Once again my self-imposed three ‘choice’ releases has become more, five this time. I bow to Curtis Rogers’s few reservations, but I much enjoyed John Butt’s account of Handel’s Ode for St Cecilia Day, a further notable discovery beyond Water Music and Messiah. Then there is Gerald Finzi’s Cello Concerto – spacious, eloquent, tuneful – part of a BBCSO/Chandos release devoted to this composer that repays repeated listening, as does Steven Isserlis’s recital of Chopin and Schubert for Hyperion. Turning to the piano, Yeol Eum Son’s Mozart solo/concerto collection makes for disarming listening; her career is developing, but sadly Neville Marriner’s was closing, for this was his final recording, and he went out on a high. 2018 is the centenary of the Suisse Romande Orchestra, founded by Ernest Ansermet (ah, all those wonderful Decca LPs). The ensemble is now in the estimable hands of Jonathan Nott, and their first recording – of Debussy, Ligeti and Richard Strauss – suggests great things ahead.
The Classical Source
1 November 2018
***As a postscript, just to clarify how Classical Source uses stars for its reviews. Since April 2016 a star-rating is mandatory for anything generally available (a recording, a book...) and when there is a run of performances (an opera, a ballet...). Stars are not required for a concert unless a reviewer is of the opinion that something is exceptional (five stars) or quite the opposite (one); either is rare ... ultimately it is the words that matter.***