the LSO apparently agreed to forgo their vacation after recording the star wars theme music (I think it was ROTJ)... anyway, after that session they had originally planned to go on a 30 days vacation. That was until the mighty FZ approached them and asked if they would take 400,000 in cash to do his material. Well, if it had been anyone else in Rock music, they most likely would have headed out to vacation.
then there were so many bad experiences between FZ and the orchestra. I have read where the musicians didn't understand why FZ took so much time arranging their chairs 'JUST SO'. These folks should have just shut up and let the master of sound and engineering (and rarely anyone rivaled FZ in this arena) do his thing. then the trumpet playing folks during a break in the sessions got loaded on brew at a pub and played flat on some numbers... which FZ obviously had a problem with.
Of all the interviews I have read from the folks in the orchestra, they seemed to forget that FZ paid for these sessions and wanted things done his way. But, FZ had very little influence on these musicians to be what they were reported to be, MUSICIANS. FZ stated in many interviews that 'The LSO can play most classical music with their eyes closed, but were not really all that good at reading music they didn't know 'by heart.' Which kinda, at the time, really suprised me.
After listening to other orchestras play FZ music (try national philharmonic on 'orchestral favorites' and bootleg berkley orchestra doing 'Sinister Footwear') and you will see just how stiff the LSO seems to be. Considering that the LSO has a reputation of being a 'swinging classical orchestra'. Maybe it was the tension between the master and the pupils.... who knows.
Now, that is not to say the LSO butchered every number, because they didn't. They did manage to do one song wonderfully, and that song was 'STRICTLY GENTEEL'. This is by far my favorite version of this material and WAY WORTH THE PRICE OF THIS SET ALONE. The LSO obviously liked this number a lot, cause they nailed it. And it is terrific. I was disappointed in the music until I heard that song.. and then I was okay with the output.
So, balance this information.. I would not buy this unless you have bought a good many other FZ recordings; and for his classical releases here is my list of ones to get before this one:
1. Yellow Shark. released early 90s. Ensemble Modern. wow.
2. Perfect Stranger. VERY GOOD, but keep in mind there are also synclavier pieces included.
3. Orchestral Favorites. EXCELLENT. Matter of fact this is the best of the four.