BBC Proms 2017 - Our Top Related Recordings!

by Katherine Cooper. 20th April 2017

The 2017 BBC Proms season was announced earlier today; we've been leafing through our Guide in the office this afternoon, and have put together a selective discography of relevant recordings...

The full details of this year's programme are available in the BBC Proms 2017 Official Guide, which went on sale this morning.

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Prom 1 - Friday 14th July, 7.30pm (First Night of the Proms)

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 (Igor Levit, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Edward Gardner)

Beethoven: The Late Piano Sonatas

Igor Levit (piano)

'Levit’s affinity for the composer’s essentially linear style and intense expressivity borders on clairvoyance, if you’ll forgive the cliché...In short, this is Beethoven playing of the highest distinction, not to be missed.' (Classics Today)

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Prom 2 - Saturday 15th July, 7.30pm

Sibelius: Violin Concerto (Lisa Batiashvili, Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim )

Tchaikovsky & Sibelius Violin Concertos

Lisa Batiashvili (violin), Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim

'The Sibelius soars and sings in the first movement, and dances in the finale with a rare agility. As for Barenboim, he gives the orchestral parts the depth and scope of symphonies: the climax of the first movement of the Sibelius will knock you flat.' (Gramophone)

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Prom 3 - Sunday 16th July, 3.45pm

Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3 (Isabelle Faust, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Bernard Haitink)

Mozart: Complete Violin Concertos

Isabelle Faust (violin), Il Giardino Armonico, Giovanni Antonini

'Antonini conducts, but the music seems to be led from everywhere. Meanwhile, Faust’s touch is light, finespun, pristine – often her bow hardly glosses the strings, but there’s proper robustness to balance.' (The Guardian)

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Prom 4 - Sunday 16th July, 7.45pm

Elgar: Symphony No. 2 (Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim)

Elgar: Symphony No. 2

Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim

'This is a superb, in fact I feel justified in calling it a great, Elgar Two. It's difficult to know where to start in listing its excellences...But one must start and finish with Barenboim's interpretation...this is a marvellously full-blooded reading of the Symphony, full of drama and passion...This must be one of the finest performances currently on offer.' (BBC Music Magazine)

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PCM 1 - Monday 17th July, 1.00pm

Monteverdi 450th Anniversary (I Fagiolini, Robert Hollingworth)

Monteverdi: The Other Vespers

I Fagiolini, Robert Hollingworth

Celebrating Monteverdi’s 450th anniversary - a key new release in this Monteverdi year. Forming a response to Monteverdi’s timeless masterpiece Vespro della Beata Vergine (1610), these 'Other Vespers' are centred around works from the end of his life.

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Prom 6 - Tuesday 18th July, 7.00pm

Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1 (Nicola Benedetti, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Thomas Søndergård)

Shostakovich & Glazunov Violin Concertos

Nicola Benedetti (violin), Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Kirill Karabits

'[Benedetti’s] Shostakovich is impressive…she captures the bleak, crepuscular atmosphere of the long first-movement Nocturne – no moonlit romantic rendezvous here but a dark, dangerous place. The Scherzo is suitably grotesques.' (Gramophone)

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Prom 20 - Saturday 29th July, 7.30pm

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 (Stephen Hough, BBC Philharmonic, Mark Wigglesworth)

Brahms: The Piano Concertos

Stephen Hough (piano), Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Mark Wigglesworth

'Wigglesworth is pact and taut in rhythm...The impression I have here is of readings that have divested themselves of excess baggage and are lighter on their feet...I ended up delighted by and in complete admiration of Hough's boldness.' (Gramophone)

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Prom 25 - Wednesday 2nd August, 10.15pm

JS Bach: Cantatas Nos. 79 and 80 (English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir, John Eliot Gardiner)

JS Bach: Cantatas for the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity and for the Feast of the Reformation

The Monteverdi Choir & The English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner

'Gardiner's lively and articulate responses to Bach's dance rhythms… refresh and enliven the music, often in a quite distinctive way. The mighty fugal chorus of Ein Feste Burg (BWV 80) comes off splendidly.' (BBC Music Magazine)

