Alpha has already released Symphonies 2 & 4,, and the Fifth, Now the Six Symphonies are boxed, and the ‘Pathétique’ is concurrently available separately, a freshly considered reading with no need for novelty, coupled with a thrilling Romeo and Juliet. I assume Alpha will play fair with those who already have the single CDs and issue Symphonies 1 (‘Winter Daydreams’) & 3 (‘Polish’) in that form, appreciably lively and perceptive versions that honour the music with individuality yet veracity. The fillers, those new to circulation, are equally distinguished – whether the ‘Waltz’ & ‘Polonaise’ from Eugene Onegin, the Capriccio italien (the coda really sprints), and a quite brilliant version of the Festival Coronation March, given with irrepressible swagger.

But – Alpha and maestro – where is the Manfred Symphony? This masterpiece will come, won’t it? And how about coupling Suite No.3 and the Serenade for Strings? Delectable!

Meanwhile this five-CD set is one to treasure – wonderful music (not least the first three Symphonies), gripping and illuminating performances, superb playing and sound … a great Christmas present. Alpha Classics 778.