For its own label the LPO has dug deep into its archive for two Mehta-conducted performances: 26 January 1988 for Richard Strauss’s Symphonia Domestica and 9 April 1992 for Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, both in the Royal Festival Hall. I was at the Strauss but can’t recall the rest of the programme; conversely, I missed the Rimsky but know its companions to have been Eine kleine Nachtmusik and the Suite from Pulcinella. The day in the domestic life of the Strauss Family is superbly done, flexible, affectionate, pictorial, and played wonderfully well; much care and attention during rehearsal. The tales of Scheherazade are no-less fine in terms of vivid incident, lyrical expansiveness and top-notch execution; Henrik Hochschild (guest leader) offers seductive violin solos (David Nolan leads the Strauss). The sound is good even if the Orchestra is not quite as immediate (if slightly more lustrous) as it would be in this venue. LPO – 0117 (2 CDs).
As a postscript, Mehta is a rare visitor to London these days. Indeed I can’t recall him appearing there since 19 February 2009 when he brought the Vienna Philharmonic to the RFH for Symphonies by Haydn & Bruckner. However, if the concert goes ahead (i.e. current Lockdown and Social Distancing guidelines have been relaxed), then Mehta is scheduled to return to the LPO and the RFH on 18 November this year for Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony & Ravi Shankar’s Sitar Concerto No.2 (A Garland of Ragas, with Anoushka Shankar).