Stuart Skelton sings Peter Grimes with the Bergen Philharmonic. Photo © © Thor Brødreskift

What's new on disc

Early music leads the pack; Skelton’s Grimes at last; in praise of unknown composers; and Christmas cheer, anyone?

As seems frequently the case these days, two of my five top recordings of the month are what falls under the all-embracing title of “early music”. The term is ridiculously broad, covering 700 years from the medieval period – still, sadly, a bit of a niche taste – through the Renaissance with its lush choral polyphony and perky dances, and up to the more mainstream Baroque. Two standouts for me are a thrilling new recording of the St. John Passion...