SOMM’s Ariadne release of George Szell & the Cleveland Orchestra’s The Forgotten Recordings album received a Diapason D’Or distinction in the July/August 2021 issue!
“The recordings which come to us from SOMM were made in 1954 and 1955 for the Book of the Month Club, a subscription mail-order service. They demonstrate that the Cleveland Orchestra… had already achieved the stratospheric level for which it was admired, during the 1960s, by the greatest, Karajan above all.… In the Brahms Haydn Variations, the sureness of touch does not stifle the flow of the music in a vice, a frequent habit of Szell, instead it pays homage to the retrospective grandeur inherent in the music. The sixth variation (Vivace) is quite devastating, the finale a restlessness skilfully managed, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1919 version), downright vertiginous, even more astonishing for its rhythmic drive. … Finally, one would find it difficult to describe Mozart’s 39th Symphony, bearing in mind that the 1960 version is already considered one of the summits of his official discography… Has one ever heard the Coda in I conducted with such intensity? An Andante con moto diffused with such mysterious sovereignty? A Finale delivered with such intense warmth? Thanks to the magician Lani Spahr… Even the most demanding listener will be thrilled. A major discovery.”—Hugues Mousseau, Diapason (Translation by Siva Oke)