4 Classical Albums that Flew Under the Radar
The massive amount of classical albums that are released every year is both a great pleasure and an intimidating feat to digest.
This has been a grand year for classical music, with noteworthy releases from illustrious masters and promising young artists alike. Of the many splendid works I’ve listened to in 2014, here are four albums from this year that flew under the radar and, in my humble opinion, didn’t get the attention they deserved.
Christian Gerhaher - Nachtviolen: Schubert Lieder
Christian Gerhaher is undoubtedly one of the most prominent male vocal artists of today’s younger generation, and the German baritone has a big beating heart for Lieder, the setting of Romantic German poems to music. His empathetic and personal interpretations – especially of German composers such as Mendelssohn, Schumann, Wolf and Brahms – have received praise everywhere. On this album, released earlier this year, finds Gerhaher singing lieder by Franz Schubert.
The album’s title is Nachtviolen, which is also one of the 24 songs that Gerhaher and his regular pianist Gerold Huber have selected here. Listen and enjoy Schubert’s elegant, melancholy, terrifying and beautiful Lieder, masterfully performed by two of the style’s finest interpreters.
Giuliano Carmignola – Bach: Violin Concertos
On this album, decorated Italian Baroque violinist Giuliano Carmignola plays J. S. Bach’s two violin concertos, as well as the double-concerto in D-minor.
He plays alongside fellow violin virtuoso Mayumi Hirasaki, accompanied by the respected European chamber ensemble Concerto Köln. On this album, as with many of his previous efforts, Carmignola is so expressive and thoroughly musical that a true joy to listen to. And what is it the angels are listening to? But of course: Bach!
Nightingale String Quartet - Rued Langgaard: String Quartets, Vol. 3
Since releasing their first volume of Rued Langgaard’s string-quartets, Denmark’s Nightingale String Quartet has received nearly endless praise from critics and audiences alike. This volume, their third, is no exception.
In September, the quartet was crowned Young Artist of the Year at the Gramophone Awards in London, and it has previously been flagged as “Editor’s Choice” by two of the world’s leading classical music magazines, Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine. On this album listen to the incredibly lyrical and beautiful music of Langgaard, definitively performed by the four beautiful players of Nightingale String Quartet.
Khatia Buniatishvili – Motherland
The last album that I think deserves special attention is with the young Georgian-born pianist Khatia Buniatishvili. At only 27, Buniatishvili has already released two previous albums, received several prestigious awards, and beautifully made a name for herself on the international scene.
Her latest album, Motherland, is dedicated to her mother, Natalie. Rather than being dedicated to a particular composer like her other albums, Buniatishvili plays a gorgeous selection of evocative pieces that have a personal significance in her life, many originating from her homeland.
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Photo: © Esther Haase / SONY CLASSICAL INT.
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