PETER AND THE WOLF/THE YOUNG PERSON'S GUIDE TO THE ORCHESTRA - Antal Dorati conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sean Connery Narrator, London Phase 4 Stereo Concert Series SPC 21007

Typical of the Concert Series with a lush and warm, sumptuous and precise orchestra conducted by the great Antal Dorati. Connery's narration is superb, though he sounds a little detached from the orchestra, as if his voice was added separately, which it probably was. The catalog number "21007" was probably not a coincidence. Produced by Tony D'Amato, engineered by Arthur Lilley and Arthur Bannister. Recorded at Kingsway Hall, London, as were all the albums on this page. Nice liner notes by Robert Sherman (who also provided liners for the Rimsky-Korsakov, below). Despite the fact that all the early Phase 4 pop releases had gatefold covers, most had generic liner notes. Most, if not all of the Concert Series have dedicated liners.

THE EXOTIC RIMSKY-KORSAKOV - Camarata conducting the Kingsway Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, London Phase 4 Stereo Concert Series SPC 21033

Songs by Rimsky-Korsakov, including some rarely heard pieces. "The Flight of the Bumble Bee" is from the opera Tzar Sultan, and others are from Le Coq D'or and other R-K operas. Nice liner notes. Camarata conducts a typical Concert Series recording. Produced by Tony D'Amato, engineered by Arthur Lilley.

THE IMMORTAL WORKS OF KETELBEY - Eric Rogers with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, London Phase 4 Stereo Concert Series SPC 21036

Much of Ketelbey's music, which was extremely popular in the 20s and 30s, sounds hopelessly romantic and corny to modern ears. I sort of like his "exotic" pieces, though, such as "In the Mystic Land of Egypt," "In a Chinese Temple Garden," and "In a Persian Market." They aren't authentic at all, and the liner notes by Charles Briefer states that Ketelbey never visited these lands. They are strictly concoctions of his imagination -- sort of like soundtracks of the mind. Produced by Tony D'Amato and engineered by Arthur Bannister.

THE IMPRESSIONISTS - SATIE/DEBUSSY/RAVEL/FAURE/HONEGGER - Bernard Herrmann with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Phase 4 Stereo Concert Series SPC 21062

Herrmann branches out and conducts works by Satie, Debussy, Ravel , Faure and Honegger. Though I'm impressed that the author to the score of Psycho can display such a light touch, I think theses recordings lack a little something. Maybe Herrmann' s being too careful. Produced by Tony D'Amato, recording director Gavin Barrett, Engineered by Lilley, Bannister and I. Churches. Liner notes by David Simmons.


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