Six of the best recordings that we reviewed in November, in random order if alphabetical below for the links. Heinz Holliger’s sprightly Schubert is a tonic, swift but not rushed and brimful of detail. Equally uplifting are a couple of Chandos releases, both piano-related, Louis Lortie playing Saint-Saëns to revealing effect and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet styling Mozart for our pleasure. Sticking with the pianoforte, Leif Ove Andsnes has recorded an exceptional Chopin recital. In large-orchestra terms JoAnn Falletta works wonders on behalf of Franz Schreker, sweet-tooth music with cinematic potential, the converse of which is Brahms’s German Requiem (my desert-island choice from this composer), heard from Hyperion in Iain Farrington’s arrangement, which may raise eyebrows as a project, but it’s persuasive, David Hill ensuring the score’s spiritual and solace-giving qualities are retained.
The Classical Source
1 December 2018
***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.***