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Andrew McGregor with Jeremy Summerly and Harriet Smith

Andrew McGregor with Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms and piano music from Alkan, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev.

with Andrew McGregor

Building a Library: Jeremy Summerly is in the hot seat, sifting through recordings of Stravinsky's austerely beautiful Symphony of Psalms.

A choral symphony from the composer's 'neoclassical' period, Stravinsky's compact, three-movement work has been fortunate on record with a wide range of interpretations from all round the world. It inhabits a unique sound world, omitting as it does clarinets, violins and violas, and comparisons are guaranteed to be fascinating.

Harriet Smith joins Andrew for a round-up of recent virtuoso piano recordings, including Alkan from Paul Wee, Rachmaninov from Daniel Trifonov and Prokofiev from Alexander Melnikov.

Andrew chooses an outstanding new release as his Recording of the Week.

6 days left to listen

2 hours, 47 minutes

Music Played

  • Joseph Haydn

    Gloria (Missa Cellensis Hob. XXII:5)

    Choir: RIAS Kammerchor. Orchestra: Academy for Ancient Music Berlin. Director: Justin Doyle.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Franz Schubert

    Notturno in E flat major, D897

    Ensemble: Hamlet Piano Trio.
    • Channel Classics.
  • Dame Ethel Smyth

    Fete Galante (Overture: Sarabande & Musette)

    Ensemble: Lontano. Conductor: Odaline de la Martinez.
    • Retrospect Opera.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Op. 58 iii. Rondo. Vivace

    Performer: Inon Barnatan. Orchestra: Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Conductor: Alan Gilbert.
    • Pentatone.
  • Franz Schubert

    Symphony No. 9 in C major 'The Great', D.944 ii. Andante - allegro ma non troppo

    Orchestra: Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Maxim Emelyanychev.
    • Linn Records.
  • Gavin Bryars

    In Nomine

    Ensemble: Fretwork.
    • Signum Records.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Concerto movement in D, BWV 1045

    Ensemble: La Serenissima. Director: Adrian Chandler.
    • Signum Classics.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    Concerto no.3 in D minor: 2) Intermezzo

    Performer: Daniil Trifonov. Orchestra: The Philadelphia Orchestra. Conductor: Yannick Nézet‐Séguin.
    • DG.
  • Sergei Prokofiev

    Piano Sonata no.3

    Performer: Freddy Kempf.
    • Bis.
  • Sergei Prokofiev

    Piano Sonata no.9

    Performer: Alexander Melnikov.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Charles-Valentin Alkan


    Performer: Schaghajegh Nosrati.
    • Avi.
  • Charles-Valentin Alkan

    Concerto for Solo Piano

    Performer: Paul Wee.
    • Bis.
  • Wilhelm Stenhammar

    September (Three Choral Songs, No.1)

    Choir: Swedish Chamber Choir. Conductor: Simon Phipps.
    • Chandos.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    The Lark Ascending

    Performer: Jennifer Pike. Music Arranger: Paul Drayton. Choir: Swedish Chamber Choir. Conductor: Simon Phipps.
    • Chandos.

Record Review



Haydn: Missa Cellensis

RIAS Kammerchor Berlin

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

Justin Doyle (conductor)

Harmonia Mundi HMM902300!/albums/2561


Schubert: Piano Trio No. 2 & Notturno

Hamlet Piano Trio

Channel Classics CCS41719


Ethel Smyth: Fête Galante / Liza Lehmann: The Happy Prince

Charmian Bedford (soprano)

Carolyn Dobbin (mezzo)

Felix Kemp (baritone)

Simon Wallfisch (baritone)

Mark Milhofer (tenor)

Alessandro Fisher (tenor)

Dame Felicity Lott (reciter)

Valerie Langfield (piano)

Lontano Ensemble

Odaline de la Martinez (conductor)

Retrospect Opera RO007


Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1, 3, 4 & Triple Concerto

Inon Barnatan (piano)

Stefan Jackiw (violin)

Alisa Weilerstein (cello)

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

Alan Gilbert (conductor)

Pentatone PTC5186817 (2CDs)


9.30am – Building a Library – Jeremy Summerly on Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms


Composer: Igor Stravinsky

Reviewer: Jeremy Summerly


Recommended Recording:

Toronto Festival Singers

CBC Symphony Orchestra

Elmer Iseler (chorus master)

Igor Stravinsky (conductor)

Sony 88875126242 (3CDs or download)


Other Recommended Recordings:


Rundfunkchor Berlin

Berliner Philharmoniker

Sigurd Brauns (chorus master)

Pierre Boulez (conductor)

Deutsche Grammophon E4576162


English Bach Festival Choir

London Symphony Orchestra

Leonard Bernstein (conductor)

Sony G010002678750Z (download only) or G010003720136U (download only)


10.20am – New Releases


Schubert: Symphony No. 9

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Maxim Emelyanychev (conductor)

Linn CKD619


In Nomine II: works by Muhly, Bryars, Purcell, Tye, Parsons etc.


Signum SIGCD576


The Godfather - Masters of the German & Italian Baroque: concertos by Telemann, Pisendel, J. S. Bach, Brescianello, Vivaldi & Fasch

La Serenissima

Adrian Chandler (director/violin)

Signum SIGCD602


10.45am – New Releases – Harriet Smith on new piano discs


Destination Rachmaninov – Arrival: Piano Concertos 1 & 3

Daniil Trifonov (piano)

Philadelphia Orchestra

Yannick Nézet-Séguin (conductor)

Deutsche Grammophon 4836617


Prokofiev: Piano Sonatas 3, 8 & 9

Freddy Kempf (piano)

BIS BIS2390 (Hybrid SACD)


Prokofiev: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 2: Sonatas 4,7 & 9

Alexander Melnikov (piano)

Harmonia Mundi HMM902203!/albums/2550


Alkan: Concerto For Solo Piano and other works

Schaghajegh Nosrati (piano)

Avi Music AVI8553104


Alkan: Concerto and Symphony for Solo Piano

Paul Wee (piano)

BIS BIS2465 (Hybrid SACD)


11.15am – Disc of the Week


Like to the Lark: works by Vaughan Williams, Bingham, Stanford, Stenhammar, Alfvén, Wikander, Mahler & Gjeilo

Jennifer Pike (violin)

Maria Forsström (mezzo-soprano)

The Swedish Chamber Choir

Simon Phipps (conductor)

Chandos CHSA5255 (Hybrid SACD)


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Browse previous episodes of the Record Review Podcast

All episodes since 2010, listed alphabetically by composer surname.

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