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Recommended Recordings 2021

Those marked with the ROTM symbol were chosen at the end of each month as the five best.

John Luther ADAMS (b. 1953) The Become Trilogy - Seattle SO & Ch/Ludovic Morlot rec. 2013-18 CANTALOUPE CA21161 [3 CDs: 97:32] [SB] Adams’s breakthrough work together with its two companions make an impressive trilogy.

Charles-Valentin ALKAN (1813-1888) Complete Piano Music Vol. 4 - Paraphrases, Marches and Symphonie for Solo Piano - Mark Viner (piano) rec. 2018/19 PIANO CLASSICS PCL10207 [71:00] [DM] Astounding music, superbly played and recorded; a mandatory purchase for Alkanites and pianophiles alike.

Claudio AMBROSINI (b. 1948) Chamber Music - Sonia Visentin (soprano) Ex Novo Ens rec 1988-1999 KAIROS 0015084KAI [65:51] A remarkable juxtaposition of the lush and the spartan.

Arno BABADJANIAN (1921-1983) Gayané CHEBOTARYAN (1918-1998) & Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992) Piano trios - Trio de L’Île rec. 2020 DIVINE ART DDA25211 [54:53] [DJB] Absolutely outstanding – previous favourites are swept aside.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Complete Organ Works - David Goode (organ) rec. 2015-2016 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD640 [16 CDs: 1060 mins] [SG] Bach has been exceptionally well served through this release.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier - Piotr Anderszewski (piano) rec. 2019/20 WARNER CLASSICS 9029511875 [78:08] [MC] Playing of this elevated quality does not come along too often.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II (excerpts) - Piotr Anderszewski (piano) rec. 2019, 2020 WARNER CLASSICS 9029511875 [77:53] [DMD] An unqualified success.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Well-Tempered Clavier Book 2 - Borbála Dobozy (harpsichord) rec. 2018 BMC CD 293 [2 CDs: 74:42 + 76:51] [DC] Up with the best for Bach’s WTC Book 2 on harpsichord.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cello Suites - David Watkin (cello) rec. 2013 RESONUS RES10146 [68:19 + 76:42] [RMo] This recording presents period practice at its best.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Consort II - Phantasm rec. 2020 LINN CKD657 [70:05] [PBr] Superlative chamber transcriptions, outstandingly well recorded - this second volume is an even greater triumph than the first.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano sonatas Nos 7, 23 & 31 - Naum Grubert (piano) NAVIS CLASSICS NC20010 [69:55] [DC] Can stand comparison with anyone.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 7 & 8 - New York Philharmonic O/Bruno Walter rec. 1948/51 SONY G010004058262O [59:08] [BW] One of the best single downloads from the complete Sony set of Walter’s Columbia recordings.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Harmonium & Piano arrangements - Liaison Extraordinaire rec. 2018 DISQUES VDE-GALLO CD-1621 [76:36] [DC] A delight from start to finish.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No.7; Prometheus ballet - Freiburger Barockorchester/Gottfried von der Goltz rec. 2020 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM 902446.47 [40:46 + 62:19] [BW] A first-rate Seventh and a persuasive account of the ‘Prometheus’ ballet.

Ed BENNETT (b. 1975) Psychedelia - RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra/David Brophy rec 2013-20 NMC D257 [78:13] [RHa] Yet more invigorating fare from Ireland; Bennett’s music oscillates seamlessly between the febrile and the subtle.

Victoria BORISOVA-OLLAS (b 1969) Angelus - Royal Stockholm PO/Andrey Borekyo/Martyn Brabbins/Sakari Oramo rec. 2016-2019 BIS BIS-2288 SACD [82:08] [JQ] Victoria Borisova-Ollas is a very individual and significant voice.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) The Last Piano Pieces - Victor Rosenbaum (piano) rec. 2017/18 BRIDGE 9545 [65:17] [GPu] Profound readings from a mature pianist whose maturity of mind and heart is evident throughout.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Complete Folk Songs for voice and piano - Mark Milhofer (tenor) Marco Scolastra (piano) rec. 2019/20 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96009 [67:52 + 57:29] [RWe] A superb collection bringing new dimensions to this repertoire.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 - Wiener PO/Bernard Haitink rec. 2019 VIENNA PHILHARMONIC CD WPH-L-BH-2020 [71:30] Typical of the glorious Indian summer to Haitink’s career.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No 8 - Tonkünstler Symphony Orchestra/Yutaka Sado rec. 2019 TONKÜNSTLER TON2011 SACD [58:27 + 26:40] [RMo] The quality of this recording makes me hope that it will eventually form part of an entire cycle.

