Specializing in high-end recordings with top international artists, PENTATONE’s reputation for excellence is supported by a catalog of some of the very best that classical music has to offer.
A selection of just some of our favorite PENTATONE releases of 2020 and 2021 are featured below. All are on sale now for a limited time.
(Sale ends at midnight ET, 9/28/21.)
Note: All Pentatone SACDs are Hybrid SACDs, playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
Shibe gives works by Ravel, Satie, and de Falla elegantly idiomatic readings. Listeners will be grateful to have the Catalan Mompou’s ever delicate Canços i dansas 6 and 10, as well as his lively Suite Compostelana to enjoy as lovingly played here.
Jurowski succeeds really well in combining the visual of the score as well as its intellectual content, which makes the emotional moods tangible. The atmospheric density and varied musical substance that prevail here are not found in many other recordings.
L’isola is a serious opera about love, loss and misunderstanding with a happy ending, set on an exotic deserted island. What is special about this opera is that Haydn chose orchestral accompaniment for the entire work, with colorful and dramatic accompagnato recitatives.
Davidsen's portrayal of Leonore is gorgeous, nuanced, and compelling. She ensures the listener fully knows and feels Leonore’s thoughts and emotions, with a fulsome and richly burnished tone that is passionate and intensely lyrical.
Not only does soprano Angel Blue own Bess' classic songs but she also sings Clara's "Summertime" and Serena's "My Man's Gone Now" with equal parts power and finesse and an ability to grab the listener from the get-go.
Aimard's exemplary technique allows for no vagaries of voice leading or textural misfires, while Pentatone’s production values do justice to Aimard’s tonal clarity and transparency at quieter dynamic levels.
Muhly's Shrink is an energetic, driven concerto, played with intensity by Kuusisto on violin. Glass's The Orchard, performed here as a duet for piano and violin, changes the mood completely, becoming soothing and almost therapeutic.
The performances by a consort of 10 singers and the 16 players of the Holland Baroque are lovingly and respectfully done, and create a sound pleasant to the ear. This is an album sure to please lovers of Baroque byways.
The Violin Concerto typifies the composer's delight in bringing extremes of expression within often terrifyingly close proximity. The work is thrillingly realised by Patricia Kopatchinskaja, who negotiates its coruscating intricacies with ravishing purity and intensity.
The heart of Richter's achievement on this recording is undoubtedly the lament from Arianna. With its sure-footed command of the patterns and cadences of the Italian language, this is a powerful reading.
Sasha Cook's warm, emotionally direct voice is perfect for Intonations, and the heart-touching theme Heggie fashions for the final song is reminiscent of great tunes of the romantic era.
The two major works — by Poulenc and Debussy — are played with graceful intimacy, while shorter pieces by Fauré, Milhaud, Ravel, and the sisters Lili and Nadia Boulanger are given equally committed readings by these perfectly paired artists.
The best of all here is Sarah Connolly's run in the epic "Der Abschied," which in its deliberate long line both fits well with Jurowski's overall concept and is just sensuously, tragically gorgeous on its own.
Just listen to the luminous ring to Beczała’s tenor in the open-hearted ‘Recondita armonia.’ It is refreshing to hear a tenor tackle this repertoire with such apparent ease. Beczała never needs to force unduly, yet there’s plenty of emotion to these readings.
Put Weilerstein next to most of her colleagues in these suites and she would win for sheer resonance of tone and length of line. There are dozens of recordings of these suites to choose from, but this stands up with the best.
For admirers of 20th-century American symphonic music, this is a particularly attractive package. All are written in the kind of broad and expansive idiom that represents American composition at its finest.