When I first listened to this CD on a normal player I thought that the sound was rather boxy and without much gloss on the strings but when listening it on SACD the transformation is utterly incredible. Crystal clear winds, strings and a formidable bass all contribute to make this new Channel Classics issue a true calling card for the SACD medium.
Ivan Fischer is a consummately talented conductor and he has already made a series of stunning recordings for this Dutch label with this one being no exception. We have quite a delightful cross section of Rossini's music, from two overtures which come at the height of the master's operatic powers to the early String Sonatas and the delightful "sin from old age" in the form of the Rendez-vous de chasse – a truly virtuosic piece if there ever was one.
Interpretations are on the swift side but it will suffice to say that the Budapest Orchestra rise to the occasion quite superbly especially in the overtures which are presented in a dashing style very much à la Beecham. I was consistently thrilled by the exquisite sound as I have had opportunity to indicate and the whole project, from its sumptuous digipak presentation, through the copious notes and full-blown music making of the highest order deserves the best possible recommendation.
Copyright © 2010, Gerald Fenech