The Mail on Sunday - Event - - MUSIC -

Decca, out now

Ric­cardo Chailly is the finest in­ter­preter of the Aus­troGer­man clas­sics around to­day. He’s the true in­her­i­tor of the man­tle of his fel­low Ital­ian, Clau­dio Ab­bado, when it comes to blend­ing the best of mod­ern or­ches­tral sound with pe­riod per­for­mance in­sights. His Leipzig Ge­wand­haus Beethoven sym­phony cy­cle is light years ahead of any­thing pro­duced in Berlin or Vi­enna by, say, our own Si­mon Rat­tle, who although mu­sic direc­tor of the Berlin Phil­har­monic, lacks sim­i­lar au­thor­ity in Aus­tro-Ger­man sym­phonic mu­sic. The new 55-CD set is the finest bar­gain box of 2018 be­cause of the qual­ity of the per­for­mances, the play­ing of both the Leipzig or­ches­tra and Chailly’s pre­vi­ous charges, the Am­s­ter­dam Con­cert­ge­bouw, but mainly the con­cen­trated na­ture of the reper­toire. Here you get all the sym­phonies of Beethoven, Bruck­ner, Brahms, Mahler, Men­delssohn and Schu­mann, as well as a few by Tchaikovsky. This is the prod­uct of more than three decades and the sound through­out is of demon­stra­tion qual­ity. Un­miss­able.

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