• Formed in 1995, the Dunedin Consort, under the directorship of John Butt, has a reputation as Scotland’s leading baroque ensemble and choir, though the group’s artistry stretches far beyond, right up to music of the present. On a new album, these musicians show their expertise in repertoire from the 18th century: Mozart’s Mass in C minor and CPE Bach’s Heilig ist Gott (Linn), recorded in Perth Concert Hall with an excellent lineup of soloists: sopranos Lucy Crowe and Anna Dennis, alto Jess Dandy, Nicholas Mulroy, tenor, and Robert Davies, bass.
Mozart’s unfinished work, associated with his marriage to Constanze and here in a new edition by Clemens Kemme, is in the grand style. The opening Kyrie, with its throbbing bass line, robust woodwind interjections and elegant soprano ornamentation (impeccably sung by Crowe), is followed by an exuberant Gloria, pulsating Laudamus Te (Dennis the fine soprano here). Moving through the inner drama of the mass, the work finds monumental triumph in the double-chorus Sanctus, and redemption in the Benedictus, with its striding string figures, choral grandeur and quartet of voices. Also for double choir, CPE Bach’s short Heilig ist Gott, full of strange effects, sudden silences and wild key changes, is a joyful song of praise, over too soon.
• Based in Madrid, the Cuarteto Quiroga’s raw energy, period performance detail and spine-tingling attack are on rampant display on their new album, marking the group’s 20th anniversary. Atomos (Cobra), ranging in repertoire from Haydn to Kurtág, takes its name from the ancient Greek for “art of musical concentration”. Haydn’s short Op 42 in D minor, full of subtlety and expression, sounds fresh and revolutionary. The opening of Beethoven’s Quartet in F minor Op 95, “Serioso” is fast and close to reckless, while at the same time controlled and agile. Bartók’s Quartet No 3, dense and expressive, expands emotionally beyond its 16-minute duration. To complete this chronological arc of works, they conclude with Webern’s Sechs Bagatellen, Op 9 and the first recording of Secreta: Funeral music in Memoriam László Dobszay, stark and cogent, by György Kurtág.
• Catch up with John Adams’s Nixon in China from the Opéra Bastille, Paris, recorded earlier this year, starring Thomas Hampson and Renée Fleming as Richard and Pat Nixon, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, with the Paris Opera chorus and orchestra. Broadcast on Radio 3 tonight, it’s on BBC Sounds.