BBC Music Magazine - - NEWS - Oliver Condy Ed­i­tor

Is it really pos­si­ble for a sin­gle per­for­mance to com­pletely change your view of a piece of mu­sic – even a work that you must have heard hun­dreds of times? In this line of work, it hap­pens with reg­u­lar­ity. There I was, think­ing I knew Schu­bert’s Im­promp­tus back­wards, hav­ing lis­tened to more record­ings of the pieces than I care to ad­mit, and sud­denly Alexei Lu­bi­mov came along a few years ago with a cou­ple of re­stored early 19th-cen­tury pi­anos and tran­formed their au­ral land­scape. I haven’t heard them in the same light again. From the open­ing bars of Is­abelle Faust’s new record­ing of Men­delssohn’s Vi­o­lin Con­certo, you get a sense of its cham­ber qual­i­ties – the soloist much more a part of the whole than pit­ted against the sym­phony or­ches­tra. Gut strings make Faust’s vi­o­lin a good deal qui­eter than we’re used to on a Ro­man­tic con­certo record­ing, yet the Freiburg Baroque Or­ches­tra re­sponds with play­ing of sub­lime del­i­cacy. Turn to p26 to learn ex­actly what went into mak­ing their disc such a suc­cess. You could, of course, stream it on any num­ber of web­sites and apps – and on p40 we present a guide to the best stream­ing ser­vices. Al­most all of them are con­stantly evolv­ing (or sadly clos­ing), so it may well be a sub­ject we’ll re­turn to in the near fu­ture. How­ever, we be­lieve the time may be right to dip your toes in. But not with­out read­ing our sage ad­vice, of course!

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