Linda BUCKLEY (b. 1979) From Ocean’s Floor - Linda Buckley (electronics) Crash Ensemble, ConTempo Quartet rec. 2016-19 NMC D258 [78:17] [RHa] 'Ó Íochtar mara' is the unforgettable standout in a survey of fascinating electroacoustic pieces.

Pietro Antonio CESTI (1623-1669) La Dori - Francesca Ascioti (alto) Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli (soprano) rec. 2019 NAXOS Blu-ray NBD0123V [164:00] [MP] A highly accomplished production of a Baroque treasure which should be at the top of one’s shopping list.

Marc-Antoine CHARPENTIER (1643-1704) Méditations pour le Caręme Sébastien DE BROSSARD (1655-1730) Salve Rex Christe, O plenus irarum dies - Ens Les Surprises/Louis-Noël Bestion de Camboulas rec. 2019 EDITIONS AMBRONAY AMY056 [59:49] [JV] We know about the qualities of Charpentier, but Brossard is the revelation here.

Marc-Antoine CHARPENTIER (1643-1704) Messe ŕ quatre chœurs - Ensemble Correspondances/Sébastien Daucé rec. 2019 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902640 [79:38] [JV] Historically intriguing, musically exciting.

Armand-Louis COUPERIN (1727-1789) Pičces de clavecin - Christophe Rousset (harpsichord) rec. 2017 APARTÉ AP236 [49:41+51:06] [SSi] A wonderfiul showcase for Armand-Louis Couperin’s music.

Edward COWIE (b. 1943) Clarinet Concerto No. 2, Concerto for Orchestra - Alan Hacker (clarinet) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Howard Williams rec. 1983/84 MÉTIER MSV92108 [44:38] [RHa] A welcome return for this majestic coupling – superb performances of Cowie’s unique, topographically inspired music.

Jan Ladislav DUSSEK (1760-1812) Messe Solemnelle - Choir of the AAM, Academy of Ancient Music/Richard Egarr rec. 2019 AAM RECORDS AAM011 [60:14] [SSi] A superb release which should win Dussek some new converts.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Cello Concerto; Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Cello Concerto No 1 - Victor Julien-Laferričre (cello) Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Ličge/Gergely Madaras
ALPHA 731 [66:37] [DMD] A Dvořák that goes to the top of the pile paired with moving Martinů

Michael EAST (c. 1580-1648) Amavi: Music for Viols & Voices - Fieri Consort, Chelys Consort of Viols rec. 2018 BIS BIS2503 SACD [71:14] [GH] One for the most pleasing discs to have come my way for some months.

John ECCLES (1668-1735) Semele - Anna Dennis (soprano) Richard Burkhard (baritone) Academy of Ancient Music, Cambridge Handel Opera/Julian Perkins rec. 2019 AAM RECORDS AAM012 [72:07 + 49:20] [JW] Outstandingly well sung and performed English-language opera.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Partsongs from the Bavarian Highlands - Ch Bayerischen Rundfunks/Howard Arman, Max Hanft (piano) Radoslav Szulc, Julita Smoleń (violins) rec. 2019-2020 BR KLASSIK 900522 [65:37] [NB] Technically polished and musically sensitive performances of beautiful music.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Trois Pičces; Trois Chorals - Pétur Sakari (organ) rec. 2020 BIS BIS-2349 SACD [80:37] [DM]  Deeply impressive performances, rendered in top-flight sound; organ recordings don’t come much better than this.

George GERSHWIN (1898–1937) Piano Concerto Joan TOWER (b. 1938) Sequoia Walter PISTON (1894–1976) Symphony No. 5 - Kevin Cole (piano) Ntl Orchestral Institute PO/David Alan Miller rec. 2019 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559875 [75:31] [LW] A treasurable addition to the Naxos American Classics series.

Francisco GUERRERO (1526-1599) Magnificat, Lamentations & Canciones - El Leon de Oro/Peter Philips, Marco Antonio García de Paz rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68347 [60:53] [GH] A fine Spanish choir conducted by a famed English renaissance specialist: it doesn’t get better than this.

