More than eight hours of music on 7 CDs from Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, including a disc each of orchestral spectaculars like William Tell Overture ; quiet classics like Air on the G String ; Viennese favorites; rousing marches like The Stars and Stripes Forever ; American masterpieces like Rhapsody in Blue , and pop standards like Stardust and Mack the Knife , together with a commemorative booklet with photos and notes by daughter Johanna Fiedler. The definitive Pops.
Perhaps I should start by admitting a bias: Many years ago, lying on Boston's grassy Esplanade by the Charles River on warm summer nights, I learned what a symphony orchestra should sound like, with Arthur Fiedler conducting the Boston Pops Orchestra. Those concerts were free; these seven compact discs are not--not quite. But for any lover of light classical music, they are certainly one of the best buys available. The orchestra (essentially the Boston Symphony) is one of the world's greatest; the music, from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes to the Goyescas Intermezzo and Ride of the Valkyries is instantly enjoyable and permanently valuable; the conductor is at the same time genial and exacting, convinced that any music you play, no matter how frivolous, deserves the best you can give it. --Joe McLellan