Linn tops the Herald's Classical Top 10 of 2013

18 December 2013

Kate Molleson has chosen her pick of the year's best classical recordings for the Glasgow Herald. Linn is very proud to report that not only do we have two of our recordings in the Top 10, but they are numbers 1 and 2!  Massive congratulations to Robin Ticciati, Karen Cargill and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, whose recording of Berlioz' Les nuits d'ète was named the best classical recording of 2013.  Congratulations are also due to Dunedin Consort & John Butt who take the number 2 spot with Bach's Six Brandenburg Concertos, plus they sneak a second placing as the unofficial number 11 with John Passion, as Kate couldn't simply stop at 10!

Two of our label partners also have entries, with Riccardo Chailly and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and his recording of 'Brahms: Symphonies' at number 3 and  'Couperin: Trois leçons de ténèbres' by The King's Consort an unofficial number 15.

Here's what Kate has to say about her Top 3 classical recordings of 2013:

1. Berlioz: Les nuit d'ète

Robin Ticciati has by now embedded the unique soundworld of Hector Berlioz into the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's DNA - the impact  is audible in the way they play core repertoire like Beethoven and Schumann. Meanwhile the orchestra brings fresh style  and insight into the French composer's orchestral writing. Last year's period-ish account  of the Symphonie fantastique was a real ear-opener; this year's follow-up - a gorgeous collection of Les nuits d'été, the Love Scene from Roméo et Juliette and La mort de Cléopâtre - is even more seductive thanks to the poetic, tender, captivating voice of Arbroath-born mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill. The sound engineers at Linn capture every shimmering hue.

2. J.S. Bach: Six Brandenburg Concertos

The world hardly suffers from  a dearth of Brandenburg recordings, but, as usual,  John Butt and the period-instrument Dunedin Consort bring something totally new to  these well-trod concertos. This  is lean, spry, spirited playing. Solos are taken from within  the group and there us a real sense of shared ownership  from every gutsy, exuberant player. Butt's academic authority reveals some fascinating relationships  and instrumental colours,  and there is the added  bonus of his edifying sleeve notes.

3. Brahms: The Symphonies

An irresistible heavyweight set from conductor Riccardo Chailly and one of the world's classiest orchestras. The sound is plush, authoritative and glossily Germanic, yet also lucid, light on its feet, even daring at times. Chailly draws grandiosity and poise through each symphony, but it is his revelation of the rawer stuff - urgency, angst, bitter-sweet melancholy, tender humanity - that makes this set so powerful.

Dunedin ConsortDunedin Consort
Karen CargillKaren Cargill
Riccardo ChaillyRiccardo Chailly
Robin TicciatiRobin Ticciati
Scottish Chamber OrchestraScottish Chamber Orchestra
The King’s ConsortThe King’s Consort
Berlioz: Les nuits d'eteBerlioz: Les nuits d'ete
Brahms: The SymphoniesBrahms: The Symphonies
Couperin: Trois Lecons de TenebresCouperin: Trois Lecons de Tenebres
J.S. Bach: John Passion, Reconstruction of Bach's Passion LiturgyJ.S. Bach: John Passion, Reconstruction of Bach's Passion Liturgy
J.S. Bach: Six Brandenburg ConcertosJ.S. Bach: Six Brandenburg Concertos