These famous Berlioz recordings from Munch have never been out of print, but for quite a while RCA subjected them to edgy, thin CD transfers. In the case of the four overtures, this held true whether you bought them as part of Munch's compendium box set or on a single budget disc. I hear mroe depth and less shrillness in this new Living Stereo issue, further augmented by SACD (I listened in regular two-channel stereo). The interpretations are fast and blazing. As for "Harold in Italy," William Primrose was Mr. Viola for decades and made splendid recordings of this work under Koussevitzky, Toscanini, and Beecham. It would be hard to choose among them, and despite Munch's vivacious and often original way with the orchestral part, the only real advantage to this late version is stereo sound. Primrose was in decline at the time, and the solo part runs into rough patches of bad intonation, besides feeling low in energy generally.
I'm giving five stars for the four overtures and the sonics, but it's a toss-up whether extra money should be laid out for these pieces alone.