MASSENET: Music from the operas Robert le Diable, L'Etoile du Nord, Les Huguenots, L'Africaine, Dinnorah and Le Prophéte
New Zealand Symphony Orch/ Darrell Ang, cond.
NAXOS 8.573195 TT: 71:23
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FIBICH: Othello, Op. 6. Záboj, Slavoj and Ludek, Op. 37. Toman a lesni panna ("The Wood Nymph"), Op. 49, Boure ("The Tempest"), Op. 46. Vesna ("Spring"), Op. 13,
Czech National Symphony Orch/Marek Stilec, cond.
NAXOS 8.573197 TT: 72:27
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SIBELIUS: Suite from Pelléas and Mélisande, Op. 46. Suite from "Swanwhite" Op. 54. Suite from King Christian II, Op. 27.
Iceland Symphony Orch/Petri Sakari, cond.
CHANDOS 10828 TT: 79:38
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RAVEL: Bolero. Ma Mère l'Oye. Rapsodie espagnole. Une Barque sur l'ocean. Alorade del Graccioso (Cleveland Orchestra/Pierre Boulez, cond.). RAVEL: Piano Concerto in G. Concerto for the Left Hand. Valses nobles et sentimentales (Krystian Zimerman, piano/ London Symphony Orch/Pierre Bolez, cond. RAVEL: Daphnis et Chloe. La valse. (Berlin Philharmonic Och/Pierre Boulez, cond.)
DECCA 479 3070 (3 disks)_ TT: 75:33 / 55:45 / 70:46
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BRUCH: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26. BARTÍÓK: Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. osth. KORNGOLD: Violin Concerto in D, p. 35. WILLIAMS: Theme from Schindler's List.
Glenn Dicterow, violin/New York Philharmonic/ Lorin Maazel, cond.(Bruch). Alan Gilbert, cond.(Bartók). David Robertson, cond. (Korngold). John Williams, cond.
NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC TT: 76:12
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Here's another delectable issue from Naxos!! This past January this site mentioned a superb disk of ballet music from Massenet operas (REVIEW). Now we have a second disk in this series, this one devoted to ballet music from five other Meyerbeer operas including several unfamiliar to most listeners. Mos familiar are excerpts from the skating sequence in Le Prophète which were arranged by Constant Lambert for the ballet Les Patineurs which premiered in England in the late '30's with an all-star cast including Margot Fonteyne and Robert Helpmann. All of this music is delightful and superbly played by the Barcelona Orchestra this time directed by Michael Nesterowicz. Excellent audio.

This past January this site mentioned an issue in the Naxos series of orchestral works of Czech composer Zdenek Fibich containing Symphony No. 2, At Twilight, and Selanka (REVIEW). Now we have another disk, again featuring the Czech National Symphony directed by Marek Stile offering the five symphonic poems listed. There are no undiscovered treasures here. Pleasant enough, but hardly engrossing, this music is rarely recorded and for good reason. Should you wish to investigate music of a lesser Czech composer, here it is, well played by a smallish orchestra and very well recorded. Naxos is to be commended for making his music available for the curious, at a modest price.

This beautiful Sibelius collection from Chandos offers three major symphonic suites of the composer. Of particular interest is inclusion of an additional items in King Christian: a minuet which here received its premiere recording. The fine Iceland Symphony under Petri Sakari' knowing direction. plays beautifully indeed, These recordings were made in 1992 and previously were issued at premium price—now we have them a half the cost.

Budget labels beware! Major companies are now reissuing some of their finest recordings at super-low prices. One of these is this Decca cardboard boxed set containing three famous recordings of Ravel conducted by Pierre Boulez.with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic and London Symphony. These are not recent recordings but remain among the best of this and here is a very inexpensive way to acquire them. And the set includes a surprise: a postcard photo of Boulez!

American violinist Glenn Dicterow (b. 1948) became concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic in 1980 and held that position until his recent retirement. His remarkable tenure with the great American orchestra is documented handsomely in this deluxe new set that contains his live recordings of concertos of Bruch, Korngold and Bartók, as well as John Williams' Schindler's List theme. Dicterow appeared many times with the NYP, and the thick booklet accompanying the CD contains a complete list of all of his performances with complete information about conductors, venue and dates. We also have a complete list of his chamber music performances, a biography, plus comments or information about all conductors who led the orchestra during Dichterow's tenure. And there are many photos as well. We also have a complete list of all of the NYP players from 1980 to the present time. This is a loving and appropriate tribute to a great artist. Recommended!

R.E.B.(August 2014)