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 Announcement, BBC Proms 2018 - Our Top Related Recordings

Proms 2018The 2018 BBC Proms season was announced earlier today; we've been leafing through our Guide in the office this afternoon, and have put together a selective discography of relevant recordings... The full details of this year's programme are available in the BBC Proms 2018 Official Guide, which went on sale this morning.

Prom 2 - Saturday 14th July, 7.30pm

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat (Francesco Piemontesi, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Alain Altinoglu)

Francesco Piemontesi (piano), Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Andrew Manze

'His sympathy with the style and ethos of the Salzburger’s music simply sings from the speakers...More Mozart from these quarters is eagerly awaited.' (Gramophone)

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

Prom 5 - Tuesday 17th July, 6.30pm

Debussy: Pélleas et Mélisande (Christina Gansch, John Chest, Christopher Purves, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Robin Ticciati)

Magdalena Kožená (mezzo), Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Robin Ticciati

'Everything is beautifully balanced and clear. Shifts in colour and texture are carefully teased out, and the underlying sense of erotic regret is finely sustained.' (Gramophone)

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

Proms at Cadogan Hall 2 - Monday 23rd July, 1.00pm

Rameau, Royer, Risser and Couperin: Keyboard Works (Jean Rondeau)

Jean Rondeau (harpsichord)

'He cuts a virtuosic swathe through Royer’s Marche des scythes, and tantalises with Tambourins...the opening Prélude is elaborated with a languid soulfulness ever alert to Rameau’s anguished harmonies' (BBC Music Magazine)

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

Prom 15 - Wednesday 25th July, 7.30pm

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat, 'Emperor' (Paul Lewis, BBC Philharmonic, Ben Gernon)

Paul Lewis (piano), BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jiri Belohlávek

'This is a superb set in which Lewis asserts his own inspiring voice together with his mature insight into Beethoven’s creative mind.' (Daily Telegraph)

Available Formats: 3 CDs, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Prom 22 - Tuesday 31st July, 7.00pm

Vaughan Williams: A London Symphony (BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Manze)

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrew Manze

'Remove the encrusted nostalgia for yesteryear that we normally hear in today’s performances and you have Andrew Manze’s virile and colourful account of the Second Symphony, London here bustling with colourful vitality.' (Yorkshire Evening Post)

Available Format: CD

Prom 26 - Thursday 2nd August, 10.15pm

Late Night Serpent and Fire (Anna Prohaska, Il Giardino Armonico, Giovanni Antonini)

Anna Prohaska (soprano), Il Giardino Armonico, Giovanni Antonini

'Much of this little explored music is fascinating and Prohaska sings it with fierce intelligence, while the vibrant playing of the Il Giardino Armonico under Giovanni Antonini is really special...An album fit for a queen.' (The Times)

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

Prom 40 - Sunday 12th August, 4.00pm

Saint‐Saëns: Violin Concerto No. 3 & Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 (Joshua Bell, Academy of St Martin in the Fields)

Joshua Bell (violin), Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Dutoit, Andrew Litton

'The pianissimo opening is full of atmosphere and the work's romanticism is nicely judged throughout...Dutoit's genial approach to the finale brings a feeling of lilting high spirits, well matched by the soloist.' (Gramophone)

Available Formats: MP3, FLAC

The Academy Of St Martin In The Fields, Joshua Bell

'Bell's virile account [of the Fourth] makes its intentions clear right away: prominent bassoon and clarinets, violin and viola slurred notes strongly phrased, brilliant violin uprush to the allegro.' (Sunday Times)

Available Formats: MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Prom 41 - Sunday 12th August, 8.00pm

Elgar: Cello Concerto (Jean‐Guihen Queyras, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Edward Gardner)

Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello), BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jiří Bělohlávek

'There is the sense that Queyras has made this recording through genuine love and perception of the Elgarian language...When it comes to mulling over discs of the year, this one will be a definite front-runner.' (Daily Telegraph)

Available Formats: MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Prom 43 - Tuesday 14th August, 7.30pm

Brahms: Violin Concerto (Lisa Batiashvili, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim)

Lisa Batiashvili (violin), Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

'Batiashvili can always justify revisiting a popular work such as the Brahms Violin Concerto. Her reading of this tough masterpiece is more lyrical than combative, but there is a tensile quality throughout.' (Sunday Times)

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

Prom 46 - Thursday 16th August, 10.15pm

Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue (Benjamin Grosvenor, National Youth Jazz Orchestra)

Benjamin Grosvenor (piano), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, James Judd

'In an age of ready-made virtuosos, his gifts are already distinctive - poetic, romantic, almost old-school ...Grosvenor’s rendition of the Rhapsody is definitely European, warmly sensuous rather than American pizzazz.' (The Times)

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

Prom 48 - Saturday 18th August, 7.30pm

Ravel: L’enfant et les sortilèges, Ma Mère l'Oye & Shéhérazade (Magdalena Kožena, London Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rattle)

Magdalena Kožená, Nathalie Stutzmann, Sophie Koch, José van Dam, François Le Roux & Jean-Paul Fouchécourt Berliner Philharmoniker & Rundfunkchor Berlin, Sir Simon Rattle

'Rattle has long held the work in affection…As the Child, Magdalena Kožená manages to seem suitably boyish and wilful…Ma Mère l'Oye is lusciously played.' (Gramophone)

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

Magdalena Kožená (mezzo), Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle

'Kožená’s recitation, in which she imagines Asia as ‘wonderland of nursery tales’ is bewitching - the French text rolling like syrup, the voice swooping to the depths...Rattle establishes a dreamy air, but one which becomes ever more infused with melancholy loneliness.' (Opera Today)

Available Formats: MP3, FLAC

Prom 49 - Sunday 19th August, 11am

Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor (Seong-Jin Cho, European Union Youth Orchestra, Gianandrea Noseda)

Seong-Jin Cho (piano), London Symphony Orchestra, Gianandrea Noseda

'The tenderest passages in the concerto have a touching reticence, and there are times in the Ballades when he almost seems to be enjoying hanging back and confounding our expectations of exactly where this music’s passionate eruptions happen.' (The Guardian)

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

Prom 54 - Wednesday 22nd August, 7.30pm

Bartók: Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta & Mahler: Symphony No. 4 in G (Anna Lucia Richter, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Iván Fischer)

Miah Persson (soprano), Budapest Festival Orchestra, Iván Fischer

'Fischer's feeling of the Symphony's supple architecture, his ability to caress a phrase or point out a delicious colour without losing the sense of the larger flow, make this one of the most musically satisfying recordings to appear in a long time.' (BBC Music Magazine)

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

Zoltan Kocsis (piano), Budapest Festival Orchestra, Iván Fischer

'Here is one of the few performances since Reiner's classic RCA recording that comes reasonably close to Bartók's indicated structurally impressive as it is physically exciting, the perfect balance of form and expression.' (Classics Today)

Available Format: Presto CD

Prom 55 - Thursday 23rd August, 7.30pm

Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor (Budapest Festival Orchestra, Iván Fischer)

Budapest Festival Orchestra, Iván Fischer

'Fischer opens the First Symphony in a very striking but undeniably effective manner...perhaps the most exciting and riveting playing is reserved for the Finale where Fischer shows an unerring sense of pacing.' (BBC Music Magazine)

Available Formats: MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Prom 62 - Wednesday 29th August, 6.00pm

Strauss: Lieder (Diana Damrau, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko)

Diana Damrau (soprano), Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Christian Thielemann

'When did a German coloratura soprano last handle Richard Strauss’s orchestral songs with such grace and aplomb?...Damrau’s artistry is a combination of vocal noblesse, emotional warmth and instinctive intelligence.' (Financial Times)

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC

Prom 63 - Wednesday 29th August, 9.30pm

JS Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 2 (Sir András Schiff)

'Consistently he translates this music into pianistic terms, and his voyage of discovery through this supreme keyboard collection is the more riveting as the piano is an easier instrument to listen to over long periods.' (Penguin Guide)

Available Formats: 4 CDs, MP3, FLAC

'Schiff admits he now dislikes the sentimentality of some of his earlier Bach recordings; and this one is certainly clear of such emotional indulgences...the result is a supremely classical rendition of one of classical music's keynote works, blessed with an almost transparent clarity.' (The Independent)

Available Formats: 4 CDs, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Prom 71 - Wednesday 5th September, 7.30pm

Berlioz: Harold en Italie & 'Ah! Je vais mourir!' from Les Troyens (Antoine Tamestit, Joyce DiDonato, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Sir John Eliot Gardiner)

Joyce DiDonato (Didon), Michael Spyres (Énée), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Cassandre); Orchestre et Choeur philharmonique de Strasbourg, John Nelson

'Perhaps best of all is Joyce DiDonato’s Didon, warm and sensual, her final pages truly the stuff of great tragedy.' (Classical Music)

Available Formats: 4 CDs + DVD Video, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Antoine Tamestit (viola), Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo), Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble, Marc Minkowski

'Tamestit's viola, warm of tone and expressively malleable as it is in his hands, cuts a dash as the music's Romantic hero.' (Gramophone)

Available Formats: MP3, FLAC

Prom 75 (Last Night of the Proms) - Saturday 8th September, 7.15pm

Stanford: Songs of the Sea (Gerald Finley, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis)

Gerald Finley (baritone), BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales, Richard Hickox

'Gerald Finley's firmly focused, ringing tone is a joy. He doesn't possess the salty tang of Benjamin Luxon (a true sea-dog if ever I heard one), but the voice is steadier and he sings with unfailing ardour, intelligence and sensitivity. ' (Gramophone)

Available Formats: SACD, MP3, FLAC