Editor choice

Gramophone Editor’s Pick: October 2021

The best new albums reviewed in the October 2021 issue of Gramophone, chosen by editor Martin Cullingford, featuring Igor Levit, Víkingur Ólafsson, Imogen Cooper, Christian Gerhaher, Emmanuelle Bertrand and more

Shostakovich. stevenson ‘On DSCH’

Igor Levit pf

Sony Classic

Many Gramophone The award-winning artist and last month’s cover artist brings his intelligence, virtuosity and beauty of timbre to an even more extraordinary repertoire. Another superb recording by Igor Levit.

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Farrenc Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3

Insula Orchestra / Laurence Equilbey


A compelling piece of defense by 19th-century French composer Louise Farrenc, these two beautifully crafted symphonies are performed with passion and care.

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you Winter

Royal National Orchestra of Scotland / José Serebrier, Gilbert Varga


Chinese composer Xiaogang Ye’s music is revealed in these superb renditions to possess a lyrical elegance, elaborate drama and depth of color worth exploring.

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“Mozart & Flute in Paris”

Emmanuel Pahud fl Paris Chamber Orchestra / François Leleux

Warner Classics

A tribute to Paris, “the world capital of the flute” – and who better than Emmanuel Pahud to lead such a celebration?

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Brahms ‘Sonatas & Liebeslieder’

Emmanuelle Bertrand cv Pascal Amoyer pf

Harmonia Mundi

A delicious program, sonatas and melodies interpreted by cellist Emmanuelle Bertrand and pianist Pascal Amoyel with an immediately engaging and superbly rendered report.

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“Mozart & Contemporaries”

Vikingur Olafsson pf


Víkingur Ólafsson’s instinct for what will make a fascinating and unexpected program is matched, as always, by the most sublime piano touch; another delightfully recorded version.

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‘… Lost time…’

Imogen Cooper pf


A very personal album by Imogen Cooper, of works the pianist performed as a student or young artist, but not since, exploring the impact of memory and the passage of time on music.

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Schnittke Concerto for choir

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir / Kaspars Putniņš


The profound spiritual depth of these arrangements by Pärt and Schnittke, captured here in stunning performances from Estonia, is deeply moving.

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Zacara de Teramo “Riddle Fortune”

La Fonte Musica / Michèle Pasotti lutes


A very significant outing for anyone interested in the history of early music, but even in purely performance terms, this investigation of Zacara da Teramo is a must.

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Schumann “All the lieder”

Christian Gerhaher bar Gerald Huber pf

Sony Classic

This was always going to be important; the 11-disc project to record all of Schumann’s songs by one of today’s finest singers, Christian Gerhaher, is exactly what we were hoping for.

Verdi Simon Boccanegra

soils; Zurich Opera / Fabio Luisi


Baritone Christian Gerhaher’s second appearance on this page this month, and only his second Verdi role, but one he embodies powerfully.

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“The Decca Legacy”

Jeanne Demessieux org

Decca Eloquence

The charismatic and characterful playing of French organist and composer Jeanne Demessieux is honored in this magnificent eight-disc box set from Decca Eloquence.

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