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 BBC Music Magazine Choices, BBC Music Magazine - November 2021 Choices

BBC Music Magazine November 2021Italian violinist Francesca Dego is first among equals this month, creating what Julian Haylock describes as 'a Mozartian soundworld of seamless perfection' in the Third and Fourth Violin Concertos and the Violin Sonata No. 21 (for which she is joined by her regular recital-partner Francesca Leonardi). The recording is Dego's second project on Chandos, following the release of Il Cannone earlier this year, which saw her playing Paganini's own 1743 Del Gesù violin: in case you missed it, you can read David's interview with her about the experience here.

Two other recent Presto interviewees are also mentioned in despatches: Anna-Liisa Eller, who spoke to us about the art of the kannel last month, and husband-and-wife Tom Poster and Elena Urioste, who shared the story behind their Jukebox Album a couple of weeks back.

Recording of the Month

Francesca Dego (violin), Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Sir Roger Norrington, Francesca Leonardi (piano)

'There is a strong sense of collaboration here, illuminated by moments of cherishable musical correspondence between soloist and orchestra...These performances capture the very essence of Mozart’s Salzburg style best, setting up, meticulously matching and weaving in and out of the solo line with captivating suppleness and alertness.'

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

Orchestral Choice

Carmine Lauri (violin), Rebecca Gilliver (cello), Chris Richards (clarinet, piano), Sam Walton (percussion), David Jackson (percussion), Tim Jones (horn), David Elton (trumpet), Niall Keatley (trumpet), Peter Moore (trombone), Ben Thomson (tuba), Neil Percy (percussion), Liz Burley (clarinet); London Symphony Orchestra, Darren Bloom

'All these pieces are performed with total assurance by members of the London Symphony Orchestra. This commendable release is a welcome introduction to a terrific new wave of composing talent.'

Available Formats: MP3, FLAC

Concerto Choice

'Capuçon throws down the gauntlet with a searingly intense performance of Tabula rasa (1977). The playing is impeccably controlled yet fiercely expressive...Throughout the album, Capuçon reveals a keen instinct for timing and structural balance as he and his fellow musicians breathe as one.'

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

Opera Choice

Michael Spyres (baritenor), Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Marko Letonja

'Spyres has a remarkable range and is a consummate vocal chameleon too...in a truly remarkable finale to his ‘Largo al factotum’, Rossini’s Figaro is indeed all things to all men vocally. What Spyres brings to each role here is a pitch-perfect sense of character as he teaches a familiar lesson, that the voice is always in service of the role – however you choose to categorise it.'

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

Choral & Song Choice

Dominik Wörner (bass), Hanna Zumsande (soprano) Barockwerk Hamburg, Ira Hochman

'The supple, evenly balanced singing of Hanna Zumsande and Dominik Wörner provides unmitigated pleasure. Ira Hochman directs with vitality, and CPO deserves our thanks for providing so much hitherto neglected or undiscovered repertoire by this indefatigable composer.'

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC

Chamber Choice

Elena Urioste (violin), Tom Poster (piano)

'It’s an eclectic mix that combines nostalgia with a modern, shuffle-play sense of adventure. As Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s Bloom finds luminosity in the changing seasons, Huw Watkins’s Arietta suspends time in a haunting present. Most stirringly passionate, having inspired the series, Mark Simpson’s An Essay of Love sums up its purpose – and the entire project.'

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

Instrumental Choice

Anna-Liisa Eller (kannels & psaltery)

'Conceived as ‘an audio voyage’, this programme makes associations between diverse repertoire through timbre, texture, colour and ‘affect’...In the hands of a gifted virtuoso like Eller, one understands why some have described the kannel’s sonority as the ‘sound from heaven’.'

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

Jazz Choice

Andrew Cyrille Quartet

'Subtle, reflective and occasionally nostalgic in a knowing sort of way, this album exceeds the sum of its parts while at the same time allowing those parts to retain their identities...Wonderful, thoroughly immersive stuff, perfectly served by ECM’s lucid and detailed recording that preserves each musician’s contribution while simultaneously integrating them into a seamless whole.'

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