This is the final Eloquence release of Solti reissues announced so far. And it is the least logical and "necessary". It is a bit of a mish-mash of "leftovers" and contains no rarities. All of this material is readily available elsewhere. Plus, this one finds me wondering if a more logical assemblage of this material could have been achieved.
On a previous set, "Solti at Covent Garden", it is a pity there was not room for the one Covent Garden recording contained on this disc - Offenbach's Gaite Parisienne. For if you take that away, along with the completely unnecessary Chicago Tchaikovsky suites, what remains are some of Solti's rarer recordings with the Israel Philharmonic - including the Dukas Sorcerer's Apprentice, which has nothing to do with the "ballet" theme of this set. What is a real pity is that we don't get his rare Israel recording of Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. It was originally coupled with his Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings, recorded at the same sessions. And I can find it nowhere else. (The Dukas, incidentally, is also available on a 1994 Double Decca miscellany set which includes Bizet suites and Munch's Phase-Four Gaite Parisienne.)
So this set is a disappointment. Instead of going with the ballet theme, which we didn't need, and even they didn't strictly adhere to, a one disc collection of "Solti in Israel" would have been a splendid idea. They could have included the very rare Mozart Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. They have already given us his Israel Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings on their Russian-themed set. His Covent Garden Gaite Parisienne is available on several Decca discs, and on a 2005 Eloquence release, coupled with Ansermet's Rossiniana ballet. And there is a 1958 Schubert 5 and 1959 Mendelssohn 4 with the Israel, both of which are available on Eloquence.
In any event, overall this has been a wonderfully productive project from the ever-enterprising Eloquence. We have gained a number of very rare and/or previously unavailable Solti recordings from this series. If this one isn't quite as logical or adventuresome as the others, it's still a nice set for anyone who missed Double Decca's 1997 "Ballet Gala" 2-fer, as it duplicates the 2 main items of interest (the Rossini and Offenbach). They show Solti at his very best - effervescing with boundless energy and endless high spirits. But, as Solti's Chicago Tchaikovsky ballet suites have been reissued and recoupled many times already (and take up a good portion of this Eloquence set), they would likely be a duplication for most. So this set really is a missed opportunity by not completing Solti's Israel discography. Maybe one day Eloquence will rethink it.