On his second release for Evil Penguin, Belgian piano prodigy Julien Libeer teams up with the new ensemble Les Métamorphoses to contrast authentic and neo guises of 18th century music. The true classicists are featured on this album with unusually restrained work: Haydn's Passion Symphony no. 49 is broodingly solemn, Mozart's last piano concerto no. 27 deceptively intimate. These repertoire icons are coupled with Dino Lipatti's crystalline Concertino in the Classical Style (1936), which sheds neo-classical light on the vintage idiom. Libeer's fusion of older and newer worlds is not limited to the programme of this release. Although Les Métamorphoses typically play on modern instruments (albeit with the greatest possible respect for the respective sonorities of different eras), they engaged natural horns and wooden transverse flutes for period color and crisp. The solo piano also represents the best of both worlds: the Concert grand with parallel strings (which Chris Maene originally built for Daniel Barenboim) combines pianoforte possibilities - clearly distinguishable voices and color across registers - with the technical advantages and playing comfort of a modern Steinway.