This CD represented kind of a surprise for me: from the famed (or infamous ) inventor of the twelve-tone music one could expect spare, minimalist orchestrations ( like Webern's transcription of Bach' s Ricercar), instead here Schonberg uses with no inhibitions a dense , luxuriant orchestra, decidedly Strauss-sounding to my ears. This approach has mixed results. The Brahms is the best thing here : after all Brahms' scoring was tendentially weighty, so this version works very well, and what you get is almost another Brahms symphony. Only the last movement is a bit overdone , decidedly more Strauss than Brahms, but, as a whole; I liked it a lot. I have reservations, instead, about the three Bach arrangements, and especially about the most substantial piece, the Prelude and Fugue St.Anne. If, obviously, Schonberg's mastery in using instrumental colors is never in doubt (many effects are really striking) but I think that the majesty and the "absoluteness" so inherent in Bach's music require more tightness, less flourishings. May sound strange, but the Stokowski Transcriptions, so often (wrongly) accused of being "Bach in Hollywood" , were much more effective in that respect, achieving at one time all the drama one could want, with no loss of clarity. The fugues, especially, by their very nature must sound inexorable and here , if the Prelude works well, the Fugue just does not flow like it should: I got distrcted by too many changes of instrumental groups. To hear the difference just listen to the Passacaglia and Fugue orchestrated by Stokowski on Decca Phase 4 or on Chandos (Bamert conducting). I don't want to seem harsh, though: with this CD you get 40 min. of great listening ( the Brahms) and 30 of very intriguing one, because for all the flaws, the Bach pieces (the two Chorales are appropriately hushed) have their moments. The Houston Orchestra under Eschenbach sound really great, with impeccable playing and a very brilliant ,yet refined sound. First-class engineering.