C0286. GEORGE SZELL Cond. Cleveland Orch.: The Four Symphonies; Manfred - Overture (all Schumann). (Austria) 2-Sony MHK 62349, recorded 1958-60. Gatefold Jacket has Brochure w.archival photos. Discs have facsimile original Epic LP labels. Final Sealed Copy! - 074646234921
“Some people at Sony have used their ears and eyes wisely to come up with ‘Masterworks Heritage’, a mid-price reissue series drawing on treasures from the Columbia/CBS/Epic vaults and packaging them not in the usual fragile, space-consuming jewel boxes, but in slim, sturdy cardboard folders that suggest the sleeves of old. Furthermore, the funky charming cover illustrations and disc label art of the original 78s and/or LPs is reproduced as well.
Sony has chosen interpretations not previously available on CD, most from monophonic recordings of the 1940s and '50s….The four Schumann symphonies from George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra were among the most highly praised standard repertory recordings of the early stereo era. They have weathered the years and the competition exceedingly well. To wit, the present two-disc Heritage set (62349) which also includes the composer's brooding ‘Manfred’ Overture.
Szell doesn't linger over the music. He imparts a feeling of bounding energy and, where required, tension that is never at odds with the music. And words can hardly do justice to the hair-trigger responsiveness of the vintage 1959 Cleveland Orchestra, Szell's band.”
- Herbert Glass, LOS ANGELES TIMES, 5 Jan., 1997
"These long-famous recordings have been overdue for an appropriately heralded CD reissue, which they get here in Sony Classical's new 'Masterworks Heritage' series. In fact, the recordings of Schumann's Second and 'Rhenish' symphonies appear here for the first time on compact disc....As captured originally in Cleveland's Severance Hall, the recorded sound strikes me as eminently true to the originals, but with the greater definition now afforded by digital techniques...."
- Marc Mandel, FANFARE, Jan./Feb., 1997