Violinist Jennifer Pike

What's New on Disc

Rare outings score over same old-same old, new wine in old bottles, and do we really need more Beethoven?

Does the world need to hear another Beethoven cycle? As the composer’s 250th birthday year limps to a COVID-impacted close, those of us imagining that 2020 would be 12 months of Beethoven overload, at least in the concert hall, might well be breathing a sigh of relief. That hasn’t stopped the flow on disc, mind, much of which was clearly recorded before lockdown.

Generally, the major labels have been disappointing with a worthy but tame symphony cycle from Andris Nelsons and the Vienna Phil...