This wonderful CD includes some of the finest recordings Ansermet ever made in his early stint with Decca.
The Swiss conductor always had a flair for this type of music and the 1949 recording of La Boutique Fantasque is truly invigorating. Rossini's colourful arrangements come quite magically to life and the music is delightfully played by the London Symphony who are clearly enjoying themselves. I remember this recording on a Double Ditto tape released in the early 90's on Pickwick, now it returns in true class on the Somm label, very much welcome in my opinion.
The accompanying Pétrouchka recording is the second of three Ansermet made for Decca between 1947 and 1959. I happen to have the other two versions and can safely report that the second is not substantially different from the others although the later reading is in splendid sound.
Somm reproduce some splendid annotation and the remastered recordings have come up very well indeed. Let's hope that Somm can continue the sterling work Beulah was doing until stopping CD production recently.
Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech