Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
GREAT CONDUCTORS 20TH CENTURY - GEORGE SZELL
Listen to Samples
Truly a "Great Conductor" but check out his major recordings
Kevin Orth | 12/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I would concur with Mr. Richman's thorough and excellent review in almost every aspect; this series is one of the best ever done in the field of classical music and I've enjoyed, to varying degrees, every title in it that I've listened to or bought so far.
However, in the case of conductors like George Szell, who was one of the most celebrated maestros of his time and who recorded extensively for several labels, these compilations serve as interesting "dessert platters" for collectors who already own the basic, and in Szell's case, often benchmark recordings of the basic repertoire.
For forgotten, lesser known or more historical conductors this series is really more essential. But in the case of Szell, who made dozens of definitive recordings of everything in the repertoire from Haydn to Walton, a disc like this becomes something of a hodge-podge. For reasons of space there is no Mozart or Beethoven, which is almost unforgivable considering Szell's mastery of those two composers. No Schumann (if you could buy only one Szell disc it should be the complete Schumann symphonies with Cleveland on Sony Classical), no concerti (even though his violin and piano concerto recordings of Brahms, Grieg, Mozart, Schumann and Beethoven are the consistently finest of any conductor I've ever heard) and certainly no room for his reference recordings of Strauss and Mahler with amazing singers like Elisabeth Schwzarzkopf and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau....
True, you do get a sampling of Szell's mastery of the Slavic fare here. The Dvorak is great, but listening to this live Tchaikovsky 5th with a committed but obviously lesser (wobbly entries, intonation problems and sometimes wandering rhythms that probably had Szell steaming) orchestra than the Cleveland just makes me want to listen to my old classic Columbia vinyl record of the 5th recorded in Severance Hall again.
Still, this is a series I like and the Szell disc is an absolute essential to any survey of the 20th century's great maestros. But it's no starting place for newcomers interested in checking out titans like Bruno Walter, Fritz Reiner or George Szell."