HOLST: Suite No. 1 in E flat, Op. 28 No. 1. Suite No. 2 in F, Op. 28 No. 2. HANDEL:The Royal Fireworks. ARNAUD: Olympic Theme from Three Fanfares. KING: Barnum and Bailey's Favorite. JOHANN STRAUSS: Radetzky March. SOUSA: The Stars and Stripes Forever. VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Folk Song Suite. GRAINGER: Lincolnshire Posy. Shepherd's Hey.
Cleveland Symphonic Winds/Frederick Fennell, cond.
TELARC SACD 60639 (F) (DDD) TT: 75:14
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VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. Fantasia on Greensleeves. BARBER: Adagio for Strings. FAURÉ: Pavane, Op. 50. PACHELBEL: Kanon. TCHAIKOVSKY: Serenade for Strings, Op. 48. GRAINGER: Irish Tune from County Derry (Danny Boy).
St. Louis Symphony Orch/Leonard Slatkin, cond.
TELARC SACD 60641 (F) (DDD) TT: 75:23
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SAINT-SAËNS: Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78 "Organ." COUPERIN: Chaconne in G minor. DUPRÉ: Carillon, Op. 27 No. 4. Musette, Op. 51. GIGOUT: Scherzo. FRANCK: Piece Héroïque. WIDOR: Toccata from Symphony No. 5. BACH-DUPRÉ: Sinfonia, Cantata No. 29. VIERNE: Finale from Symphony No. 1. LEMMENS: Fanfare.
Michael Murray, organist; Philadelphia Orch/Eugene Ormandy, cond.
TELARC SACD 60634 (F) (DDD) TT: 75:51
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Here are three SACD versions of staples from the Telarc catalog, transferred with the latest technology from original Soundstream master tapes and sounding better than ever. The Fennell/Cleveland Symphonic Winds SACD is a knockout. Recorded in Cleveland's Severance Hall in April, 1978, it instantly became an audiophile's dream in its original CD issue (CD 80059) with its incredible bass drum, remarkable presence and clarity. Now it is even more remarkable, as is the collection of symphonic band works as included on the SACD, not on the original CD issue.

Repertory on the Slatkin release does't provide opportunity for audio display. This music is for strings—no bass drum, no cymbals or other percussion. It is a tribute to Telarc's engineers that the St. Louis strings have been captured with such fidelity.

One would expect that a Telarc recording of Saint-Saens' "organ" symphony would be a sonic blockbuster, and in a way it is. Recorded in St. Francis de Sales Church in Philadelphia February 6, 1980, the rich sounds of the organ have been superbly captured. Unfortunately, the resonant acoustic of the church does not favor the famed Philadelphia Orchestra sound. Timpani are blurred by resonance, cymbals in big climaxes are murky, string definition indistinct. Ormandy had recorded this symphony three times previously, twice for Sony with E. Power Biggs in 1956 and 1962, and in 1973 with Virgil Fox for RCA. Surprisingly, all have clearer orchestral sound than heard on the Telarc issue. Things are different with the collection of French "encores" contained on the new SACD. Recorded in Boston's Symphony Hall September 27, 1981, this is Telarc's engineering at its finest, vividly capturing the rich sonoraties of the instrument.