Reynaldo HAHN (1874-1947) String Quartets, Piano Quintet, Romance - Quatuor Tchalik, Dania Tchalik (piano) rec. 2019 ALKONOST CLASSIC ALK006 [82:07] [SG] Best known for his songs and operettas, Hahn’s chamber music comprises some of his finest scores.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Piano Sonatas, Variations - Leon McCawley (piano) rec. 2016 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0162 [78.54] [RBe] Stylish and cultivated playing.

Charles IVES (1874-1954) Complete Symphonies - Los Angeles Master Chorale and Philharmonic O/Gustavo Dudamel rec. 2020 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 9505 [2 CDs: 124:00] [DM] Without doubt, the most important Ives release in years; world-class playing too, with a sound to match.

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) From the House of the Dead, Sinfonietta - Radiodiffusion Télévision Française & Vienna Symphony Orchestras/Jascha Horenstein rec. 1953/55 PRISTINE CLASSICAL PACO173 [57:55 + 69:08] [MP] An excellent version of the old edition of Janáček’s great opera renovated in Pristine’s exemplary sound.

JOSQUIN Des Prez (c.1450-1521) Motets & Mass Movements - Brabant Ensemble/Stephen Rice rec. 2020 HYPERION CDA68321 [78.38] [GH] One of the Brabant Ensemble’s most outstanding recordings.

JOSQUIN Des Prez (c.1450/55-1521) The Golden Renaissance Choral works - Stile Antico rec. 2020 DECCA 4851340 [82:48] [JQ] A very fine 500th anniversary tribute to Josquin.

Douglas KNEHANS (b. 1957) Unfinished Earth - Brno Philharmonic Orchestra/Mikel Toms ABLAZE RECORDS AR00036 [52:58] [WH] Brilliant performances of two challenging contemporary works.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Piano Trio, String Sextet - Spectrum Arts Berlin rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574008 [65:20] [NB] Prodigious music played with passionate intensity.

Jean-Baptiste KRUMPHOLTZ (1747-1790) & Jan Ladislav DUSSEK (1760-1812) Works for harp - Barbara Plachá (harp) rec. 2019 ARCODIVA UP0216-2131 [62.51] [MW] Essential for any lover of the harp and its history – and an absolute delight for everyone.

Michel-Richard de LALANDE(1657-1726) Les fontaines de Versailles, Grande Pičce en G-Ré-Sol, Le Concert d’Esculape - Boston Early Music Festival Vocal & Chamber Ensembles/Paul O’Dette, Stephen Stubbs rec. 2019 CPO 555097-2 [72:55] [SB] A delightful entertainment by the French baroque master, in an exemplary performances and presentation.

Jonathan LESHNOFF (b 1973) Piano Concerto, Symphony No 3 - Joyce Yang (piano) Stephen Powell (baritone) Kansas City SO/Michael Stern rec. 2016-2019 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-739 SACD [60:21] [LD] Twenty-first century music that packs a significant emotional punch.

Peter LIEBERSON (1946-2011) The Six Realms, Songs of Love and Sorrow - Anssi Karttunen (cello) Gerald Finley (bass-baritone) Finnish RSO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2019 ONDINE ODE1356-2 [49:07] [JQ] A superb disc, pairing two important and impressive scores in well-nigh ideal performances and magnificent sound.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano Sonata and other works - Benjamin Grosvenor (piano) rec. 2020 DECCA 485 1450 [84:29] [IJ] The only match I could find for this exalted level of prowess and spontaneity is the early Horowitz recording from 1932.

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Violin Concertos Nos 1 & 2 Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Sonata for solo violin - Franz Peter Zimmermann (violin) Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Jakub Hrůša rec. 2018-2020 BIS BIS-2457 SACD [74:40] [RC] Splendid performances throughout.

David MATTHEWS (b. 1943) Symphony No. 8, Toward Sunrise, Sinfonia, A Vision of the Sea - BBC Philharmonic/Jac van Steen rec. 2017 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD647 [67:47] [JQ] This splendid disc is a notable addition to David Matthews’ discography.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies Nos 25, 39 & 40 - Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Klemperer rec. 1956 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC606 [74:32] [DRD] Three superb Mozart performances that belie their 65 years, and magnificently refurbished.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Concertos Nos 1-5, Adagio K261, Rondo K269, Rondo K373 - Baiba Skride (violin), Swedish Chamber Orchestra/Eivind Aadland rec. 2019 ORFEO C997201 [61:22 + 67:37] [MG] Baiba Skride is the finest soloist I’ve heard in these Mozart concertos.

