This month’s selection, curated by James Jolly (Gramophone’s Editor-in-Chief), features music from Debussy, Christa Ludwig and Beatrice Rana.
The music of Claude Debussy is very much in our minds this year (he died in 1918)—hardly a hardship as he left us some of the most incandescent and rewarding music of the early years of the 20th century. From the gloriously evocative sea-scape that is La mer, via the infinitely inventive chamber and piano music, to his astounding opera, Pelléas et Mélisande, we’ve chosen some superb performances. Christa Ludwig turns 90 on March 16 and we celebrate this great mezzo, singing Winterreise. Also, there’s music from Gramophone’s Young Artist of 2017, the prodigiously talented pianist Beatrice Rana. For a fascinating glimpse into how music takes shape, watch Rachel Podger’s Bach Masterclass and then, for a more modern approach to violin-playing, compare David Oistrakh and Itzhak Perlman in the Brahms Violin Concerto—two master musicians with very different styles and temperaments.
Philippe Jordan, Robert Wilson – Stéphane Degout (Pelléas), Elena Tsallagova (Mélisande), Anne Sofie von Otter (Geneviève), Vincent le Texier (Golaud)
Boston Symphony Orchestra, 1958-1961
Verbier Festival 2007
Barenboim plays Debussy
With Charles Spencer
Fondation Louis Vuitton
Treasures of the Masterclass Media Foundation
The Philharmonia Orchestra of London, Lawrence Foster (conductor)