William Steinberg made many classic recordings with the Pittsburgh Symphony in the 1950's and 1960's. Although he briefly directed the Boston Symphony towards the end of his career he made few recordings with them. What he lacked in quantity he made up in quality. That is very evident in these two stunning performances. Steinberg gives one of the most gripping and compelling performace of THE PLANETS ever recorded. Never is one on doubt that MARS is indeed the god of war here. Tempos are brisk but never rushed while quieter sections find Steinberg to be quite adept at bringing out Holst's subtle and nebulous details. All of those qualities he brings to Strauss'ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA and it results in a very fresh reading that avoids the plodding of many other performances of this work. Formerly on two lps both of these performances are now on one cd with very alive sound from DGG. If you tired of routine performances of these works at full price then Steinberg at midprice is the perfect antidote!
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