“Hanson was a skilled conductor and his recordings for Mercury are indispensable documents, though one's listening pleasure is hampered somewhat by the Eastman-Rochester Orchestra's lack of tonal weight and refinement. Hanson's lush, neo-romantic style demands richer, sweeter sounds. Luckily, that's just what the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra offer. Interpretatively speaking, it seems that Kunzel has made a close study of Hanson's performances, for his approach is similarly incisive. Indeed, Kunzel's Romantic Symphony may be tauter and more propulsive than Hanson's own. Even the lyrical pages unfold with a sense of resolve and the conductor's refusal to draw out the rhetorical, brassy outbursts of the Symphony's outer movements mitigates the music's occasional tendency towards pomposity. Another reason to favour the Telarc disc is that it includes the premiere recording of the Bold Island Suite (1961), an atmospheric, tuneful and typically clear-headed tone-poem. Warmly recommended to devotees of orchestral Americana.”
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