Notes and Editorial Reviews
On RCA the voices, solo and choral, are set in a more spacious acoustic, which helps in giving bloom to the soprano's soaring phrase, "Dulcissime" in the final section, "The Court of Love" (Barbara Hendricks on RCA sweeter and more sensuous-sounding than Judith Blegen on Telarc)... As to performance, Mata underlines the fun element in the work... John Aler's high, refined tones on RCA strike me as near the ideal...
-- Gramophone [9/1981, reviewing the original LP release of Carmina burana]
This was one of the very first orchestral Compact Discs to reach my ears and I shall not forget the thrilling first impression of the opening brass fanfares in the Tchaikovsky Capriccio italien, richly and resonantly caught, overwhelming in impact but naturally balanced. The sound is sumptuous throughout, a little bass-heavy perhaps, but lovely to wallow in. The performances are vivid and nicely paced. The Tchaikovsky is the best, the Enescu Rhapsodic has comparable elegance of style and rich colours, but lacks something in unbuttoned exhilaration at the end. The lushness of the sound removes any starkness from the Rimsky scoring of the Mussorgsky piece, which fails to sound in any way sinister. The elusive L'apprenti sorcier is affectionately characterized, but again there is a lack of adrenalin—no sense of real calamity at the climax. But the recording is very persuasive, the strings have appealing ambient lustre, and as a whole this concert is easy to enjoy.
-- Gramophone [6/1983, reviewing the Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky and Enescu works, RCA 4439]