This well recorded disc issued in 2002 is, above all, a joyful disc. This is achieved by use of period instruments expertly played, by choices of tempi that are truly danceable and by a corporate sense of enjoyment rather than a concentration on brilliance.
Consequently Strauss's music comes over as considerably more sheerly entertaining. The use of period instruments results in altered orchestral balances where the woodwind are more the equal of the strings. The strings have a warmer and more mellow sound and the woodwind have a delightful 'burbling' character. The brass are punchy without being edgy and forcefully dominant and the percussion are able to 'tell' without being aggressive. There can be no doubting the impact of the bass drum though!
This is a generous and attractively varied program that contains all the expected favourites and is a joy from start to finish.
I would suggest that this is a disc to treasure as a delightful alternative approach to some very well-known favourites. Purchasers will find that the familiar will seem less familiar in the best possible way and may well become the new reference for the enjoyment of this repertoire.