Notes and Editorial Reviews
This appealing collection brings together some well-known gems from the Vox catalogue in one enticing package. The Johanos/Dallas recordings of Ives' Holidays Symphony and Copland ballet suites (Billy the Kid and Rodeo) have long been admired for their idiomatic naturalness both of performance and sound. Elie Siegmeister's Western Suite fits right in, being a thoroughly Copland-esque bit of Americana, albeit more heavily orchestrated and less rhythmically lithe, and its issue on a single disc probably missed most collectors. Abravanel's performance catches the music's liveliness, while the playing as such remains a bit rough-and-ready. Lukas Foss leads a suitably grand recording of A Lincoln Portrait dating from 1970, ably narrated by Dennis Rooney, and Erich Kunzel provides the icing on the cake in the form of Morton Gould's American Salute (a.k.a. "When Johnny Comes Marching Home") and a selection of Sousa bonbons that goes beyond the usual marches to include a waltz, tango, polonaise, and foxtrot. A marvelous bargain by any measure.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com