Virgin: The Classics

COMPOSERS: Dvorak,Lalo,Rossini
LABELS: Virgin

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 Virgin’s ‘The Classics’ fields several useful discs this month, though some collectors might baulk at the prospect of staunch periodist Roger Norrington and his now sadly defunct London Classical Players letting their hair down in a selection of ROSSINI overtures (VM 5 61900 2).

But these are vivid and powerful realisations, and besides, this is your only chance to sample these exuberant curtain-raisers played on instruments of Rossini’s day.

Hand-stopped horns near the start of Semiramide and snarling narrow-bore trombones in William Tell stress idiomatic divergences clearly enough, though Christian Tetzlaff makes no ‘authentic’ concessions in his fiery performances of DVORÁK’s Violin Concerto and LALO’s Symphonie espagnole (VM 5 61910 2).

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Instead, these are thoroughly modern readings, beautifully and brilliantly played, and watchfully supported by Libor Pesek and the Czech Philharmonic – there are few better versions of either work.