Hearing the three dramatic chords that open the Zauberharfe overture played by this excellent Swiss orchestra (the oldest in Switzerland) I was immediately struck by the clarity of attack and rich instrumental color. As the performance progresses the Musikkollegium Winterthur exhibits an alluring full-bodied tone and characterful playing completely in the Schubertian style. The same goes for the pensive B minor Entr'acte, the lovely Entr'acte 3, and the charming No. 9 Ballet.
The Schweizer Kammerchor's fine ensemble singing enlivens Hier auf den Fluren, while rich-voiced alto Serena Malfi delivers a quite tender rendition of the touching Romanze. Douglas Boyd's energetic and idiomaticRead more conducting brings out the music's color and buoyant spirit. MDG's top-drawer recording is the icing on the cake. The only serious rival to this new recording, and it's not in SACD sound--is Karl Münchinger's excellent performance from 1975 of the complete incidental music with the Vienna Philharmonic on Decca Eloquence, but this new disc absolutely commands your consideration.