Buy two of these. That way, you can have one to listen to, and one to preserve against the day, billions of years hence, that the law of entropy darkens the universe and everything evaporates into nothingness. Alternately, you can sell one on eBay when this box goes out of print, as it undoubtedly will faster than you can listen to all fifteen discs. After all, EMI licensed a lot of this stuff to Disky and that 9 CD set was selling (used) for $250 plus. Even at 15 discs this isn’t quite the complete Silvestri. His concerto recordings are missing, but this set does contain all of his orchestral recordings for the label, and they are beyond dazzling.
Perhaps the worst that can be said of Silvestri is that he could be a touchRead more eccentric, as in the odd rhythm at the opening of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth (first sound clip). Still, it works for me, and it’s a small price to pay for the thrills on display elsewhere. Consider the finale of the Fifth, which gives Mravinsky a serious run for his money (second sound clip). Or how about the incomparably feverish first movement climax of the Symphonie fantastique (third sound clip), with the wonderfully idiomatic Paris Conservatory orchestra? You also get Silvestri’s legendary recordings of Elgar’s In the South, and a Vaughan Williams Tallis Fantasia that for nobility and passion leaves most performances in the dust (fourth sound clip).
It really doesn’t matter what orchestra Silvestri has to work with, or what the repertoire. His personality was so powerful that he almost invariably achieves stunning, distinctive, compelling results. And so we have a spectacular Tchaikovsky Manfred and Dvorák “New World” Symphony (twice) from Paris, a luscious Scheherazade from Bournemouth, and a brilliant Shostakovich Fifth from Vienna. Silvestri’s glorious contemporary music disc (relatively speaking) of Bartók’s Divertimento, Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler, and Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements appears in stereo for the first time (the Disky reissue was mono).
Silvestri was no less persuasive in shorter works. These versions of A Night on Bald Mountain, Danse macabre, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (again, twice), Liszt’s Tasso and Les Préludes, Finlandia, Romanian Rhapsody (naturally), Capriccio espagnol, Gayaneh, The Love for Three Oranges, Rapsodie espagnole, Pavane for a Dead Princess, and Boléro all stand with the most imaginative and evocative available. And of course there’s the conductor’s magical way with Debussy: La Mer, Nocturnes, and Prélude to the Afternoon of a Faun. Honestly, the list of highlights is simply the list of the contents of this set. You have to own it, and if you don’t, you’re life will be the merest shadow (musically at least) of what it has the potential to be. So spend some time with a genuine podium genius. It will do you good.
Manfred Symphony in B minor, Op. 58by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky Conductor:
ORTF National Orchestra
Period: Romantic Written: 1885 Date of Recording: 11/1957
Average Customer Review: ( 2 Customer Reviews )
Good choice for classical neophytesMay 6, 2018By allen c. (winfield, IL)See All My Reviews"After hearing 5 of the 15 discs, i enjoy the esoteric performances from Silvestri. Some pieces do not appear to be in stereo, but sound quality is fine. Subjectively speaking, i prefer other renditions, but highly recommend this set because of the variety offered."Report Abuse
spectacular surpriseDecember 18, 2017By K. BAKER (HEBER CITY, UT)See All My Reviews"Second the above review: , "the list of highlights is simply the list of the contents of this set. You have to own it, and if you dont, youre life will be the merest shadow (musically at least) of what it has the potential to be. So spend some time with a genuine podium genius. It will do you good. -- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com""Report Abuse