Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble/Trevor Pinnock

Mahler's Fourth Symphony/Debussy's Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune

(Linn Records)

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No matter how many times you have been gobsmacked by something familiar given in a fresh, revivifying perspective, every time it happens it is as exhilarating, shocking and revelatory as the first time. And that is the message embedded in this alluring, intoxicating and mind-opening brace of performances of chamber music reductions of Mahler's Fourth Symphony and Debussy's Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune, made for Schoenberg's private performance society early in the last century. The fantastic thing about these performances by the London students (and the peerless authenticist Trevor Pinnock) is that in both pieces the young musicians capture the scale and depth of the essentially symphonic nature of the music, while, in parallel with that, drawing you right into the intimate heart - the chamber music soul - of these great masterpieces. You will be surprised. Simply, this is one of the most beautiful and revealing discs I have heard in years. I am completely hooked.

Michael Tumelty