Welcome to Limelight Magazine’s October 2019 playlist. Each month our critics review 26 new recordings and here’s a chance to listen to many of them thanks to a special offer from classical music streaming specialist Primephonic.

All you need to do to get listening is sign up for a free three-month trial – that’s a saving of $80 – using our special Limelight code BONYNGE19.You’ll need a credit card to register, but if you don’t enjoy the service you can simply cancel any time within your free three months.

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Meanwhile, to whet your appetite, we’ve created an October Primephonic playlist with our favourite tracks from five of this month’s most interesting releases.


Orchestral Works
Kirill Gerstin p, Czzech Philharmonic/Semyon Bychkov

Decca 4834942 (7CD)


First up, we have Kirill Gerstein’s account of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto from Semyon Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic’s Tchaikovsky Project boxset on Decca, a seven-disc survey of the six symphonies, Manfred, the three piano concertos and a selection of the tone poems. Taken from live performances – not that you would know – Gerstein plays the original version of this familiar work, one that will make you reconsider whether the composer was right to revise his concerto following critical advice from musical associates.

Clara Schumann

Piano works et al
Isata Kanneh-Mason p

Decca 4850020


Born in 1819, it’s Clara Schumann’s 200th this year, and at last she seems to be winning serious attention as a composer in her own right. In her day she was certainly more famous as a pianist than her husband was as a composer, but concert tours and then running a sizable household tended to put her own compositional career on the back burner. Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason has recorded a wide range of Clara’s works on her Decca debut, and the Three Romances for violin and piano (here played with violinist Elena Urioste) certainly shows her voice at its strongest.


Ivan Ilić p



Pianist Ivan Ilić can be relied upon to come up with something different. A series of chances led him to a set of barely known transcriptions by keyboard player, conductor and composer Carl David Stegmann (1751 – 1826). An operatic tenor employed t the Court Theatre in Mainz (where he sang in the first German-language production of Don Giovanni), Stegmann made keyboard transcriptions of, among other works, 25 of Haydn’s symphonies. Whether or not they were ever meant to be played in public, here’s his Chandos recording of the G Major “Oxford” Symphony (No 82), in a version that tickles the ear in quite an original way.

An American song album

Songs by Barber, Heggie et al
Melody Moore s, Bradley Moor p



American soprano Melody Moore is making waves right now for her powerful tone, insightful interpretations and thoughtful programming. Her debut recital disc on Pentatone features an eclectic sample of American songs by Samuel Barber, Jake Heggie, Carlisle Floyd, Aaron Copland and Gordon Getty. Accompanied by pianist Bradley Moore – no relation – here is her interpretation of Barber’s exquisite Hermit Songs, nine takes on medieval poems whose topics range from sex and death to beer and cats.

Wagner & Strauss

Arias and songs
Lise Davidsen s, Philharmonia Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen

Decca 4834883


Last but not least, Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen is being hailed as a Wagnerian singer in a line of descent from Flagstad. Her debut recital is out of Decca, a selection of Wagner and Strauss, with the Philharmonia conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. We’ve chosen a pair of contrasting arias from Tannhäuser, Ariadne’s great aria from Ariadne auf Naxos, and Richard Strauss’s evergreen Morgen. Have a listen and see what all the fuss is about.