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Gramophone magazine is considered by many classical music fans to be the gold standard in album reviews.  Alongside articles and editorials, approximately half of each issue is dedicated to informative, fair-minded reviews of classical music recordings, the best of which are selected as Gramophone Choice.  The selections below are Gramophone Choices in the August and September 2012 issue.  Subscribe to the online edition at gramophone.co.uk.


The releases below are Gramophone Choices in the August 2012 issue:


EMI Classics: 5099995296951
BRUCKNER, A.: Symphony No. 9 (with Finale completed by N. Samale, G. Mazzuca, J. Phillips, B. Cohrs, rev. 2011) (Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle)

‘I can't think of many recent releases that are more musically important than this.  If you love Bruckner's Ninth, you have a duty to hear it.’

 
Chandos: CHSA5102-03
DEBUSSY, C.: Orchestral Music (Stephane Deneve conducts Debussy) (Deneve)

‘These performances convey both the dynamism and the delicacy of the music with understanding and stimulating freshness.’

 
Harmonia Mundi: HMC902091
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Diabelli Variations (Staier)

‘Perfectly judged tempi, angular demeanour, characterful contrasts, biting accents and cumulative sweep add up to a performance that abounds with probing details.’

 
ATMA Classique: ACD22666
Piano Recital: Fialkowska, Janina - CHOPIN, F. (Chopin Recital 2)

‘When you hear her unleash such a formidable tempest of sound in the presto storms of the Second Ballade, you seem to see Delacroix's pained and tortured portrait of the composer.’

 
Chandos: CHAN0788
HANDEL, G.F.: Alceste (Curnyn)

‘Curnin and his trim period band give full value to the music's sensuous charm, phrasing alluringly the slower numbers and keeping the rhythms lithe and springy.’

 
ICA Classics: ICAC5063
BRAHMS, J.: Symphony No. 3 / ELGAR, E.: Symphony No. 1 (BBC Symphony, Boult)

‘This is a traversal of towering perception, possessing an edge-of-seat thrust, entrancing wholeness of vision and extraordinary emotional candour.

 


The releases below are Gramophone Choices in the September 2012 issue:


Chandos: CHAN10724
RACHMANINOV, S.: Moments musicaux / Etudes-tableaux, Op. 33 / Variations on a Theme of Corelli (Xiayin Wang)

‘'Xiayin Wang makes Rachmaninov sound greater and more indelibly Russian than ever... Such playing underlines the pity one feels for those poor puritan souls unable to appreciate such beauty.'’

 
Naive: V5284
RAVEL, M.: Miroirs / Gaspard de la nuit / Pavane pour une infante defunte (Vinnitskaya)

‘Vinnitskaya achieves an unforgettable shimmering play of light and shade, though with a powerful undertow when required.’

 
Avie Records: AV2254
Guitar Recital: Jacobsson, Mattias - TARREGA, F. / CHOPIN, F. / PUJOL, E. / LLOBET SOLES, M. (Invocacion)

‘The playing throughout is refined, intelligent and highly musical; the tone, though, is never sweet, is fulsome and appealing... An outstanding debut.’

 
aeon: AECD1216
DIVITIS, A. / FEVIN, A. de: Lux Perpetua, Requiem (Peres)

‘It is the approach in the studio that convinces... Organum's individual voices offer something special.  Whoever composed it, it impresses me more and more.’

 
Great Pianists: 8.111386
GILELS, Emil: Early Recordings, Vol. 3 (1935-1955)

‘His Liszt is overwhelming in its pulverising strength and brilliance, a display of formidable but effortless virtuosity complemented by that seamless  legato and  cantabile for which he was famous.’

 

 



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