Well, to begin, I'll say that I find the three musical compositions featured here to be splendid works. Respighi's journal of the sights of Rome as well as Debussy's accounts of his trips on the Mediterranean are irresistable tone poems that all classical music fans appreciate
And of course, the Chicago Symphony, whom you can just argue is the greatest American orchestra ever, puts in another terrific performance, as you would definately expect them to. The legendary Fritz Reiner was conductor of the CSO from 1951 to 1962, a golden period in the orchestra's history. Heiner was certainly a demanding leader, and it showed whenever recording sessions took place. A perfectionalist, he wanted control over all aspects and made sure himself that he received satisfactory results.
In the program booklet that comes with this CD, an excellent account is included of downtown Chicago's Orchestra Hall on October 24, 1959, when Reiner led his ensemble to a tremendous performance of Respighi's Pines and Fountains of Rome. The article is a very interesting read on the details of the recording session.
Now, as for the CD itself, the aged recording would of course raise the attention of the listening. While technology has definately surpassed what had been available back then, the sound is however very acceptable. This album indeed still remains one for the ages.