As March becomes April – I’m no fool – more than three releases last month competed for ‘best of’, including the Krenek (Toccata Classics) and the Ginastera (Chandos), highly recommendable to fanciers of rare Piano Concertos, but my selections are Carl Nielsen’s organ music (Dacapo) – a niche issue maybe, even for the composer’s most die-hard admirers; however, Bine Bryndorf’s accounts are dedicated and immaculate, beautifully recorded, and if she helps untangle the complexities of Commotio, that’s all to the good. Another challenging score is Schubert’s final String Quartet (in G, D887), which the Doric Quartet on Chandos traverses with considerable panache, sensitivity and insight, captured superbly. As for my overall choice, well, it has to be Schoenberg’s unfinished opera, Moses und Aron, recorded in 1954 conducted by Hans Rosbaud – with excellent sound, this pioneering performance, now on Sony Classical as a CD first, transcends the decades with remarkable ease.
The Classical Source
2 April 2017
***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.***