Sir Georg Solti (1912 1997) had been the Music Director of the Opera House, Covent Garden for two years by the time this performance the overture to Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer was filmed. His reputation for recording Wagner was becoming established, having achieved great success with the first complete recording of Das Rheingold in 1958 for Decca. This studio recording comes just two weeks after he performed orchestral extracts from Götterdämmerung and Tristan und Isolde at the Proms with the ROH Orchestra, a recording released on BBC Legends to great acclaim. Solti s studio recordings of Richard Strauss operas were groundbreaking, achieving him a great reputation as a Strauss conductor with high levels of expressiveness, drama and precision. This performance of Beethoven 5 was filmed during his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and was the work that reputedly led Solti to decide to become a conductor on hearing a recording with Erich Kleiber. It is clear from this thrilling performance that his sense of drama did not diminish with age. This DVD benefits from fascinating bonus rehearsal footage of Don Juan and an interview with John Culshaw in which Solti talks about performing the music of Strauss. Solti's Complete Wagner Edition on Decca is a Penguin Guide first recommendation. This is the first DVD release.
ICA Classics...have served up another enlightening and enjoyable slice of classical music s televisual past. --MusicWeb International, August 2011