This disc is a fine example of the magic that Pierre Monteux could conjure out of any orchestra especially in such colourful repertoire as this. He brings the Rimsky-Korsakoff items to life in an uncanny way, especially the wonderful "Capriccio Espagnol" which dances around in a manner which few can emulate. The SFSO respond with dedicated perfection in "Christmas Eve", another tour de force of colour and imagination which is brought to life so beautifully that the spine almost tingles.
Borodin's "Polovtsian Dances" are also finely done, with the live recording bringing out the best in the SFSO. Monteux's association with Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" is evident and Robert Matthew Walker's notes remind us of this important link which comes across very strongly in this 1957 Boston performance. Great stuff then, and at the price, you could do much worse than snap this up.
Copyright © 2008, Gerald Fenech