Thomas Agerfeldt OLESEN (b. 1969) Der Wind bläset wo er will, Cello Concerto - Johannes Moser (cello) Danish Ntl SO/Otto Tausk rec. 2017-2019 DACAPO 8.226586 [48:48] [RHa] More superlative new music from Denmark - the songful restraint and stoicism of the cello concerto render it especially moving.

Johann Georg PISENDEL (1687-1755) New Sonatas - Scaramuccia rec. 2020 SNAKEWOOD EDITIONS SCD202100 [59:13] [JV] These strongly gestural performances are outright exciting.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) The Fiery Angel - Ewa Vesin, Leigh Melrose - Rome Opera House Ch & O/Alejo Pérez rec. 2019 NAXOS Blu-ray NBD0113V [2:12:58] [RC] Clearly now my first choice.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Complete Piano Sonatas - Dinara Klinton (Piano) rec. 2019/20 PIANO CLASSICS PCL10191 [3 CDs: 170:18] [RC] In a crowded field of distinguished pianists, young Dinara Klinton comes out on top in Prokofiev's sonatas.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony No 1, Symphonic Dances - Philadelphia Orchestra/Yannick Nézet-Séguin rec. 2018/19 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4839839 [80:52] [RMo] This easily merits admittance into the ranks of the top recommendations for both works.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphonies Nos 1-3, Symphonic Dances, The Rock, The Isle of the Dead - Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra/Alexander Sladkovsky rec. 2020 SONY CLASSICS 19439864962-4 [220:22] [GT] Sladkovsky’s superb Rachmaninov symphonic collection is a top recommendation.

Sergei RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943) Piano Sonata No 2, Preludes - Emre Yavuz (piano) rec. 2019 TYXART TXA20147 [69:50] [NB] Risk-taking and revelatory – a stunning debut recital.

Antoine REICHA (1770-1836) Rediscovered Vol. 3 - Ivan Ilić (piano) rec. 2020 CHANDOS CHAN20194 [86:50] [DC] A crowning achievement in this edition, whatever comes next.

Antonio SALIERI (1750-1826) Armida - Lenneke Ruiten (soprano) Ashley Riches (baritone) Chœur de Chambre de Namur, Les Talens Lyriques/Christophe Rousset rec. 2020 APARTÉ AP244 [53:42 + 71:52] [DC] Excellent in every regard.

Rebecca SAUNDERS (b. 1967) Still, Aether, Alba -Carolin Widmann (violin) Marco Blaauw (trumpet) Carl Rosman, Richard Haynes (bass clarinets) SO Bayerischen Rundfunks/Ilan Volkov, Peter Eövös rec. 2015-2018 BR KLASSIK 900635 [66:50] [GH] This may be the future of classical music.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) 12 Great Piano Sonatas - Daniel-Ben Pienaar (piano) rec. 2015 AVIE RECORDS AV2425 [5 CDs: 354:11] [DC] A remarkable set, to be ignored at your peril.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) The Symphonies - Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Nikolaus Harnoncourt rec. 1988 ICA CLASSICS ICAC5160 [4 CDs: 252:12] [SG] A surfeit of delights.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphony No 4 Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No 8 - Wiener Philharmoniker/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1985/87 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 431 095-2 [67:32] [RMo] A deservedly celebrated classic.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906–1975) Chamber Symphonies - Chambre Lausanne/Joshua Weilerstein rec. 2019 FUGA LIBERA FUG769 [72:32] [GPJ] Brilliant arrangements of two great Shostakovich quartets in stylish and deeply felt performances.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphonies Nos 9 & 10 - London Symphony Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2018/20 LSO LIVE LSO0828 SACD [79:05] [GPJ] Simply stunning - Noseda is a superb Shostakovich conductor, and the music is delivered thrillingly by orchestra and recording.

Robert SIMPSON (1921-1997) Symphonies 5 & 6 - London Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Davis, London Philharmonic Orchestra/Charles Groves rec. 1973-80 LYRITA SRCD389 [72:05] [DMD] World premiere recordings and an essential release for anyone interested in Simpson.

