Editor choice

Gramophone Editor’s Choice: 2021 Awards Edition

Featuring new albums from Michael Spyres, Casals Quartet, Janine Jansen, Ilya Gringolts, Ruby Hughes, Jakub Józef Orliński, Lea Desandre and more


Michael Spyres baritone Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra / Marko Letonja


A stunning album from Michael Spyres, a rich and impressive program of variety featuring not only an exceptionally wide vocal range, but also vivid color and characterization.

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R.Strauss Eine Alpensinfonie

Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra / Vladimir Jurowski


Another beautifully crafted Alpine Symphony by Vladimir Jurowski, this time not with the LPO but with the very responsive Berlin Radio Symphony.

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mozart String Quartets Nos. 15, 17 and 18

Casals Quartet

Harmonia Mundi

There is something so immediate about the playing of the superb Casals Quartet in these three Mozart works, a captivating urgency that makes the listening experience fascinating.

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’12 Stradivari’

Janine Jansen vn Antonio Papano pf


In the poetic playing of Janine Jansen – and her star soloist Antonio Pappano – this already fascinating project to record 12 of the best Stradivarius violins also becomes a superb musical project.

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Ilya Gringolts vn


It takes both superb instinct and skill to bring together such varied works, to draw and convey their thematic connections, and to shape it all into a thoroughly absorbing recital: Ilya Gringolts handles it all brilliantly.

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Dirt. Ives. Mahler ‘Songs for New Life and Love’

Ruby Hughes coax Joseph Middleton pf


This is a deeply moving recital exploring parenthood – with an incredibly poignant new Helen Grime cycle at its heart – by Ruby Hughes and Joseph Middleton.

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Regnart Missa Christ ist erstanden



Cinquecento’s return to the music of 16th-century composer Jacob Regnart finds the ensemble – regular visitors to the Editor’s Choice page – in impeccable shape. Another triumphant album.

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‘Anima aeterna’

Jakub Jozef Orlinski counter hold Il Pomo d’Oro / Francesco Corti


We were excited enough about countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński’s new album to put it on last month’s cover, and it doesn’t disappoint: a truly striking release.

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flow Dafne in lauro

soils; Zefiro / Alfredo Bernardini


A record – from Fux Dafne in lauro – which beautifully captures the full spirit of the live performances from which it is drawn, led by the sure rhythmic mastery and dramatic vision of Alfredo Bernardini.

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Leah Desandre me Jupiter / Thomas Dunford


Erato’s excellent recent signing, mezzo Lea Desandre – along with some prodigious colleagues (notably the brilliant lutenist Thomas Dunford) – offers us a superb album of baroque tunes.

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Korngold Die Stadt tote

soils; Bavarian State Opera / Kirill Petrenko

BSO recordings

‘A glorious achievement’ is how Richard Bratby describes this updated staging from Korngold Die Stadt totea production of great depth and emotional intelligence.

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Beethoven The Complete Piano Trios

Threesome Suk


This month’s Archive recommendation is an elegant journey by the renowned Suk Trio through Beethoven’s Complete Works for Piano Trio, reissued by Supraphon.

Read reviews for all these albums and more in the 2021 awards issue of Gramophone. Never miss an issue – subscribe today