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December 2013

hoice Informed by our unrivalled panel of critics, we choose the month’s must-hear recordings

BEETHOVEN ‘The Symphonies and Relections’ Christiane Karg, Mihoko Fujimura, Michael Schade, Michael Volle, Bavarian Radio Symphony Chorus and Orchestra / Mariss Jansons BR Klassik 900119

Recording of the Month ‘This is one of those rare occasions when one is left with a feeling of having been in the presence of the thing itself ’ RICHARD OSBORNE’S REVIEW IS ON PAGE 60

BEETHOVEN Diabelli Variations, etc András Schi‰f pfs ECM New Series 481 1446 ‘Schiff brings an agenda with him (and why not?), but throughout he delights with insights and a feast of fine playing, excellently recorded; and his focus on the music never wavers.’

REVIEW ON PAGE 84

CHOPIN Polonaises Rafał Blechacz pf DG 479 0928GH ‘It is not just the nobility and imperiousness of these works that Blechacz captures so well, but also the phrasing of a great singer and the moments of heart-wrenching grief to be found here.’

REVIEW ON PAGE 84

4 GRAMOPHONE DECEMBER 2013

MOZART ‘Piano Sonatas, Vol 1’ Christian Blackshaw pf Wigmore Hall Live WHLIVE0061/2 ‘Blackshaw’s mindful yet spontaneous virtuosity, pinpointed sense of character and utterly alive music-making completely disarmed my scepticism.’

REVIEW ON PAGE 87

PAGANINI 24 Caprices, Op 1 Ilya Gringolts vn Orchid ORC100039 ‘Where we were once content simply to marvel at the pyrotechnics, now, because of Gringolts’s acute sense of timing and close attention to dynamics, we hear the music.’

REVIEW ON PAGE 87

SCHUMANN Piano Sonata No 2, etc Mitsuko Uchida pf Decca 478 5393DH ‘The sonata passes by at white heat – just as it does when she plays it in the concert hall; yet what makes this such a gripping performance is the contrast between the manic writing and the inwardness.’

REVIEW ON PAGE 88

gramophone.co.uk

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