88.2kHz/24-bit, FLAC; DG 481 6548 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

Like other conductors, Stéphane Denève finds Prokofiev’s orchestral suites from Romeo And Juliet and the later, more traditional ballet, Cinderella, dramatically unsatisfactory and has prepared his own ‘Suites Romantiques’ that follow the story-lines more clearly. In the famous dissonances opening R&J his Brussels Orchestra articulates the brass writing with complete security, and these spacious readings – I have never heard the minuet with Paris and Juliet [trk 5, 1m 56s] taken so slowly before – allow every colour in the score to emerge with perfect clarity. We don’t hear the first street quarrel, only ‘Tybalt’s Death’ before the Tomb scene and the ethereal music of Juliet’s own demise. Not as visceral as Abbado’s superlative DG excerpts, but a naturally balanced recording – the PDF omits production credits. CB

Sound Quality: 75%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Recorded natively at 88.2kHz (and delivered as such here), this allowed DG to prepare a symmetrical 44.1kHz downsample for CD release. In practice the full ~42kHz bandwidth is occupied to grand effect by the orchestra. PM