Classical Highlights from August


As the pandemic continues in varying severity around the world, the titles of a few of the releases our editors reviewed this month seemed to reflect the early days of the crisis, when countries went into lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Naturally, this was unintentional, and the subject matter of the recordings entirely unrelated. Dallapiccola’s opera Il Prigioniero takes place during the Spanish Inquisition, while Ethel Smyth’s cantata The Prison concerns a convict coming to terms with fate. Less grim than these is a recital by tenor James Gilchrist exploring many aspects and ideas of Solitude. If this is all too much and you want something more optimistic, the Beethoven anniversary releases continue unabated, with new ones by Jordi Savall, guitarist Franz Halász, tenor Ian Bostridge, and others.

Les Accents, Thibault Noally – Alessandro Scarlatti: Il Martirio di Santa Teodosia
Alamire, David Skinner – John Sheppard: Media Vita in morte sumus
Daniel Barenboim, Elīna Garanča, Staatskapelle Berlin – Elgar: Sea Pictures; Falstaff
Kristian Bezuidenhout, Freiburger Barockorchester, Pablo Heras-Casado – Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4; Coriolan & Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus Overtures
Jonathan Biss – Beethoven: The Complete Piano Sonatas
James Blachly, Sara Brailey, Dashon Burton – Dame Ethel Smyth: The Prison
Ian Bostridge, Antonio Pappano – Beethoven: Songs and Folksongs
Max Emanuel Cencic, Martyna Pastuszka, Oh! Orkiestra Historyczna, Yuriy Mynenko – Leonardo Vinci: Gismondo, Re di Polonia
Adrian Chandler, La Serenissima – Extra Time
Anna Maria Chiuri, Stephen Rügamer, Gianandrea Noseda – Dallapiccola: Il Prigioniero
Cinquecento – Johannes de Cleve: Missa Rex Babylonis
Michael Collins, Philharmonia Orchestra – Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 5; Finzi: Clarinet Concerto
Commotio, Matthew Berry – Francis Pott: At First Light; Word
Constantinople, Marco Beasley, Kiya Tabassian – La Porta d’Oriente
Mark Elder, Hallé – Debussy: Images; Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
Mahan Esfahani – Musique?
Alban Gerhardt, WDR Sinfonieorchester, Jukka-Pekka Saraste – Shostakovich: Cello Concertos
James Gilchrist, Anna Tilbrook – Solitude
Gloucester Cathedral Choir, Adrian Partington – Ian Venables: Requiem
Giancarlo Guerrero, Nashville Symphony – Christopher Rouse: Symphony No. 5; Supplica; Concerto for Orchestra
Franz Halász, Débora Halász – Beethoven: Works for Guitar & Piano
The Hermes Experiment – Here We Are
Margarita Höhenrieder, Julius Berger – Beethoven: Complete Works for Piano & Cello
Huelgas Ensemble, Paul Van Nevel – Simone de Bonefont: Missa Pro mortuis
Stuart Jackson, Joceyln Freeman – Flax and Fire: Songs of Devotion
Martin Jones – Isaac Albeniz
Kirill Karabits, Oleg Tsibulko, Russian National Orchestra – Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13 “Babi Yar”
Linos Piano Trio – CPE Bach: Complete Piano Trios
Eric Lu – Chopin: 24 Préludes Op. 28; Brahms; Schumann
Wayne Marshall – John Rutter: The Piano Collection – A Flower Remembered
Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre – Mozart: Mass in C minor
Tim Munro – Christopher Cerrone: Liminal Highway
Navarra Quartet – Love and Death
Night Music – Music for a Viennese Salon: Haydn, Kraus, Dittersdorf
Hervé Niquet, Le Concert Spirituel – Martini: Requiem pour Louis XVI
Ora Singers – Thomas Tallis: Spem in Alium; James Macmillan: Vidi Aquam
Eric Owens, Angel Blue, David Robertson – The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Jennifer Pike, Martin Roscoe – Elgar: Violin Sonata; Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending; Violin Sonata
Adam Riis, Palle Knudsen, Andreas Delfs – Carl Nielsen: The Mother, Op. 41
Dario Salvi, Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra – Auber: Overtures, Vol. 2
Jordi Savall, Le Concert des Nations – Revolution: Beethoven – Symphonies 1 á 5
Matthew Schellhorn – Howells: Piano Music, Vol. 1
Leonard Slatkin, Joseph Beutel, Anna Dennis – Kastalsky: Requiem
Michael Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony – Michael Tilson Thomas: From the Diary of Anne Frank; Meditations on Rilke
Osmo Vänskä, Minnesota Orchestra – Mahler 7
Voces8 – After Silence
Sarah Willis – Mozart y Mambo
John Wilson, Sinfonia of London – Respighi: Fontane di Roma; Pini di Roma; Feste Romane