Putting her voice to striking use in Schoenberg’s weird and wacky atonal cabaret Pierrot Lunaire , violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja turns in a neon-bright, darkly disturbing account to compare with any on disc.

Patricia Kopatchinskaja

Seeing the piece as ‘close to life and the world of dreams’, she bites on the sprechgesang text with a deranged intensity that ricochets between the absurd and the grotesque, the mundane and the hallucinatory, with whirlwind gusts of howling vowels and slicing, razor-edged consonants. It’s a remarkable performance that leaps out of the speakers and provides a decidedly dislocating experience on headphones. She receives support of equally histrionic verve and fervour from a sextet who clearly relish Schoenberg’s shape-shifting rhetoric and feature in the assorted fillers of Second Viennese chamber music where Kopatchinskaja takes off the motley and picks up her violin.

Mischievously, they begin with Schoenberg’s sugar-sweet arrangement of Strauss’s Kaiserwalzer , his Phantasy a vinegary, crisply pointed dialogue with Joonas Ahonen’s alert and responsive piano. The pair are equally well-matched in Webern’s early, aphoristic Four Pieces for Violin and Piano, negotiating its lowering drama with concentrated...