A star is taken off for the rather muddy, dry and quite constricted sound. It isn't so bad but it is the last thing you want when faced with the open textures of Copland in Billy the Kid and the Third Symphony. The piano is almost inaudible in the Scherzo of the symphony and other percussion instruments sound muffled.
Apart from that the performances are excellent. Billy the Kid comes off very well. The symphony is very good too though I do find the a little rushed. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra once again turn in high quality performances for Naxos: they're not to be underestimated.
These performances are more than a match for most but the sound engineers haven't got it quite right. One other point is that this coupling is inspired: having Billy the Kid as the opening track helps to point the thematic similarities between the two works with the Symphony opening as if it is a continuation and extension of the ballet. It's very effective and sound reservations aside this is an excellent recording and thoroughly recommended.