Notes and Editorial Reviews
*** This title is a reissue of a Japanese release with liner notes in Japanese. ***
Eugene Ormandy leads a straightforward Scottish Symphony, with moderate tempos and simple phrasing. It certainly features little of the emotional volatility that Ormandy's protégé and Philadelphia successor Riccardo Muti brought to the symphony in his highly engaging Philharmonia recording. But it does emphasize the work's classical underpinnings, and the Philadelphia Orchestra plays beautifully throughout--it's certainly nice to hear those wonderful strings in this music.
Ormandy finds far more drama in The Hebrides, just as he leads the Midsummer Night's Dream excerpts with greater vitality and variety as
well. This last is an odd selection, with the famous Overture (the best part of the whole piece) missing, and in its stead we hear the only mildly interesting Intermezzo. Again the Philadelphia players are on top of their form, with their distinctive brass sound heralding the famous Wedding March. The recording has greater presence in the Symphony than in the Midsummer Night's excerpts, which have that odd, dynamically-limited broadcast quality sometimes heard on RCA's Philadelphia productions. Even so, RCA Japan's remasterings make them sound better than ever. Available on-demand from Arkivmusic.com.
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com
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