Symphonic Spectacular

Author: 
Ivan March

Symphonic Spectacular

  • Festive Overture
  • (Der) Ring des Nibelungen: Part 2, '(Die) Walküre', Ride of the Valkyries (concert version)
  • (El) Amor Brujo, Ritual Fire Dance
  • (L')Arlésienne - Suites, Farandole
  • Praeludium
  • España
  • Marche slave, 'Slavonic March'
  • Entry March of the Boyars
  • (2) Romanian Rhapsodies, No. 1 in A
  • Gayaneh, Sabre Dance

Those who enjoy orchestral lollipops and spectacular sound surely could not do much better than this. Perhaps Chabrier's Espana has not quite the rhythmic finesse of Beecham, but it is played with the flair, as is the rest of the programme, and vivacity and vigour abound. There are subtler touches too: the interplay of woodwind in Enescu's Romanian Rhapsody is matched by the neat delicacy of articulation in Jarnefelt's engaging Praeludium (the kind of piece which elicits the response, ''Oh so that's what it's called'', for its basic theme is indelible).
Tchaikovsky's Marche slave has an attractive rhythmic lift in its trio and speeds off zestfully in the coda—the control of tempo throughout clearly intends high spirits rather than any sombre connotation. The recording is vividly realistic without overwhelming the listener with too wide a dynamic range and many of the key contrasts stem from the sophisticated orchestral playing. The Cincinnati orchestra is thoroughly at home in such a programme and Kunzel skilfully brings out the fullest range of colouring from his excellent players, who above all convey their enjoyment in the zest of their response. Most entertaining, and technically in the demonstration bracket.'

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