Editor choice

Gramophone Editor’s Pick: December 2021 | The best new classical recordings

Martin Cullingford’s pick of this month’s best recordings from critics, featuring albums by Sabine Devieilhe, Doric Quartet, Bruce Liu, Marianne Crebassa and more

Bach & Handel

Sabine Devieilhe coax Pygmalion / Raphael Pichon


Absolutely exquisite and radiant singing by the soprano Sabine Devieilhe in a beautiful recital by Bach and Handel; Pygmalion and Raphaël Pichon prove to be perfect partners throughout.

Read the review in GramophoneReviews database

bartok Concerto for orchestra. Music for strings, percussion and celesta

Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra / Susanna Mälkki


An incredibly atmospheric investigation into Bartók’s orchestral music, rich in detail and drama.

Read the review in GramophoneReviews database

Gubaidulina Orchestral works

Vadim Repin vn Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra / Andris Nelsons


Gubaidulina’s violin concerto is superbly interpreted by Vadim Repin, while the other works reveal the composer’s irresistible instinct for orchestral colour.

Read the review in GramophoneReviews database

Mahler Symphony No. 8

London Philharmonic Orchestra / Vladimir Jurowski


Mahler’s mighty Eighth Symphony from the LPO’s Royal Festival Hall conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, an event captured for posterity on this very impressive recording.

Read the review in GramophoneReviews database

“American Landscapes”

National Orchestra of Euskadi / Robert Trevino


A fascinating and gloriously performed program of little-known American orchestral works, assembled and conducted with real care and passion by Robert Trevino.

Read the review in GramophoneReviews database

Mendelssohn String Quartets, Vol. 2

Doric Quartet


The second half of Doric’s excellent Mendelssohn Quartet cycle conveys a powerful sense of musical reflection throughout, resulting in highly engaged and engaging performances.

Read the review in GramophoneReviews database

”Midnight Tower”

Ebony Foursome


The sound universe of these works is so essential to their success, and the Quatuor Ébène embodies it brilliantly, giving this program of nocturnal music spanning a century a striking coherence.

Read the review in GramophoneReviews database

Chopin Piano works

Bruce Liu pf


Followers of the recent Chopin Piano Competition – among which, given the huge audience figures, you will most likely be one – can now celebrate Bruce Liu’s success with this magnificent album of performances captured live in Warsaw.

Read the review in GramophoneReviews database

Josquin. Brumel “In memory mea”

Cantus Modalis; Seconda Pratica / Rebecca Stewart

Carpe Diem

Rebecca Stewart “works her magic”, as our reviewer puts it, on an early music program that feels genuinely fresh and surprising in its style. A beautiful album.

Read the review in GramophoneReviews database


Marianne Crebassa me Toulouse Capitol Orchestra / Ben Glassberg


An exploration – no, a celebration! – French and Spanish musical links: Marianne Crebassa sings with a joyful character, supported by the stylish direction of Ben Glassberg.

Read the review in GramophoneReviews database


Britton The turn of the screw

soils; London Sinfonia / John Wilson


Britten’s dark story told in a production at Wilton’s Music Hall, featuring the musical creation of a superb line-up of soloists and the ever-impressive London Sinfonia.

Read the review in GramophoneReviews database


Slipper. Hahn. Paganini Violin concertos

Henrik Szeryng vn

Rhine Classics

Polish violinist Henryk Szeryng was a class act, writes Rob Cowan in Replay this month: find out why on this archival album of music by Chausson, Paganini and Hahn.

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