Hard to Pass Up the "Pleasure" of Sleeping Beauty
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 06/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently came across this 2CD "Classics for Pleasure" title on the Berkshire Record Outlet website, and decided it was time to upgrade from my one CD EMI Seraphim budget-line of Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty highlights, as performed by George Weldon conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra. This is a legendary performance, in fact it is the first ever made in stereo, and this two-disc set features an additional 40 minutes of music not featured in the single highlights disc, though it is still an abridged account of the ballet. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Philharmonia (basically EMI/British Columbia's "house band") was one of the best orchestras in the world. For the most part, Otto Klemperer and Herbert Von Karajan led the Philharmonia at this time, but when other great conductors stepped in, whether it was Weldon, Efrem Kurtz, Herbert Menges, Constantin Silvestri or Guido Cantelli, the results were generally just as magical, for the orchestra was a war-horse! There are many great choices available when it comes to Sleeping Beauty, but if you are a novice or a connoisseur you won't be disappointed with this famous account by Weldon and the Philharmonia."