A generous modern collection of operatic intermezzos and interludes appears from DG, remarkably at mid-price. It is sponsored by Volvo—perhaps with the idea that the tape will be popular for in-car use. Recorded in the Gothenburg Konserthuset, the sound is vividly digital, brightly lit in a quite spectacular way within a reasonably resonant ambience. It suits Jarvi's dramatically histrionic approach to the pieces with the violins soaring passionately above the stave, notably in the intermezzos from Pagliacci,
Jarvi is at his finest in the paired Traviata preludes, which have a firm sense of line and are played by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra with an appealing restraint, but he also brings out the irrepressible high spirits of Wolf-Ferrari's sparkling excerpt from I gioielli della Madonna, an engaging piece, not always found in such collections. Elsewhere there is sometimes a lack of charm (although perhaps this effect is, partly caused by the slightly cool recording), and in the famous ''Dance of the Hours'' from La gioconda Jarvi, surprisingly, indulges himself in quite unnecessary hesitant rhythmic rubato. Perhaps he was thinking of the hippos and elephants in Walt Disney's Fantasia, but I would find these mannerisms irritating for repeated listening.'