Australian Haydn Ensemble, AHE

In the past, I’ve enjoyed pianist Fumiko Shiraga’s recordings for BIS of chamber arrangements of piano concertos by Chopin, Mozart and Beethoven. So I was looking forward to this recording by home-grown talent which promised the added attraction of a deeply-researched, period-instrument approach. I have not been disappointed.

Vi King Lim takes the cue for his arrangements of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos 1 and 3, for fortepiano, two violins, two violas, cello, double-bass and flute, from 19th-century chamber arrangements of symphonies. The resulting sonority, especially with Paul McNulty’s copy of a fortepiano by Conrad Graf from c.1819, is silvery and transparent though not without a pleasing grittiness or bite. Combined with a sparing use of vibrato in the strings and soloist Neal Peres Da Costa’s deft use of the piano’s “convincing Schubertian palette”, it helps evoke the...