96kHz/24-bit FLAC, Chandos CHAN 10764 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)
The young Britten’s Piano Concerto was thought too clever by half when introduced in 1938, and he replaced the third movement in 1945 – the original is a bonus track here. The first LP version (EMI, 1957) was with Jacques Abram, pianist in Utah and NY premieres. The definitive composer-conducted 1970 Decca was with Sviatoslav Richter, no less. The far superior Violin Concerto fared rather better – although The Times’ review in 1940 found ‘little achieved from so large a display’. Neither work has secured a real concert-hall footing, and while the Piano Concerto remains resistible (in spite of Shelley’s valiant work) I’d buy the coupling not least for Little’s lovely account of the Passacaglia. The recordings sound well in the capacious acoustic of MediaCity Salford. It costs less at The Classical Shop and there you get the booklet too. CB
Sound Quality: 80%
Hi-Fi News Lab Report
Despite my slight reservation about the upturn in ultrasonic noise before the Nyquist cut-off (a feature of downsampled DSD files), this looks like a native 96kHz recording. String harmonics extend well beyond 20kHz. PM
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