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RECORDINGs Of THE YEaR

moments. Here the choral sound is warm and wide without any congestive blasting, with crisp enunciation.

The solo quartet take over for the second movement, an E minor sarabande with a little Bachian lilt as well as an extraordinary passage of soft brass-writing (at ‘Pro peccatis suae gentis’) which seems to pre-echo a similar patch in Jongen’s Mass (written some 70 years later). The choral ‘Tui nati vulnerati’ movement (one of the few passages in a major key) is beautifully effective and makes an excellent ‘sample track’ for the unitiated. The Royal Flemish Philharmonic’s playing is beyond reproach save for a slightly eager double-bass player who comes in a bar early in the introduction to the ‘Fac, ut portem Christi mortem’ duet – a bizarre blemish that should surely have been edited out. What is especially pleasing is the soloists’ contribution. They really listen to each other and achieve a subtle blend with plenty of noncompetitive ‘give and take’. Top prize goes to the tenor Maximilian Schmitt, who is always strain-free and equally magnificent whether leading the chorus in the ‘Fac me vere tecum flere’ movement or as part of the balanced quartet. Michaela Selinger relishes her big alto solo ‘Inflammatus et accensus’ with none of the swooping haughtiness of Dagmar Pecková for Järvi, and Ilse Eerens’s top Bs crown the choral texture with a bell-like clarity. This new release must be the top choice. Selected comparison: LPO, N Järvi (9/12) (LPO) LPO0062

July Gramophone Choices

BeethoVen triple Concerto; Archduke trio storioni trio; netherlands symphony orchestra / Jan Willem de Vriend Challenge Classics CC72579 ‘The striking feature, first of all, is the power, incisiveness and sense of purpose that de Vriend inspires in the orchestra.’

BoWEn Works for Violin and Piano chloë hanslip vn danny driver pf hyperion CDA67991/2 ‘I was particularly smitten with the 1917 diptych of Serenade and Valse harmonique, the latter a captivating morsel of exquisite grace and capricious charm.’

quilter ‘Quilter Songbook, Vol 1’ mark stone bar stephen Barlow pf Stone Records 5060192 ‘Mark Stone could not be more sensitive in his response to the words with his remarkably clear diction and Stephen Barlow is comparably understanding.’

holmBoe ‘Concertos’ erik heide vn lars anders tomter va norrköping symphony orchestra / dima slobodeniouk Dacapo 6 220599 ‘That this is one of the finest viola concertos ever penned I have not the slightest doubt, and it is thrown off with dazzling virtuosity.’

schnittKe String trio; Piano Quartet; Piano Quintet molinari quartet; marcin swoboda va louise Bessette pf AtMA Classique ACD2 2669 ‘That any group could play this music better than the Montrealbased Molinari Quartet is inconceivable.’

‘a triBute to Faustina Bordoni’ opera Arias Vivica genaux mez cappella gabetta / andrés gabetta DhM 88691 94459-2 ‘Cappella Gabetta accompany with considerable warmth. I cannot remember enjoying Genaux’s singing more than this.’

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Philippe herreweghe conducts his Collegium Vocale ph o t o G r a p h y

22 GRAMOPHONE RECoRDinGS of thE YEAR 2013

BeethoVen� shostaKoVich String Quartets Valentin Berlinsky quartet Avie AV2273 ‘The Berlinskys manage to make distinct the vastly contrasting characters of both composers without detracting from either.’

milano ‘il Divino’ paul o’dette lute harmonia Mundi hMU90 7557 ‘A truly ravishing programme in which Milano’s masterly control of drama is fully brought out by O’Dette’s highly expressive, cantabile and colouristic playing.’

‘i Viaggi di Faustina’ roberta invernizzi sop i turchini / antonio Florio Glossa GCD922606 ‘Invernizzi’s beautiful slow singing and the sensitive string band are breathtaking in the siciliano “Un guardo solo ancor” from Vinci’s Il trionfo di Camilla.’

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