Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20/Sonatas K281 & 382—Seong-Jin Cho, piano/DG

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20/Sonatas K281 & 382—Seong-Jin Cho, piano/DG

Seong-Jin Cho is the young Korean phenom who won the XVII International Chopin Piano Competition in 2015, joining such winning luminaries as Martha Argerich, Maurizio Pollini and Krystian Zimerman. A healthy ratio of winners of this particular competition go on to renown and legendary status.

Even though the 2015 competition was filled with very gifted pianists, Cho was the jury and audience favourite. He’s a very refined musician with a wonderful aesthetic and great technique. A worthy winner.

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker—DG/Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker—DG/Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic

Recordings of The Nutcracker usually come thick and fast around the holidays. Orchestras and ballet companies have made fortunes performing the perennially wonderful music and telling the story. If only Tchaikovsky knew? And, what about Disney?

I usually bin the idea of listening to the ‘Suite’, be it Nutcracker or Firebird—both Russian fairy tales sound much better in their original, ‘full’ guise. As for ‘Suites’, composers and publishers like to cover every financial angle, Stravinsky, especially! As for The Nutcracker, there is so much glorious music in the full ballet, it’s the way I think it should be enjoyed. If you must have the Suite, The Royal Ballet Gala on RCA vinyl or Rostropovich/Berlin/DG on CD are the way to go.