Vox followers will know the names by now – Aubort & Nickrenz the original producers, trading as Elite Recordings, with Clements & Walton as the Audiophile upgraders – for this imposing and vivid Scheherazade conducted by Jerzy Semkow, recorded May 1976. Semkow (1928-2014) – St. Louis Symphony music director 1975-79 – sculpts a shapely performance, affectionate without losing pictorial or dramatic elements, indeed there are suitably Slavic emphases, enhanced by characterful solos, not least violinist (SLS concertmaster sat the time?) Max Rabinovitsj, whose ‘once upon a time’ introductions set the scenes admirably, and mention must be made for the beguiling clarinet contributions, no doubt from George Silfies, during a persuasively spacious ‘Prince and Princess’, here a loving couple, all faithfully captured by Aubort’s expert engineering, unflinching when the ship hits the rocks in the final tableau. No less fine are the Overture & Dances from Smetana’s opera, Prague-born Walter Susskind (1913-80; SLS MD 1968-75) leading idiomatic and spontaneous accounts from January 1975, the ‘Comedians’ an especially athletic troupe, with once again Aubort’s microphones in just the right place. Vox-NX-3043-CD.

https://naxosdirect.co.uk/labels/vox-classics-26971