Download Top 10
The Download Top Ten lists the albums which have proved most popular in the last month and might give you some good ideas for your next purchase.
1 Phantasm - Dowland: Lachrimae and Seven Tears
John Dowland's Lachrimae or Seven Tears has cast a remarkable spell on early music. Dowland's exceptional melodies combined with Phantasm's luxuriantly rich sound really is a match made in heaven.
'This set of seven pieces still sounds as sensuous and beguiling as it must have done then. The melancholy of the music touches a nerve. Phantasm and lutenist Elizabeth Kenny offer heartfelt playing.' Financial Times
2 Scottish Ensemble - Debussy and Takemitus for strings
Fusing French and Japanese influences Scottish Ensemble's new recording features works by Takemitsu and Debussy, two composers who share an instinctive feeling for instrumental colour and sensuous textures. SE premiere new string arrangements of Debussy's String Quartet and The Girl With The Flaxen Hair in a programme that received rave live reviews
''Expansive arrangements of Debussy and Takemitsu with a spirited, imaginative rendering.' iTunes
3 Irish Baroque Orchestra - Concerti Bizarri
Monica Huggett's IBO is an ensemble with a profound knowledge of historical performance practice. This programme combines innovative instrumentation and unusual repertoire to reveal little known jewels of 18th century concerto repertoire.
'...what really makes the IBO so worth hearing is the unified artistry and joyous, focused energy of its music-making under Huggett.' The Sunday Times
4 Ingrid Fliter -
Schumann & Mendelssohn Piano Concertos
Ingrid Fliter brings the lyrical romanticism of Schumann's iconic Piano Concerto to life whilst a live performance of the Mendelssohn concerto caused one critic to comment: 'In the beautiful second movement, time stood still.'
Drive Discovery: 'The wait was worth it. She brilliantly tackles Schumann's shifting colours...and she brings out all of Mendelssohn's melodic genius.' Classic FM
5 Applewood Road - Applewood Road
The self-titled debut album by all-female trio Applewood Road is a testament to the prolific songwriting talents of Emily Barker, Amber Rubarth and Amy Speace. 'Applewood Road' was recorded around a single microphone live to tape at Nashville's Welcome to 1979 and mastered at London's Gearbox Records.
'The standout track is the gorgeous title song from which they take their name...a slow, dreamy drift through an old-time landscape.' The Daily Telegraph
6 Trevor Pinnock - Mozart: Gran Partita
Trevor Pinnock adds to his hugely impressive Mozart discography with his first recording of the composer's great wind masterpiece. It is performed here on modern instruments with the very best of the next generation of wind players: the Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble.
'Pinnock knows a thing or two about Mozart and imparts to his youthful charges from the Royal Academy of Music all his enthusiasm for the Salzburger's greatest serenade...a rather winning disc.' Gramophone
7 Dunedin Consort - J.S. Bach: Violin Concertos
Dutch-Italian violinist Cecilia Bernardini takes a break from leader duties as she steps into the spotlight to deliver a virtuoso performance under the direction of Bach specialist John Butt OBE.
'There are so many things to marvel at: her husky, shapely tone, her earthy way with rhythm, how she tugs playfully the top of phrases, her ability to dart in and out of ensemble textures and make the whole thing so joyously convivial.'
8 Dunedin Consort - J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concertos
Dunedin Consort demonstrates its collective experience and historical knowledge in an exceptionally insightful and fresh performance. Bach's Brandenburg Concertos are essential and enduringly popular works in the Baroque orchestral repertory, full of interesting instrumentation choices and dancing melodies.
'Melodic ideas are beautifully punctuated and phrased, vibrato is used strictly ornamentally, and tempos strike my sensibilities as pretty well ideal.'
BBC Music Magazine
9 Claire Martin & Ray Gelato - We've Got A World That Swings
'We've Got A World That Swings' is a tour de force: Ray's jumpin' vocals and sax provide an ideal foil for Claire's velvety voice. The song selection is a delicious serving of some of the most sumptuous morsels in the Great American Songbook.
'...the pair pay an unashamed homage to the beauty of swing [and] find freshness and vitality in familiar material.' Soul and Jazz and Funk
10 Barb Jungr - Shelter From The Storm
Barb Jungr celebrates the songs of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, David Bowie and Peter Gabriel on her new album, plus new songs written by Barb and pianist Laurence Hobgood. These 'songs of hope' are a much-needed antidote to today's 'troubled times'; an uplifting message superbly realised by a superb singer.
'Vocalist Barb Jungr pulls off quite a coup on her ninth album for Linn...this fine album possesses a special poignancy.'