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This volume is a tremendous bargain. This is the best Nutcracker on the market, and I grew up on the piece. To have it at this bargain price makes it recommendable for that reason alone. It is full of powerful and beautiful moments. The "suite" pieces are second to none, and the other sections and are quite engaging.
As far as the other pieces in the set:
Francesca da Rimini- I may yet learn to prefer this Francesca. It is truly an exhausting, exciting performance that makes me shout at the end. I don't get a great sound, however, and I don't hear the commitment to the lyrical moments as I do with Barenboim. I fiddle with my equalizer and get some improvements.
Romeo and Juliet- There seem to be two "cymbal" versions of this piece, and Jansons takes the extra crashes in the allegro before the last slow section. I think this is not the authentic way and I don't prefer it. For good measure there is a gong crash signaling the death of the two lovers. Two much tinkering for me.
1812-Musically and excitingly played. The canon blasts are below par, however....Read more
Bought this set specifically for a cartoon pictured on the cover and inferred to be included. "Little Red Riding Rabitt" It is not in there.
Since there is no list of contents, I couldn't have known before opening it. Packaging is misleading.
Cartoons I would give a 4 out of 5.