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CONTENTS Volume 98 Number 11 92 EDITORIAL Phone 020 7738 5454 Fax 020 7733 2325 email EDITOR AND PUBLISHER Martin Cullingford DEPUTY EDITOR Sarah Kirkup / 020 7501 6365 REVIEWS EDITOR Tim Parry / 020 7501 6367 ONLINE CONTENT EDITOR James McCarthy SUB EDITOR David Threasher / 020 7501 6370 SUB EDITOR Marija ­uric´ Speare ART DIRECTOR Dinah Lone / 020 7501 6689 PICTURE EDITOR Sunita Sharma-Gibson AUDIO EDITOR Andrew Everard EDITORIAL ADMINISTRATOR Libby McPhee THANKS TO Hannah Nepilova EDITOR IN CHIEF James Jolly

ADVERTISING Phone 020 7738 5454 Fax 020 7733 2325 email COMMERCIAL MANAGER Esther Zuke / 020 7501 6368 SENIOR SALES EXECUTIVE Gordana Jevic´ / 020 7501 6373

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PUBLISHING Phone 020 7738 5454 HEAD OF MARKETING AND DIGITAL STRATEGY Luca Da Rè / 020 7501 6362 MARKETING MANAGER John Barnett / 020 7501 6233 GROUP INSTITUTIONAL SALES MANAGER Jas Atwal PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Richard Hamshere / 01722 716997 PRODUCTION MANAGER Kyri Apostolou CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Sally Boettcher / 01722 716997 SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER Bethany Foy / 01722 716997 EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Martin Cullingford MANAGING DIRECTOR Paul Geoghegan CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Ben Allen CHAIRMAN Mark Allen

GRAMOPHONE is published by MA Music Leisure & Travel Ltd, St Jude’s Church, Dulwich Road, London SE24 0PB, United Kingdom. email or ISSN 0017 310X.

The October 2020 issue of Gramophone is on sale from September 16; the Awards issue will be on sale from October 7 (both UK). Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of statements in this magazine but we cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions, or for matters arising from clerical or printers’ errors, or an advertiser not completing his contract. Regarding concert listings, all information is correct at the time of going to press. Letters to the editor requiring a personal reply should be accompanied by a stamped addressed envelope. We have made every effort to secure permission to use copyright material. Where material has been used inadvertently or we have been unable to trace the copyright owner, acknowledgement will be made in a future issue. UK subscription rate £70. Printed in England by Walstead Roche. North American edition (ISSN 0017-310X): Gramophone, USPS 881080, is published monthly with an additional issue in October by MA Music Leisure & Travel Ltd, St Jude’s Church, Dulwich Road, London SE24 0PB, United Kingdom. The US annual subscription price is $89. Airfreight and mailing in the USA by agent named WN Shipping USA, 156-15, 146th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Jamaica, NY 11434, USA. Periodicals postage paid at Jamaica NY 11431. US Postmaster: Send address changes to Gramophone, WN Shipping USA, 156-15, 146th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Jamaica, NY 11434, USA. Subscription records are maintained at MA Music Leisure & Travel Ltd, Unit A, Buildings 1-5 Dinton Business Park, Catherine Ford Road, Dinton, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP3 5HZ, UK. Air Business Ltd is acting as our mailing agent. © MA Music Leisure & Travel Ltd, 2020. All rights reserved. No part of the Gramophone may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the Publishing Director. Please read our privacy policy, by visiting This will explain how we process, use & safeguard your data. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the editor or Gramophone. Advertisements in the journal do not imply endorsement of the products or services advertised.


The 12 most highly recommended recordings reviewed in this issue

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Mike Ashman celebrates a recording of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes – with Stuart Skelton in the title role, and Edward Gardner demonstrating a special empathy with this great 20th-century opera – that is set to become a new benchmark


Philippe Jordan’s Brahms from Vienna; Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil excel in Ives symphonies


Piano Trios by CPE Bach; Fazıl Say’s complete works for violin; Simon Trp∂eski’s Makedonissimo


Lang Lang records the Goldberg Variations; the early works of Busoni; Igor Levit’s Encounter


Two recordings of Handel’s Saul; Cupertinos sing Duarte Lobo; Jonas Kaufmann’s new album


Lully’s Armide from Hervé Niquet; Missy Mazzoli’s Proving Up; Equilbey’s Magic Mozart


Reviews from our sister titles Jazzwise and Songlines


The legacy of the Alban Berg Quartet from Warner Classics; Zubin Mehta in LA from Decca


A round-up of releases focusing on Beethoven


Rob Cowan on a set celebrating Charles Munch

CLASSICS RECONSIDERED Harriet Smith and Tim Parry on Alfred Brendel’s 1981 recording of Liszt’s Sonata in B minor


Alex Ross on Wagner; András Schiff’s memoirs

GRAMOPHONE COLLECTION Geraint Lewis explores the recorded history of Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings




All the latest classical music news

RECORDING THE GOLDBERGS Bach’s set of variations are among the most profound works for keyboard. Lindsay Kemp talks to Lang Lang and three of his fellow pianists about what this music means to them


The Albanian soprano’s new album is inspired by Rosina Storchio – an early 20th-century star, and the very first Butterfly. Hugo Shirley met her as she recorded this fascinating recital programme.

THE AWARDS SHORTLIST Ahead of our annual celebration of the best classical music recordings from the past year, we reveal the 30 albums that have made it to the final three in each of the 10 categories

MUSICIAN AND THE SCORE The International Tchaikovsky Competition winner Alexandre Kantorow talks to Jeremy Nicholas about Brahms’s Piano Sonata No 2


Hugo Shirley pays an 80th-birthday tribute to Italian tenor Giuseppe Giacomini, one of the finest Otellos of recent times

CONTEMPORARY COMPOSER Max Richter’s music reaches huge audiences with its emotional power. Sarah Kirkup explores his art


Peter Quantrill takes Monteverdi’s masterpiece Orfeo as the starting point for a musical journey HIGH FIDELITY ­ ­ LETTERS ­ NEW RELEASES ­­ MY BEETHOVEN ­­ The conductor Antonio Pappano talks about performing Beethoven’s Symphony No 5 outside in 40 degree Italian heat, and recalls conducting Fidelio at Covent Garden


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