The Classical record companies have latched on to a brilliant business proposition-the re-release of old recordings. It's certainly good business; the company gets to maximize its profits without having to pay for another recording session, and mostly likely any royalties are minimal or even non-existant. The only costs are re-mastering the recordings and the production/marketing expenses. Here again, because the companies are dealing with established names, costs can be kept to a minimum. Critics decry the practice because it promotes the familiar, presumably at the expense of newer artists and literature. But at its best, re-release provides capital for investment in less sure projects and gives easy access to superior performances that would otherwise be lost. I'm pleased to report that is the case with this CD, a re-issue of Russian music performed by George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra made between 1958 and 1963. The performances are all suberb. They hail from...
I am not a great admirer of George Szell and do not enjoy the other CD coupling of his magnificent "Pictures At An Exhibition" that was accompanied by Prokofiev's Lt. Kije Suite and the Hary Janos Suite.
This one delivers the same outstandingly fine portraits and includes other Russian music more akin to the Mussorgsky. The sound on this version is better than the other Sony CD, too. Of the pair, I'd say this is easily the better buy.
One thing I very much enjoy on this outstanding disk is the multiple tracks dedicated to all the longer works including Rimsky-Korsakov's "Capriccio Espanol", which receives an acutely warm and characterful reading from Szell and the Clevelanders. There are probably more tracks for "Dawn on the Moskva River" than it deserves but choices are great and never too many.
This is an outstanding and wonderful sounding disk of Russian music not often associated with Szell. It makes for an exceptional collection at a very low...
As you might expect, Szell makes these pictures at an exhibition seem clearer and crisper in detail than any other guide does. Obvious and minute effects, rightness of balance, and precision of ensemble display them in startling clarity. Promenading through this exhibition might make you feel you have strayed into a display of photographs taken by the latest digital camera rather than the canvases of an artist working with some brushes and paint. Deriving from the same 1963 recording session is Liadov's The Enchanted Lake, notable similarly for crystalline clarity. The remaining Russian items derive from 1958 recordings. All recordings are in stereo, and the venues are in Cleveland and Ohio. I happen to like the work of this great conductor, as well as all the Russian items collected here, and have immensely enjoyed this 73 minute CD.
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