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Prom 26 - Thursday 3rd August, 7.30pm

Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante K364 (Vilde Frang, Lawrence Power, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Paavo Järvi)

Vilde Frang plays Mozart

Vilde Frang (violin), Maxim Rysanov (viola), Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen

'Frang always stays lithe, clean and nimble. So does her lively accompanying British ensemble, Jonathan Cohen’s Arcangelo...If you want your Mozart honest and durable, without fancy frills, look no further.' (The Times)

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PCM 4 - Monday 7th August, 1.00pm

Platti, Vivaldi and Boccherini: Cello Concertos (Edgar Moreau, Il Pomo d'Oro, Maxim Emelyanychev)

Giovincello

Edgar Moreau (cello), Il Pomo d'Oro, Riccardo Minasi

'Moreau’s ‘giovincello’ qualities are what this disc is all about. The balance is engineered so as to place his singing, silkily intense and muscular tone absolutely in the foreground, along with the sound of his fingerboard and his gasps of exertion.' (Gramophone)

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Prom 31 - Tuesday 8th August, 7.30pm

Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust (Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Monteverdi Choir, John Eliot Gardiner)

Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust

Orchestre de l'Opéra de Lyon, John Eliot Gardiner

'[Gardiner] is a musician of exceptional intelligence and cultivation, he knows French music from long experience of working in the country, and he has a sharpness and sense of colour that are well-attuned to Berlioz.' (Gramophone)

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Prom 33 - Thursday 10th August, 7.30pm

Schumann: Cello Concerto (Alban Gerhardt, BBC Philharmonic, John Storgårds)

The Romantic Cello Concerto, Vol. 2: Volkmann, Dietrich, Gernsheim & Schumann

Alban Gerhardt (cello), Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Hannu Lintu

'Gerhardt’s playing is rich-toned, impeccably judged even in the most obscure works, and completely assured.' (International Record Review)

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Proms 34 & 35 - Friday 11th August, 2.00pm and 7.30pm

Rodgers & Hammerstein: Oklahoma! (John Wilson and his Orchestra)

Rodgers & Hammerstein at the Movies

John Wilson and his Orchestra

'The endless counter-melodies, orchestral details and underlying motifs that Wilson teases out really do throw the scores into glorious technicolour...this life-affirming disc is a guaranteed mood-lifter!' (Presto Classical)

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Prom 36 - Saturday 12th August, 7.30pm

Mahler: Symphony No. 10 (BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Dausgaard)

Mahler: Symphony No. 10

Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Dausgaard

'Here, by an exceptional command of long-term tempo relationships Dausgaard manages to unify the symphony into a single whole. Without loss of intensity, it emerges as not only a psychological document but an orchestral classic.' (BBC Music Magazine)

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Prom 38 - Sunday 13th August, 9.45pm

Rachmaninov: Vespers (Latvian Radio Choir, Sigvards Kļava)

Rachmaninov: Vespers

Latvian Radio Choir, Sigvards Kļava

'Klava's interpretation doesn't give the sensation of dragging...He carefully draws out every dramatic nuance from this choral feast. His two dozen singers produce a well-nourished tutti and sound like a much larger group.' (Gramophone)

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PCM 5 - Monday 14th August, 1.00pm

Shostakovich: Preludes & Fugues Op. 87 (excerpts) (Alexander Melnikov)

Shostakovich: Preludes & Fugues Op. 87

Alexander Melnikov (piano)

'He conveys the scope of the collection as a totality with such consistent penetration and invention that this expertly engineered set can be enthusiastically endorsed for anyone seeking a complete recording.' (International Record Review)

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Prom 40 - Tuesday 15th August, 7.00pm

Schumann: Symphony No. 3 (Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Robin Ticciati)

Schumann: Complete Symphonies

Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Robin Ticciati

'Perhaps the most impressive thing that Ticciati has done on disc so far. Every bar in these urgent performances with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra seems alive and full of interest.' (The Guardian)

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Prom 43 - Thursday 17th August, 6.30pm

Saint-Saëns: Organ Symphony (Cameron Carpenter (organ), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Dutoit)

Saint-Saëns: Organ Symphony

Peter Hurford (organ), Orchestre symphonique de Montreal, Charles Dutoit

'Dutoit revels in Saint-Saëns's orchestration, presenting a brilliantly fast trio sounding like gossamer.' (BBC Music Magazine)

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Prom 46 - Saturday 19th August, 7.30pm

Schoenberg: Gurrelieder (Eva-Maria Westbroek, Karen Cargill, Simon O’Neill, Peter Hoare, Christopher Purves, Thomas Quasthoff; London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Simon Rattle)

Schoenberg: Gurrelieder

Berliner Philharmoniker, Simon Rattle

'In many respects, Rattle is a strong rival to his predecessors...The soloists, too, are world-class. Karita Mattila is an ecstatic, touching Tove.' (The Guardian)

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Prom 49 - Sunday 20th August, 7.45pm

JS Bach: St John Passion (Dunedin Consort, John Butt)

JS Bach: St John Passion

Dunedin Consort, John Butt

'A dramatic, exactingly nuanced, profoundly considered reading, compelling in its integrity and text-driven immediacy...Butt's contextualising demands to be heard: it's nothing short of a revelation.' (BBC Music Magazine)

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Prom 54 - Friday 25th August, 6.30pm

Brahms: Violin Concerto (Leonidas Kavakos, Orchestra of La Scala, Riccardo Chailly)

Brahms: Violin Concerto

Leonidas Kavakos (violin), Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Riccardo Chailly

'It demonstrates not only the wonderful poise and instinctive elegance of Kavakos's playing...but also the transparency that is such a characteristic of Chailly's Brahms with this orchestra...It's a long time since there was a new version of this concerto as good as this.' (The Guardian)

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Proms at Bold Tendencies - Saturday 26th August, 12pm & 3pm

Kate Whitley: I am I say (The Multi-Story Orchestra and Youth Choir)

Kate Whitley: I am I say

The Multi-Story Orchestra, Choirs from Kender, Lyndhurst and John Donne Primary Schools, Peckham, Christopher Stark

'Unpretentious, appealingly vigorous and visceral music...This debut portrait album showcases Whitley, who is not yet 30, as a lush harmonist, an orchestrator who handles instruments boldly.' (The Guardian)

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PCM 7 - Monday 28th August, 1.00pm

Chopin: Waltzes, mazurkas and impromptus (Pavel Kolesnikov)

Chopin: Mazurkas

Pavel Kolesnikov (piano)

'The 26-year-old's latest Hyperion release is arguably the best Chopin recording I have encountered in recent years…from start to finish Kolesnikov doesn’t lose sight of the fact these are dances in miniature and his phrasing of each is entirely apposite.' (Classical Ear)

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Prom 60 - Tuesday 29th August, 7.30pm

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 12 'The Year 1917' and Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 4 (Leif Ove Andsnes, Oslo Philharmonic, Vasily Petrenko)

Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 4

Leif Ove Andsnes, London Symphony Orchestra, Antonio Pappano

'If judicious sensuality is indeed one vital quality that manifests itself in [Andsnes's] new recording with the LSO and Pappano, another is the impressive physicality of the performance...He, Pappano and the orchestra breathe together.' (Gramophone)

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Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 12

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko

'Petrenko leaves his stamp on the performances through his insight into the characteristics of each work...One particularly impressive feature is the fact that Petrenko seems to have instilled such a “Russian” sound into the players.' (The Daily Telegraph)

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Prom 61 - Wednesday 30th August, 7.00pm

Barber: Knoxville - Summer of 1915 (Renée Fleming, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Sakari Oramo)

Distant Light: Barber, Hillborg and Bjork

Renée Fleming, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Sakari Oramo

'[Fleming] still commands the creamiest, spine-shiveringly sensuous timbre in the business. That’s evident throughout Knoxville, as is her excellent diction.' (The Times)

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Prom 68 - Sunday 3rd September, 7.30pm

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 3 and Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 (Denis Matsuev, Mariinsky Orchestra, Valery Gergiev )

