96kHz/24-bit, FLAC; DG 479 6565 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

Making his (Schumann) recording debut in 1973, Murray Perahia has always stayed with CBS/Sony, but has now signed to Deutsche Grammophon starting with this mid-2013 Berlin studio set of the six French Suites. His producer Andreas Neubronner was also responsible for the 1997-8 Perahia/Sony English Suites. We get all the repeats, because Perahia says he likes to introduce variation there, adding ornamentation, etc. And of course he’s long preferred his Steinway to any harpsichord (which he studied for four years). The piano is recorded in a neutral acoustic: a very fine sound, suited to the clean, thought-through performances. For me, though, in his sober manner Perahia doesn’t really draw you into the music in the spirited way that András Schiff does in his ‘pedals-free’ set on EuroArts DVDs [2058138]. CB

Sound Quality: 80%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

While this download is most certainly a 96kHz rendering, it’s arguable that the piano’s ~12kHz effective bandwidth could still have been captured at 48kHz/24-bit, halving the file size. A perfect candidate for MQA encoding... PM