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 Gramophone Choices, Gramophone Editor's Choices - June 2021

BBC Music Magazine June 2021Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra celebrate Mozart's achievements in the year 1785 on June's Recording of the Month: due for release on Sony on 28th May, Mozart: Momentum features the Piano Concertos Nos. 20-22 (with Andsnes directing from the keyboard), the Fantasia in C minor K475, the Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, and the Masonic Funeral Music. (I know that David is looking forward to discussing the project with Leif Ove over Zoom tomorrow, so watch this space for more insights!).

Editor's Choices also include a 'peach of a recital disc' from soprano Louise Alder and pianist Joseph Middleton on Chandos, an impressive at-home recording of the Ysaÿe Sonatas from James Ehnes (more from us on this one next week...), and the world premiere recordings of new guitar concertos by Joby Talbot and Howard Shore from Miloš Karadaglić: you can read Katherine's interview with Miloš about his mission to expand the repertoire for guitar and orchestra here.

Recording of the Month

Leif Ove Andsnes (piano), Mahler Chamber Orchestra

'Socially distanced they may have been but the camaraderie that was so evident in their groundbreaking Beethoven cycle with Leif Ove Andsnes is, if anything, even more apparent here.'

Available Formats: 2 CDs, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Editor's Choices

Bertrand Chamayou (piano), Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Antonio Pappano

'His Santa Cecilia Orchestra has become a force to be reckoned with under his directorship, and the playing throughout is wonderful in its focus and clarity.'

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

Miloš Karadaglić (guitar), BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ben Gernon, National Arts Centre Orchestra Alexander Shelley

'Premiere recordings of two dazzling new concertos which offer new perspectives on the relationship between guitar and orchestra, performed with considerable conviction and élan.'

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

Les Vents Français

'With top-notch sound, Les Vents Français, with Le Sage’s masterly accompaniments, are the pick of the crop: Vive Les Vents’ Hindemith!'

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

Pétur Sakari (organ)

'From the brilliance of his playing, the instrument chosen and BIS’s superlative stands out as something quite exceptional, even in the crowded field of outstanding Franck recordings.'

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

'Ehnes’s ‘centrist’ approach keeps your attention focused on the music, leaving you to marvel at his technique only after you’ve stopped listening.'

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

Dorothee Mields (soprano), Alex Potter (countertenor), Thomas Hobbs (tenor), Peter Kooij (bass), Collegium Vocale Gent. Philippe Herreweghe

'O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht, is tailor-made for Herreweghe. No one else peels back those tactile homogeneous phrases with quite such luminosity and deep-seated finesse as Collegium Vocale.'

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

Louise Alder (soprano), Joseph Middleton (piano)

'Here’s a peach of a recital disc, wonderfully programmed...At piano and pianissimo, Alder’s soprano possesses a lovely range of pastel colours.'

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

Choir of St John's College Cambridge, Andrew Nethsingha, Glen Dempsey (organ)

'This project is shaping up to become the most significant recording project ever in the field of choir-and-organ English church music.'

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

Mika Kares (Bluebeard), Szilvia Vörös (Judith), Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Susanna Mälkki

'[Mälkki] seems to know instinctively when to unobtrusively tighten the emotional screw and when to step back and simply let us take in Bartók’s flabbergasting orchestral canvas.'

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

DVD of the Month

Elsa Dreisig (Fiordiligi), Marianne Crebassa (Dorabella), Lea Desandre (Despina), Bogdan Volkov (Ferrando), André Schuen (Guglielmo), Johannes Martin Kränzle (Don Alfonso); Wiener Philharmoniker, Joana Mallwitz, Christof Loy

'It’s frankly difficult to imagine a better-cast Così today...Mallwitz really makes Mozart’s score zing, keeping the Vienna Philharmonic light on their toes.'

Available Format: DVD Video

Reissue/Archive Issue of the Month

'If there are any Szell doubters among your music-loving friends, this excellent set might prove a compelling way to win them over.'

Available Formats: 2 CDs, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC