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 BBC Music Magazine Choices, BBC Music Magazine - March 2019 Choices

BBCMM March 2019The first volume of a projected Schumann cycle from Christian Gerhaher and Gerold Huber takes the laurels this month – including the complete Kerner Lieder and Sechs Gesange Op. 107, the recital impressed Paul Riley with its ‘wealth of conflicting emotions’ and the ‘symbiotically creative partnership’ of singer and pianist.

The world premiere recording of Sir Arthur Sullivan’s early oratorio The Light of the World (written in 1873 for the Birmingham Festival, shortly before the composer embarked on his famous partnership with the satirist WS Gilbert) takes the choral prize – you can read Katherine’s interview with conductor John Andrews here.

Recording of the Month

Christian Gerhaher (baritone), Gerold Huber (piano)

'Both in his musical and literary responses, Christian Gerhaher leaves nothing unquestioned. Each word is weighed. Each note calibrated. Yet for all that, seemingly spontaneous and instinctive, the result is neither overegged nor loses sight of the overarching impulse. When it comes to line and shading, resolute truthfulness is all.'

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

Orchestral Choice

Bamberger Symphoniker, Jakub Hruša

'Hearing these two E minor symphonies side by side proved far more stimulating than I anticipated. The orchestral playing is absolutely first-class and Hrůša’s conception of the music is totally compelling. This outstandingly recorded first instalment in a projected cycle pairing all four of Brahms’s symphonies with the last four by Dvořák has set the bar really high.'

Available Formats: 2 CDs, MP3, FLAC

Opera Choice

Delphine Galou, Emöke Barath, Silke Gäng; Accademia Bizantina, Ottavio Dantone

'The opera seria ingredients of rebellion, intrigue, crossed love, jealousy and the supernatural feature in a colourful score with felicitous self-borrowings. Ottavio Dantone’s fine cast of singers includes Delphine Galou in the title role, who declaims with even-toned clarity. Altogether a splendid achievement.'

Available Format: 3 CDs

Instrumental Choice

Cédric Tiberghien (piano)

'Tiberghien’s quasi-improvisatory approach works marvellously with works which would otherwise risk sounding directionless and self-indulgent. His range is breathtaking, carefully terraced even in the thickest of textures, never harsh, abrupt, metronomic or bombastic, even when rumbling in the murkiest depths of the piano’s range.'

Available Format: CD

Choral & Song Choice

Natalya Romaniw, Eleanor Dennis, Kitty Whately, Robert Murray, Ben McAteer, Neal Davies; Kinder Children's Choir, BBC Symphony Chorus, BBC Concert Orchestra, John Andrews

'This performance is close to ideal. All the soloists make their mark, and conductor John Andrews does an excellent job, bringing constant motion to the score and drawing refined playing from the BBC Concert Orchestra and articulate singing from the BBC Symphony Chorus and the Kinder Children’s Choir.'

Available Format: 2 SACDs

Concerto Choice

Přemysl Vojta (horn), Fabrice Millischer (trombone), Haydn Ensemble Prague, Martin Petrák

'Přemysl Vojta is a glorious player: full-toned yet infinitely nuanced, long-breathed yet lithe in articulation. He is nicely matched by the agile alto trombone of Fabrice Millischer, while the Haydn Ensemble Prague responds with colour and precision in a warm and radiant recorded acoustic. This is an album which gives great pleasure, and Přemysl Vojta is a player who should be heard.'

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

Chamber Choice

Tasmin Little (violin) & John Lenehan (piano)

'This delightful, beautifully performed album makes an emphatic, seemingly effortless case for these composers’ music.'

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

Jazz Choice

Makoto Ozone (piano), Tam Dean Burn (actor), The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Tommy Smith

'This project arguably fails at so many levels yet still manages to be the most joyously engaging of listening experiences, thus ultimately succeeding completely. Warmly recorded in a live setting, the entire performance tears up the rulebook in the best possible way. Unreservedly recommended.'

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC