Review by: Victor Carr Jr
Artistic Quality: 9
Sound Quality: 7
This recording comes from Sony Classical’s recent big box remastered Mitropoulos collection, which is what you’ll have to buy if you want this one on CD as it’s only available singly via download or streaming (Apple Music, Amazon, HD Tracks, etc). However, the remastered stereo sound is very good with only the somewhat limited dynamic range dating the recordings (late 1950s). For the Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky works Mitropoulos and the New York Philharmonic provide performances that, while engaging and well-played, don’t reach the same level of brilliance and intensity as the recently reviewed Tchaikovsky Pathétique symphony from the same collection.
More interesting is Nikos Skalkottas’ Four Greek Dances (Peloponnisiakos, Epirotikos, Hostianos, and Kleftikos). Mitropoulos leads lively and vibrant performances showcasing Skalkottas’ inventive and colorful orchestral writing, played with energy and flair by the Philharmonic musicians, all of which comes through despite the mono recording. If you’ve never heard this music, here’s a good place to start as it might inspire you to check out the complete set of 36 Greek Dances (all excellent) led by Nikos Christodoulou on BIS.
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Recording Details:Reference Recording: None for this collection
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY: Slavonic March; Capriccio Italien
MODEST MUSSORGSKY: Night on Bald Mountain
NIKOS SKALKOTTAS: Four Greek Dances
New York Philharmonic, Dimitri Mitropoulos
- Sony Classical - None