96kHz/24-bit FLAC, Chandos CHSA 5134 (supplied by www.theclassicalshop.net)
Jennifer Pike’s playing in the concerto is satisfying for the consistent purity of her intonation, although you need patience – it really needs more bravura, some of Heifetz’s nonchalance. The rest of the programme is mostly unashamedly popular Sibelius, but there’s no trace of routine. As we heard with their Berlioz overtures [HFN May ’13], the Bergen orchestra seems to get on really well with Sir Andrew Davis – ‘The Swan of Tuonela’ and ‘Valse triste’ almost equal Sir Colin Davis’s two great versions with the Boston SO. The Karelia Suite includes what sounds like wooden percussion in (ii), not in some scores. The way you can listen ‘into’ the orchestral sound, engineered by Brian Couzens, is superior to much of what we’ve heard on BIS, in its Litton series. CB
Sound Quality: 85%
Hi-Fi News Lab Report
Although the sleeve artwork shows an SACD logo, this 96kHz download is not an asymmetrical DSD downsample but is actually from a native 96kHz LPCM source, possibly even the original recording. A refreshing change! PM
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