Robert SIMPSON (1921-1997) Symphonies Nos 5 & 6 - London Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Davis, London Philharmonic Orchestra/Charles Groves rec. 1973-80 LYRITA SRCD389 [72:05] [NB] One of the most revelatory archive/historical discs of the year.

Kaikhosru SORABJI (1892-1988) Transcendental Studies Nos 84-100 - Fredrik Ullén (piano) rec. 2018/19 BIS BIS-2433 [45:23 + 72:35] [RHa] Ullén is riveting in this unmissable conclusion to a pioneering sequence of discs.

Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Love's White Flame, Songs Vol. 1 - Elisabetta Paglia (mezzo) Christopher Howell (piano) rec. 2018 DA VINCI CLASSICS C00304 [65:50] [JF] A remarkable disc.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Complete Tone Poems - SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg/François-Xavier Roth rec. 2012-15 SWR CLASSIC SWR19426CD [5 CDs: 357:16] [GPJ] Brilliant and often inspired performances of these great works, in outstanding modern recordings.

Anna THORVALDSDOTTIR (b. 1977) Rhízōma - Iceland Symphony Orchestra/Daniel Bjarnason rec. 2016 SONO LUMINUS SLE-70018 [57:44] [RHa] An irresistible blend of Thorvaldsdottir’s remarkable composition, superb performances, and outstanding sound.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphony No. 5, Pilgrim’s Progress (Scenes) - BBC Singers Qt, BBC SO & Ch/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2018-2019 HYPERION CDA68325 [66:59] [MW] Probably the best recent version of the Symphony, and a lovely first recording.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Songs of Travel, Job – Neal Davies (bass-baritone), Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2019 HALLÉ CDHLL7556 [70:16] [JQ] This recording of Job is a singular achievement and a pinnacle in Elder’s Vaughan Williams cycle.

Jussi Björling (tenor) A Tribute rec. 1937-1959 IMMORTAL PERFORMANCES IPCD1135-6 [6 CDs: 450:29] [GF] A goldmine of mostly very rare recordings which add considerably to our knowledge about one of the greatest tenors of the previous century.

Alfred Brendel (piano) Early Recordings Vol. 3  Music by Beethoven, Liszt and Mozart - Alfred Brendel (piano); VPM/Zubin Mehta; VSOO/Paul Angerer rec. 1966-1961 BEULAH 3PS86 [69:06] [GM]
These recordings come highly recommended.

Cabinet of Wonders Vol. 1 Works by Vilsmayr, Visconti & Schreivogel - Kinga Ujszászi (violin) Tom Foster (harpsichord) rec. 2020 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR89 [56:52] [JV] This disc deserves to be part of every collection of baroque violin music.

Cavalieri Imperiali InAlto/Lambert Colson rec. 2019 RICERCAR RIC419 [65:49] [JV] Exciting performances of music that cannot fail to captivate an audience.

Lise Davidsen (soprano) Music by Beethoven, Wagner, Verdi - London PO/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2020 DECCA 4851507 [63:28] [MMB] A uniquely extraordinary voice; a recital to buy, cherish and enjoy repeatedly.

Isabelle Demers (organ) The Chicago Recital - Works by Macmillan, Tchaikovsky, Reger, Laurin, Mendelssohn & Dupre rec. 2015 ACIS APL41752 [70:49] [MR] A perfect combination of magnificent organ, brilliant player, fine programme and top-notch recording.

English Music for Strings Works by Britten, Bridge, Berkeley & Bliss - Sinfonia of London/John Wilson rec. 2020 CHANDOS SACD CHSA5264 [64:46] [WH] A magnificent collection of four masterly English works for strings.

Feminae The Female in Music - Lisa Maria Schachtschneider (piano) rec. 2020 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38314 SACD [78:31] [GT]  An outstanding recording debut.

Christian Ferras (violin) Concert Tours in Germany 1954–1961. Violin concertos by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Brahms & Prokofiev - Südfunk-SO Stuttgart/Hans Müller-Kray, NDR-SO/Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, HR-SO/Dean Dixon rec. 1954-1961 MELOCLASSIC MC2042 [77:26 + 61:37] [MB] I don’t expect to hear a finer set of discs this year by a violinist than these.

