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Gramophone Choices, Gramophone Editor's Choices - July 2016

Gramophone Editor's Choices - July 2016This month's choices stray a little off the beaten track, exploring fascinating repertoire from both the early and contemporary ends of the spectrum. Solo gamba works by Lawes, choral music form Dufay and the late Jonathan Harvey, and two symphonies by Per Nørgård are all featured; fast-rising Bavarian baritone Benjamin Appl's new collection of Lieder also makes the cut, while the top spot goes to Nicholas Angelich's intriguingly circular collection of works by Chopin, Liszt and Schumann - all dedicated to each other.

Recording of the Month

'Angelich’s new release reveals him at a new level of artistic accomplishment....[his] magisterial virtuosity is uniquely contemporary, even as his imaginative grasp easily encompasses a persuasive vision of the 19th-century ethos...his poignant lyricism not far from the mercurial pathos of Bernhardt.'

Available Formats: MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Editor's Choices

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Nicholas McGegan

'The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra’s string-playing is routinely urbane, and the continuo group’s realisations are impeccably shaded. Diana Moore is expressive with words and musical details in Spring’s splendid arias...This is a delightfully enjoyable revelation of the elder Scarlatti’s genius.'

Available Formats: 2 CDs, MP3, FLAC

Cut Circle, Jesse Rodin

'There are many other recordings of all these works, but surely all serious collectors will want this issue of all four works, beautifully sung, beautifully recorded, beautifully presented and always exhilarating.'

Available Formats: 2 CDs, MP3, FLAC

SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart, Frieder Bernius

'The singers betray no lack of sympathy or stamina. Without pushing on the tempo or whipping up fake pathos, Frieder Bernius extracts every last drop of juice from Reger’s word-setting...For those who associate Reger with brain-melting contrapuntal intricacy, the disc will come as a surprise, and maybe a pleasant one.'

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC

St John's College Choir Cambridge, Andrew Nethsingha

'This is an essential disc not only for admirers of Jonathan Harvey’s work in general but for all those interested in contemporary sacred music...This recording is outstanding on every count: remarkable and under-peformed repertoire, beautfully performed and recorded.'

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, John Storgårds

'The detail in the writing – articulation bestowed upon single instruments in the tiniest of gestures – is beguiling...Listening across the orchestra is vital in this music, just as in Sibelius. The Oslo Philharmonic sound settled at the foundations while suggesting spontaneity on the surface...These are magnificent performances.'

Available Formats: SACD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Julian Bliss, Carducci Quartet

'Here’s a double delight. First, an engaging new work which deserves a place in the chamber repertory; second, a passionate account of Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet which can hold its head high against starrier competition...[Bliss's tone is] firm and rounded, with a fruity chalumeau register.'

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

'Lawes’s music is in general jolly and introspective by turns. Boothby plays in a charmingly gentle, often elegant yet spare way that suggests he is enjoying a private pleasure which we are nonetheless invited to savour...The delicacy with which Boothby phrases and ornaments the music is sublime.'

Available Formats: MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

DVD Choice

Re-issue of the Month

BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra & Hallé Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli

'Some ‘truly remarkable music-making’, as critic Rob Cowan puts it in Replay.'

Available Format: CD