A Moon Shaped Pool is the ninth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released as a download and on paid streaming services on 8 May 2016. CD and LP releases followed in June 2016 through XL Recordings. Radiohead also sold a special edition from their website, containing two extra tracks and additional artwork.
Yakov Kreizberg's catalog with PentaTone tends to represent familiar classics, ranging from Mozart's violin concertos to Strauss' waltzes, so it's not surprising to find an account of Dmitry Shostakovich's widely acclaimed and highly accessible Symphony No. 5 in D minor included on this 2007 hybrid SACD. What's less expected is that the rest of the program is occupied by the comparatively unfamiliar Symphony No. 9 in E flat major, a far less popular work that has left many puzzled by its ambiguity.
This recording, made in 1991, dates from what was perhaps the heyday of the English Chamber Orchestra (although the group's vigorous activities remain undiminished). The ECO, with origins as a conductorless Baroque orchestra, functioned smoothly as an ensemble, with a restrained sound and a high level of mutual sensitivity among the players. In these late Haydn symphonies, that translated into readings that were exceptionally effective in bringing out the humorous details and asides, the extensions of phrases so that they end with a wink or a joke, that are the essence of late Haydn. The orchestra is probably about the size of the one Haydn had at his disposal in London.
This is a glorious disc. Simply glorious. Anderszewski and Bach have long been congenial bedfellows and the Pole’s playing here is compelling on many different levels. To start with, there’s the sense of sharing the sheer physical thrill of Bach’s keyboard-writing. This is particularly evident in faster movements such as the fierce and brilliant fugal Gigue that concludes the Third Suite, or, in the E minor Fifth Suite, the extended fugal Prelude and the outer sections of its Passepied I. Common to all is a sense of being fleet but never breathless, with time enough for textures to tell.