Shostakovich trio DUX1860

Shostakovich & Arensky: Piano trios (DUX)

Performances that underplay the essential character of each work [DJB]

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Puccini: I Canti – Orchestral Songs (BR Klassik)

The youthful Puccini’s complete songs, robustly sung – and an even more pleasing trio of early orchestral pieces [RMo]

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Ponchielli: La Gioconda (Pristine Audio)

No one who loves this opera can afford to be without this recording for Callas’ unique insight into the title role [GF]

john pickard mass in troubled times

Pickard: Mass in Troubled Times (BIS)

A lesser-known facet of Pickard’s output, with a viscerally thrilling performance of the Mass [HC]

Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos 20 & 23 (Analekta)

Illuminating, especially the clarified swing between minor and major perspectives in Concerto No 20 [MG]

Airwaves clarinet MPR117

From the Airwaves (MPR)

Lighter fare for clarinet and piano from a fine duo [JW]

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Rossini: L’italiana in Algeri (Decca)

A pleasing but hardly essential recording of Rossini’s opera, noteworthy for being the first recorded in stereo [MP]

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Biber: Harmonia artificiosa (Archiv Produktion)

(Déjà Review) It will be very difficult to find a performance which more convincingly explores these brilliant compositions [JV]

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Dvořák: Complete Works for Violin & Orchestra (Hänssler Classic)

Violinist Mikhail Pochekin performs these Dvořák works with compelling verve [MC]

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Bach: Brandenburg Concertos (Danacord)

A near-complete 1930s Brandenburg Concerto cycle from Berlin and interesting additions [JW]

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Britten: Albert Herring (Decca)

A touchstone recording which is hard to beat for its general excellence and superbly detailed sound [MP]

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P Glass: Solo (Orange Mountain Music)

An invaluable insight into a master at work and play [PRJ]

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Noè Rodrigo Gisbert (percussion) Paraules (IBS Classical)

A rich variety of musical language bought to life by an admirably virtuosic and intelligent musician [MBu]

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Sibelius: Symphony No 4 (Alpha Classics)

A performance to convert the Sibelian reluctant to appreciate the bleak Fourth’s special qualities, in a death-laden programme complete with two superb companion pieces [RMo]

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Mahler: Symphonies Nos 5, 7 & 8 (Pristine Audio)

Revelatory Boult in Mahler from the archives [LD]

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Mischa Maisky (cello) & Martha Argerich (piano) In Concert (Deutsche Grammophon)

(Déjà Review) A magnificent triumph for all concerned [CC]

eastern clarinet antarctica

Zayt Gezunterheyt – The Folk Soul of the Eastern Clarinet (Antarctica Records)

A simply outstanding meeting of stunning musicians and glorious music [PJ]

Rózsa: Overture to a Symphony Concert, Hungarian Serenade, Tripartita (Capriccio)

If you like this programme, you will like these performances [EJW]

Smetana: Má Vlast (Pentatone)

A very enjoyable account of Má Vlast, superbly played [JQ]

Hartmann: Piano Works Volume 5 (Danacord)

Trondhjem continues exploring the pleasant piano music of this long-lived Dane [RCh]

Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music (Albion Records)

This important historical document must be judged on its own terms [JF]

Pejačević: Chamber music (Brilliant Classics)

A new recording highlights the lyricism and structural strength of Pejačević’s chamber music [JW]

Gloire immortelle! Grandes oeuvres patriotiques (Château de Versailles)

A pleasant romp through the realm of French patriotic music and beyond [MP]

Shostakovich: Chamber Symphonies (BIS)

(Déjà Review) This is a challenging and absorbing listening experience [PJL]