96kHz/24-bit FLAC, DG/Mercury 481 0131 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

A raucous Gershwin Prelude segues into Copland’s moody Concerto – one of his best pieces – then time-travels via Debussy (‘La fille aux cheveux de lin’) and Amy Beach (her romantic Berceuse) to 19th century concertos by Cimarosa and Spohr. Short transcriptions and concertos alternate in what may add up to a stylistically incoherent whole but one which affords the young Austrian Andreas Ottensamer, now principal clarinettist with the Berlin Philharmonic, a chance to illustrate his captivating skills in both jazzy and classical genres. His liquid sounds, wide colour palette and sense of timing sets this version of the Copland above any competition (even the recent Michael Collins/Chandos pales) and the Rotterdam Orchestra surprises in its exuberant embrace of the two American pieces. Bold, close-mic’d sound from De Doelen concert-hall. CB

Sound Quality: 90%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

The ultrasonic noise at 20-40kHz seen here is not tape noise but accompanies the close-miked clarinet, and is possibly distortion or noise from a downstream limiter. Otherwise this rendering looks like a native 96kHz file. PM