Christian Ferras (violin) Violin Recitals in Hamburg rec. 1951-64 MELOCLASSIC MC2043 [79:45 + 76:03] [SG] Outstanding in every respect.

Kathleen Ferrier (contralto) 20th-Century British Treasures rec. 1946-53 SOMM ARIADNE 5010 [79:15] [SG] A disc to treasure.

Kathleen Ferrier (contralto) 20th-Century British Treasures rec. 1946-53 SOMM ARIADNE 5010 [79:15] [JQ] Anyone who values great singing should put this CD at the top of their shopping list.

French Cello Sonatas David Berlin (cello) Benjamin Martin (piano) rec. 2019 ABC CLASSICS 485 5165 [77:26] [MR] A disc of passionate and turbulent music, masterly delivered by two players at the very peak of their form.

French Duets Works by Faure, Poulenc, Debussy, Stravinsky & Ravel - Paul Lewis, Steven Osborne (piano) rec. 2020 HYPERION CDA68329 [68:28] [JQ] An outstanding recital of richly entertaining music.

Elina Garanča (mezzo-soprano) Lieder by Schumann & Brahms - Malcolm Martineau (piano) rec. 2020 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4839210 [57:33] [GF] Place your orders!

Stephen Hough (piano) Vida Breve rec. 2018 HYPERION RECORDS CDA68260 [78:09] [RCh] Recital playing of the highest order.

Gabriella Lengyel (violin) Jenő Hubay’s last pupil rec. 1951-1972 RHINE CLASSICS RH-018 [9 CDs: 685:05] [SG] A collection I wouldn’t like to be without.

Josef Lhévinne (piano) The Complete Josef Lhévinne rec. 1920-1942 MARSTON 53023-2 [3 CDs: 213:43] [SG] Stylish playing, phenomenal technique, unassailable musicality and passionate commitment – it’s all here.

Mysteries Nikolai MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950) Piano Sonatas Nos 2 & 3, Eccentricities Nicolas BACRI (b. 1961) Piano Sonatas Nos 2 & 3, Fantaisie -Sabine Weyer (piano) rec. 2020 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38313 SACD [77:33] [MC] Stellar performances of works entirely deserving of wider circulation.

Noctuelles Works by Ravel & Medtner - Michael Brown (piano) rec. 2019 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR078 [61:49] [RCh] A coupling of masterpieces, familiar and neglected, in exceptional performances.

Nordic Choral Music Youth Concert Ch of the Choral Academy Dortmund/Felix Heitmann WDR Radio Ch/Stefan Parkman rec. 2011-2019 HÄNSSLER CLASSICS HC20064 [72:45] [GPJ] Masterful performances of challenging repertoire from both choirs.

John Ogdon (piano) The Ludwigsburg Recital Works by J S Bach, Beethoven and Chopin rec. 1967 MELOCLASSIC MC1056 [79:45] [SG] Ogdon at the height of his powers.

The Soul of Russia Transcriptions for piano trio by Alexander Krein - Piano Trio Then-Bergh-Yang-Schäfer rec. 2020 GENUIN GEN21727 [65:30] [RCh] Beautiful music lovingly transformed into wonderful chamber miniatures.

The Sweetest Songs Music from the Baldwin Partbooks III - Contrapunctus/Owen Rees rec. 2016 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD633 [67:23] [ST] Like balm for the soul.

George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra The Forgotten Recordings rec. 1954-1955 SOMM ARIADNE 5011-2 [69:44 + 73:13] [JQ] A revelatory set.

Time Zones Works by Satie & Scheidt - Lautten Compagney/Wolfgang Katschner rec. 2020 DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 19439807952 [70:32] [DC] Imaginative and hugely entertaining.

Daniil Trifonov (piano) Silver Age - Mariinsky Orchestra/Valery Gergiev rec. 2019 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 5331 [69:39 + 75:44] [LW] Trifonov’s staggering pianism at the service of the music makes this unmissable.

Verklärte Nacht Works by Lehar, Schoenberg, Fried & Korngold - Stuart Skelton (tenor) Christine Rice (mezzo) BBC SO/Edward Gardner rec. 2020 CHANDOS SACD CHSA5243 [63:36] [RWe] Recommended both for the excellent performances and valuable programme.

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piano music Vol 4


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From Ocean’s Floor