96kHz/24-bit, FLAC; PentaTone PTC 5186594 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

A couple of years ago I heard this young German-Canadian cellist playing the Rachmaninov Cello Sonata at the Festival Hall in partnership with the composer – it was a pianola recital, I hasten to add! Here he’s with a congenial Russian pianist and they complete their sonatas programme with three transcriptions: Vocalise, a movement from Cinderella and a Scriabin Romance originally for horn. Prokofiev’s sonata met with state sanction and was premiered by Rostropovich/Richter in 1950 (EMI 5 720162 2 has that recording). It gets a fine reading here, as does the Rachmaninov, although Isserlis and Hough on Hyperion are even more inside the soul of the music. The Pentatone recording gives a rich cello sound, set forward and left of centre, with the piano just a little too distantly balanced to the right. CB

Sound Quality: 80%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

While the 96kHz sampling of this duet is somewhat wasted on the 10-12kHz bandwidth of the piano, the rich spray of cello harmonics scatter out to 30kHz and beyond. The ~45kHz bandwidth of this 96kHz file captures all the colour! PM