Easily the most popular conductor of his era, Arthur Fiedler was classical music’s greatest ambassador since Mozart, and one of those rare conductors whose records were not only successful, but serious profit centres, both for his orchestra and his record labels.
»The Pops were the popular outfit derived from the Boston Symphony which he directed for 50 seasons until his retirement in 1979. Inevitably, the lion’s share of the many discs they made for RCA were highlights and light classical selections, but an orchestra this good had no problem switching to more substantial fare, as this enjoyable release demonstrates. Prokofiev’s “Three Oranges Suite” gets played for all its worth, and if you’re partial to the famous ‘March’, there are a further five brief but vivid movements to enjoy. “Sylphides” is never less then pleasant, though be warned that orchestrated Chopin does have a period charm but a high cringe factor!
Liszt’s symphonic poems don’t get many live outings now, but performances of two of the best suggest we’re missing out. Friedler has no truck with the philosophising of “Les Preludes”, but delivers a cracking performance with just the right degree of soul. « — Amazon.com