String Quartets/Piano Quintet (Cybele SACD 261603)
This is a fine recording and performance of the music of Thomas Adès captured in 5.1 SACD, 2-ch CD and binaural for headphone listening. Born in 1971, Adès studied piano as well as composition and musicology and this disc contains some of his most interesting works including Arcadiana Op 12 for String Quartet, The Piano Quintet for Piano and String Orchestra, and The 4 Quarters Op. 28 for String Quartet, with the piano played by Dimitri Vassilakis and the strings by the DoelenKwartet of Rotterdam. These contemporary works are challenging and dissonant, but the music is compelling, and Cybele does a stand-out recording job, offering buyers of this disc multiple ways to listen. The sound on this disc, especially the 5.1 tracks, is superb. The musicians are up front while the rear channels provide ambience. Listening to the binaural tracks your room will disappear and you’ll be in the recording studio instead.