Quarterly Critic’s Choice

The best and most interesting new releases of the previous three months are awarded a place on the Quarterly Critic’s Choice. Evaluation criteria are artistic quality, repertoire value, presentation, and sound quality.

From 2014 onward, the Long Lists are stored directly with each Quarterly Critic’s Choice.

Long List 4/2021 (published: 1st October 2021)

Quarterly Critic’s Choice

Orchestral Music & Concertos

Walter Braunfels / Gregor Bühl

Walter Braunfels: Prelude from »Don Gil von den grünen Hosen«, op.35; Divertimento op.42; Serenade op.20, Ariel’s Song op.18. ORF Radio Symphonie Orchester Wien, Gregor Bühl. Capriccio C5429 (Naxos)

The Capriccio label has already dedicated eight CDs to the highly gifted composer Walter Braunfels, who was very successful in the twenties and was later defamed and silenced as a half-Jew. This latest production with smaller, differently cast instrumental works shows him to be a wanderer between musical worlds: A range of styles characterizes his work. A brilliant example is the Divertimento for radio orchestra from 1929 in a small cast with five stylistically contrasting movements. Gregor Bühl, an excellent Braunfels connoisseur, and the RSO Vienna play the fabulously orchestrated works beautifully, flexibly, and with utmost precision. For the jury: Peter Stieber

Orchestral Music & Concertos

Mozart Momentum 1785

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concertos KV 466, 467, 482; Piano Quartet KV 478; Fantasia in C minor KV 475; Masonic Funeral Music KV 477 (479a). Leif Ove Andsnes, Matthew Truscott, Joel Hunter, Frank-Michael Guthmann, Mahler Chamber Orchestra. 2 CDs, Sony Classical 19439742462

The syncopated, urgent heartbeat with which the Mahler Chamber Orchestra spans the gloomy beginning of the first movement of Mozart’s D minor Concerto KV 466 indicates the technical qualities of this world-class orchestra in terms of spectacle, nuance, and articulation. At all desks sit aware and ready, sound-sensitive musicians who in interplay with pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, perform unrivaled chamber music. Apart from the audible joy of playing, there are also beautiful moments of flowing breath between the soloist and the orchestra in the slow movement of KV 467. Great love for Mozart! For the jury: Jörg Lengersdorf