Recording of the Month

Mahler
Symphony No 9
Sydney Symphony/
Vladimir Ashkenazy
SSO LIVE 201201

“This movement is a manic, virtuoso showpiece for the Sydney Symphony players, especially the woodwinds. The contrast between the main section and the shimmering nostalgia of the central trio is telling, because the score is marked  etwas gehalten (“somewhat held back”), a rather vague direction; but Ashkenazy strikes just the right tone of noble breadth. ”  Greg Keane

Editor’s Choice: Orchestral

Penderecki
Threnody for the Victims 
of Hiroshima, Polymorphia
Greenwood
Popcorn Superhet Receiver, 
48 Responses to Polymorphia
Aukso Orchestra/Penderecki, Marek Mos
NONESUCH 7559-79625-1

“The drama and sheer sonic force of the strings in  Polymorphia and  Threnody  for the Victims of Hiroshima are seldom matched. These thrilling new recordings, conducted last year by the now 78-year-old composer, are enlightening. In fact, they may even become authoritative, which is intriguing.”  Julian Day

Editor’s Choice: Chamber

Fast Blue Village
String Quartets
Acacia Ensemble
VEXATIONS840 840-1201

“The performances are alive and energised, perhaps due to the composer sitting in, and the range of pieces is diverse. There’s the usual smattering of Russian-inflected tunes ( Moody Tango has a touch of Shostakovich’s gentle, more lyrical style in the introduction), classical memories and wonky humour with...