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CD Review

World Soccer Anthems

Plus National Anthems from the 23 countries participating in the 2002 World Cup

New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra/Seiji Ozawa
José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, Luciana Pavarotti
Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta
London Festival Orchestra/Stanley Black
Staatsoper Chorus Dresden/Staatskapelle Dresden/Silvio Varviso
Academy & Chorus of St. Martin-in-the-Fields/Neville Marriner
Philips 470383-2 52m ADD/DDD
Find it at AmazonFind it at Amazon UKFind it at Amazon GermanyFind it at Amazon CanadaFind it at Amazon FranceFind it at Amazon Japan

As the World Cup approaches, you would have singularly bet that the record companies are going to cash in on the spectacle.

This time we have the charismatic, dapper Seiji Ozawa who has already directed the VPO in the New Year's Concert to substantial critical acclaim. Here he conducts twenty three different national anthems in their full blown symphonic arrangements. There are some stirring tunes here, particularly the evergreen 'Marseiallaise', the German anthem and a host of unfamiliar elements from Korea, Denmark, Turkey and the stirring Croatian anthem.

You cannot really go wrong with such vivid interpretations and with patriotic fervour at its peak; I'm sure most of you out there will enjoy these tunes to the hilt. The couplings are a hotchpotch assembly of famous operatic pieces with Bernstein's 'The Great Escape' making a welcome appearance. The overplayed 'Nessun Dorma' makes yet another appearance and I doubt if you don't have that already. Finally there is the noble 'Zadok the Priest', evidence of an English triumph perhaps? Dream on folks!

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech