This bonanza of overtures is newly available under the "Encore" rubric, a collection of remastered "quality" recordings from EMI's vaults. In lieu of program notes, the CD insert lists the complete offerings of this budget series - I count thirty-five. Most of the artists are fairly impressive. Buying on reputation alone, one could hardly miss.
The performances here are wholly entertaining. Most of the recordings date from the early Sixties; the sessions with the Vienna Philharmonic under Sargent seem the best preserved of the oldies. Beecham's "La gazza ladra" with the Royal Philharmonic crackles with wit. The other collaborations also exude high spirits. At a super budget price-point, this a ridiculously good buy.
Copyright © 1998, Robert J. Sullivan