With this CD, you are in possession of two very special LP recordings which form one of the most sparkling collections of its kind. In short, you have a gem. The concert going public has, alas, been deprived of this once-popular overture repertoire for too long: classical music these days has become a serious business, with little room for anything as frivolous or as fun. But here we have nine little masterpieces of wit, fizzing with Gallic insouciance, under the incomparable direction of Jean Martinon. You are unlikely to hear these performances surpassed and their effect is as seductive as vintage champagne.
La belle Hélène
Le Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein
Le Mariage aux lanternes
Orfée aux enfers
Overture: Si j’étais roi
Le Calife de Bagdad
La Dame Blanche
London Philharmonic Orchestra
The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs & DVDs (2005/6 Edition) awards this recording three stars and a ROSETTE, and writes: ‘Quite the best ever committed to disc … elegant and sparkling … deliciously crisp … A unique disc and well worth any effort to obtain.’
‘Under Martinon these overtures explode like a suddenly shaken bottle of ice-cold champagne… A unique disc and well worth any effort to obtain’
Penguin Guide to Compact Discs & DVDs 2005/6.
‘Jean Martinon … whips the orchestra into shape with the sheer energy of his conducting. All of these performances will set your pulse racing and toes tapping, from the elan of Herold’s Zampa to an absolutely wild account of the “can-can” finale to Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld … He was one of those conductors whose emphasis on basic musical values of good rhythm, just balances, and faithful adherence to the score almost always yielded superior results, and despite the dated sonics his admirers will be very happy that these performances are now generally available’ ClassicsToday.com
‘Witty, spirited and vivacious, this disc is a joy from beginning to end’ Limelight