Most music doesn’t suit safety, and the stakes are always higher when an orchestra knows it is being recorded live—no studio retakes, no patching (probably). This Bartók disc comes from the Philharmonia’s 2011 Infernal Dance series—and the now-or-never concert adrenaline is palpable. There’s unflinching attack in the savage pantomime The Miraculous Mandarin, deadpan wit in the gentler Dance Suite, and it’s all delivered with that unnervingly meticulous, steely focus that conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen gets from the Philharmonia. His interpretations aren’t the wildest, and some might like their Bartók rougher-edged, but I was drawn in by the cool ferocity and steadfast virtuosity of these performances. As a very nice extra we get Contrasts, a glory of a trio commissioned by Benny Goodman in 1938, played with poker-faced charisma by pianist Yefim Bronfman, violinist Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay and clarinettist Mark van de Wiel.