“Abbado’s approach to Brahms is generally direct, but his control of rhythm and phrase makes the performance instantly compelling” – The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs
Superbly crafted and convincingly modern, though imbued with an expressivity most modern composers would have abjured, the Fourth and Fifth symphonies of English composer Richard Arnell arguably deserve to be heard as often as the symphonies of his contemporaries Alwyn and Arnold. In this superlative coupling of his Fourth Symphony from 1948 and his Fifth Symphony from 1957, Arnell emerges as a cogent composer ……..James Leonard @ AllMusic
…Once again, Järvi and his band have captured Beethoven's wilful and often irascible character, rhetoric, polemics and sheer genius in fully-charged performances which also reveal his deep humanity. They certainly should number among the elite.
One of the most acclaimed musicians of his era, Toscanini was a conductor of the "old school" - aristocratic, perfectionistic and something of an autocrat on the podium. After a brief flurry of interest in Fascism in the 1910s, he rapidly became disillusioned with the movement and indeed became a personal rival of Mussolini, repeatedly antagonising him through acts of artistic defiance such as refusals to open concerts with the Fascist anthem Giovinezza.
Eventually he fled Italy for the United States, becoming the first conductor of the newly-formed NBC Symphony Orchestra, with whom he pioneered radio broadcasts and recordings that made him a household name in America until his retirement at the age of 87. He gave the premiere performances of several major works, including Barber's Adagio for Strings and the American premiere of Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony.