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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Barber!, 4 Sep 2010
By 
Sentinel (Essex) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is another Naxos gem in a rapidly growing list. At one time Naxos recordings were too often let down by some fairly rough playing/interpretations, poor recording, or both! Happily this is almost a thing of the past, and as far as this performance and production is concerned, it is easily the equivalent (or better) than any full-price rival. Alsop really makes the strings of the Royal Scottish shimmer and sing with a luminous intensity, while the production gives a lustrous richness to the performance. There is really no better way to sit back in the comfort of your home and slip into some very tasty Barber indeed.
Both symphonies clearly benefit from this approach, as does the 'School for Scandal'overture, with the work appearing much more tightly orchestrated, and with a momentum which appears just right. But perhaps the hidden gem here, and the acid test of the musical performance, is the 'Essay for Orchestra', a delightful miniature which glitters throughout a wonderfully lively and inspired performance. These performances come highly recommended in Gramophone, BBC and Penguin Guides, the latter awarding a coveted 'rosette', while this was also editor's choice in Gramophone. Convinced?
A superb bargain.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and Beautifully Conducted, 3 July 2000
By A Customer
Marin Alsop makes Barber fly in a way no other conductor can. The RSNO gives a haunting performance and this is one of the best recordings of a Barber symphony - ever! Their performance of the Adagio for Strings in March induced tears. This CD is a must in any classical collection.
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