With David Pickard’s Proms piece occupying this space during August, followed by a few words from our Managing Director Chris on what Classical Source was offering last month, my Choice slot fell by the wayside (I heard the cheers!). So, catching up, I have July, August and September recordings to consider, and therefore a few more recommendations than what has become the ‘normal’ three.
Let’s get a couple of reviews from yours-truly out of the way first, namely Max Reger’s notable Clarinet Sonatas on Chandos, and a wonderful Walton release from Martyn Brabbins on Hyperion, both five stars. Outside of scribing, I much enjoyed Maestro Corelli’s Violins and John Eliot Gardiner’s LSO Mendelssohn, I want to hear That Man Stephen Ward, and my ‘best of these three months’ preference is Herbert Blomstedt’s Beethoven Symphony Cycle from Leipzig, a celebration of the conductor’s recent Ninetieth Birthday with life-enhancing performances mixing enthusiasm, perception and wisdom.
The Classical Source
2 October 2017
***As a postscript, just to clarify how Classical Source uses stars for its reviews. Since April 2016 a star-rating is mandatory for anything generally available (a recording, a book...) and when there is a run of performances (an opera, a ballet...). Stars are not required for a concert unless a reviewer is of the opinion that something is exceptional (five stars) or quite the opposite (one); either is rare ... ultimately it is the words that matter.***