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Pappano’s Proms performance with this orchestra of the Jeremiah Symphony felt swiftand direct. His reading here, recorded several months earlier, leaves a similar impression. While the central Prophanation fizzes brilliantly, contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux is overbearingly over-vibratoed in the final Lamentation.

The Age of Anxiety features the superb Italian pianist Beatrice Rana; is there higher praise than to state she loses little to Krystian Zimerman with Rattle? (Bernstein’s own pianists in his three recordings, incidentally, were the thoughtful Entremont, and Lukas Foss, twice). Rana takes Pappano’s performance to a higher level, always incredibly sensitive, though her ‘jazz’ is a bit careful. Pappano conducts well if not radiantly.

The Kaddish, heard here in its original version, is the most emotionally powerful performance, Josephine Barstow blistering as narrator, Nadine Sierra as a truly pure-voiced soloist and with superb choral contributions from the Accademia Nationale di Santa Cecilia. It is a pity that the filler, the Prelude, Fugue & Riffs, fails to take off.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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