2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Vibrant accounts of a good mix of overtures,
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This review is from: Early Romantic Overtures (Audio CD)
The first thing to say is I was impressed by the choices on this CD. Recordings of collections of overtures do not seem as commonplace as they once were, and very often the same pieces are churned out, but this represents a more original choice.
Of the more commonplace overtures, Norrington gets through The Hebrides at a refreshingly quick pace to set it apart from my other versions (in common with other Norrington recordings the performances here tend to be on the brisk side). Despite the smaller forces Norrington acheives a degree of drama and power in the work.
The other works are similarly well played, but I should reveal my hand in that I don't generally favour the authentic, small orchestra approach. To me it is less important to ask how a work would have sounded than, given advances in technology and scale of forces, what would the composer of the time have preferred if given the option, and the authentics haven't convinced me yet on that one.
Given the size of orchestra these pieces do all lose some of their dramatic bite in some places, but not enough to mean this isn't a likeable disc. It contains some rarely heard pieces including Berlioz's excellent Les Francs Juges and Schubert's excellent Rosamunde which has mystifyingly become hard to find on CD in recent years, despite it's frequent (and misguided) use at one point as a finale to the Unfinished Symphony. As with the other performances, it could do with a little more weight for me but then there is excellent detail and it is enough for me to prefer it to the leaden version I have by Celibidache.
Worth a punt if you are not dead-set against period instrument performances and are looking for some of the overtures on offer here.