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 Gramophone Choices, Gramophone Editor's Choices - August 2021

Gramophone August 2021Pride of place this month goes to Kirill Petrenko and the Bayerisches Staatsorchester for a revelatory account of Mahler's Seventh Symphony, with Edward Seckerson praising 'the humanity of Petrenko's interpretation and the refinement of the playing'. The recording was the first to be released on the orchestra's own label, with Korngold's Die tote Stadt (also conducted by Petrenko, and starring Jonas Kaufmann and Marlis Petersen) set to follow on DVD and Blu-ray this Friday.

Editor's Choices include American violinist Randall Goosby's imaginatively programmed and brilliantly-performed debut album on Decca, featuring music by Florence Price, George Gershwin, William Grant Still, Antonín Dvořák, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, and Xavier Dubois Foley - you can watch our video-interview with Randall here.

Recording of the Month

Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Kirill Petrenko

'Petrenko has a way of hearing deep into textures and harmonies that is at times really quite startling. He gives us X-ray ears.'

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

Editor's Choices

Budapest Festival Orchestra, Iván Fischer

'A Third to savour and repeat, in touch with its fleeting, dusky nature like few others.'

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

Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons

'No question that this latest release represents the Nelsons cycle at its best.'

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

Tine Thing Helseth (trumpet), Kåre Nordstoga (organ)

'I have no idea if Helseth and Nordstoga are regular recital partners but on this evidence, musically at least, they sound as though they are joined at the hip.'

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

Randall Goosby (violin), Zhu Wang (piano), Xavier Dubois Foley (double bass)

'This is selfless, stylish playing which – paradoxically – ends up by projecting the personalities of both artists with even more freshness and warmth.'

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

Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord)

'There’s no questioning Esfahani’s inquiring musical mind and absolute mastery of his instrument.'

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

'[This music] can easily sound merely intellectual if performed without fantasy and imagination. Armstrong brings abundant quantities of both.'

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

Viviana Lasaracina (piano)

'So compellingly individual are Lasaracina’s sumptuous performances, you may find yourself, as I did, not thinking of Alicia de Larrocha even once.'

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

Isata Kanneh-Mason (piano)

'‘Summertime’ indeed, from a profound and greatly gifted artist who radiates warmth, joy and much-needed musical sunshine.'

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

Cappella Pratensis, Stratton Bull

'This recording might change how you hear and think about Renaissance polyphony...Cappella Pratensis’s homogeneity of timbre is impressive.'

Available Format: CD

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month

Aida Garifullina (Snowmaiden), Yuriy Mynenko (Lel), Martina Serafin (Kupava), Maxim Paster (Tsar Berendy), Thomas Johannes Mayer (Mizguir); Opéra national de Paris, Mikhail Tatarnikov, Dmitri Tcherniakov

'This faded Rimsky-Korsakov gem regains all its sparkle here: it has been researched, staged, sung and filmed with true love and commitment.'

Available Format: 2 DVD Videos

Aida Garifullina (Snowmaiden), Yuriy Mynenko (Lel), Martina Serafin (Kupava), Maxim Paster (Tsar Berendy), Thomas Johannes Mayer (Mizguir); Opéra national de Paris, Mikhail Tatarnikov, Dmitri Tcherniakov

Picture format: 16:9

Sound format: 2.0 PCM and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Available Format: Blu-ray

Reissue/Archive Issue of the Month

Various artists

'Keenly priced, this set will surely provide many hours of listening pleasure.'

Available Format: 25 CDs