Featured below are more staff favorites released in 2021 by the Swedish BIS label (we featured some of our favorite 2020 and 2021 releases earlier in the year). All the BIS titles below are now on sale for a limited time.
Sale ends at midnight ET, 11/9/2021.
Note: With very few exceptions, almost all BIS SACDs are Hybrid SACDs, playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
Here's a nifty album of American chamber music that works on several levels. The Escher String Quartet offers a crisp reading of Barber's quartet as a whole that does not overdo the sentiment in the Adagio.
Dausgaard's management of his Bergen musicians is, as usual, exemplary as they skitter through the difficult passages that bedeviled the symphony's early interpreters. A high point in Dausgaard's Bruckner project.
This cycle remains a significant catalog milestone. Baselga makes the most persuasive case on disc for the pianistically effective three surviving complete sonatas. The two concerted works also receive impressively fresh and well-balanced readings.
There are 85 minutes of music on this disc. Gringolts is an exciting violinist, his technique flawless, his sound sumptuous. This is a CD every serious violinist and lover of the instrument will want to own.
The BIS catalog already boasts a fine version of Schnittke's Choir Concerto, but this newcomer surpasses it; and the music of Pärt is stitched into the choir’s DNA.
This is a quite fresh and unusually compelling performance, recommendable not only to collectors of early Baroque recordings but to general listeners, for whom it would make a splendid introduction to the opera.
This varied, highly atmospheric album gives the guitarist the opportunity to use a multiplicity of stylistic elements, and his sense of dramatic progression is particularly impressing.
Mezzo soprano Szilvia Vörös copes very well with the demands of her role. When the Fifth Door is flung open, her scream is simply hair-raising. BIS complete the package with excellent notes, and, in this case, a legible, attractively presented libretto.
The orchestra’s rapt accompaniment is perfectly poised and appropriately weighted against Brautigam’s fortepiano. It goes without saying that this pianist is always worth hearing.
The one-voice-per-part forces may be an obstacle for some, yet this might be the album to check out for those wanting to sample New York Polyphony's work. You can sense their deep respect and understanding of both the text and music at all times.
A Gramophone Editor's Choice! Dalene’s playing possesses palpable maturity, intelligence, and composure. He is also blessed with a superbly understanding piano partner who proves especially magical in the Grieg Sonata.
If anyone doubts Respighi’s flair and skill as an orchestrator, this release should still those doubts. It’s an entertaining disc in the best sense of the word and it’s a worthy addition to John Neschling’s Respighi series.
Vänskä’s handling of the opening Adagio is sublime, its long themes opening up in endless waves thanks to the clean-toned Minnesota strings and perfectly judged balance between purposeful progress and emotional repose. This Tenth is a major achievement.
Lindberg’s is now the third Twelfth to appear, the best-recorded of them and, I think, the best-sung, magnificently supported by the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra. A fabulous account of a remarkable work.
Kellerman has everything the Concierto de Aranjuez needs: excellent technical skills, singing tone, impulsiveness. And the London Symphony has the horsepower as well as the fine soloists to make this a reading to remember.
Listen to the very first track, where a tango rhythm quickly devolves into a series of very tricky cross-rhythms, for an idea of the challenges facing Ullén. He has surmounted them admirably, and his deliberate approach to these pieces has paid off.