Beautifully sung, with a well-judged sense of immediacy, urgency and humanity. The playing is excellent – affectionately supportive, and decisive and dramatic too.
Fugue State Films
Reger enthusiasts will relish this, but those not so familiar with him should equally explore such compelling advocacy of the composer’s music, life and legacy, told through fascinating documentaries and glorious music-making.
Beethoven Complete String Quartets
I attended some of these sessions and can still recall the forensic care and commitment the Takács brought to these works.