original Review

This Blu-ray disc comes in surround sound, so I’ll confess that I listened to it using my HD television with its sound bar rather than on my high-end stereo system. It’s a remarkable performance of a favorite work, which I and many others first heard on an old LP conducted by Otto Klemperer. Some readers might also remember the critic B. H. Haggin’s surprise that anything conducted by Klemperer, whom he usually disliked, could be so graceful. Haggin attributed it to the band. Perhaps it is a piece that in professional hands can’t go too wrong. Here everything seems right, including the recorded sound in stereo. There is grace abounding, and beautifully etched phrases and balance among the players, each of whom is profiled in the ample notes. The fetching opening with its prominent clarinet and oboe parts couldn’t be more touching, and the energy of the whole performance is equally appealing. I have a stack of recordings of this work, including those conducted by Mackerras, and others played by groups such as the Sixth Floor Orchestra. I’d recommend this delightful new disc, though, to anyone, especially to those with surround sound systems.

© 2014 Fanfare
Michael Ullmann

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