Another Gem from Sony Essential Classics
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 07/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As I have stated in many of my previous reviews, I am a huge fan of the Sony Essential Classics (SEC) budget series. Most of the recordings feature classic and often definitive performances featuring the likes of Leonard Bernstein, George Szell, Isaac Stern, Robert Casadesus, and Rudolf Serkin among others. Here we get two great conductors in Eugene Ormandy and Thomas Schippers (the latter would certainly more of a household name had he not died young) performing Overtures and Incidental Music from various operas. With only two orchestras and conductors performing the majority of works in this collection, SEC's Opera Overtures disc has a much more consistent feel overall than its Rossini Overtures set (see my review). Of course at the end of this CD two other conductors make an appearance -- Zubin Mehta on Reznicek's "Donna Diana" Overture and Antonio De Almeida (who is not listed above) on Thomas' "Mignon" Overture. In all, this is an outstanding collection, worth getting for the rarely heard artistry of Schippers alone."