Editor choice

Gramophone Editor’s Pick: November 2021

Martin Cullingford’s selection of this month’s best recordings from critics, including Florence Price’s symphonies by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony by the Vienna Philharmonic and “Muse” by Sheku and Isata Kanneh Mason

Price Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3

Philadelphia Orchestra / Yannick Nézet-Séguin


Florence Price’s music, neglected for a century, could not have dreamed of more splendid champions – detail, beauty and thematic sweeping followed throughout this triumphant DG outing.

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Bartok. Beethoven. Berg Violin concertos

Frank Peter Zimmermann vn Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Berlin Philharmonic

A fascinating offering of four major concertos by one of today’s finest violinists, with superb orchestral playing as well.

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bruckner Symphony No. 4, “Romantic”

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra / Christian Thielemann

Classic Sony

We immediately feel Christian Thielemann’s deep understanding of this score, built on 40 years of experience – a masterful recording.

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Sheku Kanneh-Mason cv Isata Kanneh-Mason pf


A personal program by siblings whose intensely musical rapport has evidently honed over the years, with deeply engaging results.

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Dvorak String Quintet No. 3, “American” kurtag String quartets

Parker Quartet with Kim Kashkashian Virginia

ECM new series

Whether in the intimate and exploratory music of Kurtág or in the expressive Quintet of Dvořák, it is a gripping chamber game.

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Stravinsky The soldier’s story

Isabelle Faust vn Alexander Melnikov pf

Harmonia Mundi

The authentic spirit of Stravinsky’s theatrical work – or certainly a spirit that suits this listener perfectly – permeates this brilliant performance, music as well as narration.

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Liszt Years of pilgrimage – year 1: Switzerland

Charles Owen pf

For life

From dramatic grandeur to elegant reflection, pianist Charles Owen offers us a Liszt recital rich in color and personality, and beautifully recorded too.

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Magdalena Kozena me Yefim Bronfmann pf


Mezzo Magdalena Kožená – artfully paired with Yefim Bronfman – is in her element here, in a program of songs that seem almost perfectly written for both her voice and her interpretive soul.

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Part passion

soils; Helsinki Chamber Choir / Nils Schweckendiek


A deeply moving performance by Pärt passionboth meditatively spiritual and yet painfully human too, the singers and acoustics lend the recording an almost visual dimension.

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“Josquin’s Legacy”

The Gesualdo Six


An inventive program exploring Josquin and his influence on his contemporaries – but above all, an exquisite program performed by this ever-impressive vocal ensemble.

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Glass Akhenaten

soils; Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra / Karen Kamensek

Orange Mountain

“An exceptional document from an exceptional production”, is how the clearly impressed Mark Pullinger rates this film.

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“The Complete Solo Recordings”

Cyril Smith pf


This wonderfully prepared APR investigation into the recordings of Cyril Smith – performed before losing the use of that left hand and forming his famous duet with his wife Phyllis Sellick – reminds us of what an incredible pianist he was.

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