Shame on Capriccio for not giving credit where credit is due. These are in fact original ASV recordings, not Capriccio, dating from 1999-2003. Nowhere is that fact disclosed, other than one sentence buried within the comprehensive booklet notes. However, that aside, this is a terrific collection of less-well-known music from Erich Korngold, all conducted by Caspar Richter. There are many riches to be found here, including his Cello Concerto, but not his famous Violin Concerto.
Most of these recordings have been available on various ASV compilations along the way. There was also an odd hodgepodge on a 2012 Regis CD (and again on a 2018 Alto), which had been remastered by them - which it didn't need - and didn't sound very good. So if you have that one, toss it and get this box set instead. They all exhibit invigorating and musically involving readings from Richter and very good ASV digital sound (although there is a bit of distortion on a couple sffz chords in the Cello Concerto for some reason). These discs are not exact duplicates of the ASV originals, which had commingled orchestral and vocal works among each disc. Capriccio arranges them into more logical collections, with two fully orchestral discs and two vocal/choral ones. Nicely done!
The Bruckner Orchester Linz is a smallish ensemble, sounding very much like a musical theater pit orchestra, intimately recorded. No harm in that; however the strings tend to sound a bit scrawny and slightly undernourished. But don't make too much of this, they play well and the sound is generally sweet. Just don't expect this orchestra to sound like John Wilson's Sinfonia of London on his new Chandos series (Symphony in F#, et al)!
This Capriccio box is nicely priced and is a great way to explore this composer further.
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