The Scandinavian label BIS Records consistently puts out some of my very favorite recordings. I am always thrilled by the attention to detail put into every facet of their catalogue. Using the newest technology in high-resolution audio recording they “aim to reproduce the natural sound in a concert venue as faithfully as possible,” resulting in Hybrid Super Audio CDs that can be played back in Stereo (CD and SACD) as well as 5.0 Surround Sound (SACD). Only a label that deeply cares about preserving music that matters would take such care. A longtime admirer of BIS, the resulting product has never disappointed me, ensuring a consistent and most fantastic listening experience every time.
For today’s label spotlight I have chosen from my own collection the familiar Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K 466 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. As it is one of the most widely performed of Mozart’s piano concertos, you are likely familiar with it. But this recording is special. You must listen to it at full volume (or near full volume depending on what your speakers can handle) in a place free from the world’s distractions where you will be sure to not be distracted in order to get the full experience. I consistently gives me goosebumps and have listened to the first 30 seconds over and over again alone; a proper response I think, given that BIS is the Old Latin word for ‘to repeat’. As a composer, I am surprised by how long Mozart leaves us hanging in this concerto, waiting for the featured instrument for over two minutes. But once the brilliant Ronald Brautigam ‘sneaks’ in with the intimate style for which he is world-renowned you are hooked and 26 minutes have passed before you realize that this may be the longest you’ve gone in quite sometime without checking your Facebook news feed. Speaking of which, I need to post this. Happy Thursday — also known as Label Spotlight day at Refinersfire!
You can find this wonderful recording as well as the rest of the BIS Catalogue here.