Album: Kent Nagano, Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Beethoven: In the Breath of Time (Sony Classical)

The latest in Kent Nagano's pairs of Beethoven symphonies, In the Breath of Time posits the 6th and 8th Symphonies and the "Grosse Fuge" as illustrating Beethoven's attempt to confront the dangers of the constant march of progress while simultaneously operating at its cutting edge.

Whether true or not, it makes for a satisfying programme, with the popular "Pastoral" 6th Symphony given an exultant outing, while the 8th – the least bombastic, and most playfully good-natured of all Beethoven's symphonies – treated with great warmth and tenderness, even in its most stirring and ebullient passages.

DOWNLOAD THIS: Symphony No 6; Symphony No 8; Grosse Fuge