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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.

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) 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.

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.

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.

Gayané CHEBOTARYAN (1918-1998) Arno BABADJANIAN (1921-1983) & 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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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Recordings of the Month

December


Conner Riddle Songs


Rodzinski Sibelius


Of Innocence and Experience

November


Symphonies 1, 2, 3

 

October


Aho Symphony 5


Dowland - A Fancy


MÄNTYJÄRVI - Choral


Rachmaninov_ Babayan