Conductor and composer enjoyed a harmonious relationship over several decades. These concert recordings from the mid-1950s – all Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the Royal Festival Hall, three evenings – report Sir Thomas’s particular manner with Richard Strauss’s music (he had died in 1949), not least a splendidly alive account of Macbeth, full of atmosphere and character, as well as revelations as to the worth of the piece, it’s often dismissed, and captured in remarkably good sound. Six movements from the Le bourgeois gentilhomme Suite are brought off with charm, exuberance and, especially from the trombonist, ripe solos, even if ‘The Dinner’ outstays its welcome by several courses (it always does). From there a seductive Salome extract, together with reissues of Don Juan (power, poetry, panache, if a few ensemble issues) and Till Eulenspiegel (rambunctious if surprisingly straitlaced at times and pushed through) are brought off with twinkle-in-the-eye glee and impulsiveness, and Lani Spahr is to be congratulated for consistently excellent remastering, with Macbeth – the true musical highlight here – setting the sonic standard that is maintained throughout eighty-one minutes. Somm Ariadne 5021.