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

Denis Matsuev (piano), Mariinsky Orchestra, Valery Gergiev

'I doubt if you will ever hear [the B flat minor Concerto] more viscerally thrilling and sumptuously engineered than here. Listening to Matsuev and Gergiev is the aural equivalent of watching Federer and Nadal.' (Gramophone)

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Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4, 5, 6

Mariinsky Orchestra, Valery Gergiev

'This studio recording by Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra of St Petersburg makes as strong a case for the music’s unwieldy sprawl as you will hear today...Gergiev’s ongoing Shostakovich cycle should, on this reckoning, end up among the greats.' (Financial Times)

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Prom 69 - Monday 4th September, 7.30pm

Dvorak: Violin Concerto & Mahler: Symphony No. 1 (Anne-Sophie Mutter, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Manfred Honeck)

Dvorak: Violin Concerto

Anne-Sophie Mutter, Berliner Philharmoniker, Manfred Honeck

'With a sound like molten chocolate and a romantic temperament to match, Mutter is in her element here...The Berlin Philharmonic under Manfred Honeck tempers the sweetness with playing that is rich, intense, but also edgy where needed.' (New York Times)

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Mahler: Symphony No. 1

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Manfred Honeck

'Honeck's account of the symphony delights in the many felicitous details in which the score abounds, yet never loses sight of the underlying structure, particularly in the most difficult movement of all, the finale.' (International Record Review)

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Prom 72 - Thursday 7th September, 6.30pm

Mahler: Symphony No. 6 (Wiener Philharmoniker, Daniel Harding)

Mahler: Symphony No. 6

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Daniel Harding

'Harding is well up there with the greats…above all it's the Bavarian Radio Symphony, with its fabulous first trumpet, baleful, full-toned tuba and winsome oboist, which collectively confirms itself as one of the top five orchestras in the world.' (BBC Music Magazine)

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Prom 73 - Thursday 7th September, 9.30pm

JS Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I (András Schiff)

JS Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books 1 & 2

András Schiff (piano)

'Playing with crystalline clarity and a rhythmic buoyancy that highlights the works’ dance elements, Mr. Schiff reveals the contrapuntal brilliance and the joy, wit and melancholy of these 24 preludes and fugues.' (New York Times)

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JS Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books 1 & 2

András Schiff (piano)

'Consistently he translates this music into pianistic terms, and his voyage of discovery through this supreme keyboard collection is the more riveting as the piano is an easier instrument to listen to over long periods.' (The Penguin Guide)

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Prom 74 - Friday 8th September, 7.30pm

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 (Wiener Philharmoniker, Michael Tilson-Thomas)

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7

San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas

'This performance is one of such élan and overall good spirits, played with such precision and commitment, and committed to disc with such fidelity and power, that it is easy, for once, to overlook its textual anomalies.' (Fanfare)

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Prom 75 - Saturday 9th September, 7.15pm (Last Night of the Proms)

Wagner: Prelude & Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde (Nina Stemme, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sakari Oramo)

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde

Placido Domingo, Nina Stemme, Mihoko Fujimura, Olaf Bär; Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Antonio Pappano

'Stemme is everything an Isolde needs to be: singing with radiant grandeur, she is rare in being able to sound sensuous even on the high notes. From her exciting first entry, she captures Isolde’s temperament, and her Liebestod is notable for its beauty.' (Gramophone)

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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde

Stephen Gould, Nina Stemme, Michelle Breedt, Johan Reuter; Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin & Rundfunkchor Berlin, Marek Janowski

'This finds [Stemme] at her glorious peak, making much more of the text than in her previous recordings. She now stands proud as the leading Isolde and Brünnhilde of her generation and an interpreter to rank with her greatest predecessors on disc.' (The Sunday Times)

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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (DVD)

Robert Gambill, Nina Stemme, Katarina Karnéus, Bo Skovhus; Glyndebourne Chorus, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Jirí Belohlávek

'Stemme’s fiery Irish princess is even finer than on the Domingo CD, her clean-cut Scandic soprano arrestingly enhanced by her expressive features and lissom presence.' (BBC Music Magazine)

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