Our rating 
2.0 out of 5 star rating 2.0

COMPOSERS: Tchaikovsky/Barber/Elgar
LABELS: RCA Victor Gold Seal
WORKS: Serenade
PERFORMER: Boston SO/Charles Munch
CATALOGUE NO: 09026 61424 2 ADD (1957)
Munch dresses the Elgar with a pomposity that gives the piece weight but no colour. Much of the insouciant charm is defeated by an earnestness that would have appalled the composer. It is a litde strange. A better alternative to ‘standard’ interpretations would be the positively certifiable Polish Chamber Orchestra on Linn (CKD 001), who make Elgar sound like the wind blowing over the Siberian tundra.


The Tchaikovsky serenade is better given to this industrious approach, although the delightful waltz suffers strange gyrations of tempi. The string sound is good throughout, but some poor edits and a general untidiness between bands suggests that this compilation has been hurled together without much attention to detail. Christopher Lambton