Among last month's recent releases, our reviewers found the complete recordings by the Choir of King's College on the Argo label -- dating from the 1950s to the 1970s -- which represents the group at its most aurally impressive, in quintessential repertoire. The Choir proves it still has a thing or two to show us in a new recording, 1615: Gabrieli in Venice. Also showing up twice is Wagner's opera, Das Rheingold. In one recording Jaap van Zweden leads the Hong Kong Philharmonic and singers for the first installment of his new Ring cycle. In the other, Sir Simon Rattle and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra recorded concert presentations of the opera.

Another couple of vocal highlights are Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No. 3 "Kaddish," the difficulties of which are very capably handled by Marin Alsop, the Washington Chorus, and the Baltimore Symphony; and some little-known Mozart arias written for his wife and her sisters, sung by Sabine Devieilhe. Although vocal showpieces seemed to dominate, there are also several orchestral and chamber music recordings in the mix.

Blair Sanderson
Crouch End Festival Chorus - The Greatest Christmas Choral Classics
Michelle DeYoung, Matthias Goerne, Jaap van Zweden, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra - Wagner: Das Rheingold
Peter Dijkstra, B'Rock - Handel: Messiah
Fretwork - A Viol Consort Plays Johann Sebastian Bach
Valery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra - Scriabin: Symphonies Nos 3 & 4
Mariss Jansons, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra - Beethoven: Symphony Nos. 7 & 8
Mariss Jansons, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra - Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
Neeme Järvi, L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande - Neeme Järvi Conducts Offenbach
Okko Kamu, Lahti Symphony Orchestra - Sibelius: The Symphonies
King's College Choir of Cambridge, David Willcocks - The Choir of King's College Cambridge: The Complete Argo Recordings
Hannu Lintu, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra - Mahler: Symphony No. 1; Blumine
Andrew Litton, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra - Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2; Liadov: The Enchanted Lake
Riccardo Minasi, Philippe Jaroussky, Il Pomo d'Oro - Handel: Partenope
Ludovic Morlot, Seattle Symphony Orchestra - Dutilleux: Métaboles; L'Arbre des Songes; Symphony No. 2, Le Double
Simon Rattle, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra - Wagner: Das Rheingold
Klaus Tennstedt, London Philharmonic Orchestra - Mahler: Symphonies - Live in Concert
Talise Trevigne, Orion Weiss, David Alan Miller, Albany Symphony - Christopher Rouse: Seeing; Kabir Padavali
Amira Willighagen - Merry Christmas
Zhu Xiao-Mei - J.S. Bach: Inventions and Sinfonias

James Manheim
Marin Alsop, Washington Chorus, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra - Bernstein: Symphony No. 3 "Kaddish"
Apollo's Fire, Jeannette Sorrell - Christmas Vespers: Music of Michael Praetorius
L'Arpeggiata, Christina Pluhar - Francesco Cavalli: L'Amore Innamorato
Jiri Belohlavek - Smetana: Dalibor
The Cambridge Singers, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - John Rutter: The Gift of Life; Seven Sacred Pieces
Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Bang on a Can All-Stars - Julia Wolfe: Anthracite Fields
Teodor Currentzis - Mozart: Così fan Tutte - Highlights
Sabine Devieilhe, Pygmalion, Raphaël Pichon - Mozart: The Weber Sisters
Plácido Domingo - Domingo: The 50 Greatest Tracks
Ethel - Documerica
Ex Cathedra, Jeffrey Skidmore - Brazilian Adventures
John Eliot Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists - Bach: Mass in B Minor
The Hilliard Ensemble, Geneviève Strosser, Jürg Dähler, Muriel Cantoreggi - Heinz Holliger: Machaut-Transkriptionen
Vladimir Horowitz - Return to Chicago
The Choir of King's College, Cambridge - 1615: Gabrieli in Venice
Gidon Kremer, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Kremerata Baltica - Giya Kancheli: Chiaroscuro
Lang Lang - The Vienna Album
Dong Hyek Lim - Chopin: 24 Préludes; Barcarolle; Berceuse; Variations brillantes
Cho-Liang Lin, Nashville Symphony, Giancarlo Guerrero - Joan Tower: Violin Concerto; Stroke; Chamber Dance
Valentina Lisitsa - Scriabin: Nuances
Edgar Moreau, Il Pomo d'Oro, Riccardo Minasi - Giovincello
Kent Nagano, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal - Beethoven: 9 Symphonies - O Mensch, Gib Acht!
National Brass Ensemble - Gabrieli
Mark Padmore, Kristian Bezuidenhout - Beethoven: An die ferne Geliebte, Op. 98; Haydn: Songs; Mozart: Masonic Cantata K. 619
Gil Rose, Boston Modern Orchestra Project - Andrew Norman: Play
Salut Salon- Christmas with Salut Salon
Leif Segerstam, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra - Sibelius: Scaramouche
Septura - Music for Brass Septet, Vol. 3: Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Scriabin, Rachmaninov
The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips - John Taverner: Missa Corona Spinea
Tenebrae, Nigel Short - Brahms, Bruckner: Motets
Christian Tetzlaff, Tanja Tetzlaff, Lars Vogt - Brahms: The Piano Trios
Alexandre Tharaud - Bach: Goldberg Variations