ABBA, VOYAGE (Capitol, $16.98) – Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid return with their first album since 1981. ABBA fans can rejoice (and look forward to the tour featuring their 1979 “Abbatars”).
Aimee Mann, QUEENS OF THE SUMMER HOTEL (SuperEgo, $13.98) – Aimee Mann’s last album, Mental Illness (2017) was one of my favorites of the last few years. For Queens of the Summer Hotel, she wrote a suite of songs for a stage adaption of Girl, Interrupted (1993), the memoir by Susanna Kaysen about her psychiatric hospitalization in the late1960s.
Orquesta Akokán, 16 RAYOS (Daptone, $14.99) – A follow-up to their self-titled album (2018), Orquesta Akokán are “building upon Perez Prado’s dissonant, near avant-garde vision of the mambo, and highlighting the Lucumí subtext of Cuban rhythms and styles.” Fantastic dance music.
CHOPIN NOCTURNES X TWO
CHOPIN: COMPLETE NOCTURNES (Harmonia Mundi, 2 CD, $19.98) – Alain Planès playing a 1836 Pleyel piano
CHOPIN: COMPLETE NOCTURNES (Deutsche Grammophon, 2 CDs, $19.98) – Jan Lisiecki
GRAMOPHONE AWARDS ISSUE
Every year, Gramophone Magazine’s critics vote on their favorite classical CDs of the past season (roughly, autumn of 2020 to autumn, 2021), in categories, as well as conferring special awards.
There are winners in respective categories, then a Recording of the Year is selected from that group. Here are some of the winners.
Song (formerly Solo Vocal) & Young Artist of the Year
Fatma Said, EL NOUR (Warner Classics) – The debut of the Egyptian soprano in a recital of Spanish, French, Egyptian and Lebanese songs.
Opera & Recording of the Year
BRITTEN: PETER GRIMES (Chandos) – Stuart Skelton in the title role, Roderick Williams, Erin Wall, Susan Bickley with the Bergen Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, Edward Gardner conducting.
JOSQUIN: MASSES VOL 9: Hercules Dux Ferrarie/D’Ung Aultre Amer/Faysant Regretsz (Gimell) – The Tallis Scholars complete their Josquin project
Piano (new category)
J.S. BACH: WELL-TEMPERED CLAVIER (Warner Classics) – Piotr Anderszewski selects 12 of the 24 Preludes and Fugues from Book 2 of the Well-Tempered Clavier.
Takács Quartet & Garrick Ohlsson, ELGAR & BEACH: PIANO QUINTETS (Hyperion)
SHOSTAKOVICH: VIOLIN CONCERTOS (Hyperion) – Violinist Alina Ibragimova w/ State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia, Vladimir Jurowski, conductor
Spatial Audio (new category)
Stile Antico, GOLDEN RENAISSANCE: Josquin des Prez (Decca)