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Symphony No. 83

Symphony in D minor

Pictures at an Exhibition
Sinfony - 'Mathis der Maler'.
NBC Symphony Orchestra Guido Cantelli.
Testament SBT2194 2CDs 118m ADD (Rec. 1949-54).

Indeed a splendid group of recordings demonstrating the genial and unique qualities of Guido Cantelli's fine conducting. The Haydn Symphony is full of wit and humour especially in the outer movements and Testament have refurbished the sound with admirable clarity. The broad sweeping tunes of Franck's Symphony also find Cantelli on top form with the opening Allegro movement given great swagger and a prominently romantic finale that terminates proceedings in a very satisfying fashion. My favourite recording is however the white-hot interpretation of Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition' which really has the NBC Symphony on absolutely top-form. All movements come to life in magnificent fashion especially the mysterious 'Catacombs' and grand finale with 'The Great Gate of Kiev'. The Hindemith Symphony is also extremely well played and rivals Karajan's famous account for authority and sense of occasion.

Detailed notes and fantastic remasterings by Paul Bailey really bring these long unavailable recordings back to life in no uncertain fashion. Certainly this two CD set is an indispensable addition to the tragically slim Cantelli catalogue.

Gerald Fenech



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