TCHAIKOVSKY: Nutcracker Ballet. Suite from The Sleeping Beauty Ballet
Royal Concertgebouw Orch/Antal Dorati, cond.(Nutcracker) London Symphony Orch/Anatole Fistoulari, cond. (Sleeping Beauty)
Philips Duo 442 562 (2 CDs) (B) (ADD) TT: 63:29 & 69:30 

There have been countless recordings of Tchaikovsky's complete Nutcracker Ballet; among the very best is this one with Antal Dorati and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra (as it was named at the time of this recording, in 1975). Long treasured on LP and now available in this inexpensive Philips set (2 CDs for the price of one). Everything is right with this recording, and sonics are magnificent; surely this is one of the best-sounding recordings ever made in the Concertgebouw. To make this set even more attractive, it also includes an incredibly dynamic performance of a lengthy suite from the same composer's Sleeping Beauty brilliantly played by the London Symphony with Anatole Fistoulari on the podium. This was recorded in 1962, the same year Fistoulari made his dynamic recording of a suite from Swan Lake with the Concertgebouw for Decca/London, inexplicably yet to be released on domestic CD, although it is available in Japan (it IS available on a private label—see REVIEW).Remarkable value on this Philips set. Highly recommended!

R.E.B. (Sept. 1999)