Waltzes of Johann Strauss, Jr. - Virtuoso Symphony of London - Emanuel Vardi
GSC015DL (STEREO) - Johan Strauss, Jr. : Emperor Waltz, Op. 437; Vienna Life, Op. 354; By the Beautiful Blue Danube, Op. 314; Tales from the Vienna Woods, Op. 325 - Virtuoso Symphony Orchestra of London/Emanuel Vardi - In the summer of 1958, Audio Fidelity recorded 13 classical LPs in London's Walthamstow Town Hall. The orchestra was the specially-formed Virtuoso Symphony of London, which consisted of top London orchestral players and instrumentalists. However, once these recording sessions were over, it was never heard of again. Six of the LPs were conducted by Alfred Wallenstein, who concentrated on the symphonic repertoire (Brahms's 4th Symphony, Tchaikovsky's Pathetique, Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique and others) and six by Arthur Winograd (both conductors were ex-cellists) who recorded lighter fare, such as Operatic Marches, Popular Overtures. The 13th LP in the series was this transcription, conducted by violist/producer Emanuel Vardi. It was to be the last recording session for this otherwise fine ensemble. The LPs were expensively produced and retailed at a very high price but reviews of the time were divided between critics who found the stereo sound immensely vivid and others for whom it was over-modulated to the point of distortion. There is a tendency toward over-modulation in the loud passages, but the performances are top-notch, and a bargain at Garage Sale prices.