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Mary Kunz Goldman
The Buffalo News, July 2015

This is first-rate light music. Majestic at the start, it unfurls into a riot of color—the music of a master, the best of its kind. The Scottish musicians…play the music with heart and bounce. © 2015 The Buffalo News Read complete review

Donald R. Vroon
American Record Guide, July 2015

…a worthwhile collection. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

James Norris
Audiophilia, June 2015

…it is very welcome to receive a new disc in great sound which includes most of my favourites played with exuberance and style by the RSNO. The recording, as usual from this source is detailed and plush with a very wide dynamic range.

Listening to these favourites is like watching a fondly remembered movie you haven’t seen for years. Enjoy them at your leisure. © 2015 Audiophilia Read complete review

Rob Maynard
MusicWeb International, June 2015

…for music like this, deliberately written to bring a smile to the face and expertly executed, will only be enhanced even further by the best possible digital engineering that brings out all its inherent sparkle. That’s certainly what it is accorded here…taking full advantage of Glasgow’s Henry Wood Hall’s fine acoustics to produce crystal-clear recordings where every instrument comes clearly through some very busy orchestral writing.

…American conductor Lance Friedel lavishes the greatest care and attention on pieces… The Royal Scottish National Orchestra plays expertly and with considerable panache and these playful accounts…will certainly bring a smile to all… © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, May 2015

American Conductor Lance Friedel’s dynamic shading, rhythmic precision and melodic phrasing make these perennials bloom anew. He seems to have instilled the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s members with a joie de vivre for this music that leaves you feeling everyone had a good time making this CD. © 2015 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review

Steven A. Kennedy
Cinemusical, May 2015

By any stretch of the imagination half of this program would have been ample, but at nearly 80 minutes of music making this is just one piece of candy after another.

If someone were to want a bunch of great overtures in one place, this would be a hands-down recommendation. Of course, the success of this venture could very well lead to a volume 2 quite easily… © 2015 Cinemusical Read complete review

Gary Lemco
Audiophile Audition, May 2015

Although each of us has his favorite renditions of particular overtures these Friedel readings impress for their sonic response and clarity of execution. Sterling string response, in tandem with excellent woodwind playing, sets the tone for a potent series of readings, beginning with Herold’s Zampa!  The Thomas Overture to Mignon (1866) exudes its own rarified delicacy of instrumentation and melodic charm via a polonaise, which Friedel’s strings carry with aplomb. © 2015 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

Blair Sanderson, April 2015

Friedel and his musicians fully communicate the buoyant moods and theatricality of these bon-bons, and the reproduction is clear and detailed, with credible presence and fine separation of parts. © 2015 Read complete review

David Hurwitz, April 2015

The performances are as vibrant as the music itself. Friedel has the Royal Scottish National Orchestra playing with real brilliance and warmth. It sounds like everyone is having a good time, with crisp rhythms at the climaxes, well-balanced percussion that never becomes obnoxious, and a certain easy elegance in the many lyrical passages that the music absolutely demands. Happily, we can enjoy this generous, extremely well played and well engineered program to remind us of times past. © 2015 Read complete review

Dan Morgan
MusicWeb International, April 2015

…seconds into Hérold’s Zampa overture it’s clear [Friedel] is having a ball; after all, there’s nothing like a bit of seduction and flirtation with the supernatural to get the pulse racing. And that’s exactly what happens in this feisty overture, played here with tremendous brio and bite.

The Austrian Emil von Rezniček’s buoyant overture to his 1894 opera Donna Diana gets a robust reading and the RSNO are as nimble as one could wish. The side drum is nicely caught and there’s some fine horn playing. Oh, and what a grand, grand finale.

A most enjoyable confection… © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

WQXR (New York), April 2015

…the SNO packs a lot of music in and it’s well-balanced among French opéra comique, Viennese operetta and Italian opera buffa. © 2015 WQXR (New York) Read complete review

KDFC Radio, April 2015

These exuberant pieces are filled with gorgeous tunes, brilliant orchestrations, and race-to-the-finish endings. It’s great to have new recordings of these long-time hits! © 2015 KDFC Radio Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2015

GREAT COMEDY OVERTURES (Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Friedel) 8.573418
GREAT COMEDY OVERTURES (Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Friedel) (Blu-Ray Audio) NBD0043

Eleven popular overtures that have crossed over from the opera house to become a staple diet of symphony orchestras opening concerts with that ‘feel good factor’. At one time they were part of the regular output of record companies, but with discs nowadays concentrating on one composer, they seem to have fallen from favour. All of which adds to my hearty welcome of a release that almost breaks through the eighty minute barrier. Strangely enough most the operas themselves have largely been consigned to history books, but If you cannot remember their names, you will instantly recognise Reznicek’s Donna Diana, Auber’s Fra Diavalo and Herold’s Zampa. All bubble with the happiness you expect in the story that follows, though we have to travel a long way through Ambroise Thomas’s Mignon and Lortzing’s  Zar und Zimmermann, before they reach a degree of happiness, and most of the disc’s operas were certainly not comedies. Technically they are not demanding, the Scottish orchestra, under the American conductor, Lance Friedel, are in sparkling form, with outstanding solo contributions from horn and woodwind in Mignon, while the brass bring drama to Adam’s Si j’etais roi and the strings add the fizz of champagne to  Wolf-Ferrari’s Il segreto di Susanna. Add a symphonic quality to the lengthy overture to Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, and a weighty account of Peter Cornelius’s Der Barbier von Bagdad, wrap it all up in a first class recording, and you have a winning release. © 2015 David’s Review Corner

Classic FM, April 2015

Listen out for staples of the repertoire such as Hérold’s dramatic Zampa, the delicacy of Wolf-Ferrari’s Il segreto di Susanna and the vivid colour of Lortzing’s Zar und Zimmermann. They’re full of sweeping melodies, dazzling orchestration and mad race to the finishing line climaxes.

The RSNO is on top form under American conductor Lance Friedel on this generously filled album… © 2015 Classic FM Read complete review

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