Ricardo Morales, Mito Chamber Orchestra & Seiji Ozawa : Beethoven: Symphony No. 5, Mozart: Clarinet Concerto


96kHz/24-bit, FLAC; Decca UCCD1433 (Japan) (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

Recorded live in March 2016 at the Art Tower Mito concert hall, this has a Beethoven Fifth notable above all for fidelity to dynamic markings. The first-movement repeat is given but not that in the finale – where the Piu allegro leading to final Presto is especially well judged and where the piccolo player articulates his tricky phrases without a fluff. There’s wild applause after both works but it’s possible that the Concerto is soloist-directed (there’s no booklet PDF but the Mito concert listings say Ozawa only conducted a part of the programme). One-time Philadelphia principal Ricardo Morales has a reedy sounding clarinet and he makes neat dynamic distinctions piano/mf but it’s all very traditional, whereas the BIS download with Martin Frost is in an altogether more relevant class for today’s listeners. CB

Sound Quality: 75%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

The full ~45kHz bandwidth available to this 96kHz recording is used by the MCO, particularly in the Allegro [trk 4, Graph]. Quieter passages reveal spurious tones at 35kHz, 40kHz and 45kHz [black, above]. Not directly audible, but messy. PM