Watch out: Martha Argerich is in town: Mito City, Japan, 28 May 2019. In Beethoven’s B-flat Piano Concerto (published as No.2), her fourth recording of it, Argerich gives a sparkling, poised and dynamic account of the solo part, accompanied in lively and detailed terms by the Mito Chamber Orchestra and Seiji Ozawa, very well captured – with immediacy and just balance. Those who aren’t keen on Beethoven’s added-later first-movement cadenza may well like it more from Argerich’s mercurial fingers. Yet I have to enter a doubt regarding the slow movement, which lacks the last degree of soul. The Finale is swift and muscular, if tempered at times. Enthusiastic applause is retained. Argerich fans can now compare her 2019 approach with the one recorded in 2000 with Claudio Abbado (DG).

From May 2017 the Mito players and Ozawa offer the first movement of Mozart’s D-major Divertimento (K136). The reason for this singularity is explained in the booklet – nothing sinister – and for a rehearsal take the performance is pretty good, if a bit sleepy and smooth. The other work is Grieg’s Holberg Suite, a complete studio job, a bit square at times if affecting in the slow movements – but the problem any conductor has in this charming and eloquent score is the supreme Karajan version, one of his later (i.e. digital) Berlin recordings for DG. No doubting Ozawa’s affection for the music though – on Decca 485 0592.