A fairly enjoyable mixed-bag.
William Larson | Selma, AL USA | 06/12/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As is usual with compilation CDs, this assortment of recordings has both good and not-so-good qualities. First, the performances of the Smetana and Liszt by Ahronovitch and the Vienna Symphony (not Philharmonic as listed above)are characterful and detailed but not too exciting. I place most of the blame on the recessed recording, which while capturing the full sound of these colorful tone poems, lacks the full power needed in the climaxes. Nevertheless, the ebb and flow of the "Moldau" is finely caught and "Les Preludes" receives an equally good presentation.
The performance of Tchaikovsky's romantic swoon-fest is competent enough, but I've never been a big fan of this work. The excellent recording of the hypnotic "Bolero" is another matter. Even if you think you've grown tired of the overexposure of Ravel's greatest hit, Adam Fischer's highly charged account is easily worth another listen. The Hungarian Philharmonic may not be thought to compare to the world's greatest orchestras, but they certainly play like one here. The sound matches the performance and I can enthusiastically recommend this superbudget CD for this recording alone!
As with all other "Passion" issues, no notes."